Category: Rosa Parks
What could be a greater gift to bestow on your daughter than a name with a heroic namesake, someone with an inspiring story to add a layer of pride to your little girl’s feelings about her name–and give her great material for a school report?
The following is a list of mostly American women of great courage, perseverence and accomplishment—many of whom broke barriers for women– that could fill this bill. And of course, this being nameberry, the name’s the thing, so apologies to all the equally distinguished Marys, Elizabeths, Sarahs and Anns who haven’t been included: the following ladies were picked (almost) as much for their interesting names as for their achievements.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an American hero, was named for a hero of his father’s, the religious reformer Martin Luther. King and his father were both originally named Michael, until the family traveled to Germany in the 1930s and King Sr. decided to change both his own name and his son’s to honor the original Martin Luther.
Despite Dr. King‘s stature in our country, few African-Americans today choose to name their children after him — perhaps because both Martin and Luther are a tad dated and refer so closely to the earlier white hero.
But other African-American heroes, historic and modern, from politics as well as sports and the arts, do inspire thousands of namesakes who can use their famous names as a guiding light for their lives.
Here are some African-American hero names that have been popular in recent years, along with a few fresh ideas:
BOOKER T. Washington
HENRY (HANK) Aaron
JADA Pinkett Smith
KIMORA Lee Simmons
Dr. MAE Jemison (astronaut)
PHILLIS Wheatley (early writer)
George WASHINGTON Carver
ZORA Neale Hurston