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The Ultimate List of African-American Baby Girl Names Inspired by Children’s Books from Abigail to Zulay


I grew up being embarrassed by my first name until I went to college.  I used to despise the first day of school because it was inevitable the teacher and students would mispronounce my name.  When I got to college I realized I should no longer be ashamed of my name, but be proud of it.  Now I understand that I have a unique and beautiful name that is sometimes difficult to pronounce for some people.  And that’s ok.  I fully accept that.  No longer do I feel “left out” when I don’t see my name engraved on items in a store like I did when I was a child.  It makes me feel special to have such an original name that isn’t so common.

I love the story of Barack Obama making the decision to tell his family he wanted to be addressed by his given name, Barack back in 1980.  Up until that time, he was known early in life as Barry.  It wasn’t until he was a student at Occidental College, that he decided to make a change and stand up to prejudice associated with his name.  I personally can’t imagine calling him Barry Obama anyway.  I think Barack Obama definitely suits him much better and it asserts a certain power and authority.

Below I’ve rounded up a list of picture books that feature African-American girl protagonists with first names from A to Z.  Some are popular names that you see often and others are unique like my name.  Is your name or your daughter’s name listed here?  What other books would you add to this list?  Feel free to share in the comments.

A

AbigailAda
AhniAllie
AnnAnna
AnnieAria

B

BeatriceBella

Bessie 

Bidemmi

C

CassieCece Clara

D

DestiniDestiny

E

EfaEffa
EllaEllen
ElizabetiEmi

F

FaithFaye

G

GraceGwendolyn

H

HandaHelenHope

I

IkennaImaniIvy

J

JamaicaJamelaJazmin
JojoJosephineJune

K

KateKatherineKeisha
KenyaKeyanaKiely

L

LenaLillianLily
LolaLorraineLou

M

MackenzieMadisonMaeMakayla
MariamaMayaMichelleMimi

N

Nia 

O

OdettaOliviaOprah

P

PatriciaPriscilla

R

RayeRoseRuth

S

SareenSophiaSydney

T

TalishaTameka

V

VioletVirginnie

W

Winifred

Y

Yatandou

Z

ZazaZoraZulay

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3 Comments

  • Reply Mel

    This is a spectacularly creative idea, Charnaie!! Love it!

    June 26, 2018 at 1:22 pm
    • Reply Mrs. G

      Thanks, Mel! I have other lists in the works for boys and kids of different races/cultural backgrounds too!

      June 26, 2018 at 1:31 pm
  • Reply Sharon Smith

    Very creative idea Mrs. G ! It’s said that the books we read as children become part of who we are as adults. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite literary characters from classic children’s books. Will any of them inspire the name of your next baby boy or baby girl?
    Sharon Smith recently posted…Stephanie HoughtonMy Profile

    July 23, 2018 at 5:26 am
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