49 Powerful Baby Names for African American Boys

49 Names for African American Baby Boys in 2017

Choosing baby boy names seemed to be very difficult for my husband and I. What we both understood was that we wanted a name that was stoic, bold, and powerful for our baby boy who would become a great man. We wanted a name that would embody his strength and individuality and honor our ancestors. That was where our agreement ended. My original choices were Barack and Malcolm. My husband didn’t want his son named after anyone else, but he didn’t quite want a junior either. So we scoured the internet for African names, and I had the idea of looking at names of African cities.  So we ended up with Cairo (the capital of Egypt) and Zaire (The former name of the Congo. It also means river).

49 African American Boy Names in 2017
A beautiful child

Our ancestors placed great importance on the naming of a child, as do all parents. I talk about the power of names in my novel, The Griot. There were naming ceremonies and every name had a powerful meaning like Adebomba (Yoruba) means “the crown came with me.” On my father’s side, many names were passed down, this naming tradition seems to be fading, unfortunately. I created this list of powerful and bold baby boy names to inspire stumped parents who want deep cultural connections with our ancestors.

49 African American Boy Names in 2017
A list of African American Boy Names


  • Pharoah

    • King

    • Sultan

    • Prince

    • Sincere

    • Mansa (Name inspired by King Mansa Musa)

    • Touissant (Inspired by Toussaint L’Ouverture or Toussaint Bréda, the best-known and formidable leader of the Haitian Revolution. Inspiration for many of our enslaved ancestors)

    • Grant

    • Malcolm (Inspired by Malcolm X)

    • Martin (Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.)

    • Stokely (Inspired by Stokely Carmichael)

    • Nelson (Inspired by Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela)

    • Fidel (Inspired by Fidel Castro)

    • Mandela (Inspired by Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela)

    • Barack (Inspired by President Barack Obama)

    • Madiba (Xhosa. A sign of respect and affection. Name inspired by Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s clan name)

    • Idris (Is it wrong to have a name inspired by Idris Elba?)

    • Ancient (Ancient Africa was spectacular. Historians are still stumped by the many mysteries of our ancestors)

    • Marley (Name inspired by Bob Marley.

    • Luxor (Means the Palaces. Upper Egyptian city that was the ancient city of Thebes.)

    • Egypt (Seen as one of the most powerful and intriguing ancient cities

    • Cairo (The Capital of Egypt)

    • Zaire (Means river)

    • Douglass (Inspired by Frederick Douglass).

    • Patrice (Inspired by Patrice Lumumba)

    • Kenyatta (Inspired by Jomo Kenyatta)49nBaby Boy Names 2017

    • Booker (Inspired by Booker T. Washington

    • Doris (Inspired by Doris Miller

    • Langston (Inspired by Langston Hughes)

    • Latimer (Inspired by Lewis Latimer who patented the filament in the light bulb and many other inventions).

    • Carver (Inspired by George Washington Carver)

    • Sudan

    • Mali (Inspired by the great ancient African Kingdom).

    • Promise

    • Truth

    • Soul

    • Honor

    • Ankh (Means life. Ancient Egyptian symbol)

    • Amaru (South American. Inspired by Túpac Amaru II and Tupac Amaru Shakur).

    • Ori (Yoruba Orisha. Means head and human consciousness).

    • Ra (Ancient Egyptian deity. God of the Sun)

  • Seth (Ancient Egyptian deity. God of Desert Storms)

  • Sahel (A large zone between the Sahara Desert and Sudanian Savanna).

  • Ali (Arabi. Means Elevated).

  • Marcus (Inspired by Marcus Garvey)

  • Laurence (Inspired by Paul Laurence Dunbar)

  • Evander

  • Royal

  • Cameroon

  • Loyal

  • Heir

    Which baby boy name would you add to this list?

About The Author

Valarie Thomas

I am a Virtual Assistant, an author, mommy, and lifestyle blogger, Air Force wife, and mother of 2, and I’m here to inspire other mommies to honor their higher selves and live life with ease.


  1. Zakiya L. | 27th Jun 20

    Thank you for this list. I would definitely add Kemet to the list. Do you have a girl version of this list?

  2. Peggy | 13th Aug 20

    Brave Christian

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