The Original Book

Thoughts from the author, Linda Wolfe Keister, about the original book

In 1995 I signed a contract with a New York City publisher to write a book I had proposed, Celebrating African-American Names. The book was to be a well-researched, well-crafted collection of names from people of African decent and of mini-bios about historical and famous people from the African-American community. I delivered the manuscript in 1997 according to the agreement. In May 1998, the publisher published my book with a title that was not mine: The Complete Guide to African-American Baby Names. I think that by changing the title of the book, the publisher trivialized the work, the content, and the intent of the book.

When the book went out of print, the publishing rights reverted back to me. Now, in light of increased availability of information through the Internet and the advances in social media since that time, I regenerated and refreshed the names from that book in a more accessible format. At the same time, many of the thoughts I wrote in the preface and introduction sections of that book apply to this online work as well; thus, they appear here much as they appeared in that original publication.