180 Black Last Names: for Little Princes & Princesses

Unleash your inner warrior with these black last names for your little ones.

Black last names often have meanings and origins personal to family history, culture, and even locations. Events have shaped African American surnames throughout the years.

Black surnames have particular poignancy given the cruelty of ancestral enslavement. Many were given white European surnames or the names of their enslavers. While this gave them an identity, it connected them to their masters rather than their proud African and Caribbean heritage.

We list 180 cool, unique, and even cute African American last names and delve into their meanings and origin.

180 African American Surnames

Whether it’s black girl or boy last names or popular ghetto names, we have it covered for you.

  1. Abdu – this wonderfully short Islamic name means “worshipper of God.”
  2. Adebayo – is an uncommon African surname starting with A, meaning “born in a joyful time.”
  3. Adika – a Ghanaian name meaning “first child from a second husband.”
  4. Adkins – is of Hebrew origin, meaning “son of little Adam.”
  5. Akande – of Nigerian/Yoruba origin, meaning “firstborn.”
  6. Alexander – from the Greek hero Alexander the Great, meaning “defender of men.”
  7. Allen – is of French origin, meaning “noble, precious, handsome, cheerful, and rock.”
  8. Amade – this Latin name means “one whom God loves.”
  9. Anderson – a Scandinavian name possibly meaning “son of Andrew” and “man, warrior.”
  10. Anthony – of Latin and Roman origin, meaning “highly praiseworthy.”
  11. Atta – is an Arabic and Turkish name meaning “father and twin.”
  12. Badu – this West African name means “tenth-born child.”
  13. Baez – is of Hispanic descent, meaning “son of Pelayo.”
  14. Bailey – in French, it means “bailiff” and “fortification” in English.
  15. Bakari – this upbeat Tanzanian surname means “noble promise” in Swahili.
  16. Baker – an Anglo-French surname meaning “shepherd.”
  17. Bamgbala – a popular Nigerian surname meaning “graceful, great champion, and social person.”
  18. Banks – this traditional Old English name means “edge of the river.”
  19. Barbier – this French/Norman name means “whisker.”
  20. Barnes – a classic Old English habitational and occupational name meaning “of the barn.”
  21. Baruti – this name hails from Botswana and means “educator.”
  22. Bell – of Scottish and Middle English origin, meaning “handsome.”
  23. Bennett – from the Latin “benedictus,” meaning “blessed.”
  24. Benoit – the French form of Benedict, meaning “blessed.”
  25. Berry – a common Old English surname starting with B, meaning “small fruit.”
  26. Black – is mainly of Old English and Scottish origin, referring to the color.
  27. Blackman – a name given to Danish Viking settlers in Scotland, meaning “dark man.”
  28. Blackwell – an English habitational name for someone “living near a dark stream.”
  29. Blake – an Old English name meaning “black, pale, white.”
  30. Blanco – a Spanish surname meaning “white or blond.”
  31. Boone – is of Old French and Latin origin, meaning “good.”
  32. Brown – black surnames like Brown, represent people with “brown skin or hair.”
  33. Burns – this habitational Scottish name means “brook, stream, and house.”
  34. Butler – is of French and Latin origin, meaning “wine steward or servant.”
  35. Campbell – a Scottish name for someone with a “crooked mouth.”
  36. Cannon – a cannon is a “clergyman” in Old English.
  37. Carter – this Irish African name represents someone who “transports goods by cart.”
  38. Castille – meaning “quarrel or squabble,” this black Creole name originates from France.
  39. Celestine – of Latin origin, meaning “heavenly.”
  40. Chambers – this French/Latin occupational name is for someone “in service.”
  41. Charlemont – a beautiful French name meaning “ambitious and playful.”
  42. Charles – meaning “free man,” Charles is the perfect name for formerly enslaved people.
  43. Chartier – derived from Norman/French, this occupational name means “carter.”
  44. Chevalier – a French name for a “mounted knight or horseman of noble birth.”
  45. Clarke – derived from the Latin “clericus,” referring to a “clerk” in Old English.
  46. Clayton – in Old English, Clayton means “clay town.”
  47. Cooper – this occupational surname starting with C that means “barrel maker” in Old English.
  48. Crawford – a habitational name from Scotland, meaning “a ford where crows gather.”
  49. Daniels – is of Hebrew origin, meaning “God is my judge.”
  50. Dauphin – this regal name comes from the French word for “dolphin.”
  51. Davidson – in Norse, it means “son of David” and “beloved” in Latin and Hebrew.
  52. Dawson – in Old English, Dawson means “son of David.”
  53. Diaz – this popular Spanish name means “son of Diego.”
  54. Doyle – a classic Irish American name meaning “descendant of Dubhghall.”
  55. Drake – this Middle English name derives from the Greek word “drakon,” meaning “dragon.”
  56. Dubois – a French occupational name for someone “from the wood” or a “woodcutter.”
  57. Dufrene – this noble topographical French name means “ash tree.”
  58. Duncan – a Gaelic/Scottish name meaning “dark or brown warrior.”
  59. Dupont – a habitational French name meaning “of the bridge.”
  60. Earl – this regal English surname means “pledge and nobleman.”
  61. Eaton – of Old English origin, meaning “island settlement.”
  62. Edwards – linked to prosperity and fortune, Edward means “son of Edward.
  63. Elendu – derived from the Igbo people of Nigeria, meaning “love life.”
  64. Elliot – of British and French origin, meaning “the Lord is my God.”
  65. Ellis – taken from the Hebrew name Elijah, meaning “benevolent” in Welsh.
  66. Emerson – this Old English surname means “Emery’s son.”
  67. Essien – a popular Ibibio name from Nigeria, meaning “child who takes charge of outside matters.”
  68. Evans – this Welsh name derives from Hebrew and means “son of Evan.”
  69. Farmer – derived from the French “fermier,” this occupational name means “collector of taxes.”
  70. Faro – is possible of German origin, meaning “journey” and “handsome servant” in English.
  71. Fenton – is of Old English origin, meaning “marsh town.”
  72. Ferguson – this Scottish/Gaelic name means “son of Fergus.”
  73. Fisher – an occupational name from the Old English “fiscare,” meaning “fisherman.”
  74. Fitzgerald – is of Irish and Norman origin, meaning “son of Gerald.”
  75. Fleming – meaning “Flemish person” or “man from Flanders, which is Old French in origin.
  76. Ford – a habitational English name given to someone who lives near a “river crossing.”
  77. Foster – another occupational English name for someone “working in a forest.”
  78. Freeman – derives from the Old English “freomann,” meaning “free-borne man.”
  79. French – from the language or for someone living near an “ash tree.”
  80. Gabriel – taken from the Hebrew name “Gavri’el,” meaning “God is my strength.”
  81. Gaines – the perfect Old English name for the formerly enslaved, meaning “freedom-loving.”
  82. Garcia – this Spanish name possibly means “son of Gerald” or “bear.”
  83. Gardner – an occupational Old English name for one who “keeps a garden.”
  84. Garrett – means “spear strength” in Irish and “defender” in Old Norse.
  85. Gibson – is possibly Old English or Scottish, meaning “son of Gilbert.”
  86. Gray – of Gaelic and Old English origin, describing a “gray-haired and pleasant” person.
  87. Hamilton – from Scottish and Old English roots, meaning “flat-topped hill, crooked hill,” and “beautiful mountain.”
  88. Hampton – a posh Old English surname meaning “home settlement.”
  89. Harper – black girl last names are rarely as musical as Harper, meaning “harp player.”
  90. Harrison – derived from German, this English surname means “son of Harry.”
  91. Hasaan – this Arabic Muslim name means “good-looking and handsome.”
  92. Hawkins – a descriptive Old English name meaning “little hawk.”
  93. Hayes – a habitational Old English name meaning “hedged area.”
  94. Henry – this Germanic name means “home-ruler” and “estate-ruler.”
  95. Hicks – an ancient Anglo-Saxon name for someone who is the “son of Richard.”
  96. Hobbs – an Old English name possibly meaning “son of Robert” or “bright fame.”
  97. Hudson – black boy last names are cool, like Hudson meaning “son of Hugh.”
  98. Hughes – this Irish and Welsh surname means “fire.”
  99. Hunter – an occupational Old English surname for “one who hunts.”
  100. Idris – in Welsh, Idris means “fiery leader” and “to learn and study” in Arabic.
  101. Imani – originating from Swahili, this exotic name means “faithful person.”
  102. Ingram – meaning “Ing’s raven” from the Norse god of peace and fertility.
  103. Irwin – is derived from Celtic, Old English, and German, meaning “boar friend.”
  104. Jackson – African American surnames are rarely as popular as Jackson, meaning “son of Jack.”
  105. Jacobs – a derivative of James, in Latin and Hebrew, meaning “supplanter.”
  106. James – a classic English name derived from Hebrew, meaning “supplanter.”
  107. JeanBaptiste – from John the Baptist, meaning “to dip” in Greek and “God is gracious” in Hebrew.
  108. Jefferson – black last names referring to ex-presidents are popular, like Jefferson, meaning “son of Jeffrey.”
  109. Jennings – associated with Wales and Ireland, Jennings is of Old English origin, meaning ”little John.”
  110. Jordan – from the Hebrew “yarden,” meaning “to go down.”
  111. Joseph – is derived from the Hebrew boy’s name “Yosef,” meaning “he will add.”
  112. Kande – beautiful black girl last names, like Kande, means “first-born daughter.”
  113. Kelly – this unisex Irish first and last name means “bright-headed” and “strife, war.”
  114. Kemp – an Anglo-Saxon name meaning “combat,” also means “reaping the harvest” in Scotland.
  115. Kennedy – African American last names are rarely as famous, meaning “helmeted head.”
  116. Kesse – a great South African name meaning “fat at birth.”
  117. Kim – is of Old English and Korean origin, meaning “gold.”
  118. King – in black history, Martin Luther King is a giant, meaning “ruler or monarch.”
  119. Knight – a name used by servants in knightly or royal households.
  120. Lambert – a Dutch and Germanic name meaning “bright land.”
  121. Lawson – an Old English surname meaning “son of Lawrence.”
  122. Le Blanc – a common French surname meaning “the white.”
  123. Leger – in French, Leger means “light and superficial,” and “tax collector” in Middle Dutch.
  124. Lewis – with roots in English, French, and Scottish, this common name means “famous warrior.”
  125. Lincoln – the legendary architect of slave emancipation, Lincoln means “lake colony.”
  126. Lloyd – this popular Welsh name means “gray.”
  127. Lopez – meaning “son of Lope,” this Spanish word derives from the Latin “lupus,” meaning “wolf.”
  128. Lucas – this Greek name means “man from Lucania” and “bringer of light” in Latin.
  129. Lyons – is possibly named after the French city Lyon, meaning “lion.”
  130. Mack – is of Scottish and Irish origin, meaning “son of.”
  131. Malone – a classic Irish surname meaning “devoted or disciple of St. John.”
  132. Marshall – this Old English occupational name is for someone who “looks after horses.”
  133. Matthews – a popular “M” surname meaning “gift of Yahweh” in Hebrew.
  134. Mbeki – a former South African President, had this surname, meaning “dedication, friendliness, freshness.”
  135. McCoy – a meaningful yet common Irish name meaning “fire.”
  136. Meadows – a habitational/occupational name for someone who “worked or lived on a field or grassland.”
  137. Medina – a Saudi Arabian city where Islam was established, meaning “city of the Prophet.”
  138. Melton – this Scottish name means “town or settlement in the middle of hamlets.”
  139. Menard – a Germanic name meaning “brave or hard strength.”
  140. Molapo – a habitational name from the Lesotho Kingdom, meaning “river.”
  141. Moreau – a classic Old French name meaning “dark-skinned.”
  142. Morgan – this Welsh, Irish, and Scottish name means “of the sea, sea-born, and sea circle.”
  143. Myers – of Old English, French, and Norse, meaning “mayor, bailiff, steward, or marsh.”
  144. Nash – a habitational name for someone living “near the ash tree.”
  145. Nduka – a bright and cheerful Swahili name meaning “ray of sunshine.”
  146. Nelson – the famous admiral, Nelson means “son of Neil” in Celtic and English.
  147. Newton – a simple Old English name describing someone from a “new town.”
  148. Noel – an Old French name for children born at “Christmas.”
  149. Norris – from the Old French word “norreis,” meaning “northerner.”
  150. Norton – is of Old English and German descent, meaning “northern town.”
  151. Odom – this Old English surname means “pleased or satisfied.”
  152. Oliver – in Latin and French, it means “olive tree” and “affectionate” in Norse.
  153. Orleans – referring to the city in France; this Latin name means “golden.”
  154. Ortiz – is of disputed Basque and Latin origin, meaning “son of Orti” or “brave, strong, and fortunate.”
  155. Owens – the English version of the Welsh “owain,” meaning “young warrior.”
  156. Parker – a longer form of Park, meaning “park keeper.”
  157. Parks – an Old English occupational name for “park keepers.”
  158. Picard – a geographic name for someone “from Picardy” in France.
  159. Powell – another classic Old Welsh name meaning “son of Howell.”
  160. Quick – is of Dutch, German, and Old English origin, meaning “lively.”
  161. Quinn – an ancient Irish and Scottish surname meaning “counsel.”
  162. Reynolds – is possibly French or German, meaning “son of Reynold.”
  163. Robertson – a typical Scottish surname meaning “son of Robert.”
  164. Rogers – rooted in Old German, meaning “son of Roger” or “fame spear.”
  165. Rose – is derived from the Latin “rosa,” referring to the flower, meaning “famous type.”
  166. Tate – a gender-neutral name meaning “cheerful.”
  167. Taylor – from the Norman/French occupational word “tailleur,” meaning “tailor.”
  168. Thierry – the French form of Terry, meaning “people’s ruler.”
  169. Toussaint – this French/Haitian name means “all saints.”
  170. Underwood – an Old English surname for someone dwelling at the “foot of a wood.”
  171. Vallot – a French habitational name for someone living in a small “valley.”
  172. van den Berg – this Dutch geographical name means “from the mountain slope.”
  173. van der Meer – another Dutch geographical name for someone “from the lake.”
  174. Vidal – means “life-giving” and “vital,” a Latin and Spanish first and last name.
  175. Washington – hailing from various regions of England, Washington means “washing town” or “settlement of Wassa’s people.”
  176. Williams – this typical English surname derives from Germany and means “resolute protector.”
  177. Wilson – is of Germanic and English origin, meaning “son of Will.”
  178. Xavier – pronounced ZAY-vee-er, this top Spanish surname means “new house.”
  179. Yates – introduced after the Norman conquests, Yates means “gatekeeper.”
  180. Young – referring to a junior member of a group, Young also means “prosperity” in Korean.

Black Last Names FAQs

Which Black Last Names are Swahili?

Black last names from Swahili include Nduka, Embeke, Kesse, and Imani. Black Swahili surnames are so descriptive, with meanings like “ray of sunshine,” “friendliness,” and “freshness.”

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About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark has always been fascinated by the stories behind names, their meanings, and the rich histories they carry. It's a curiosity that has grown into a full-fledged passion project, engaging him in the study of how names shape our identities and reflect our cultures. Since stepping away from his previous career, Mark has delved deeper into this fascinating realm. He spends his days unraveling these narratives and sharing his findings on Honey Name. He does all this amidst the tranquility of England's rivers and canals from his charming widebeam barge. His constant companions on this journey are his wife, Julie, and their adorable King Charles Cavalier, Eric.