Reviews from Amazon

Top Customer Reviews for The Complete Guide to African-American Baby Names

5.0 out of 5 stars

An inspiring, thorough name guide

By Nicolle Singer on January 3, 2005

This is the best book of African American names I found, after reviewing quite a few. Lots of the others limit themselves to African names, and while I can see their usefulness I was also interested in unusual, created names. This book is unique because it includes only the names of actual African Americans who filled out questionnaires in person or on the internet. It includes unusual, unique, and created names alongside traditional African and European names, with a definition and country of origin listed for every name from Swahili to Scottish. There are also lots of boxes in the text describing historical or famous people who shared the name. Overall I think this is the best Afican American name book out there and I look forward to a second edition incorporating the new names that people are sure to send the author!

5.0 out of 5 stars

The Complete Guide to African-American Baby Names

By Ron Squire Steffey on January 7, 2010

As an educator and author, I needed this material for my expanding background material on different American cultures!

5.0 out of 5 stars

Book defies naming

By a customer on August 27, 1998

This book is a beautiful creation, not a mere listing.I think a good subtitle for it would have been: "Magic words and personal histories." Ms. Keister's opus manages to be both scholarly and fun, worth reading on its own whether or not you have a new baby to name. I enjoyed getting the chance to look over the author's shoulder as she recalls conceiving, (extensively) researching and writing the book. Her subjects (every name represents an actual individual) come alive for me. I particularly enjoyed the bits of history and sociology in the "Did You Know" shorts sprinkled throughout the book. The author's perfectionism and nice style add to the pleasantness of the journey through time and language. Who's Minnie Lee Jones, and why did so many African Americans of a certain era name their children Moses? How did the Tiger get his nickname? Make sure you "read the book and find out." It's a little paperback with a deceptively simple cover, full of nice surprises. I wish I'd written it. Cathie O. Schoultz

4.0 out of 5 stars

A lovely personal history of names

By a customer on December 8, 2003

This unique book is best appreciated as an informal cultural history rather than a what-to-name-your-baby guide. Each name in the book is linked to at least one real individual, giving the book a personal "oral history" feeling. As a practical name guide...well, the author is a bit too loving and celebretory toward her subjects to serve as a guide. She's hesitant to categorize anything, and a little over-eager to find African origins for invented names. (Come on, not *everything* is a form of Aisha!) But that doesn't detract from the book's core strengths and the warmth that pervades every page. Great for inspirational browsing.

5.0 out of 5 stars

Perfect timing

By a customer on June 9, 1999

What a great time for this book. Parents are constantly trying to come up with unique names for their newborns. This is the perfect "baby shower" gift. Like the title says, it's complete and offers some truly different alternatives as well as traditional names to parents-to-be. It is the kind of book that will remain in families and be passed on to their newlywed couples.

5.0 out of 5 stars

A find! Scholarship makes it better than other name books

By  on April 16, 1998

This book is a find! Most name books read like the yellow pages but The Complete Guide to African-American Baby Names gives you a grounding in the name, its history, its African roots. There are lots of small "featurettes" on the background of some famous people and their names. Keister has done her research. A serious fun book!