I needed an African-American female name of one syllable for a syllabic verse poem. As you can guess, there are not too many, but thanks to the web's "baby name" books, I was able to go through a long list of female African American names. It gives the origin of the name, countries used, and popularity of the name. I chose "Star" --a play on Stella or Estella--because it met my criteria, was not popular (thus unique), and fit the theme of the work.
It's good to get your students to think about character names. If they have laptops, or if you can connect to the internet and get the internet up on a screen, you can spend some time on this in class.