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Early African-American Names

Early American slave rolls are filled with classical and biblical names designed to show off the slave-owners' education and not normally used for whites; variations of African day names and place-names; along with other unusual names more closely identified over the years with black than white American culture. Some of the most notable:
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  • Abel

    Gender: M Rate:

    Abel, the name of Adam and Eve's unfortunate younger son, compensates with positive connotations: capable, competent, ready and willing. Abel has literary connections to the novels of Dickens an... Read More 

  • Africa

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    Most Africas today would be named for the continent, but the name actually existed in Scotland in medieval times, where there was a Celtic queen named Affrica. Africa has also been a Spanish name f... Read More 

  • Apollo

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    With mythological names rising, the handsome son of Zeus and god of medicine, music, and poetry among many other things might offer an interesting, if high-pressure, option. But if Romeo and Venus ... Read More 

  • Athena

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    Athena is the name of the daughter of Zeus who was the goddess of wisdom, warfare, handicrafts, mathematics, and courage (and that's just a partial listing), and the great patroness-goddess of the ... Read More 

  • Beach

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    With the tide coming in on a new wave of word names, this one just might catch on, especially for parents who relish sun, sand, and surf. Forest lovers can spell it Beech, like the tree.  Read More 

  • Boston

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    With the popularity of place-names from Brooklyn to Brazil, the attractive and distinctive Boston is surely about to rise.  Read More 

  • Caesar

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    Caesar, the name of the greatest Roman of them all is rarely used outside Latino families, where the Cesar spelling is preferred--as in activist Chavez and Dog Whisperer Millan. In early Amrican h... Read More 

  • Caspar

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    After half a century, this otherwise feasible name has at last started to lose its link to the friendly ghost; it certainly didn't scare model Claudia Schiffer, who chose it for her son, as did Ato... Read More 

  • Cassandra

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    The name of the tragic mythological Trojan princess who was given the gift of prophecy by Apollo, but was condemned never to be believed, Cassandra has been used for exotic characters in movies and... Read More 

  • Cato

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    Cato conjures up images of ancient Roman statesmen and southern antebellum retainers; it could have revival potential, with its 'O' ending and the current interest in the names of Greek and Roman a... Read More 

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