Category: African-American baby names
Black history is filled with the extraordinary names of extraordinary achievers.¬† This being the first day of Black History Month, we thought we’d look back through African-American history, on the lookout for the (interesting) names of people who have made breakthroughs by being the first to¬†achieve something, whether it be¬†in the arena¬†of goverment, Civil Rights, scholarship, the professions,¬†sports or the arts.¬† It’s quite surprising to see how recently some of them occurred.
Here are some¬†outstanding black history¬†names:
- Alexia Canada‚ÄĒ first female African-American neurosurgeon (1984)
- Althea Gibson‚ÄĒfirst black to win a major tennis title (1956) and first black woman to play on the Ladies PGA golf tour (1964)
- Aretha Franklin‚ÄĒfirst black woman inducted into the Rock ‚Äėn‚Äô Roll Hall of Fame (1986)
- Aulana Peters‚ÄĒfirst black woman appointed to the Securities and Exchange Commission (1984)
- Bessie Coleman‚ÄĒfirst black woman aviator (1921)
- Biddy Mason‚ÄĒfirst known black female property owner in L.A. (1866)
- Camilla Williams‚ÄĒfirst black woman to sing with the New York City Opera (1945)
- Charlotta Bass‚ÄĒconsidered the first black woman newspaper publisher (1912), and the first African-American to run for vice-president (1952)
- Condoleezza Rice ‚Äďfirst female head of the National Security Council (2001), first black woman Secretary of State (2005)
- Constance Baker Motley‚ÄĒfirst black woman federal judge (1966)
- Cora M. Brown‚ÄĒfirst black woman in the US to be elected to a state senate (1952)
- Della Reese‚ÄĒfirst black woman to host a TV variety show (1969)
- Euzham Palcy‚ÄĒfirst black woman director of a feature film for a major studio (1989)
- Dorothea Towles‚ÄĒfirst professional black woman model (1949)
- Dorothy Dandridge‚ÄĒfirst black woman nominated for an Oscar in a leading role (1955)
- Ella Fitzgerald‚ÄĒfirst black woman to win a Grammy (1959)
- Gwendolyn Stewart King‚ÄĒfirst black woman commissioner of Social Security (1989)
- Hazel Johnson‚ÄĒfirst black woman army general (1979)
- Hazel Scott‚ÄĒfirst black entertainer to host her own TV show (1950)
- Ida Rollins‚ÄĒthe first black woman dentist (1890)
- Jewel Plummer Cobb — the first black woman president of a California State University (1981)
- Joycelyn (born Minnie) Elders –the first black female Surgeon General of the U.S. (1993)
- Katherine Dunham‚ÄĒfirst black choreographer to work at the Metropolitan Opera House (1963)
- Lorraine Hansberry‚ÄĒfirst African-American to win the NY Drama Critics Award (1959)
- Lucy Ann Stanton‚ÄĒthe first black woman college graduate (1850)
- Maggie Lena Walker‚ÄĒfirst black woman bank president (1903)
- Mamie Smith‚ÄĒfirst black woman to make a recording (1920)
- Marvel Jackson Cooke‚ÄĒfirst full-time black reporter on a mainstream paper (1950)
- Maude Rutherford‚ÄĒdancer who first introduced the Charleston on Broadway (1922)
- Maya Angelou (born Marguerite) ‚Äď first black woman to have a nonfiction bestseller (1970); first black inaugural poet (1993)
- Michelle Obama–first African-American first lady (2009)
- Minnie M. Geddings Cox‚ÄĒfirst black US postmistress (1891)
- Minyon Moore‚ÄĒfirst black woman political director of the National Democratic Committee (1995)
- Octavia Butler‚ÄĒthe first published female black science fiction writer (1976)
- Oprah Winfrey==first black woman to host a nationally syndicated weekday talk show (1986)
In honor of the release of the 2009 list of most popular New York City baby names, Nameberry’s newest intern, Deanna Cullen, presents to you some surprising top contenders that owe their ascension in the ranks to some serious star power.
New York City baby names are not so different from those in the rest of the United States, but more celebrity names reach the top spots, according to the newly-released 2009 popularity list.
The most popular New York City baby names for girls for 2009 were:
Same went for the boys.
The most popular New York City baby names for boys in 2009 were:
Jayden, a name that was virtually unknown as of the 1990 Census and #194 in 2000, now ranks #1 in New York City and #8 in the nation. Although there is a Biblical Jadon, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith brought the name to national attention when they named their son Jaden.
Another famous Jayden is Britney Spears‚Äô son, born in 2006. What more coverage can a kid ‚Äď and a name ‚Äď get than having Britney Spears as your mother?
Celebrities‚Äô impact on naming trends is clear on the 2009 New York City baby names popularity list, which includes such names as:
New York City is one of the few locales that tallies baby name statistics by ethnicity, yielding some interesting results.
The Top Ten names for blacks is totally different, for girls, than it is for the overall Top Ten, reflecting the popularity of several African-American celebrities. That list:
- Jada (Pinkett Smith)
- Malia (Obama)
- Aaliyah (the singer)
The African-American boys’ list more closely resembled the overall list, with Jayden remaining in number one place. The names that are different on the list for black boys: Elijah, Jeremiah, Christian, Josiah.
Other names in the top ten that broke rank by ethnicity include, for Hispanics, Melanie and Genesis for girls and Angel for boys; for Asian-Americans, Tiffany, Fiona, and Vivian for girls and Ryan, Eric, and Kevin for boys; and for whites, Rachel, Leah, Esther, and Chaya for girls, Benjamin and Samuel for boys.
Deanna Cullen¬†is a recent graduate of Fairfield University with a degree in English/Creative Writing. She currently works as copy editor¬†for The Hudson Reporter, and is a freelance contributing writer for The Hoboken Reporter, International Watch Magazine, and njnewsroom.com, along with interning for nameberry.
This year¬†in celebration of¬†Black History Month we turn for naming inspiration to the cultural heroines of the Harlem Renaissance. ¬†These women‚ÄĒnovelists, poets, playwrights, painters, sculptors and musicians– all played significant roles in the movement that flourished from the end of World War I through the mid-1930s, during which a group of writers and other artists¬†fostered an intellectual blossoming that was instrumental in forging a new black cultural identity.
The talented women listed below, some better known than others, would all provide great namesakes and role models for any child.¬†
JESSIE Redmon Fauset‚ÄĒcalled by Langston Hughes a ‚Äúmid-wife‚ÄĚ of African-American literature, she was the literary editor of Crisis magazine and was the first black woman to be elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
MARITA Bonner, whose writing dealt with issues of race, gender and class.
Also considered part of the Harlem Renaissance were such entertainers as:
To commemorate Martin Luther King Day, we honor some of his fellow heroes and heroines of the civil rights movement.¬† It would be impossible to list all of them, so here are some of the most worthy namesakes.
CLARA Luper ‚Äď activist known as the ‚ÄėMother of the Civil Rights Movement‚Äô