Pseudonyms, Aliases, and Other Name Alterations of Some Distinguished African Americans

By Robert Fikes, Jr., Librarian
San Diego State University

There are many and varied reasons why people, particularly well-known Americans of African descent, would choose to use aliases instead of their names given at birth. Donning a different name might be considered a deliberate act of self-reinvention. A name change, nickname, pseudonym, or nom de guerre might also be assigned by others and eventually replace the birth name because of some special quality a person has. The motivation for the individual to allow and maintain such a modification of his or her identity is most often influenced by the perception of its acceptance by the general public or an intended audience. Still, some changes come about because of, among other things, dislike of the parent's choice for a birth name, a religious conversion, because the person wanted to make a socio-cultural or political-historical statement, an attempt to advance one's career, or merely the desire to make the name fit the profession or make the name easier to remember. Name changes can be quite drastic or may only entail changing an alphabet letter here or a syllable there, dropping the first name or the surname, or camouflaging a disagreeable or embarrassing name by using initials. Adopted names are often times ingenious and obviously required careful thought.

The most intriguing thing is not the recreated names themselves but rather the story of how they came about. Why did the parents of former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts decide to name him Julius Caesar Watts? Or why was Michael Luther King Jr.'s name changed to Martin Luther King Jr. when he was age six? With the hope that the following will encourage further research, here, then, is an extensive list of aliases and birth names of famous, and infamous, black folk from the worlds of literature, sports, entertainment, politics and civil rights.

Popular NameBirth Name
50 Cent, rap singerCurtis James Jackson III
Aaliyah, pop singerAaliyah Dana Haughton
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, basketball starFredrick Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr
Mumia Abu-Jamal, imprisoned activistWesley Cook
Canonball Adderly, jazz saxophonistJulian Edwin Adderley
Na'im Akbar, Afrocentric educatorLuther B. Weems
Akon, R&B singerAliaune Badara Akon Thiam
Muhammad Ali, boxerCassius Marcellus Clay
Byron Allen, talk show hostByron Allen Folks
Famous Amos, cookie mogulWallace Amos, Jr.
Maya Angelou, poet-novelistMarguerite Annie Johnson
Little Anthony, pop singerAnthony Gourdine
Louie Armstrong, jazz trumpeterDaniel Louis Armstrong
Molefi Asante, educatorArthur L. Smith Jr.
Ashanti, R&B singerAshanti S. Douglas
Babyface, pop singer-composerKenneth Brian Edmonds
Erykah Badu, pop singerErica Abi Wright
Dusty Baker, baseball coachJohnnie B. Baker, Jr.
Josephine Baker, dancer-singerFreda Josephine McDonald
Hank Ballard, R&B singerJohn Henry Kendricks
Afrika Bambaataa, hip hop producerKevin Donovan
Toni Cade Bambara, novelistMiltona Mirkin Cade
Amiri Baraka, writer-activistEverett LeRoy Jones
Tiki Barber, pro football starAtiim Kiambu Barber
Richmond Barthe, sculptorJames Richmond Barthe
Count Basie, band leaderWilliam James Basie
Peg Leg Bates, tap dancerClayton Bates
Harry Belafonte, pop singer-actorHarold George Belafonte, Jr.
Al Bell, soul singer-producerAlvertis Isbell
"Cool Papa" Bell, baseball pitcherJames Thomas Bell
Eric Benet, pop singerEric Benet Jordan
Brook Benton, pop singerBenjamin Franklin Peay
Halle Berry, actressMaria Halle Berry
Frankie Beverly, R&B singerHoward Beverly
Beyonce, pop singerBeyonce Giselle Knowles
Chuck Berry, pop singerCharles Edward Anderson Berry
Notorious B.I.G., rap singerChristopher George Latore Wallace
Eubie Blake, songwriter-musicianJames Hubert Blake
Julian Bond, civil rights activistHorace Julian Bond
Brandy, pop singerBrandy Rayanna Norwood
Foxy Brown, rapperInga Fung Marchand
H. Rap Brown, 1960s militantHubert Gerold Brown
Tony Brown, television producer-hostWilliam Anthony Brown
William Wells Brown, abolitionistSandford (slave name)
Donald Byrd, jazz trumpeterDonaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II
Peabo Bryson, pop singerRobert Peapo Bryson
John Bubbles, tap dancer-actorJohn William Sublett
Ed Bullins, playwrightEdward Artie
Bundini, Muhammad Ali boxing trainerDrew Bundini Brown
LeVar Burton, actorLevardis Robert Martyn Burton, Jr.
Donald Byrd, jazz trumpeterDonaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II
Cab Calloway, band leader-singerCabell Calloway III
Diahann Carroll, actress-singerCarol Diahann Johnson
Nell Carter, actress-singerNell Ruth Hardy
George Washington Carver, scientistGeorge (slave name)
Cedric The Entertainer, comedian-actorCedric Antonio Kyles
Wilt Chamberlain, basketball starWilton Norman Chamberlain
Chris Chambliss, pro baseball starCarroll Christopher Chambliss
Gene Chandler, R&B singerEugene Dixon
Ray Charles, pop singerRay Charles Robinson
Chubby Checker, pop singerErnest Evans
Cherrell, pop singerCheryl Week Norton
Neneh Cherry, pop singerNeneh Mariann Karlsson
Chingy, hip hop singerHoward Bailey Jr.
Sonny Clark, jazz pianistConrad Yeatis Clark
John Henrik Clarke, historianJohn Henry Clark
Roberto Clemente, baseball starRoberto Clemente Walker
Eldridge Cleaver, activist-authorLeroy Eldridge Cleaver
Jimmy Cliff, reggae singerJames Chambers
Nat King Cole, pop singerNathaniel Adams Coles
Lucille Clifton, poetThelma Lucille Sayles
Wanda Coleman, poetWanda Evans
Ward Connerly, conservative activistWardell Anthony Connerly
Sam Cooke, pop singerSamuel Cook
Coolio, rap singerArtis Ivey, Jr.
J. California Cooper, writerJoan California Cooper
Kid Creole, pop singerThomas August Darnell Browder
Scatman Crothers, actorBenjamin Sherman Crothers
Ice Cube, rap singer-actorO'Shea Jackson
Countee Cullen, poet-novelistCountee Leroy Porter
King Curtis, pop singer-musicianCurtis Ousley
Chuck D, rap singer-promoterCarlton Douglas Ridenhour
Heavy D, rap singerDwight Errington Myers
D'Angelo, pop singerMichael D'Angelo Archer
Allison Davis, anthropologistWilliam Boyd Allison Davis
Chili Davis, baseball starCharles Theodore Davis
Miles Davis, jazz trumpeterMiles Dewey Davis, III
Ossie Davis, actorRaiford Chatman Davis
Ruby Dee, actressRuby Ann Wallace
Mos Def, rap singer-actorDante Terrell Smith
R. Nathaniel Dett, composerRobert Nathaniel Dett
Ophelia DeVore, model-entrepreneurMadame Emma Ophelia DeVore
Deadwood Dick, cowboyNat Love
Bo Diddley, blues singerOtha Elias Bates McDaniel
P. Diddy, rap/hip hop promoterSean John Combs
Taye Diggs, actorScott L. Diggs
Father Divine, religious cult leaderGeorge Baker, Jr.
Junk Yard Dog, pro wrestlerCharles Ritter
Snoop Dogg, rap artistCordozar Calvin Broadus Jr
Fats Domino, pop singerAntoine Dominique Domino
Frederick Douglass, activistFrederick Augustus Washington Bailey
St. Clair Drake, sociologistJohn Gilbert St. Clair Drake
Dr. Dre, rap artistAndre Ramelle Young
Shirley Graham Du Bois, social activistLola Shirley Graham
W.E.B. Du Bois, social activist-authorWilliam Edward Burghardt Du Bois
El Duque, baseball pitcherOrlando P. Hernandez
Lee Elder, golferRobert Lee Elder
Joycelyn Elders, doctor-administratorMinnie Lee Jones
Duke Ellington, jazz composerEdward Kennedy Ellington
Missy Elliott, hip hop singerMelissa Arnette Elliott
Mike Espy, Congressman-bureaucratAlphonso Michael Espy
Lola Falana, pop singerLoletha Elaine Falana
Louis Farrakhan, Muslim leaderLouis Eugene Walcott
Stepin Fetchit, actor-comedianLincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry
Grandmaster Flash, rap singerJoseph Saddler
Flavor Flav, rap singerWilliam Jonathan Drayton Jr.
Sleepy Floyd, basketball starEric Augustus Floyd
Lola Falana, dancer-actressLoletha Elaine Falana
Jamie Foxx, actorEric Marlon Bishop
Redd Foxx, comedianJames Elroy Sanford
Rev. C.L. Franklin, preacher-singerClarence LaVaughn Franklin
E. Franklin Frazier, educatorEdward Franklin Frazier
World B Free, basketball starLloyd Bernard Free
Leonora Fulani, political activistLeonora Branch
A.G. Gaston, businessmanArthur George Gaston
Cito Gaston, baseball coachCharles Edward Gaston
Marvin Gaye, pop singerMarvin Pentz Gay, Jr.
Gloria Gaynor, singerGloria Fowles
Bob Gibson, pro baseball pitcherPack Robert Gibson
Dizzy Gillespie, jazz trumpeterJohn Birks Gillespie
Ginuwine, pop singerElgin Baylor Lumpkin
Nikki Giovanni, poetYolande Cornelia Giovanni, Jr.
Whoopi Goldberg, comedianCaryn E. Johnson
Daddy Grace, religious cult leaderCharles Manuel Grace
Al Green, R&B singerAlbert Greene
"Mean Joe" Greene, football starCharles Edward Greene
Rosy Grier, football starRoosevelt Grier
Dick Gregory, comedian-activistRichard Claxton Gregory
Robert Guilluame, actorRobert Peter Williams
Alex Haley, authorAlexander Murray Palmer Haley
MC Hammer, rap singerStanley Kirk Burrell
W.C. Handy, composer-musicianWilliam Christopher Handy
Penny Hardaway, basketball starAnfernee Deon Hardaway
Ollie Harrington, cartoonistOliver Wendell Harrington
E. Lynn Harris, novelistEverette Lynn Harris
Hollywood Henderson, footballThomas Henderson
Jimi Hendrix, pop singer-guitaristJohnny Allen Hendrix
A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., judgeAloyisus Leon Higginbotham, Jr.
Billie Holiday, blues singerEleanora Gough Fagan
bell hooks, educatorGloria Jean Watkins
Cissy Houston, pop singerEmily Cissy Drinkard Houston
Langston Hughes, author-poetJames Mercer Langston Hughes
D.L. Hughley, comedian-actorDarryl Lynn Hughley
Reverend Ike, preacherFrederick Joseph Eikerenkoetter, II
Iman, fashion modelIman Abudulmajid
Rocket Ismail, football starRaghib Ramadian Ismail
Dr. J, basketball starJulius Winfield Erving
LL Cool J, rap singerJames Todd Smith
Bo Jackson, football and baseball starVincent Edwards Jackson
Mahalia Jackson, gospel singerMahala Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson, actorSamuel Leroy Jackson
Tito Jackson, pop singerToriano Adaryll Jackson
Reggie Jackson, baseball starReginald Martinez Jackson
Jaheim, R&B singerJaheim Hoagland
Bishop T.D. Jakes, cleric-entrepreneurThomas Dexter Jakes
Jimmy Jam, pop music producerJames Harris, III
C.L.R. James, scholar-activistCyril Lionel Robert James
Chappie James, Air Force generalDaniel James Jr.
Etta James, pop singerJamesetta Hawkins
Jesse James, R&B singerJesse McClelland
Rick James, pop singerJames Johnson, Jr.
Al Jarreau, jazz singerAlwyn Lopez Jarreau
Jay-Z, hip hop artist promoterShawn Corey Carter
DJ Jazzy Jeff, record producerJeffrey A. Townes
Lyfe Jennings, R&B singerChester Jennings
Dr. Ben-JochananYosef Aflredo Antonio ben-Jochanan
Jack Johnson, boxerArthur John Johnson
Magic Johnson, basketball starEarvin Johnson
Deacon Jones, football starDavid Jones
Grace Jones, model-singerGrace Mendoza
Quincy Jones, pop music composerQuincy Delight Jones, Jr.
Star Jones, TV host-attorneyStarlet Marie Jones
E.J. Josey, librarianLonnie Junius Josey
Big Daddy Kane, rap singerAntonio Hardy
Karl Kani, fashion designerCarl Williams
Maulana Karenga, educatorRonald McKinley Everett
Kashif, pop singerMichael Jones
R. Kelly, pop singerRobert Sylvester Kelly
Flo Kennedy, activistFlornyce Rae Kennedy
Jomo Kenyatta, Kenyan leaderKamau wa Ngengi
Chaka Khan, pop singerYvette Marie Stevens
Lil' Kim, rapperKimberly Denise Jones
Jamaica Kincaid, novelistElaine Cynthia Potter Richardson
Albert King, blues guitaristAlbert Nelson
BB King, blues singerRiley B. King
Ben E. King, singer-songwriterBenjamin Earl Nelson
Martin Luther King Jr., social activistMichael Luther King, Jr.
Eartha Kitt, singer-actressEartha Mae Kitt-Fields
Suge Knight, rap music promoterMarion Hugh Knight Jr.
Yusef Komunyakaa, poetJames Willie Brown, Jr.
Patti LaBelle, pop singerPatricia Louise Holt
Nella Larsen, novelistNellie Walker
Queen Latifah, rap singer-actressDana Elaine Owens
Yusef Lateef, jazz artistWilliam Evans Huddleston
Leadbelly, blues singer-guitaristHuddie William Ledbetter
Canada Lee, actorLeonard Lionel Cornelius Canegata
Spike Lee, movie directorShelton Jackson Lee
Mickey Leland, Texas CongressmanGeorge Thomas Leland
Meadowlark Lemon, athlete-comedianMeadow George Lemon
John Legend, pop singerJohn Stephens
Carl Lewis, Olympic track starFrederick Carlton Lewis
Edmonia Lewis, sculptorMary Edmonia Lewis
Abbey Lincoln, pop singerAnna Marie Wooldridge
C. Eric Lincoln, educatorCharles Eric Lincoln
Sonny Liston, boxerCharles Liston
Tone Loc, rap singerAnthony Terrell Smith
Davey Lopes, baseball coachDavid Earle Lopes
Audre Lorde, poetAudrey Geraldine Lorde
Joe Louis, boxerJoseph Louis Brown
Frankie Lymon, pop singerFranklin Joseph Lymon
Moms Mabley, comedianLoretta Mary Aiken
Bernie Mac, comedian-actorBernard Jeffrey McCullough
Maceo, James Brown's saxophonistMaceo Parker
Claude McKay, poet-novelistFestus Claudius McKay
Butterfly McQueen, actressThelma McQueen
Haki Madhubuti, poet-editorDon Luther Lee
Kweisi Mfume, NAACP presidentFrizzell Gerald Gray
Taj Mahal, folk singerHenry St. Clair Fredericks
Mario, R&B singerMario Dewar Barrett
Pigmeat Markham, comedianDewey M. Markham
Bob Marley, reggae singerRobert Nesta Marley
Ziggy Marley, reggae singerDavid Nesta Marley
Paule Marshall, writerValenza Pauline Burke
Thurgood Marshall, Supreme CourtThoroughgood Marshall
Johnny Mathis, pop singerJohn Royce Mathis
Willie Mays, baseball starWilliam Howard Mays, Jr.
Kweisi Mfume, NAACP presidentFrizzell Gerald Gray
Dorie Miller, World War II heroDoris Miller
Minnie Minoso, baseball starSaturnino Orestes Armas Minoso Arrieta
Monica, pop singerMonica Arnold
Mo'Nique, actress-comedienneMonique Imes-Jackson
Wes Montgomery, jazz guitaristJohn Leslie Montgomery
Warren Moon, football quarterbackHarold Warren Moon
Archie Moore, boxerArchibald Lee Wright
Melba Moore, pop singer-actressBeatrice Melba Hill
Mercury Morris, football starEugene Edward Morris
Queen Mother Moore, social activistAudley Eloise Moore
Greg Morris, actorFrancis Gregory Alan Morris
Toni Morrison, writerChloe Anthony Wofford
Jelly Roll Morton, jazz pianistFerdinand Joseph La Menthe Morton
Askia Muhammad, poet-journalistCharles King Moreland Jr.
Elijah Muhammad, Muslim leaderElijah Poole
Khallid Muhammad, Muslim leaderHarold Moore Vann
Eddie Murphy, comedian-actorEdward Regan Murphy
Pauli Murray, priest-civil rights activistAnna Pauline Murray
Musiq, R&B singerTaalib Johnson
Walter Dean Myers, novelistWalter Milton Myers
Ray Nagin, mayor of New OrleansClarence Ray Nagin Jr.
Najee, jazz musicianJerome Najee Rasheed
Nas, rapperNasir bin Olu Dara Jones
Ne Yo, singer-songwriterShaffer Chimere Smith
Itabari Njeri, journalist-social criticJill Stacey Moreland
Milton Obote, President of UgandaApollo Milton Opeto Obote
Chad Ochocinco, pro football playerChad Javon Johnson
Billy Ocean, pop singerLeslie Sebastian Charles
Odetta, singerOdetta Holmes Felious Gordon
Blue Moon Odom, baseball pitcherJohnny Lee Odom
Omarion, R&B singerOmari Ismael Grandberry
Jesse Owens, Olympic track starJames Cleveland Owens
Z.Z. Packer, short stories authorZuwena Packer
Pele, soccer starEdson Arantes do Nacimento
Master P, rap artist-promoterPerry Miller
Satchel Paige, baseball starLeroy Robert Page
Charlie Parker, jazz saxophonistCharles Christopher Parker, Jr.
Gordon Parks, author-photographerGordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks
Billy Paul, R&B singerPaul Williams
Tyler Perry, playwright-directorEmmitt R. Perry, Jr.
Brock Peters, actorGeorge Fisher
P.B.S. Pinchback, Louisiana governorPinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback
Mammy Pleasant, businesswomanMary Ellen Pleasant
Fritz Pollard, pioneer football coachFrederick Douglass Pollard
Leontyne Price, opera singerMary Violet Leontine Price
Maxi Priest, reggae singerMax Alfred Elliott
Prince, pop singerPrince Rogers Nelson
Richard Pryor, comedian-actorAaron Richard Pryor
Sun Ra, jazz artistHerman Poole Blount
Ma Rainey, blues singerGertrude Malissa Pridgett
A. Philip Randolph, civil rights activistAsa Philip Randolph
Shabba Ranks, Jamaican rap singerRexton Rawlston Fernando Gordon
Ahmad Rashad, sportscasterBobby Moore
Louisiana Red, blues guitaristIverson Minter
J. Saunders Redding, author-educatorJames Thomas Saunders Redding
Ishmael Reed, author-criticEmmett Coleman
Della Reese, pop singerDeloreese Early
Ving Rhames, actorIrving Rameses Rhames
Busta Rhymes, rap singerTrevor Tahiem Smith, Jr.
Willy T. Ribb, race car driverWilliam Theodore Ribbs Jr.
Jerry Rice, football starJerome Lee Rice
Little Richard, pop singerRichard Wayne Penniman
J.R. Richard, baseball pitcherJames Rodney Richard
Beah Richards, actressBeulah Richardson
Rihanna, singerRobyn Rihanna Fenty
Doc Rivers, baseball pitcher-coachGlenn Anton Rivers
Jackie Robinson, baseball starJack Roosevelt Robinson
Smokey Robinson, pop singerWilliam Robinson, Jr.
Sugar Ray Robinson, boxerWalker Smith Jr.
The Rock, pro wrestlerDwayne Johnson
J.A. Rogers, self-taught historianJoel Augustus Rogers
Sonny Rollins, jazz saxophonistTheodore Walter Rollins
Diana Ross, pop singerDiane Ernestine Ross
David Ruffin, pop singerDavis Eli Ruffin
Ja Rule, rap singerJeffrey Atkins
RuPaul, drag queenRuPaul Andre Charles
Nipsey Russell, comedianJulius Russell
C.C. Sabathia, pro baseball pitcherCarsten Charles Sabathia
Raphael Saadiq, R&B singerCharlie Ray Wiggins
Sade, British pop singerHelen Folasade Adu
Raymond St. Jacques, actorJames Arthur Johnson
Sonia Sanchez, poetWilsonia Benita Driver
Kalamu ya Salaam, poet-writerVallery Fernandez
Zoe Saldana, actressZoe Yadira Zaldaña Nazario
Victor Sejour, ex-patriate writerJuan Victor Séjour Marcou et Ferrand
Haile Selassie, Ethiopian emperorRas Tafari Makonnen
Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm XBetty Dean Sanders
Tupac Shakur, rap singer-actorLesane Parish Crooks
Ntozake Shange, playwrightPaulette Linda Williams
Shanice, pop singerShanice Lorraine Wilson
Rev. Al Sharpton, civil right activistAlfred Sharpton, Jr.
Bobby Short, singerRobert Waltrip Short
Rev. Fred Shuttleworth, social activistFreddie Lee Robinson
O.J. Simpson, football starOrenthal James Simpson
Will Smith, actor-singerWillard Christopher Smith Jr.
SinbadDavid Adkins
Nina Simone, jazz vocalistEunice Kathleen Waymon
Sisqo, singer-actorMark Althavan Andrews
Iceberg Slim, novelistRobert Lee Maupin
Tavis Smiley, radio and TV hostTavis Roberts
O.C. Smith, pop singerOcie Lee Smith
Ozzie Smith, baseball starOsborne Earl Smith
Tubby Smith, college basketball coachOrlando Smith
Will Smith, actor-rapperWillard Christopher Smith, Jr.
Sammy Sosa, baseball playerSamuel Sosa Montero
Sister Souljah, rap singer-activistLisa Williamson
Wole Soyinka, Nigerian writerAkinwande Oluwole Soyinka
Edwin Starr, pop singerCharles Hatcher
Willie Stargell, baseball starWilver Dornell Stargell
Karrine Steffans, model-authorKarin Stephens
Angie Stone, R&B singerAngela Laverne Brown
Sly Stone, rock singerSylvester Stewart
Woody Strode, athlete-actorWoodrow Wilson Woolwine Strode
Ruben Studdard, R&B singerChristopher Ruben Studdard
Niara Sudarkasa, educatorGloria Albertha Marshall
Donna Summer, pop singerLaDonna Andrea Gaines
Sekeou Sudiata, poetRobert Franklin Feaster
Al B. Sure, pop singerAlbert Joseph Brown III
Keith Sweat, R&B singerKeith Douglas Sweat
Sylvester, pop singerSylvester James
Ice T, rap singer-actorTracey Morrow
Mr. T, actorLawrence Tureaud
Tammi Terrell, pop singerThomasina Winifred Montgomery
Joe Tex, R&B singerJoseph Arrington Jr.
Piri Thomas, writer-poetJuan Pedro Thomas
T.I., rapperClifford Joseph Harris Jr.
Luis Tiant, baseball starLuis Clemente Tiant Vega
Tone-Loc, hip hop singerAnthony Terrell Smith
Jean Toomer, novelist-poetNathan Pinchback Toomer
Peter Tosh, reggae singerWinston Hubert McIntosh
Tonex, gospel singerAnthony Charles Williams II
Sojourner Truth, abolitionistIsabella Van Wagner (a.k.a. Isabelle Baumfree)
Harriet Tubman, abolitionistAraminta Rose
C. Delores Tucker, politician-activistCynthia DeLores Nottage
Kwame Ture, political activistStokely Carmichael
Morrie Turner, cartoonistMorris Nolten
Tina Turner, pop singerAnna Mae Bullock
Tyrese, hip hop singer-actorTyrese Darnell Gibson
Luther Vandross, pop singerLuther Ronzoni Vandross
Iyanla Vanzant, motivational speakerRonda Eva Harris
Vanity, pop singerDenise Katrina Mathews
Iyanla Vanzant, authorRhonda Vanzant
Mo Vaughn, baseball playerMaurice Samuel Vaughn
Denmark Vessey, slave revolt leaderTelemanque
Junior Walker, singer-saxophonistAutry DeWalt Mixon, Jr.
Madame C. J. Walker, entrepreneurSarah Breedlove
Jersey Joe Walcott, boxerArnold Raymond Cream
Fats Waller, jazz pianistThomas Wright Waller
Dionne Warwick, pop singerMarie Dionne Warwick
Booker T. Washington, educatorBooker Taliaferro
Dinah Washington, blues singerRuth Lee Jones
Muddy Waters, blues singerMcKinley Morganfield
J.C. Watts, Republican CongressmanJulius Caesar Watts Jr.
Lil Wayne, hip hop singerDwayne Michael Carter Jr.
Chick Webb, drummerWilliam Henry Webb
Spud Webb, pro basketball starAnthony Jerome Webb
Kim Weston, soul singerAgatha Natalie Weston
Barry White, R&B singer-composerBarrence Eugene Carter
Slappy White, comedian-actorMelvin White
Douglas Wilder, Virginia governorLawrence Douglas Wilder
Dominique Wilkins, basketball starJacques Dominique Wilkins
Bernie Williams, baseball starBernabe Figueroa Williams
Bert Williams, comedianEgbert Austin Williams
Billy Dee Williams, actorWilliam December Williams
Rev. Cecil Williams, minister-activistAlbert Cecil Williams
Deniece Williams, pop singerJune Deniece Chandler
Katt Williams, comedianMicah S. Katt Williams
Joe Williams, jazz singerJoseph Goreed
Ricky Williams, pro football starErrick Lynne Williams, Jr.
Samm-Art Williams, playwright-actorSamuel Arthur Williams
Venus Williams, tennis championVenus Ebony Starr Williams
Mykelti Williamson, actorMichael T. Williamson
Ty Willingham, college football coachLionel Tyrone Willingham
August Wilson, playwrightFrederick August Kittel Jr.
Demond Wilson, actorGrady Demond Wilson
Dooley Wilson, actor-singerArthur Wilson
Mookie Wilson, baseball starWilliam Hayward Wilson
Flip Wilson, comedianClerow Wilson Jr.
Jackie Wilson, pop singerJack Leroy Wilson Jr.
Bebe Winans, gospel singerBenjamin Winans
Cece Winans, gospel singerPriscilla Winans Love
Oprah Winfrey, talk show hostOrpah Gail Winfrey
Howlin' Wolf, blues singer-guitaristChester Burnett
Stevie Wonder, pop singerSteveland Hardaway Judkins
Tiger Woods, golferEldrick Tont Woods
Malcolm X, Muslim leaderMalcolm Little
Marvin X, poet-playwrightMarvin Ellis Jackson
Xzibit, rapper-TV hostAlvin Nathaniel Joiner
Yahweh Ben Yahweh, cult leaderHulon Mitchell
A.S. "Doc" Young, journalistAndrew Sturgeon Young

Copyright ©2009 by Robert Fikes, Jr.