The 10 Most Common African-American Names & Their Meaning

These popular picks consistently make the cut for baby names.


Naming your new bundle of joy can be a joyous occasion filled with themes of legacy, family pride, and anticipation. For African-Americans, it's often tradition to name children after a parent, an elder loved one, or an esteemed leader who had impact on the parents' lives. Some also name their children with a certain term or meaning related to prosperity, longevity, wisdom, or love. The Social Security Administration regularly reports on the most popular baby names in the country. Let's explore 10 top African-American names from states that, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, have the highest percentage of African-Americans:

Most Common African-American Names & Their Meaning

1. Noah

Many are familiar with the Biblical figure who is associated with bravery, noblity, and obedience to God. From state to state, this name made numerous appearances in the top 5, and singer Trey Songz recently had a son who is named Noah. Other notable stars with this name include Broadway actor Noah Ricketts, track-and-field star Noah Lyles, and football player Noah Fant.

2. Emma

The name Emma is reportedly English in origin and means "complete", "whole", or "universal." Famous women with this name include Emma Thynn, the first black marchionese in British aristocratic history, esteemed painter Emma Amos, and author and scholar Emma Dabiri.

3. Elijah

Elijah is another popular baby name from the Bible, with a meaning associated with connection to "Yaweh" or the "Lord" as "God." Famous leaders with this name include wrestler Elijah Burke, politician Elijah Cummings, and actor Elijah Kelley.

4. Mia

The meaning of this name can vary from culture to culture and it can go super-left with "bitter", or super-positive with "mine". It's also reportedly a pet name for Maria. Leaders with this name include politician Mia Love, the first black Republican woman to be elected to Congress in Utah and voice-over star Mia Bank as well as wrestler Mia Yim.

Image via Shutterstock

5. Mason

The name Mason typically refers to a "stone layer" or "stone maker", and celebrities with this name include rapper Mase, football player Mason Foster and baseball player Mason Williams.

6. Charlotte

With French and English origins, the name Charlotte is associated with royalty. Leaders include concert singer and Howard University professor Charlotte Holloman, law pioneer Charlotte Ray, and Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III.

Image via Giphy

7. Jackson

We all know Jackson as a common last name for super-famous families from entertainment to politics, but it's also a popular first name. Its meaning is literally "son of Jack" and it originates from England. More than a few soccer players share this name including Jackson Martinez, Jackson Richardson, and Jackson Pereira.

8. Harper

Who doesn't remember the sexy author Harper (played by Taye Diggs) in The Best Man films? Well, the name has origins in Scotland, England and Ireland and refers to one who plays the harp. Celebrities who share this name are former NBA player Harper Williams, child model Harper Anthony, and Harper Rhimes, daughter of TV powerhouse Shonda Rhimes.

9. Ethan

A poetic man of the Bible, Ethan was a pivotal leader in the book of Psalms. Its meaning is related to strength and firmness. Famous figures with this name include actor Ethan Herisse.

10. Ava

In Hebrew, it translates into meaning "like a bird", and it's associated with glamour and grace. Leading ladies who carry the name well are iconic filmmaker Ava DuVernay and one half of the young online influencer duo the McClure twins.

Featured image by Shutterstock

So, what exactly is K-Beauty? Well, it's not as complicated as it seems or sounds. Essentially, it is a skincare routine that uses Korean beauty products that originates from and is made in Korea. What makes K-beauty special is that the products are created using a Korean beauty philosophy. Unlike some skincare products that yield short-term results, Korean beauty products are designed to work long-term. The idea of long-term skincare isn't new. Dermatologists have always said we can see improvements to the skin in three to six months with consistent treatment and routine.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Common has become a fixture in the hip-hop scene thanks to his longevity in the game. And while he is known for hits like "Go!" and "Come Close", he is also known to have dated some of the most beautiful and talented Black women in the world. The "Glory" rapper has dated Erykah Badu, Serena Williams and now he is romantically linked to Tiffany Haddish.

Keep reading... Show less

So, if you've been rocking with this site for several years now, you might vaguely recall an article that I wrote, a couple of years back entitled, "Why You Need To Grieve Your Past Relationship". The bottom line was, if you don't make the time to go through the five stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance — even when it comes to the ending of a romantic relationship, you could 1) mistake a lack of thorough and proper grieving for still loving someone and/or 2) prolong the process of healing, so that you can actually move forward.

Keep reading... Show less

HBO's hit show Insecure has been heralded as one of the best and most authentic shows on TV by fans thanks to its real-life depictions of friendships and romantic relationships. One of the friendships that keep fans tuned in is between Issa Rae's character Issa Dee and Yvonne Orji's character Molly.

Keep reading... Show less

We all know that advocacy for inclusion and equality should be year-round, since we all have to be our fullest selves all day every day. Identity is a key element of doing that, and for LGBTQ+ professionals, this can include the question of coming out at work. Some may wonder whether their personal business is, well, anybody's business at work, while others might want to feel safe in the office being out, loud, and proud. Either way, coming out in the workplace is indeed an issue that not only must be addressed, but addressed appropriately.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Adrienne Bailon Wants Women Of Color To Take Self-Inventory In Order To Redefine Success

"You can't expect anyone else to care about yourself like you do."

Latest Posts