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The name George was a 'racial slur'

ROYAL NAME: Prince William and wife called their first child George (PA)

THE NAME George is set for a popularity boost after Prince William and his wife chose it for their new son, but what some may not know is that it has been common among African Americans for hundreds of years.

Yesterday the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced to the world that their son would be called George Alexander Louis, to be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.

During the slave trade many black men were referred to as George, after George Pullman, the engineer and industrialist who was known for hiring them shortly before the Civil Rights Movement began.

However, it was used as a racial slur.

High class passengers who were travelling on Pullman trains called them all 'George' so they did not have to learn their names.

And this historical quirk was documented in the 2002 film 10,000 Black Men Named George.

AMERICAN SCIENTIST: George Washington Carver in the lab

The movie dramatises the struggle of two black men, one political activist Asa Phillip and railway car porter Ashley Totten who organise railway porters to challenge the head of the Pullman railway company.

A number of prominent African American figures were named George including Black Panther George Jackson and George W Johnson who became the first African American to record music commercially.

There is also George Alcorn who is credited with creating over 20 different inventions including the X-ray spectrometer.

Also prominent in US history is George Washington Carver, a famed scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor, whose work helped poor farmers grow alternative crops.

Not to leave Britain out, one of the hottest spoken word acts in London George the Poet whose poetry that can be seen on YouTube and various other outlets, mixes social and political comment with humour.

In sport, George Weah is known as one of the greatest African footballers of all time and has played for English, French and Italian teams.

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