Black History Month

Black History Month Washington the 'Blackest Name in America?'

Washington the 'Blackest Name in America?'

By BV Staff
Posted Feb 22nd 2011 1:45PM

What is the "blackest name in America?" If we're talking about surnames that would have to be "Washington." According to the 2000 Census, of the 160,036 people counted with the surname Washington 90 percent were African-American. Think about it--how often have you assumed someone with the last name Washington was African American and how often were you correct?

279 years after the birth of the father of our country, George Washington, who was most certainly a white man, AP's Jesse Washington attempts to answer the question how: just how did Washington become the blackest name in America?

Jesse Washington, an African American himself, traced the Washington name's lineage back to the Founding Father and found that the story of blacks' appropriation of the Washington name is as complex as George Washington's position on slavery.

George Washington was a slave owner himself; in fact, much of his wealth came from the free labor of enslaved blacks who worked the thousands of acres he owned. But the contradictions between the principles of his new found nation and the institution of slavery led to what George Washington biographer Ron Chernow describes as a "schizoid life." Though he was considered a relatively "good" slave master because of his treatment of the enslaved, Washington was also known to go to great lengths to retain his human property--often hunting down those who had escaped and even using his presidential powers to unsuccessfully attempt to retrieve runaway slaves from free territory. Conversely Washington holds the distinction of being the only slave-owning U.S. president to free all of his slaves--124 of them--after the death of his wife Martha.

So why would blacks want to name themselves after a man with such a checkered past? Historians speculate that though Washington was a slave owner his status as a symbol of freedom, independence and the higher ideals of America inspired many blacks to take on the name.

Read more about the history of the surname Washington at The Huffington Post.

"The 10 Blackest Names in America"

"%" indicates the percentage of people counted with that surname who identify themselves black or African American. [Source: 2000 US Census]

1.Washington 89.9%
2.Jefferson 75.2%
3. Booker 65.6%
4. Banks 54.2%
5. Jackson 53.0%
6. Mosley 52.8%
7. Dorsey 51.8%
8. Gaines 50.3%
9. Rivers 50.2%
10. Joseph 48.8%

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August 15 2011 at 10:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What about "Jones", is this name universal? or what! I am of a 7th generastion of over 100 years.

April 12 2011 at 12:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
judy and jim

It's time to move on and make your own destiny. Hatred only slows progress. It isn't easy, but we are all up to the task! Good luck and keep the faith.

April 05 2011 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kevin Goldsmith

What a Beautiful Day

April 04 2011 at 9:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


February 26 2011 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jones.., Browns..., Johnsons..., Smiths..., Williams..., Carters..., Lewis.., Etc.....

February 24 2011 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Washington" is a slavemaker and slave-killer European name. This article is only written to keep the ignorant "Negroes" feeling like their bullwhipped namesake is acceptAble to God. Washington is also thE nAme of mass [Afrikan] murderers, rapists, and those deserved of being killed for enslavement: DEUTERONOMY 24:7 AND EXODUS 21:16.

As European Doctrine, or Willie Lynch minded as an article can get. Simply put, it's impossible and slave-maker minded to feel forced Afrikans can be bullwhipped named ("Washington"), and it's called the "Blackest" name for A-A's. The Blackest name for A-A's is something like Muhammad, Christian, or the first name some have of "Africa." (Europeans took away the "K" and replaced it with the "C".)

Non-Blacks are always trying to say we're in a post racial society, but we haven't been Reparated, or made whole after our continent (Afrika) breastfed this illegitimate and illegal state they call the "US of A." If we don't deserve to be undergirded on all levels, for all A-A's, why don't Jews--our former enslavers--have the same living and economic conditions? We undergirded the world, yet we accept reasons and justifications for "No" Reparations, but "Yes" on [sexual] penetrations?

February 24 2011 at 9:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply