Black History Names: Cinema greats– Canada, Cicely and Rex

In the past we’ve commemorated Black History 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.


Lorenzo Tucker, (1907-1986) known as the “Black Valentino” was a stage and screen actor who played the romantic lead in the early black films of Oscar Micheaux. (Trivia note: Much later he became an autopsy technician whose subjects included Malcolm X and the above-mentioned Nina Mae McKinney.) This rhythmic Latin version of Lawrence is one of the traditional Italian names entering the mainstream full force, now at Number 307.

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