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Naming is your first big parenting choice – welcome to 18 more years of personality-molding decisions. Day care or home care, TV or none, bangs or no bangs? These are tough choices. But bangs grow back, while names are (or are meant to be) permanent.

Luckily you have nine months to find the perfect moniker – one that sounds good when you coo it, yell it or hear it intoned at a graduation ceremony. Put yourself in the child’s shoes. Picture your child not as a cute baby but as a grown-up bearing the name you picked. what’s in vogue one year and out the next is impossible to predict.

Here are just a few of the trends:

  • City names, such as Austin and Brooklyn
  • Last names as first names, such as Parker and Coleman
  • Vintage names like Pearl and Ruby
  • Nature names like River, Reed, and Skye
  • There’s also the long-standing tradition of naming a baby for a relative or someone you admire.

These are the most popular African American baby boy names:

  1. Anthony
  2. Brandon
  3. Caleb
  4. Cameron
  5. Christian
  6. Christopher
  7. Daniel
  8. David
  9. Elijah
  10. Ethan
  11. Gabriel
  12. Isaiah
  13. James
  14. Jayden
  15. Jaylen
  16. Jeremiah
  17. Jordan
  18. Joseph
  19. Joshua
  20. Josiah
  21. Justin
  22. Kevin
  23. Malik
  24. Matthew
  25. Michael
  26. Nathan
  27. Tyler
  28. William
  29. Xavier
  30. Zion

These names were compiled from states that keep record of ethnic backgrounds.

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