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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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  • Temperance

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    Temperance lost whatever appeal it might have had during Prohibition. Unlike Hope, Faith, Amity, and even Prudence, this is one colonial virtue name we don't ever expect to see again. On the TV sh... Read More 

  • Tyra

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    High profile supermodel/entrepreneur Tyra Banks has put this name in the spotlight, endowing it with her confident, superattractive image.  Read More 

  • Venus

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    The name of a heavenly planet and the Roman goddess of beauty and love was an intimidating no-no until tennis champ Venus Williams put an athletic, modern spin on it. Associated with the Greek Ap... Read More 

  • Wesley

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    Wesley is one of a group of W-starting surname names reminiscent of the Old West that are making a comeback, now in the Top 160--though not as well used as it was in the 1970s, when he ranked as hi... Read More 

  • York

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    This British royal family name is rather formal and brusque.  Read More 

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