Names Categorized "black history"

This is a list of names in which the categories include black history.
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ALmEnglish
Short form of ALBERT and other names beginning with Al. A notable bearer is American actor Al Pacino (1940-).
ALTHEAfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Αλθαια (Althaia), perhaps related to Greek αλθος (althos) "healing". In Greek myth she was the mother of Meleager. Soon after her son was born she was told that he would die as soon as a piece of wood that was burning on her fire was fully consumed. She immediately extinguished the piece of wood and sealed it in a chest, but in a fit of rage many years later she took it out and set it alight, thereby killing her son.
ARAMINTAfEnglish (Rare)
Meaning unknown. This name was (first?) used by William Congreve in his comedy 'The Old Bachelor' (1693) and later by Sir John Vanbrugh in his comedy 'The Confederacy' (1705). This was the real name of abolitionist Harriet Tubman (1820-1913), who was born Araminta Ross.
ARETHAfEnglish
Possibly derived from Greek αρετη (arete) meaning "virtue". This name was popularized in the 1960s by American singer Aretha Franklin (1942-).
BARACKmArabic
Variant transcription of BARAK (2).
BESSIEfEnglish
Diminutive of ELIZABETH.
BILLIEm & fEnglish
Diminutive of BILL. It is also used as a feminine form of WILLIAM.
BOOKERmEnglish
From an English occupational surname meaning "maker of books". A famous bearer was Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), an African-American leader.
CARVERmEnglish (Rare)
From an English surname which meant "wood carver".
CASSIUSmAncient Roman
Roman family name which was possibly derived from Latin cassus "empty, vain". This name was borne by several early saints. In modern times, it was the original first name of boxer Muhammad Ali (1942-2016), who was named after his father Cassius Clay, who was himself named after the American abolitionist Cassius Clay (1810-1903).
CICELYfEnglish
Medieval variant of CECILY.
CLAUDETTEfFrench
French feminine form of CLAUDIUS.
COLIN (1)mScottish, Irish, English
Anglicized form of CAILEAN or COILEAN.
COLIN (2)mEnglish
Medieval diminutive of Col, a short form of NICHOLAS.
CONDOLEEZZAfVarious
In the case of American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice it is derived from the Italian musical term con dolcezza meaning "with sweetness".
CORETTAfEnglish
Diminutive of CORA. It was borne by Coretta Scott King (1927-2006), the wife of Martin Luther King.
CRISPUSmAncient Roman
Roman cognomen which meant "curly-haired" in Latin.
DESMONDmEnglish, Irish
From an Irish surname which was derived from Deasmhumhain meaning "South Munster", originally indicating a person who came from that region in Ireland.
DUKEmEnglish
From the noble title duke, which was originally derived from Latin dux "leader".
EARTHAfEnglish
Combination of the English word earth with the feminine name suffix a. It has been used in honour of African-American philanthropist Eartha M. M. White (1876-1974). Another famous bearer was American singer and actress Eartha Kitt (1927-2008).
ELLA (1)fEnglish
Norman form of the Germanic name Alia, which was a short form of names containing the Germanic element alja meaning "other". It was introduced to England by the Normans and used until the 14th century, and it was later revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was the American singer Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996).
EMMETTmEnglish
From an English surname which was derived from a diminutive of the feminine given name EMMA.
ETTAfEnglish
Short form of HENRIETTA and other names that end with etta. A famous bearer was the American singer Etta James (1938-2012), who took her stage name from her real given name Jamesetta.
FANNIEfEnglish
Variant of FANNY.
FREDERICKmEnglish
English form of a Germanic name meaning "peaceful ruler", derived from frid "peace" and ric "ruler, power". This name has long been common in continental Germanic-speaking regions, being borne by rulers of the Holy Roman Empire, Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, and Prussia. Notables among these rulers include the 12th-century Holy Roman emperor and crusader Frederick I Barbarossa, the 13th-century emperor and patron of the arts Frederick II, and the 18th-century Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great.... [more]
FREEMANmEnglish
From an English surname meaning "free man". It originally denoted a person who was not a serf.
HALLE (2)fEnglish (Modern)
In the case of American actress Halle Berry (1966-), it is from the name of a department store in Cleveland where she was born (the store was founded by brothers bearing the German surname Halle, a cognate of HALL).
HARRIETfEnglish
English form of HENRIETTE, and thus a feminine form of HARRY. It was first used in the 17th century, becoming very common in the English-speaking world by the 18th century. A famous bearer was Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896), the American author who wrote 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'.
HUEYmEnglish
Variant of HUGHIE.
JACKIEm & fEnglish
Diminutive of JACK or JACQUELINE. A notable bearer was baseball player Jackie Robinson (1919-1972), the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball.
JESSEmEnglish, Dutch, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יִשַׁי (Yishai) which possibly means "gift". In the Old Testament Jesse is the father of King David. It began to be used as an English given name after the Protestant Reformation. A famous bearer was Jesse James (1847-1882), an American outlaw who held up banks and stagecoaches. He was eventually shot by a fellow gang member for a reward. Another famous bearer was the American athlete Jesse Owens (1913-1980), whose real name was James Cleveland (or J. C.) Owens.
JOSEPHINEfEnglish, German, Dutch
English, German and Dutch form of JOSÉPHINE.
KOFImWestern African, Akan
Means "born on Friday" in Akan.
LEONTYNEfEnglish (Rare)
Variant of LÉONTINE. This name was borne by opera singer Leontyne Price (1927-).
LORETTAfEnglish, Italian
Either an elaboration of LORA or a variant of LAURETTA. It is also sometimes used as a variant of LORETO.
LOUISmFrench, English, Dutch
French form of Ludovicus, the Latinized form of LUDWIG. This was the name of 18 kings of France, starting with Louis I the son of Charlemagne. Others include Louis IX (Saint Louis) who led two crusades and Louis XIV (called the Sun King) who was the ruler of France during the height of its power, the builder of the Palace of Versailles, and the longest reigning monarch in the history of Europe. It was also borne by kings of Germany (as Ludwig), Hungary (as Lajos), and other places.... [more]
LUTHERmEnglish
From a German surname, itself from the Germanic given name LEUTHAR. The surname was borne by Martin Luther, a 16th-century monk and theologian, who started the Protestant Reformation by nailing his famous 95 theses to a church door. It has since been used as a given name in his honour, especially among Protestants. A notable bearer from the modern era was the American civil rights leader Martin Luther King (1929-1968).
MALCOLMmScottish, English
From Scottish Máel Coluim which means "disciple of Saint COLUMBA". This was the name of four kings of Scotland starting in the 10th century, including Malcolm III, who became king after killing Macbeth, the usurper who had murdered his father. The character Malcolm in Shakespeare's tragedy 'Macbeth' (1606) is based on him. Another famous bearer was Malcolm X (1925-1965), an American civil rights leader.
MARIAN (1)fEnglish
Variant of MARION (1). This name was borne in English legend by Maid Marian, Robin Hood's love. It is sometimes considered a combination of MARY and ANN.
MARTINmEnglish, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Russian, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Finnish
From the Roman name Martinus, which was derived from Martis, the genitive case of the name of the Roman god MARS. Saint Martin of Tours was a 4th-century bishop who is the patron saint of France. According to legend, he came across a cold beggar in the middle of winter so he ripped his cloak in two and gave half of it to the beggar. He was a favourite saint during the Middle Ages, and his name has become common throughout the Christian world.... [more]
MAYA (2)fEnglish
Variant of MAIA (1). This name can also be given in reference to the Maya peoples, a Native American culture who built a great civilization in southern Mexico and Latin America.
MILESmEnglish
From the Germanic name Milo, introduced by the Normans to England in the form Miles. The meaning is not known for certain. It is possibly connected to the Slavic name element milu meaning "gracious". From an early date it was associated with Latin miles "soldier".
MISTYfEnglish
From the English word misty, ultimately derived from Old English. The jazz song 'Misty' (1954) by Erroll Garner may have helped popularize the name.
NATm & fEnglish
Short form of NATHAN, NATHANIEL, NATALIE, or other names beginning with Nat.
NELSONmEnglish
From an English surname meaning "son of NEIL". It was originally given in honour of the British admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805). His most famous battle was the Battle of Trafalgar, in which he destroyed a combined French and Spanish fleet, but was himself killed. Another notable bearer was the South African statesman Nelson Mandela (1918-2013). Mandela's birth name was Rolihlahla; as a child he was given the English name Nelson by a teacher.
OPRAHfVarious
In the case of television personality Oprah Winfrey, it was a childhood mispronunciation of her real name ORPAH that became permanent.
OSCARmEnglish, Irish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, French, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "deer friend", derived from Gaelic os "deer" and cara "friend". Alternatively, it may derive from the Old English name OSGAR or its Old Norse cognate ÁSGEIRR, which may have been brought to Ireland by Viking invaders and settlers. In Irish legend Oscar was the son of the poet Oisín and the grandson of the hero Fionn mac Cumhail.... [more]
QUEENfEnglish
From an old nickname which was derived from the English word, ultimately from Old English cwen meaning "woman, wife".
QUINCYmEnglish
From a surname which was derived (via the place name CUINCHY) from the personal name QUINTIUS. A famous bearer was John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), sixth president of the United States, who was born in the town of Quincy, Massachusetts.
ROSA (1)fSpanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, German, English
Generally this can be considered a Latin form of ROSE, though originally it may have come from the Germanic name ROZA (2). This was the name of a 13th-century saint from Viterbo in Italy. In the English-speaking world it was first used in the 19th century. A famous bearer was civil rights activist Rosa Parks (1913-2005).
RUBYfEnglish
Simply from the name of the precious stone (which ultimately derives from Latin ruber "red"), which is the birthstone of July. It came into use as a given name in the 19th century.
SATCHELmEnglish (Rare)
From a surname derived from Old English sacc meaning "sack, bag", referring to a person who was a bag maker.
SERENAfEnglish, Italian, Late Roman
From a Late Latin name which was derived from Latin serenus meaning "clear, tranquil, serene". This name was borne by an obscure early saint. Edmund Spenser also used it in his poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590).
SIDNEYm & fEnglish
From the English surname SIDNEY. It was first used as a given name in honour of executed politician Algernon Sidney (1622-1683). Another notable bearer of the surname was the poet and statesman Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586).
TIGERmEnglish (Rare)
From the name of the large striped cat, derived (via Old French and Latin) from Greek τιγρις (tigris), ultimately of Iranian origin. A famous bearer is American golfer Tiger Woods (1975-).
TONI (2)fEnglish
Short form of ANTONIA.
VENUSfRoman Mythology
Means "love, sexual desire" in Latin. This was the name of the Roman goddess of love and sex. Her character was assimilated with that of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. As the mother of Aeneas she was considered an ancestor of the Roman people. The second planet from the sun is named after her.
WILLAfEnglish
Feminine form of WILLIAM.
WILLIEm & fEnglish
Masculine or feminine diminutive of WILLIAM. A notable bearer is the retired American baseball player Willie Mays (1931-).
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