About the Project

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 more than a website. It is a community of people who celebrate the names and people of African descent and who strive to eliminate racism and advocate for racial justice. It is a biographical mixing bowl, a gathering of accomplishments over the years.

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 celebrates the unity of the people of African descent yet also proclaims the uniqueness and importance of each individual whose name appears in the pages of the original book and now on this website. Whether a name is European to carry on a family tradition, creative to state one’s individuality, Arabic or Hebrew to express one’s faith, or African to solidify one’s heritage, that name is here to celebrate.

The Black Names Project is a living, growing website—a work in progress. The author populated this website with names that first appeared in a printed book more than 20 years ago (see The Original Book). Every entry is the name of a person whose ancestry includes people from Africa. Now the author is adding new names as she receives them from people of African descent. The author is also populating this website with mini-biographies of historical and famous people from the African-American community and is updating bios from the original book.