Category: African-American hero names
For Black History Month this year we celebrate the women fine artists whose activism is reflected in their bold paintings, sculpture, photography and crafts, several of which expose African-American stereotypes and other forms of racism. (By Linda Rosenkrantz)
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.
Jazz singer Adelaide Hall had a career that spanned 70 years, was a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance, pioneered the improvisational vocal techniques known as “scat” singing, and had great success in England. The place name Adelaide, used by Aussie actress Rachel Griffiths for her daughter, is a big Nameberry fave, now at Number 13; Number 321 nationally.
To commemorate Martin Luther King Day, we honor some of his fellow heroes and heroines of the civil rights movement. It would be impossible to list all of them, so here are some of the most worthy namesakes.
CLARA Luper – activist known as the ‘Mother of the Civil Rights Movement’
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an American hero, was named for a hero of his father’s, the religious reformer Martin Luther. King and his father were both originally named Michael, until the family traveled to Germany in the 1930s and King Sr. decided to change both his own name and his son’s to honor the original Martin Luther.
Despite Dr. King‘s stature in our country, few African-Americans today choose to name their children after him — perhaps because both Martin and Luther are a tad dated and refer so closely to the earlier white hero.
But other African-American heroes, historic and modern, from politics as well as sports and the arts, do inspire thousands of namesakes who can use their famous names as a guiding light for their lives.
Here are some African-American hero names that have been popular in recent years, along with a few fresh ideas:
BOOKER T. Washington
HENRY (HANK) Aaron
JADA Pinkett Smith
KIMORA Lee Simmons
Dr. MAE Jemison (astronaut)
PHILLIS Wheatley (early writer)
George WASHINGTON Carver
ZORA Neale Hurston