A brief history of black names

At The Conversation, Trevon Logan (Hazel C. Youngberg Distinguished Professor of Economics, The Ohio State University) writes about the history of black names in the US.

Many scholars have discussed black names as an outgrowth of the civil rights movement in the 1960s – but as Logan observes, black names aren’t new:

Many scholars believe that distinctively black names emerged from the civil rights movement, perhaps attributable to the Black Power movement and the later black cultural movement of the 1990s as a way to affirm and embrace black culture. Before this time, the argument goes, blacks and whites had similar naming patterns.

Historical evidence does not support this belief.

Until a few years ago, the story of black names depended almost exclusively on data from the 1960s onward. New data, such as the digitization of census and newly available birth and death records from historical periods, allows us to analyze the history of black names in more detail.

Head on over to read the entire article to learn more about black names in the context of African American cultural history.