We all know Dorothy, Malcolm, and Martin – but what about Audra, Josephine, and Baldwin?
As in: Arthur Ashe, the first – and only – black male tennis player to win the U.S. Open, the Australian Open, and Wimbledon.
As in: Audra McDonald, the first person to win six(!) Tony Awards for acting.
Also consider: Audre, for poet, writer, and civil rights leader Audre Lord.
As in: James Baldwin, iconic author of works such as Giovanni’s Room and Go Tell It on the Mountain.
As in: Bayard Rustin, civil rights leader who focused on pacifism.
Also consider: His last name, Rustin, as a potential first name.
As in: Bessie Coleman, the first female African-American pilot.
Also consider: Her last name, Coleman, as a potential first name.
As in: Billie Holiday, jazz legend whose famous songs include “God Bless the Child.”
Also consider: Eleanora, her given name, or Ella, for fellow jazz sensation Ella Fitzgerald.
As in: Booker T. Washington, educator, orator, and civil rights leader who created the Tuskegee Institute.
As in: Cicely Tyson, whose credits include roles in the films Sounder and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.
Also consider: Tyson, her last name.
As in: Angela Davis, political activist, and scholar who rose to prominence in the ’70s, and Miles Davis, legendary jazz musician.
As in: Frederick Douglass, famous abolitionist, orator, and writer of works such as Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.
As in: Duke Ellington, legendary jazz composer and pianist whose known for works such as “Cotton Tail” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing.”
As in: Emmett Till, a 14-year-old murder victim who helped put a face to the civil rights movement.
As in: Fannie Lou Hamer, legendary civil rights activist who helped African-Americans register to vote.
Also consider: Lou, her second name.
As in: Medgar Evers, civil rights activist with the NAACP. He was buried with full military honors after he was murdered in 1963.
As in: Harriet Tubman, famous abolitionist who helped hundreds of slaves escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad.
Also consider: Araminta, her given name.
As in: Hosea Williams, civil rights activist and minister who was close to Martin Luther King Jr.
As in: Ida B. Wells, journalist, women’s rights activist, and civil rights activist who was a pivotal part of the anti-lynching movement.
Also consider: Bell, her second name, or Belle, in honor of Dido Elizabeth Belle, known as the first black British aristocrat and the subject of the 2013 film Belle.
As in: Josephine Baker, legendary entertainer and civil rights activist.
Also consider: Baker, or her given name, Freda.
As in: Langston Hughes, famous poet and writer of works such as “Black Nativity” and “Montage of a Dream Deferred” who helped popularize the Harlem Renaissance.
Also consider: Hughes, his last name.
As in: Lena Horne, famous entertainer and civil rights activist whose credits include Ziegfeld Follies.
As in: Marian Anderson, legendary opera singer who was the first African-American to perform with the Metropolitan Opera.
As in: Bob Marley, Jamaican reggae icon who has sold more than 20 million albums.
Also consider: Nesta, his given name. When he was a child, an official accidentally switched the names Robert and Nesta on his passport.
As in: Maya Angelou, civil rights activist and author of works such as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
Also consider: Marguerite, Maya’s given name. Maya was a nickname given to her by her first husband.
As in: Toni Morrison, Nobel and Pulitzer Prize–winning author of works such as Beloved, The Bluest Eye, and Song of Solomon.
Also consider: Ardelia, her middle name, or Chloe, her given name.
As in: Nat King Cole, iconic jazz musician famous for songs such as “Nature Boy” and “Mona Lisa,” as well as the The Nat King Cole Show.
Also consider: Cole, his last name.
As in: Nina Simone, civil rights activist and legendary singer of “Feeling Good” and “I Put a Spell on You.”
Also consider: Simone, her adopted last name, or Eunice, her given name.
As in: Ossie Davis, civil rights activist, writer, and actor in films such as Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever.
Also consider: Raiford or Chatford, his given first and middle name.
As in: Quincy Jones, iconic composer and producer of albums such as Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad.
As in: Rosa Parks, civil rights icon who refused to give her seat up on a segregated bus.
Also consider: Claudette, after Claudette Colvin, who refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus months before Rosa Parks.
As in: Ruby Dee, legendary actress and activist who was also married to Ossie Davis; and Ruby Bridges, the first black child to desegregate an elementary school in the South.
As in: Serena Williams, the current No. 1-ranked tennis player in women’s tennis.
As in: Stokely Carmichael, Trinidad-born civil rights activist.
Also consider: Kwame, the name he adopted for himself.
As in: Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court Justic, and prior to that, lawyer in the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education.
Also consider: Marshall, his last name. And if you want to go for authenticity, it’s technically spelled “Thoroughgood” – it was shortened in his childhood.
As in: Venus Williams, tennis superstar who has won seven Grand Slam titles.
As in: Alice Walker, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple.
Also consider: Alice, her first name.
As in: Zadie Smith, British novelist of works such as White Teeth and On Beauty.
Also consider: Sadie, her given name.
As in: Zora Neale Hurston, legendary author whose works include the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.
The post 37 Names You Can Give Your Child To Honor Their History appeared first on Holiday Guide To Everything.