12 Black Celebrities Whose Real Names Will Surprise You

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nia-long pregnant

Nia Long 

Nia Long was given the name Nitara at birth. The name is of Indian (Sanskrit) origin — it means “having deep roots” — and may have been inspired by the strong East Indian influence in Trinidad, where her parents are from.

It’s unclear when and why the actress began using the name Nia, which means “purpose” in Swahili.

 

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Vin Diesel

Actor Vin Diesel’s legal name is Mark Sinclair Vincent. According to IMDB.com he changed his name to Vin Diesel at age 17, when his well-developed physique helped him land a job as a bouncer at a New York night club.

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