MLK Day: Historic Civil Rights Leaders’ Names
Autherine Juanita Lucy was the first African-American student admitted to a white school in Alabama when she entered the U. of A. in 1956, with the aid of Thurgood Marshall and others at the NAACP, enduring hostile mobs and court battles. Her name is even more unique than the usual feminization of Arthur—Arthurine.
- Juanita Lucy was the first African-American student admitted to a white school in Alabama when she entered the U. of A. in 1956, with the aid of Thurgood Marshall and others at the NAACP, enduring hostile mobs and court battles. Her name is even more unique than the usual feminization of Arthur—Arthurine." >
- Cleveland Sellers was jailed at a Civil Rights protest, later going on to become a college president. Cleveland is both a place name and a presidential appellation. Though rare today, it was in the Top 100 in the1880’s and has the attractive nickname Cleve." >
- Clyde Kennard was arrested and jailed to prevent his entrance to the segregated University of Mississippi. The name Clyde, hot in the early twentieth century—reaching as high as Number 51—has an edge of jazzy cool that makes it definitely ready for a comeback: it’s already reached Number 334 on Nameberry." >
- Esau Jenkins was a key activist in South Carolina, encouraging voter registration of blacks and working for their economic, cultural and political advancement. The neglected Old Testament name of Jacob’s twin brother, Esau is not in the Top 1000, but could in time share some of the popularity of Ezra." >
- Hosea Lorenzo Williams was a chief field organizer for the Southern Christian Leadership Campaign (SCLC), who led the historic Selma to Montgomery Alabama campaign and was referred to by Dr. King as “my wild man.” Hosea is one of the least used of the Hebrew prophet names, but could join brethren Daniel, Jonah, Nathan and Samuel." >
- Marvel Jackson Cooke was a barrier-breaking journalist and trade unionist. As a girls’ name, Marvel was a long-forgotten relic until it recently became a (male) character name in The Hunger Games, giving it now a more modern feel. It had reached as high as 487 for girls at the turn of the last century." >
- Carolina branch of the NAACP, Modjeska Monteith Simpkins’s work helped the state move towards racial equality, but at the price of her life and home becoming targets of violence. She was named for a famous Polish actress, Helena Modjeska, who emigrated to California in the 1870s." >
- Hall, a theologian and ethicist, was active in SNCC and a prominent Civil Rights Movement speaker—she is said to have influenced Dr. King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech, having used that phrase repeatedly in a speech he heard in 1962. Prathia is an exotic and highly unusual name." >
- Septima Poinsette Clark was known as the Queen Mother or Grandmother of the American Civil Rights Movement because of her important work for voting rights and education reform. Septima is a number name, the feminine version of the better-known Septimus, traditionally given to a seventh child." >
- William) Stetson Kennedy is remembered for infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940s, exposing its secrets to the outside world. He was named for a family member, the hat maker John Batterson Stetson and the name gives off a great cowboy vibe: it has peaked enough interest to bring it to Number 843." >
- Unita Blackwell was a prominent participant in Freedom Summer, the massive effort to register black voters across Mississippi, and later became the first black female mayor in the state. Unita makes an interesting spin on the Virtue name Unity." >
- Hudson, an early NAACP chapter executive, initiated a lawsuit to desegregate her county’s schools and helped integrate various institutions. Winson—which sounds like a male name that’s lost its t--was actually her middle name, and quite possibly a family surname. She was born with the unfortunate first name of Anger." >
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on January 15th, 2016 at 5:00 am
I adore Esau, I hope it stays under the radar!
on January 15th, 2016 at 12:35 pm
Piqued, not peaked.
Tiana Putric Said
on January 17th, 2016 at 3:46 pm
Thanks for the quick history lesson Linda. Autherine is lovely and it is quite interesting how Winson Hudson’s given name Anger is so close to the name Angel.
on January 18th, 2016 at 6:38 pm
While these names are interesting and it’s definitely nice to hear some new names for once (I spend a lot of time on here so that’s unusual), I definitely won’t be naminf my kids any of these. I really want the like Esau and Hosea but Esau always makes me think of ‘eye sore’ and Hosea has a very feminine twist to it.
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