In the past we’ve commemorated BlackHistory Month by celebrating the names of great figures in history and the civil rights struggle. This year we salute some of the notable thespians, some now sadly forgotten, who have contributed so much to the cultural fabric of this country—and of course paying particular attention to their distinctive names.
Ethel Waters went from a career as a sexy blues singer to playing the beloved, maternal Berenice in The Member of the Wedding. Names like Ethel and Elsie are showing signs of making a return that’s a big surprise to the grandma generation. LilyAllen gave it some starbaby cred when she chose it for her daughter.