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Category: Tyra Banks

abbysouth

This week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel comes up with some eye-opening surprises–from Aaya to Lumi to Zarpessa.

There will always be new names.

It doesn’t seem possible, does it? With kids called Shiloh and Pilot and Boheme and Egypt, it would be easy to say that we can go no farther. Surely we’ve exhausted all the possibilities.

And yet, week after week, there are always names that surprise. I met a toddler called Zinnia yesterday, just in time for the bloom to appear on Nameberry’s list of best new flower names. Even those of us who spend our free time obsessively pouring over lists of names and offering up ideas on the Nameberry forums are probably taken by surprise by some of the things we hear – and not just once in a blue moon, but every week.

This week’s list is all about names that took me by surprise. They were brand new – at least to my ears.

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African-American Hero Names

martin-luther-king-jr-poster-card-c

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:

AALIYAH
BOOKER T. Washington
COLIN Powell
DIKEMBE Mutombo
Duke ELLINGTON
HARRIET Tubman
HENRY (HANK) Aaron
IMANI
JACKIE Robinson
JADA Pinkett Smith
JESSE Owens
Michael JORDAN
KANYE West
KIMORA Lee Simmons
LANGSTON Hughes
LeBRON James
Dr. MAE Jemison (astronaut)
MALCOLM X
Nelson MANDELA
MAYA Angelou
MEKHI Phifer
MYA
PHILLIS Wheatley (early writer)
ROSA Parks
SERENA Williams
SHAQUILLE O’Neal
Sojourner TRUTH
TYRA Banks
VENUS Williams
George WASHINGTON Carver
ZADIE Smith
ZORA Neale Hurston

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