Black Excellence

101 Popular Black Names and their Meaning

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Names have always been used by people of different cultures as a means of not just identity but also manifestation. This is no different for African Americans. Black names are a product of socio-cultural ties, history, religion and even pop culture. So what are some of the most popular Black names? 

Over the years popular Black names have emerged from various origins within and outside America. In this article, we take a look at 101 popular black names and their meaning. 

1. Aaliyah: The name brings to mind the popular Black singer, Aaliyah Houghton, who was quite the sensation in the late 90s. It is a name of Arabic origin which means “exalted”.

2.  Aiden: This name with roots in Irish mythology means “small fire.”

3. Alexandra: Did someone say “Alexandra Burke”? This popular Black name is the feminine version of ‘Alexander’. It means “defender.”

Alenxandra Burke/ Wikimedia commons

4. Alexis: This is a girl name of Greek origin. It means ‘’men’s protector’’.

5.  Alicia:  It means “noble in manner”.  Celebrity singer Alicia Keys is probably the most famous person with this name.

6. Aniyah: This name has become increasingly popular in recent years. It is an Islamic name meaning, ‘one who comforts others’.

7.  Asaad: This is a boy name of Islamic origin. It means ‘most fortunate’.

8. Ashanti: One can barely hear this name without thinking of Ghana. This name means ‘a member of the people of South Central Ghana.’

 9.  Asia:  This is a girl name of Greek origin. It means ‘sunrise’.

10.  Ayana: It name means ‘beautiful flower’.

11. Brianna: Sometimes spelled Breonna, this is one of the names to gain popularity amongst the Black community in recent times. It means ‘strength and honor’.

12.  Cameron: This is a gender neutral name of English origin. It means ‘crooked nose’.

13.  Carter: About 15.8% of people with this name in America are Black. It means ‘tourist’.

14.  Clayton: This name gained popularity in America in 1994 and as such is one of the 101 popular Black names. It is a boy’s name meaning ‘built on clay’.

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15.  Craig: This name is of Scottish origin. It means ‘rock’.

16.  Curtis: This is a boy name meaning ‘well bred’.

17.  Dakota: This is a name of Native American origin. It means ‘friends’.

18.  Daloris: This is a variant of the name ‘Dolores’. It means ‘sorrows’.

19.  Darius:  This is a boy name of Biblical origin. It means ‘noble’.

20.  Darnell: This name means ‘the hidden spot.’

21.  Darryl: This name is gotten from the old English word “deorling” which means ‘darling’.

22.  DeAndre: Basketball fans will think of Deandre Ayton at the mention of this name. DeAndre means ‘fearless man’.

23. Deion: This is a name given to boys. It means ‘God’.

24. Deja: This name is of French origin and it means ‘remembrance’.

25.  Delan: This name could also be spelt as ‘Dylan’. It means ‘begotten from the sea’.

26.  Demairon:  This is a boy name meaning, ‘prayed for a child’.

27.  Demetrius: This is a name with roots in Greek mythology. It means ‘follower of Demeter’.

28.  Denzel: This is a boy name popular among Blacks. It is of African American origin and means ‘wild one’.

popular black names, black names, african american names,
Denzel Washington/ Wikimedia commons

29.  Dequan: This is the name of two popular Black men in American sports, Dequan Jones and Dequan Menzie. It means ‘calm.’

30.  DeShawn: This is a boy name of Hebrew origin. It means ‘compassionate God.’

31.  Destiny: This is one of the most popular Black names. It means ‘ordained path’.

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32.  Devon: This is a boy name of British origin. It means ‘defender.’

33.  Diamond: This is a gender neutral name meaning ‘precious’.

34.  Dominique: This name is of French origin. It means ‘of God’.

35.  Ebony: This name is mainly given to girl babies. It means ‘very dark’ or ‘deep black wood’.

36.  Elijah: This is a name of Jewish origin. Elijah means ‘Yahweh is my God’.

37.  Ethan: This is a Biblical name of Hebrew origin. It means ‘resilient’.

38.  Ezrah: This can also be spelt as ‘Ezra’. It means ‘helper’.

39.  Gabrielle: Popular Black Hollywood actress, Gabrielle Union, could come to mind when you hear this name. It is the male variant of Gabriel meaning ‘my strength comes from God’.

popular black names, black names, african american names,
Gabrielle Union/ Wikimedia commons

40.  Giovante: This is a boy name meaning ‘God is compassionate.’

41.  Hakeem: This is a boy name of Arabic origin. It means ‘wise’.

42.  Howell: This name is of Welsh origin and it means ‘eminent’.

43.  Imani: This is a black name popular among girls. It means ‘’faith”.  Some popular Blacks with this name include Imani Hakim and Imani Gandy.

44.  Irvin: This is a boy name meaning ‘fresh water.’

45.  Issa: This name means ‘God redeems’.

46.  Jada: This is the female variant of Jade. It means ‘God knows.’

popular black names, black names, african american names,
Jada Pinkett Smith/
Wikimedia commons

47.  Jalen: This is a gender neutral name meaning ‘healer’.

48.  Jamal: This is an Arabic boy name meaning ‘beauty’.

49.  Jamika: This is a girl name of American origin meaning ‘from Jamaica’.

50.  Jasmine: Also spelt as ‘Jazmin’. It is a girl name meaning ‘fragrant flower’.

51.  Javius: This is a boy’s name meaning ‘like a flaming spear in the sky.’

52.  Jayden: This is a boy name meaning ‘grateful’.

53.  Jayla: This is a girl name of Hebrew origin meaning ‘God will guard’.

54.  Jordan: This is a name that has has been popularity amongst Blacks over the years. It means ‘to flow down’.

55.  Josiah: This name means ‘God will save’.

56.  Juanita: A girl name of Spanish origin meaning ‘God is compassionate’.

57.  Kendis: This is a girl name meaning ‘clarity’.

58.  Keysha: This popular Black name for girls means ‘spice tree’.

59.  Khalil: This name of Arabic origin means ‘friend’.

60. Kiara: This is a variant of ‘Ciara’. It means ‘dark’.

61.  Kwame: This is a boy name of Ghanian origin meaning ‘born on Saturday’.

62.  Lamar: this is yet another popular Black name. It means ‘of the sea’.

popular black names, black names, african american names,
Lamar Odom/
Wikimedia commons

63.  Laquita: This is a girl name of American origin. It means ‘freed from debt’.

64.  Lashonda: Lashonda, also shortened to, ‘Shonda’ is a popular female name of American origin. It means ‘God is compassionate’.

65.  Latonya: Latonya Yvette, Latonya Moore and Latonya Williams are just a few popular Black women with the name ‘Latonya’. This name of American origin means ‘admirable’.

66.  Layla: This is a girl name of Quranic origin. This name means ‘profound joy’

67.  Leshaun: This unisex name means ‘God’s gift’.

68.  Makayla: This is a variant of ‘Michaela’. This is a girl name of Hebrew origin meaning ‘who is like God’.

69.  Makena: This is a girl name of African origin. This name means ‘joyful one’.

70.  Malik: This is a popular boy name used by many African Americans. It means ‘king’.

71.  Marquis: This is another boy name favored by African Americans. This name means ‘nobleman’.

72.  Marvin: This is a boy name of English origin meaning ‘lover of sea’.

73.  Maurice: This is a boy name of Spanish origin. This name means ‘dark-skinned’.

74.  Nia: This is a girl name of Swahili origin meaning ‘determination’.

75.  Nikki: This is a girl name of American origin probably gotten from ‘Nicole’. This name means ‘victorious.’

76.  Nisha: This is a girl name of Indian origin meaning ‘night’.

77.   Normani: This is a girl name meaning ‘blessing from God’.

78.  Perry: This is a boy name popular among Blacks meaning ‘dweller by the pear tree’.

79.  Porsha: This is a variant of ‘Porcia’ meaning ‘offering’.

80.  Rashaad: This is a name of Arabic origin meaning ‘counsellor’.

81.  Raven: Raven Symone is an example of a Black celebrity with this popular name. It means ‘black bird’.

popular black names, black names, african american names,
Raven Symone/ Wikimedia commons

82.  Reginald: This is a common boy name meaning ‘king or leader’.

83.  Rodnell: This is a popular boy name among Blacks. As a matter of fact, this name has an African American origin. It means ‘independence’.

84.  Rowell: This boy name of English origin is popular among Blacks. It means ‘overgrown hill’.

85.  Shanice: This girl name of American origin means ‘God is merciful’.

86.  Shannon: This is a unisex name of Irish origin. It means ‘wise river’.

87.  Shantel: This is a name of French origin and it means ‘stone’.

88.  Simone: This is a girl’s name meaning ‘listen’. Popular people with this name include Nina Simone and Simone Biles.

89.  Spencer: This is a boy name of British origin. It means ‘steward’.

90. Tamara: Also spelt as ‘Tamera’ and shortened to ‘Tamar’. This name means ‘date palm’.

91. Tanasha: This name means ‘strong-willed’.

93.  Tandice: This name has an American origin. It means ‘team’.

94.  Terrence: This is a boy name of French origin common among Blacks. It means ‘’smooth”

95.  Tiana: This name means ‘royalty’. It can be shortened to ‘Tia’.

96. Tierra: This is a girl name of Spanish origin meaning ‘earth’.

97.  Travis: This is a popular Black name. A few celebrities with this name include Travis Scott and Travis Greene. It means ‘to cross’.

98. Trevon: This name is of African American origin. It means ‘shrewd’.

99. Xavier: This is a boy name of Arabic origin. It means ‘new abode’.

100. Zahair: This name means ‘assistant’.

101. Zion: This is a Hebrew name mostly given to boys. It means ‘highest point’ and is usually associated with the biblical promised land. 

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