Featured Name


To leave off, omit (BAH-ree—Yoruba, Nigeria).

Welcome to The Black Names Project!

... a community that celebrates African-American names.

The Black Names Project: Celebrating African-American Names is a gathering place that celebrates the people who carry the proud traditions of Africa and Africa-America. It is a community that heralds the richness in the diversity of the names and of the stories and people behind the names. It is a voice that proclaims the uniqueness and importance of each individual whose name appears on this website. It is a repository, where given names from everyday, twenty-first-century people cross paths with historical and famous names. It is a place where names touch and connect over the centuries and through years of struggle and accomplishment.

The Black Names Project is a comprehensive, positive, celebratory, grass-roots treatment of African-American first and middle names. It is comprehensive in its treatment of names from many cultures and subcultures of the African-American tradition. It is positive in its treatment of all names, regardless of the origin or knowledge of the origin. It is celebratory in nature, creating an excitement about African-American names. It is grass-roots material that comes from the African-American community. 

The Black Names Project is a two-phase work in progress.

Phase One is populating this website with names that first appeared in a printed book nearly 20 years ago (see About the Project/The Complete Guide to African-American Baby Names). Every entry is the name of a person whose ancestry includes people from Africa. Phase One is now active, with names from the original book being added regularly.

Phase Two will populate this website with mini-biographies of historical and famous people from the African-American community, will regularly update the bios, and will add new names of people of African descent. Phase Two work will begin when Phase One is complete. In the meantime, check out the People tab for samples of the mini-bios.

Follow us in this community of celebrated names.