Black Last Names: 80 Popular & Common African American, African, & Caribbean Surnames Listed

Today we’re going to look at some of the most popular and common black last names around.

When it comes to surnames, there are some that are very clearly unique, but then there are others that you could probably attribute to 2 or 3 people that you know.

You probably know tons of Jacksons and even more Johnsons.

Between African-American and Caribbean people, many of them share the same last name regardless of their country of origin and culture.

What about African people?

If you’re not African, it’s easy to think that the same last name isn’t common.

You’d be wrong; there are thousands and thousands of Africans who share the same name.

Just think of how large the continent is!

Between African-Americans, Caribbean, and African people, here are the most common last names.

Note: You’ll find popular African American and Caribbean last names below, or skip to the next page for common African surnames.

Popular African American And Caribbean Last Names

Many African Americans and Caribbean people share the same last name.

Every ten years, there’s a U.S. Census and we can use this information to figure out just how many people have the same last name.

Here are the Top 10 names that came up during the 2010 census.


You can probably name a ton of people with the last name Williams.

During the last census, this name was the most common with over 774,000.

This is an 8.1% increase from 2000 where they came across approximately 58,000 less Williams.

Even so, in the total general population, Williams ranks as the third most common last name overall.

If you’re scratching your head for some people whose last name is Williams, there’s Venus and Serena Williams, Vanessa Williams, Michelle Williams, Pharrell Williams, and more.


In 2010, Johnson came in 2nd place, and that’s its same rank within the entire population of African-Americans and Caribbean people.

In total, there are just fewer than 2 million black people with the last name Johnson with a 6.6% increase within the decade.

Can you name some famous Johnsons?

While there is Beverly Johnson and Magic Johnson, we bet you didn’t know that Whoopi Goldberg’s real name is Caryn Elaine Johnson.


When it comes to last names, Smith is the most popular of last names among black people.

There are over 2.4 million African-American and Caribbean people with that last name.

Even so, Smith ranked third in the last census and between 2000 and 2010, there was a 6.9% increase in the last name.

With that being said, there’s probably one Smith that immediately comes to mind when you think of the last name – Will Smith!

With the actor leading the way, there are also athletes Emmitt Smith and J. R. Smith on the list.


The last name Jones ranked 4th in the 2010 and ranks 5th overall when considering the entire black population.

There was a 36,579 increase in the last name over a 10 year period pulling the entire population to a total of 1.4 million people.

Thinking of a few famous Jones?

There’s actor James Earl Jones, music producer Quincy Jones, TV personality Star Jones, and more!


You could probably easily name someone with the last name Brown.

That’s why this last name was ranked 5th during the 2010 census and ranks 4th overall.

There are slightly more Browns and Jones with 1.43 million people.

One of the biggest increases, the last name saw a 7.3% increase over a 10 year period.

Let the naming of the Browns begin!

There’s Chris Brown, Jim Brown, and James Brown. There’s Melanie B(rown) from Spice Girls and Bobby Brown.


The last name Jackson definitely isn’t as popular as the other names we’ve previously mentioned.

According to the 2010 census, they came across hundreds of thousands of Jacksons that it brought the name up to #6 for the decade.

With a 6.3% increase in the last name, there 375,576 Jacksons identified in 2010.

What is it with the last name Jackson that many of them are famous?

Of course, we have the Jackson family with Michael and Janet leading the way.

We can’t forget other famous celebrities like Samuel L. Jackson, Jesse Jackson, and Randy Jackson.


Coming next on the list, we have Davis.

Coming in 8th among the total population of black people, Davis ranked 7th in 2010.

With a 22,811 increase from 2000 to 2010, there are over 1.1 million black people who currently share that last name.

When it comes to famous names you might recognize, there’s Miles Davis, Viola Davis, and Angela Davis.


Thomas is another last name that wouldn’t rank in the top 10 when considering the entire population.

While it ranks lower at 16, the last name came in 8th during the 2010 census.

This last name is one of them that experienced the most growth during the decade with an 8% increase.

Some names you might recognize with the same last name are: Isiah Thomas, Sean Patrick Thomas, and Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas.


Coming 9th on this list, Harris normally ranks at #25 when considering the entire population of black people.

There are around 624,252 people with this last name, a 7.1% increase from the previous decade.

Racking your brain for some people with the last name Harris?

There’s actress Naomie Harris and rapper T.I. whose name is Clifford Harris Jr.


Rounding out this top 10 list, we have Robinson.

The lowest ranking name on this list, it comes in #30 for the entire population of African-Americans and Caribbean people.

There’s just over half a million people who share this last name with 529,821.

This is due to the 7.3% increase seen in the 10 year gap.

Rounding out the Top 40, here are the next 30 most common names among African-Americans and Caribbean people:

  1. Taylor (Jayceon Terrel Taylor “The Game”)
  2. Wilson (Charlie Wilson)
  3. Moore (Shemar Moore)
  4. White (Barry White)
  5. Lewis (Carl Lewis)
  6. Walker (Jimmie J. J. Walker)
  7. Green (Al Green)
  8. Thompson (Kenan Thompson)
  9. Washington (Denzel Washington)
  10. Anderson (Anthony Anderson)
  11. Scott (Jill Scott)
  12. Carter (Vince Carter)
  13. Wright (Jeffrey Wright)
  14. Hill (Lauryn Hill)
  15. Allen (Ray Allen)
  16. Miller (Reggie Miller)
  17. Mitchell (Kel Mitchell)
  18. Young (Lee Thompson Young)
  19. Lee (Spike Lee)
  20. Martin (Jesse L. Martin)
  21. Clark (Earl Clark)
  22. King (B. B. King)
  23. Edwards (Dean Edwards)
  24. Turner (Tina Turner)
  25. Coleman (Zendaya Coleman)
  26. James (LeBron James)
  27. Evans (Faith Evans)
  28. Hall (Arsenio Hall)
  29. Richardson (Jason Richardson)
  30. Adams (Yolanda Adams)

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