Black Hero Names

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Black hero names honor notable Black leaders of history and today, including abolitionists, activists, athletes, artists, and entertainers. Some of the most famous Black figures, such as Dr. Martin Luther King and Josephine Baker, add a subtle layer of significance to their traditional first names. Their more distinctive surnames are a modern and particularly powerful way to connect your child to your hero.

Along with King and Josephine, other Black hero names in the US Top 300 include Brooks, Clara, Ella, Kyrie, Legend, Nina, Ruby, and Walker. Unique surnames of Black figures’ worth considering for your child include Carver, Ellington, Hughes, and Owens.

A Black hero name may serve to imbibe your child the strength and values of their namesake. If you are searching for a name to connect your child to their Black heritage or wish to honor an important Black hero, browse our list of over 250 names below.

  • Aaron

    The origin of the name Aaron is debated—some say it was derived from Hebrew, while others claim it originated in Ancient Egypt. In the Old Testament, Aaron, the older brother of Moses who was... Read More 

  • Abbott

    This traditionally male surname name could find new life for girls thanks to its similarity to the popular Abby and Abigail. Read More 

  • Adam

    Adam -- a primal Old Testament name -- was revived as a 1960s cowboy name. Adam is not as popular as it once was and feels ready for a respite, replaced by newer A names like Aidan/Aiden, Avery... Read More 

  • Adrian

    Adrian is derived from Hadrianus, a Roman family name meaning “from Hadria.” There were two Roman towns called Hadria, the first in Northern Italy, modern day Adria, and the second in Central... Read More 

  • Alexander

    Alexander is derived from the Greek name Aléxandros, composed of the elements aléxein, meaning “to defend,” and aner, meaning “man.” According to Greek legend, the first... Read More 

  • Alexia

    This diminutive, similar to Alex or Alexis, has been yo-yoing in popularity since the turn of the 21st century.Read More 

  • Alice

    Alice was derived from the Old French name Aalis, a diminutive of Adelais that itself came from the Germanic name Adalhaidis. Adalhaidis, from which the name Adelaide is also derived, is composed... Read More 

  • Alma

    Alma is a somewhat solemn, soulful name that had a burst of popularity a century ago, then faded into the flowered wallpaper, and is now finding its footing once more.

    In addition to... Read More 

  • Althea

    Althea is a poetic, almost ethereal name found in Greek myth and pastoral poetry, associated in modern times with the great tennis player Althea Gibson, the first African-American to win at... Read More 

  • Alvin

    Alvin has a sturdy, no-frills sound that belies its somewhat whimsical meaning. Interesting potential namesakes include British rocker Alvin Stardust, and US footballer Alvin Williams, and... Read More 

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