The People

The Black Names Project celebrates African-American names and the people behind the names by including mini-biographies of historical and famous people and also of everyday people who have added to the fabric of accomplishment in the community.

The author of The Black Names Project regularly updates and adds biographies, an effort that is research intensive and time consuming—but necessary for ensuring that each mini-bio is factually correct and interesting to read.

Visitors to the website have the opportunity to suggest adding the names of historical and famous people to the website and to request more information be added to existing mini-bios by clicking on the Action button and selecting Suggest People for Mini-Biographies.

For the 1998 book, The Complete Guide to African-American Baby Names (the book that was the launching pad for this website), people who completed the questionnaire submitted names of role models—names from history (past and recent), from the lives of the famous, and from families and communities. At that time, the historical name of a role model listed most often was Martin Luther King, Jr., followed by Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Nelson Mandela, Colin Powell, Jesse Jackson, Barbara Jordan, Thurgood Marshall, and Mary McLeod Bethune. Among the famous, the name of a role model listed most often was Michael Jordan, followed by Maya Angelou, Bill Cosby, Arthur Ashe, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Spike Lee, and Michael Jackson. The mini-bios for those historical and famous people came from books, newspapers, magazines, television, web pages, brochures, calendars, e-mails, and letters.

Learn More About the Original Book