The Black Names Project refreshes and builds on a 1998 book, The Complete Guide to African-American Baby Names, by Linda Wolfe Keister. The resources for the project include those listed in the bibliography of the original book and those added as the new research continues. The author attempts to find several resources to verify the information about each name and about each person. Some resources are printed books and others are websites.

The Original Bibliography

Resources listed in the original bibliography were, for the most part, published books. Many of these books are no longer available, but the author has retained their listing because they were part of the original research. A small amount of research was conducted on line, but the Internet in the 1990s was a fledgling (and often unreliable) source of information.

Current and Ongoing Research

Since the 1990s, the Internet has expanded and improved, thus becoming a great source for up-to-date information. Because the information may not always be accurate, the author checks multiple sources to verify facts and trusts some sources more than others.



  • Asante, Molefi K. The Book of African Names. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1991.
  • Asante, Molefi K., and Mark T. Mattson. Historical and Cultural Atlas of African-Americans. New York, New York: Macmillan, 1991.
  • Ashby, Ruth, and Deborah Gore Ohrn, eds. Herstory: Women Who Changed the World. New York, New York: Viking, 1995.
  • Bailey, Sandra Buzbee. Baby Names and Announcements. New York: Body Press/Perigee Books, 1983.
  • Benjamin, Alan. A Treasury of Baby Names. New York: Signet, 1991.
  • Blassingame, John W., ed. Slave Testimony: Two Centuries of Letters, Speeches, Interviews, and Autobiographies. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 1977.
  • Blockson, Charles L. Black Genealogy. Baltimore, Maryland: Black Classic Press, 1991.
  • Bogle, Donald. Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, & Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films. New York: Bantam Books, 1974.
  • Bolden, Tonya. The Book of African-American Women: 150 Crusaders, Creators, and Uplifters. Holbrook, Massachusetts: Adams Media Corporation, 2004.
  • Bradley, David Henry, Sr. A History of the A.M.E. Zion Church: Part I, 1796-1872. Nashville, TN: Parthenon Press, 1956.
  • Branch, Taylor. Parting the Waters: America in the King Years: 1954-1963. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988.
  • Browder, Sue. The New Age Baby Name Book. New York: Workman Publishing, 1974.
  • Burns, Bree. Harriet Tubman and the Fight Against Slavery. New York: Chelsea Juniors, 1982.
  • Callum, Agnes Kane. Kane-Butler Genealogy: History of a Black Family. Self-published, 1979.
  • Collins, Charles M., and David Cohen. The African Americans: A Celebration of Achievement. New York: Viking Penguin, 1993.
  • Dinwiddie-Boyd, Elza. Proud Heritage: 11,001 Names for Your African-American Baby. New York: Avon, 1994.
  • Dunkling, Leslie, and William Gosling. The New American Dictionary of Baby Names. New York: Signet, 1985.
  • Estell, Kenneth, ed. African America: Portrait of a People. Detroit, Michigan: Visible Ink Press, 1994.
  • Estell, Kenneth, ed. The African-American Almanac. Detroit: Gale Research, 1994.
  • Faulkner, Benjamin. What To Name Your African-American Baby. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994.
  • Franklin, John Hope, and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham. From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans, 9th ed. New York, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
  • Gales Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media. Detroit: Gale Research, 1996.
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man. New York: Random House, 1997.
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., and Valerie A. Smith, general eds., et al.. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, 3rd edition. New York, New York: Norton, 2014.
  • Glasrud, Bruce A., and Deborah M. Liles. African Americans in Central Texas History: From Slavery to Civil Rights. Texas A&M University Press, 2019.
  • Hall, Robert, ed., with Michael M. Harvey. Making a Living: The Work Experiences of African Americans in New England, Selected Readings. Boston, Massachusetts: New England Foundation for the Humanities, 1995.
  • Hardesty, Von, and Dominick Pisano. Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation. Washington, DC: National Air and Space Museum, 1983.
  • Harris, Jacqueline. The Tuskegee Airmen: Black Heroes of World War II. Parsippany, NJ: Dillon Press, 1996.
  • Haskins, James, and Hugh F. Butts. The Psychology of Black Language. New York, New York: Hippocrene Books, 1993.
  • Hudson, Wade. Five Brave Explorers. New York: Scholastic, 1995.
  • Katz, William Loren. Black Women of the Old West. New York: Atheneum, 1995.
  • Kupyer, Abraham. Women of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1967.
  • Lakey, Othal Hawthorne. The History of the CME Church. Memphis, TN: CME Publishing House, 1985.
  • Lee, George L. Interesting People: Black American History Makers. New York: Ballantine, 1992.
  • Madubuike, Ihechukwu. A Handbook of African Names. Boulder: Three Continents Press, 1994.
  • Mandela, Nelson. Long Walk to Freedom. Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1994.
  • Miller, Jeff. The Game Changers: Abner Haynes, Leon King, and the Fall of Major College Football's Color Barrier in Texas. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., 2016.
  • Muñoz, Sharon R. The Afro-American Griot Speaks: Afro-American Names. Nashville, TN: James C. Winston, 1995.
  • Nikuradse, Tamara. My Mother Had a Dream: African-American Women Share Their Mothers' Words of Wisdom. New York, New York: Dutton, 1996.
  • Norman, Teresa. A World of Baby Names. New York: Berkley, 1996.
  • Page, James A. Black Olympian Medalists. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1991.
  • Perechi, Reuben O. What’s in A Name? Including African Names and Their Meanings. Langston, OK: Sina Consulting, 1996.
  • Perrott, D. V. Concise Swahili and English Dictionary. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1965.
  • Ploski, Harry A., and James Williams, eds. The Negro Almanac: A Reference Work on the African American. Detroit: Gale Research, 1989.
  • Potter, Joan, with Constance Claytor. African-American Firsts. Elizabethtown, NY: Pinto Press, 1994.
  • Room, Adrian. Naming Names: Stories of Pseudonyms and Name Changes with a Who’s Who. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1981.
  • Rule, Lareina. Name Your Baby. New York: Bantam, 1988.
  • Sanford, William, and Carl Green. Stevie Wonder. Mankato, MN: Crestwood House, 1986.
  • Shabazz, Amilcar. Advancing Democracy: African Americans and the Struggle for Access and Equity in Higher Education in Texas. University of North Carolina Press, 2005.
  • Smith, Jessie Carney. Powerful Black Women. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1996.
  • Spencer, Chauncey. Who Is Chauncey Spencer?. Detroit: Broadside Press, 1975.
  • Stepto, Michele, ed. Our Song, Our Toil: The Story of American Slavery As Told By Slaves. Brookfield, Connecticut: Millbrook Press, 1994.
  • Stewart, Julia. African Names. New York: Citadel Press, 1994.
  • Three Generations of African American Women Sculptors: A Study in Paradox. Philadelphia: The Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum, 1996.
  • Turner, Barbara Kay. The Very Best Book of Baby Names. New York: Berkley, 1994.
  • Valade, Roger M., III. The Essential Black Literature Guide. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1996.
  • Wallechinsky, David. The Complete Book of the Olympics: 1992 Edition. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1991.
  • Walls, William J. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church: Reality of the Black Church. Charlotte, NC: A.M.E. Zion Publishing House, 1974.
  • Wilen, Joan, and Lydia Wilen. The Perfect Name for the Perfect Baby. New York: Ballantine, 1997.
  • Wright, Bishop Richard Robert, Jr. The Bishops of the A.M.E. Church. Nashville, TN: A.M.E. Sunday School Union, 1963.
  • Wright, Bishop Richard Robert, Jr., ed. The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Philadelphia: Book Concern of the A.M.E. Church, 1947.
  • Zawawi, Sharifa. What’s In a Name? Unaitwaje? A Swahili Book of Names. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1993.


  • African-American Names Questionnaire.
  • Chicago Bulls 95/96 Yearbook.
  • Cleveland Indians Media Guide 1996.
  • New York Mets 1996 Information Guide. New York: Mets Media Relations Department, 1996.