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Baby names in honor of Black History Month

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In honor of Black History Month, we've rounded up the names of some of the great African-American men and women in the nation's popular history. Pay tribute to one of the greats with a baby boy or baby girl name from this list.

10 Amazing Athletes

Incredible African-American athletes have left their mark on tennis, track and field, baseball, boxing, golf and more.

  • Althea Gibson – champion tennis player from Harlem
  • Arthur Ashe – former World No. 1 professional tennis player
  • Henry "Hank" Aaron – All-Star baseball player
  • Jackie Joyner-Kersee – Olympic gold medalist in track and field
  • Jack "Jackie" Robinson – the first Black Major League baseball player
  • James "Jesse" Owens – Olympic gold medalist in track and field
  • Michael Jordan – greatest professional basketball player of all time
  • Muhammad Ali – first and only three-time lineal World Heavyweight Boxing Champion; given name is Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.
  • Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods – the youngest golfer ever to win the Career Grand Slam
  • Wilton "Wilt" Chamberlain – the only NBA player to score 100 points in a single game

Baby names inspired by Olympic medalists

10 Brilliant Writers

These famous authors and poets will forever live on through their works.

  • Alice Walker – activist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple
  • August Wilson – playwright best known for The Pittsburgh Cycle
  • Frederick Douglass – escaped from slavery to pen several autobiographies and lead the abolitionist movement; born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey
  • James Baldwin – wrote novels, poems and essays on racial and class distinction
  • Langston Hughes – depicted the lives of poor blacks with his "jazz poetry"
  • Maya Angelou – author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, born Marguerite Ann Johnson
  • Ralph Ellison – literary critic, scholar and writer of political, social and critical essays
  • Richard Wright – author of the 1945 best-seller Black Boy
  • Toni Morrison – Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist
  • Zora Neale Hurston – author of Their Eyes Were Watching God

Romantic baby names from literature  

10 Beloved Entertainers

Some of the most memorable African-American actors and directors were "firsts" in their fields.

  • William "Bill" Cosby – stand-up comedian, television producer, educator and activist
  • Dorothy Dandridge – first African American to be nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award
  • Gregory Hines – award-winning actor, singer, dancer and choreographer
  • James Earl Jones – film, stage and voice actor
  • Josephine Baker – first African-American female to star in a major motion picture, Zouzou
  • Lena Horne – nightclub performer-turned actress, dancer, singer and civil rights activist
  • Morgan Freeman – Academy Award-winning actor, director and narrator
  • Sammy Davis Jr. – vaudevillian performer who became a favorite dancer and singer
  • Sidney Poitier – first Black person to win a Best Actor Academy Award
  • Spike Lee – Emmy Award-winning film director, producer, writer and actor


Best movie actor names for boys    

10 Talented Musical Performers

These spectacular musicians represent a wide array of genres.

  • Aretha Franklin – the "Queen of Soul"
  • Billie Holiday – jazz pioneer called "Lady Day"; born Eleanora Harris
  • Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode singer; a pioneer of rock and roll
  • Duke Ellington – big band leader and writer of more than 1,000 songs; born Edward Kennedy Ellington
  • Harry Belafonte – Day-O singer known as the "King of Calypso"
  • Jimi Hendrix – one of the most influential electric guitarists; born Johnny Allen Hendrix
  • Louis Armstrong – jazz trumpeter known as "Pops"
  • Nat King Cole – leading jazz pianist and baritone singer; born Nathaniel Adams Coles
  • Ray Charles – pioneer of soul music
  • Stevie Wonder – Motown's blind singer-songwriter blinded by glaucoma at age 7; born Stevland Hardaway Morris


Broadway baby names

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