No White Folks Named Washington

According to the U.S. Census, the ‘blackest’ surname in America is Washington. Of all the 163,036 people with the last name Washington on the 2000 census, 9

(More on See TIME’s George Washington covers)

The Associated Press has written a comprehensive history of the last name, but NewsFeed thought we’d highlight the more interesting facts:

  • Enslaved blacks often didn’t have a surname, so they chose their own.  The AP says it’s a “myth” that they always picked their owners’ last names.  Often they picked something entirely different. Understandably, George Washington’s name was a popular choice.
  • Twelve U.S. Presidents owned slaves, though only eight had them while in office. Of those, George Washington was the only President to free his slaves.  He ordered them to be freed after his wife’s death.
  • Booker T. Washington made up his own last name.
  • Half of the non-black Washingtons are white. Thirty percent are mixed-race. The rest are either Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander.
  • The next “blackest” names were Jefferson and Williams.

Johnson (Remember: Nevin Johnson – LOL) is pretty black and also Jackson.  However, believe it or not, quite a few whites have that surname also!

Oh, what about the silly Muslim names?  Well, that’s for another post!

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One thought on “No White Folks Named Washington”

  1. Cassius Clay was a better name than Mohamed Ali IMO. But I can see where Ali was coming from.

    Cassius Clay freed all the slaves his father left him and paid them a living wage if they wanted to stay. He became an abolitionist early in life and was a popular politician in Kentucky. He was attacked by pro-slavery families but managed to fend them off. He cut a nose and ear off one with a Bowie knife. Lincoln’s minister to Russia, he was instrumental in bringing Russia to the Union side.

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