African American Names vs African Names

Many of us are from West Africa, and had we not been stolen or sold, we would have a West African name. While I’m long past selecting baby names, I have noticed that choosing a child’s name is kind of a big deal amongst Africans. In Ghana, baby names are determined based on the day of the week that a child is born. I was born on a Tuesday, so my Ghanaian birth name is Abena. If you want to align your child with some kind of African heritage, and you’re having a difficult time selecting an African American name, consider selecting from the following African baby names. I’ve also included common African American names. It’s my hope we steer clear of giving our children titles like “Alize, Hennessy, or Shenequa as we hail from kings and queens.


In Ghana, names are given based on the day a child is born.

In the Ashanti Home:

Sunday-born males and females are named Kwasi or Kwesi and Akosua

(meaning ‘associated with the universe’)

Monday-born are Kwadwo or Kojo, Adjoa or Adwoa

(associated with peace)

Tuesday-born are Kwabena or Kobi, Abena

(associated with the ocean)

Wednesday-born Kwaku or Kweku, Akua

(associated with spider/Ananse)

Thursday-born Yaw, Yaa

(associated with the earth’)

Friday-born Kofi, Afia or Afua

(associated with fertility)

Saturday-born Kwame, Ama

(associated with God)


Girls: Common African American names

· Aaliyah/Aliyah

· Alexandra

· Alexis

· Alyssa

· Angel

· Aniyah

· Brianna

· Chloe

· Destiny

· Diamond

· Gabrielle

· Hailey

· Hannah

· Imani

· Isis

· Jada

· Jasmine

· Jayla

· Jordan

· Kayla

· Kennedy

· Kiara

· Laila

· Madison

· Makayla

· Nevaeh

· Sydney

· Taylor

· Tiana

· Trinity


Boys: Common African American names

• Anthony

• Brandon

• Caleb

• Cameron

• Christian

• Christopher

• Daniel

• David

• Elijah

• Ethan

• Gabriel

• Isaiah

• James

• Jayden

• Jaylen

• Jeremiah

• Jordan

• Joseph

• Joshua

• Josiah

• Justin

• Kevin

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© Lively View | African & African American Culture.

debbie@livelyview.com
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