Baby Names for African American Girls

Hello, goddesses. Choosing baby names is an important part of the baby preparation. Creating or choosing a baby name that will be with your princess forever, through her baby years, teen years, into womanhood, and still be on this earth for her descendants to speak is a great responsibility. Some of us give life to our own beautiful and unique names, and some of us look to the ancestors.

I’ve gathered 57 names from various sources (this list was easier than the baby name list for boys). Some are the names of our powerful ancestors. Some of these baby names are mindful and meaningful words similar to how our ancestors named their babies. Others are ancient or present African countries, cities, deserts, and ethnic groups. A few of these baby names are the names of deities that our ancestors and cousins worship. As a person who loves and breathes history, I love the connection to the past. I have, however, added the names of some amazing women who presently grace this earth. Please share your creativity and add your baby names below and don’t forget to subscribe to my mailing list.

      1. Nzinga- Queen Nzinga (Njinga) 1853-1663. She was the queen of the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms in Angola. She fought fiercely against the Portuguese as she boldly led her soldiers into battle time and time again.

      2. Yara- Brazilian and Arabic origin. It means “water lady; small butterfly.” This would be perfect for a baby girl brought into this world in a water birth.

      3. Yaya- This name has many meanings as many cultures us it in some variation. Ancient Greeks used the word but it was derived from the Hebrews and to them, it meant “graced by Yahweh or God is Gracious.” Now the Greek Grandmothers are called Yaya. Yaya is a Brazilian nickname for Miss. Enslaved people would use this name when referring to the “Miss” of the big house. My great grandmother was called Yaya.

      4. Queen- The boldest name ever.

      5. Princess- What a way to speak confidence into your child every time you call her name.

      6. Kenya- Comes from the Kikuyu name for Mount Kenya (Kere Nyaga) Mountain of Whiteness.

      7. Sahara- The largest hot desert in the world. It means “dawn.”

      8. Nairobi- Capital of Kenya. Nairobi comes from the Maasai word Enkare which means “cool water.”

      9. Peace


    1. True or Truth–For Sojourner Truth, the great abolitionist and women’s rights activist.

      Baby names
      Tees for mama

    2. Issa- Arabic for my Yeshua. A messenger of Allah and his word.

    3. Isis- Egyptian name- Mythical goddess of magic.

    4. Trinity- Refers to the Holy Trinity in Christian Faith.

    5. Serenity- Serene and calm

    6. Ashanti- Refers to the great Ashanti or Asante Empire (present day Ghana) and the Ashanti people.

    7. Maasai- an ethnic group living in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania.

    8. Amina- After the legendary Queen Amina the Hausa Warrior Queen of Zazzau (now Zaria).

    9. Ife- An Ancient Yoruba city. In Egypt Ife means Love.

    10. Mali- An ancient African Kingdom.

    11. Oasis- Pleasant or peaceful in the midst of difficulty.

    12. Aja- a group of people who live Benin. Another group of people living in South Sudan. An Orisha (Yoruba). A prince in Hindu Mythology.

    13. Ala- Igbo goddess (Alusi) of the earth, fertility, morality, and creativity. She is the most important Alusi.

    14. Oshun- Orisha in Ifá and Yoruba religions. She is the deity of fresh water, luxury, pleasure, sexuality, and fertility.

    15. Oya- Orisha of winds and lightning (violent storms).

    16. Imana- Creator Deity the Banyarwanda religion in  Rwanda.

    17. Qena- City in Upper Egypt.

    18. Luxor- Formerly Thebes and ancient city in Egypt.

    19. Egypt- A country with one of the longest and most mysterious histories in the world.

    20. Lira- A city in Uganda.

    21. Kira- The second largest city in Uganda.

    22. Sierra- For Sierra Leone.

    23. Rwanda- A country with a tragic history but it is on the road to recovery. An African nation that is beyond beautiful.

    24. Libya- North African country that is bordered by the Meditteranean Sea. The name means the heart of the sea.

    25. Emirate- means principality.

    26. Somali- For Somalia

    27. Zeila- City in Somaliland

    28. Accra- The capital of Ghana

    29. Tema- Ghanian city.

    30. Candace- After Candace of Meroë the great Queen of the Ethiopians.

    31. Nefatari- Egyptian queen and principal wife of Ramesses the Great.

    32. Nubia- The home of one of the earliest civilizations of Ancient Africa.

    33. Jamaica- An Island Country on the Carribean Sea.

    34. Essence- Means true nature of an entity.

    35. Willow- For Willow Smith.

    36. Misty- For Misty Copeland.

    37. Lauryn- For Lauryn Hill.

    38. Angela- For Angela Basset or Angela Davis.

    39. Maya- For Maya Angelou.

    40. Michelle- For First Lady Michelle Obama.

    41. More Baby Names

    42. Malia- For Malia Obama.

    43. Sasha- For Sasha Obama.

    44. Ava- for Ava DurVernay.

    45. Alexa- Alexa Irene Canady- First African-American woman neurosurgeon.

    46. Marley- For Bob Marley

    47. Nyema- I couldn’t find a meaning of this name but I love the beautiful sound it makes. I used it in my book The Griot.

    48. Ra- The Egyptian sun god.

    49. Nandi- Warrior and queen mother of Shaka Zulu.

      What amazing baby names am I missing? What iconic woman should be on this list?

About The Author

Valarie Thomas

I am a Pinterest 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. Jeche | 1st Oct 17

    Great list of names! I’ve been intrigued by names and their meanings since elementary. Nzinga, Isis and Kira are my faves in that order. If I ever have a girl, she will be named “Nzinga”. Let me head over to check out your list of boy’s names!

    • Valarie Thomas | 1st Oct 17

      I was definitely going to pick Nzinga for this child but we had a boy so he’s Cairo. I’m keeping it on my list though.

  2. Tisha | 1st Oct 17

    Great post!
    I love finding out the meanings behind names- especially those that you don’t find in your typical baby books!

    • Valarie Thomas | 1st Oct 17

      Thank you. I definitely like names with meanings.

  3. Khira | 2nd Oct 17

    I like Yara & Issa. So many options. I need to share this page for my friends.

    • Valarie Thomas | 13th Oct 17

      Yes. I think Yara is one of my favorites from this list. Please share.

  4. Ellee Davis | 2nd Oct 17

    This is a wonderful list of names. I am baby crazy at this point in my life and have been thinking of names for quite a while. I’m glad I found this list.

    • Valarie Thomas | 13th Oct 17

      Yes. As a teacher, I get to know kids with some awesome names. So I try to keep them in mind. It feels easier to find names when the pressure is off and you’re not yet expecting.

  5. Bri | 2nd Oct 17

    I absolutely love the name Ava! It’s been my favorite for a while. My best friend named her daughter Ava 😍

    • Valarie Thomas | 13th Oct 17

      I love it, too. You can put some beautiful middle names with it.

  6. Tanya | 2nd Oct 17

    I am not expecting but I’ve been thinking about possible names for my baby in the future. I’m saving this post because I absolutely love these names and their meaning.

    • Valarie Thomas | 13th Oct 17

      Yes. These names give me life. If I have another girl I’m going for something bold and meaningful. I also want something from my one of my grandmothers.

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