12 Black Celebrities Whose Real Names Will Surprise You

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TCM Road To Hollywood / New York

Spike Lee

Spike Lee, named Shelton Jackson Lee at birth, was nicknamed “Spike” by his mother when he was an infant.

The Gale Encyclopedia of  World Biography notes that by the time he was old enough to attend school, the independent-minded Lee had earned the nickname his mom gave him because of his toughness.

 

 

shaunie oneal

 Shaunie O’Neal 

With the VH1 television debut of “Basketball Wives,” Shaunie O’Neal became a household name. But many fans do not know “Shaunie” is a shortened version of her real first name, Va’Shaundya.

The Huffington Post reported that O’Neal, who was named Va’Shaundya Nelson at birth, decided to keep the surname of her former husband (retired basketball star Shaquille O’Neal) because she didn’t want to explain to their children why she didn’t have the same last name as they did.

 

 

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