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Kaufman-Pearson, Monica
Birth Year : 1947
Born in Louisville, KY, Monica Kaufman was a reporter with the Louisville Times and WHAS-TV in Louisville. She joined WSB-TV in Atlanta in 1975. Kaufman has won many awards, including the Women's Sports Journalism Award in 1992 and first place recognition for Excellence in Journalism/Documentary in 1995. In 1998 she had a bout with breast cancer, and she wrote and talked about her illness in publications. Kaufman was inducted into the University of Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 2001. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville. In 2012, Monica Kaufman-Pearson retired from Channel 2 in Atlanta,Ga, where she was a news anchor; she had been on the air for 37 years. For more see African American Biographies. Profiles of 558 current men and women, 1st ed., by W. L. Hawkins; Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame Inductees a University of Kentucky website.

  See photos and videos of Monica Kaufman at "Atlanta News Anchor Monica Kaufman Retires After 37 Years + Did You Know She Beat Out Oprah For The Job?," by Atlien, a website.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia

Kavanaugh, Nelson
Kavanaugh was a freed slave from Richmond, KY, who made his way to Texas in 1837 and settled in Houston. He was one of the many barbers in the Republic of Texas; barbering ranked second to farming as an occupation for freemen. For some residents, there were too many freemen and there was fear of an uprising by the freemen, aided by abolitionists. A law was enacted that required all freemen to leave; Kavanaugh appealed to the Texas Congress that he be allowed to remain in the Republic of Texas. No action was taken by Congress and Kavanaugh left the area some time after 1846 when he appeared on the Washington County, Republic of Texas Tax List, and the Poll List. For more see the Black Studies Research Sources: Race, Slavery, and Free Blacks - Series 1: Petitions to Southern Legislatures, 1777-1867, Reel 15; H. Schoen, "The Free Negro in the Republic of Texas," Chapter IV, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, vol. 41, issue 1 [Online]; A. F. Muir, "The Free Negro in Harris County, Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, vol. 46, issue 3, [Online]; and "Memorial of Nelson Kavanaugh" in the Texas State Library.
Subjects: Barbers, Freedom, Migration West
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Houston, Texas

Kean, Henry Arthur, Sr.
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1955
Born in Louisville, KY, the son of Alice and William T. Kean, Henry was the football coach at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] from 1932 to 1943; the team was four times National Negro champion and Midwestern Athletic Association champion for 10 consecutive years. Kean was a graduate of Fisk University and Indiana University. He was a star athlete in football, basketball, baseball and tennis. He was also a mathematics teacher at Louisville Central High School. In 1943 Kean left Kentucky for Tennessee State College [now Tennessee State University]; that team won five national championships. Kean was the father of Henry A. Kean, Jr., who played forward for the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team. Henry A. Kean was a brother to William L. "Bill" Kean. For more see Kentucky's Black Heritage, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed. Supp. Additional information about Kean's time in Kentucky is available at CESKAA, Kentucky State University.

See photo image of classmates, including Henry Arthur Kean, at Simmons University in the 1920s, in the University of Louisville Libraries Digital Collections.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Education and Educators, Football, Migration South
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

Kean, William L. "Bill"
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1958
While a student at Louisville Central High School, Kean was captain of the football, basketball, and baseball teams. The 5' 7" athlete weighed 140 pounds when he played football at Howard University, where he also earned letters in three other sports. He was one of the school's first 4-letter athletes and in 1922 was named to the Negro All-American Team as a quarterback. As a coach, he directed the Louisville Central football team to a 225-45-12 record. As the basketball coach, he led the Louisville Central Yellow Jackets to wins in 857 of its 940 games. Kean was the son of Alice E. and William T. Kean, and the maternal grandfather of NBA player Allen Houston, and a brother to Henry A. Kean, Sr. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Baseball, Basketball, Education and Educators, Football, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Keas, Samuel G.
Birth Year : 1812
Samuel Keas was a land owner, farmer and cattle owner. Keas Street in Smithville [Montgomery County, KY] is named for him. In 1878 he became the first pastor and namesake for the Keas Tabernacle C.M.E. Church in Mt. Sterling. Along with Bishop Miles, from Louisville, and with the aid of Mrs. Eliza Magowan and Mr. Willis Magowan, the church was organized in a former school building. Future updates to this small church would be built around the existing structure, but the footprint remains the same, even today. Samuel Keas was a well-known and respected preacher prior to the Civil War, serving as a beacon to the black community in Montgomery County. On August 17, 1856 he conducted a baptism at Lublegrud Creek in Montgomery County. He performed the marriage of Patsy Magowan to Edward Howard on September 18, 1858. Samuel and his wife, Nannie [Rebecca], had three children: daughters Amanda and Betty and son Allen. This entry was submitted by Holly Hawkins of the Montgomery County Historical Society. Courtesy: Jane D. Hawkins, Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial. For more information, see online the National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form for Keas Tabernacle Christian Methodist Episcopal Church [.pdf]; "Keas Tabernacle CME Church" on p. 245 in African American Historic Places, by B. L. Savage; and mention of Allen Keas and Keas Tabernacle in the column, "Religious," in the Mt. Sterling Advocate, 10/31/1899, p. 8, and 06/03/1902, p. 7. For information on Samuel Keas as pastor of the C.M.E. Center Street Church in Louisville, KY, see p. 156 in The History of the CME Church (Revised), by O. H. Lakey. For information on the prior history of the Keas Tabernacle C.M.E. Church, see the Mt. Sterling Station (Church) entry in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Smithville, Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Keene Industrial Institute (Keene, KY) / Beattyville Industrial Institute (Beattyville, KY) / W. H. Parker
Start Year : 1900
The Keene Industrial Institute was located in Keene, Jessamine County, Kentucky. The school was established by W. H. Parker, November 12, 1900, and the first session was held from January-May, 1901. Parker, from Alabama, was a graduate of State University in Louisville [later Simmons University]. He came to Keene in 1899 to build a school on the order of Tuskegee Institute. Keene Industrial Institute was established with donations; W. H. Parker traveled throughout Kentucky and to northern states attempting to raise additional funds. In November, 1901, the school was visited by Virginia Dox from Boston. It was an impromptu visit that was encouraged by Dr. W. G. Frost, President of Berea College. Virginia Dox had raised money for schools in the West and in Mexico. She encouraged W. H. Parker to continue his efforts and they would pay off in the long run. W. H. Parker received small donations from the community and larger donations from persons in nearby counties. The girls dormitory was donated by A. J. Alexander of Woodburn, Spring Station, KY. Money for a new building had been donated by Senator J. M. Thomas of Bourbon County. Students were charged $5 per month for board and tuition. The shoe-making department for boys was headed by W. H. Cornell from Alabama, and it was thought to be the first time in Kentucky that a Colored institution participated in the shoe sales market. The school also offered sewing and cooking for the girls. In 1902, some equipment had been gathered for a blacksmith department. The school was then referred to as a normal and industrial institute. The school staff members were W. H. Parker; W. R. Dudley; Mrs. Ellsa Jones, matron; Horace D. Slatter, English and normal; J. E. Bookware, shoe-making; Mrs. Eliza Gaines, sewing; Miss Hannah M. Webster, English and normal; Rev. J. H. Brooks, Chaplain, history, Bible and English. After struggling year after year to keep Keene Industrial Institute afloat, it was announced in March 1903 that the school would be moved to Beattyville, KY, during the summer. The new school was located on five acres of land donated by Judge G. W. Gourley of Lexington. An adjoining 45 acres was available for lease, and if the school proved to be successful for Lee County, then the 45 acres could be purchased by the school trustees. The leased land was used as a farm. Boys who could not pay their board and tuition could work off their fees at the farm. The instruction for boys included carpentry and blacksmithing, and they could make additional money cutting cord wood and getting cross ties for railroad contractors. Girls who could not pay their tuition and board outright could work off their fees in the laundry or by sewing and cooking at the school. Mrs. Lizzie Johnson, from Paducah, KY, was over the Laundry Department and the primary grades. Miss Mamie L. Brooks, from Paducah, was the music instructor. Mrs. W. H. Parker taught mathematics and grammar. The new school building opened in the fall of 1903. The motto was "Obedience is our watchword." Miss Alice Brownlow, a musician from Mobile, Alabama, and sister to Mrs. W. H. Parker, arrived in Beattyville in November, 1903 to take part in the school's Industrial Congress celebration. There were 30 students at the school, all boys and men from Kentucky and several other states, aged 11 to 28. In September, 1904, W. H. Parker represented the school during the Mount Pleasant Association Messengers and Ministers Meeting held in Lexington, KY. W. H. Parker was also a politician, serving as an alternate-at-large for Beattyville for the Kentucky Delegation to the 1904 Republican National Convention in Chicago, where Theodore Roosevelt was nominated as Presidential candidate and Charles W. Fairbanks the Vice-Presidential candidate. For more see "Industrial Institute," Lexington Leader, 04/07/1901, p. 2; "The First Year," Lexington Leader, 05/17/1901, p. 4; "Keene Industrial Institute Notes," 08/14/1901, p. 7; "Keene Institute," Lexington Leader, 08/22/1901, p. 4; "Keene," Lexington Leader, 10/12/1902, p. 2; "Keene Institute," 11/14/1901, p. 2; "Parker's Plan," 12/26/1901, p. 2; "Splendid work," Lexington Leader, 03/23/1902, p. 4; "Keene School," Lexington Leader, 04/19/1903, p. 1; "K. N and I. I. Notes," The American Baptist, 11/13/1903, p. 3; "Mount Pleasant Association," The American Baptist, 09/23/1904, p. 3; and "Lee County. Beattyville." Citizen, 11/05/1903, p. 8. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Blacksmiths, Carpenters, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Keene, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Beattyville, Lee County, Kentucky / Alabama

Kellar, Frank, Sr.
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1928
Frank Kellar, Sr. is referred to as a "pioneer citizen" in Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney. He was one of the organizers of the Walnut Hills Bethel Baptist Church in Cincinnati, OH. He served as the treasurer from the time the church was established in 1896 until his death in 1928. Frank Kellar was also one of the organizers of the Benjamin Lundy Lodge #1661 G. U. O. O. F. The organization was one of six colored Oddfellows lodges in Cincinnati in 1883, and it is listed on p. 38 of the Williams' Cincinnati Directory 1883. Lodge members met the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month on Willow Street between Chapel and Vine Streets in Walnut Hills. Frank Kellar, Sr., born in Kentucky, was 63 years old in 1920, according to the U.S. Federal Census. A widower, he was the janitor at the church. His last name is spelled "Keller" in the 1910 Census that also includes the name of his wife, Mary E. "Keller", who was born in Kentucky around 1860.
Subjects: Migration North, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Kelley, Brent P.
Birth Year : 1941
A life-long resident of Paris, KY, Kelley is a veterinarian and a writer who has done a phenomenal number of interviews with players from the Negro leagues. Kelley is not an African American. He is author of They Too Wore Pinstripes, Voices from the Negro Leagues, The Negro Leagues Revisited, and other titles. He has also written hundreds of articles and has a sizable collection of autographs from former Negro League players. For more see Cool Papas and Double Duties, by W. F. McNeil.
Subjects: Authors, Baseball
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Kelly, James M. "Jim"
Birth Year : 1946
Death Year : 2013
Born in Millersburg, KY, Jim Kelly was a martial artist who co-starred in the film, Enter the Dragon, starred in Black Belt Jones, and acted in other movies. He was also a professional tennis player and was a tennis coach. Kelly was an athlete in high school and participated in several sports. He briefly attended the University of Louisville, but left school to study karate. In 1971 he won the International Middleweight Karate Championship. Jim Kelly resided in San Diego, California. His family is from Millersburg, KY, where they resided for more than a century, and includes Kelly's great-grandparents William and Lizzie Lewis, both born in the 1840s according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see Jim Kelly (II); and Jim Kelly (martial artist) a Wikipeida web site.

See Jim Kelly, Actor In 'Enter the Dragon," Dies, a NPR website.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Athletes, Athletics, Migration West, Tennis, Martial Arts, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Millersburg, Bourbon County, Kentucky / California

Kendall, Joseph N.
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 1965
Kendall was born in Owensboro, KY. In July 2007, he became the first Kentucky State University inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, located in South Bend, IN. Kendall was considered one of the greatest passers in college football and a good all around player. He not only played quarterback, but was a running back, punted with both feet, and played on defense. In 1934, he led Kentucky State University to a national black college football championship and an undefeated season. In 1935, he led the team to an Orange Blossom Classic victory. The Pittsburgh Courier named Kendall a First Team All-America three times between 1934-36. He was inducted into the Kentucky State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1975. During Kendall's college football career, Kentucky State had a 29-7-3 record. He was selected for the African American All-Star team that played against the Chicago Bears in 1935; it was the first time that an African American team played against an NFL team. Kendall was also a good baseball and basketball player. He served in the Army for two years, then graduated from Kentucky State in 1938. His original higher education plan had been to attend Paducah to study culinary arts, but once he was seen playing football, he was encouraged to enroll and play for Kentucky State. After college, he was hired to teach and coach at the African American Rosenwald High School in Harlan, KY, and in 1946 became principal of the school. In 1948, he returned to Owensboro to become the football coach at the school he had graduated from, Western High School. The Kendall-Perkins Park in Owensboro is named in honor of Joseph N. Kendall and Joseph Perkins. For more see L. Vance, "College football hall of fame welcomes 3 African-American QBs," at; S. Hagerman, "One of the finest: Late Western High standout to be inducted into College Football Hall of Fame," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 07/16/2007, section C, p.1; and contact CESKAA.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Football, Parks & Resorts, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Harlan, Harlan County, Kentucky

Kennedy, John W. "Jay"
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 2001
John William Kennedy was born in Bryantsville, KY. His family had worked on the J. Hogan Ballard tobacco farm and also worked with horses. When Kennedy's father died around 1920, the family moved to New Kensington/Greensburg, PA. Throughout his life, Jay Kennedy was well know in the horse industry; see photos of him at horse shows and fairs at the website. Like many others, Kennedy is among the forgotten horsemen highlighted in the American Saddlebred Museum 2007 exhibit in Lexington, KY - Out of the Shadows: Bringing to Light Black Horsemen in Saddlebred History. Kennedy was also Grand Marshall of the Masons in Bridgeport, OH. Additional information provided by Jane Kennedy-Ellis, daughter of John W. Kennedy. For more information on the Black Horsemen, see the DVD Out of the Shadows, winner of a Silver Telly at the 28th Annual Telly Awards, available at the American Saddlebred Museum.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, Betting, & The Derby, Migration North, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Bryantsville, Garrard County, Kentucky / New Kensington and Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Kennedy, Paul Horace
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1921
Reverend Paul H. Kennedy was born in Elizabethtown, KY, son of John M. and Caroline Kennedy. He was a minister and a musician who authored and published the Baptist Directory and Year Book in Henderson, KY, and he was editor of the Kentucky Missionary Visitor. Rev. Kennedy was also an instructor of the organ, piano, violin, and band instruments. He served as a U.S. Marshall during the administration of President McKinley. For more see Paul H. Kennedy in Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and Rev. Paul H. Kennedy in the Afro-American Encyclopaedia: Or, the Thoughts, Doings..., by James T. Haley, pp. 613-614 [available online at the UNC University Library, Documenting the American South].

Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

Kennedy, Raymond "Ray"
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1997
Kennedy was probably born in Bryantsville, KY; he is the older brother of John "Jay" Kennedy. The family moved to Kensington/Greensburg, Pennsylvania after the brothers' father died. The Kennedy brothers became well-known horsemen. Photographs of the brothers are available at the Black Horsemen website. There were many other African American horsemen such as those featured in the American Saddlebred Museum 2007 exhibit - Out of the Shadows: Bringing to Light Black Horsemen in Saddlebred History. Additional information provided by Jayne Kennedy-Ellis, niece of Raymond Kennedy. For more information on the Black Horsemen, see the DVD titled Out of the Shadows, winner of a Silver Telly at the 28th Annual Telly Awards, available at the American Saddlebred Museum.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, Betting, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Bryantsville, Garrard County, Kentucky / New Kensington and Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Kenton County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Kenton County, located in northern Kentucky along the Ohio River, was formed in 1840 from a portion of Campbell County. Kenton County is surrounded by three counties, it was named for frontiersman Simon Kenton, who was a friend of Daniel Boone and a veteran of the Indian Wars and the War of 1812. There are two county seats in Kenton County, Independence and Covington. Independence was incorporated in 1842 and the name is in reference to Kenton County being separated from Campbell County. Covington, originally known as Point, was established in 1815 and named for Leonard Wales Covington, who was killed during the War of 1812. Covington was the second largest city in Kentucky in 1850, and had served as the unofficial county seat until Independence was established in 1842. As Covington continued to grow, it became the center for county business and court matters, and in 1860, the Kentucky Legislature made Covington the second county seat. The 1840 county population was 1,303 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and it grew to 24,861 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 298 slave owners
  • 721 Black slaves
  • 109 Mulatto slaves
  • 61 free Blacks
  • 14 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 212 slave owners
  • 451 Black slaves
  • 116 Mulatto slaves
  • 58 free Blacks
  • 27 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,224 Blacks
  • 358 Mulattoes
  • About 27 U.S. Colored Soldiers listed Kenton County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Kenton County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; African-American Residents of Kenton County, Kentucky transcribed by T. H. H. Harris; History of Kenton County, Kentucky, in the World War, 1917-1919 by S. D. Rouse; The Evolution of Covington's Black Residential Pattern, 1860-1980 by E. T. Weiss; and A Comparative Study of the Educational Effectiveness of the White and Negro Schools of Covington, Kentucky by W. F. Hargraves. See photo image and history of Kenton County Colored School at Kenton County Public Library website.

Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Kenton County, Kentucky

Kentucky African American Census Records [Online]
Start Year : 1830
End Year : 1870
This census includes records from the mid-1800s for the following Kentucky counties: Adair, Allen, Kenton, Livingston, Pulaski, Russell, and Webster.
Subjects: Genealogy, History
Geographic Region: Adair, Allen, Kenton, Livingston, Pulaski, Russell, and Webster Counties, Kentucky

Kentucky African American Encyclopedia
The encyclopedia is to be published in 2013. For more information contact Dr. John A. Hardin at, Western Kentucky University; Karen C. McDaniel, recently retired Director of the Kentucky State University Library; or Dr. Gerald L. Smith at, University of Kentucky.
Subjects: Genealogy, History, Resources Dedicated to Kentucky African Americans [Statewide]
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky African American Girl Scouts
Start Year : 1940
In 1940 the Louisville Council formed an interracial committee for Negro Girl Scouting and a troop was formed. The troop was not allowed to attend camps; therefore, Mrs. Murray Walls, a member of the interracial committee, helped to organize camping for the African American scouts. The Paducah Council and the Bowling Green/Warren County Council also formed Girl Scout troops for African American girls. A temporary site, Camp Dan Beard (a Boy Scout camp in Jefferson County), was used for the first established camp for African American Girl Scouts; in 1945 a permanent campsite, Camp Lincoln Ridge, was established at Lincoln Institute. Also in 1945, Mrs. Murray Walls became the first African American to serve on the Girl Scout Council Board of Directors, and she led the movement against segregated Kentucky Girl Scout Troops. The programs and camps were integrated in 1956. Walls was also the first African American member of the Kentucky State Board of Education. For more see Kentuckiana Council History, by Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana; and Kentucky Commission on Human Rights names 39th member of the Gallery of Great Black Kentuckians, 03/11/2005, at
Subjects: Scouts (Boys and Girls), Board of Education
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Lincoln Ridge, Shelby County, Kentucky

Kentucky African American Golf Tour [Kentuckiana Amateur American Golf Tour]
Start Year : 2004
From the Kentucky African American Golf Tour website: "Organized under The Kentucky African American Golf Association, Inc., the purpose of the tour is to promote African-American golf in Kentucky. The mission was to provide African American amateur golfers in Kentucky an organized format to compete and fellowship together at the highest possible level. Membership was open to any race, creed, color, sex, religion or national origin." The tour was established in 2004, and the first tournament began in April of that year. There was an annual fee of $25. Each year the schedule started in April and continued through October, with an event scheduled each month. Players compete using the USGA Handicap System. The name of the organization has been changed to the Kentuckiana Amateur American Golf Tour, and serves Kentucky and southern Indiana. Contact the Kentuckiana Amateur African Golf Tour in Louisville, KY, for additional information.
Subjects: Golf and Golfers
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky African American Heritage Commission
A state agency located in Frankfort, KY, its mission is "To identify and promote awareness of the significant African American influences upon the history and culture of Kentucky and to support and encourage the preservation of Kentucky African American heritage. Because African Americans have made significant contributions to the social and cultural life of the Commonwealth, the African American Heritage Commission will create a deeper understanding of the past accomplishments and ongoing influence of African Americans on the heritage of the Commonwealth."
Subjects: Genealogy, History, Resources Dedicated to Kentucky African Americans [Statewide]
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky African American Museums, Cultural Centers, Trails & Tours, Heritage Sites, and Annual Events
Listed below are museums, culture and heritage centers, and other types of dedications to the history of African Americans in Kentucky that includes artifacts, government documents, manuscripts, art, archival materials, annual events, performances, and travel tours. This list will continue to be updated as new data is received.


Eighth of August (Emancipation Celebrations) Allensville, Crofton, Hopkinsville, Paducha, Russellville 1868
African American Art Exhibiton Actors Theatre [Jefferson County] 2003
African American Forum, Inc. Lexington [Fayette County] 1993
African American Heritage Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Group Tours  
African American Heritage Center Franklin [Simpson County]  
African American History in Danville, Kentucky Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau [Boyd County]  
African American Museum / Bowling Green Area Bowling Green [Warren County] 2010
African American Theatre Program University of Louisville [Jefferson County] 1993
African Americans in the Bluegrass Lexington Visitors Center [Fayette County] 2008
African Americans in Thoroughbred Racing Kentucky Derby Museum [Jefferson county]  
African Heritage Festival Bridge Kids International [Jefferson County]  
Berea College & Berea College Special Collections  Berea [Madison County] 1855
Black History at Mammoth Cave Mammoth Cave National Park [Edmonson County] - National Park Service 1838
Camp Nelson, Civil War Heritage Park Camp Nelson Restoration and Preservation Foundation [Jessamine County] 1863 
Center of Excellence for the Study of Kentucky African Americans (CESKAA) Kentucky State University [Franklin County]  
E&S Art Gallery Louisville [Jefferson County]  
Eastern Kentucky African American Migration Project University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill [North Carolina]  
Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records - Kentucky (Online) FamilySearch provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1865-1872
Hotel Metropolitan The Upper Town Heritage Foundation [McCracken County]  
Kentucky African American Heritage Commission Frankfort [Franklin County] 1994
Kentucky Center for African Heritage Louisville [Jefferson County] 2009
Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Kentucky State University [Franklin County] 2000
Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives Frankfort [Franklin County]  
Kentucky Histoical Society Frankfort [Franklin County]  
Kentucky State University (HBCU)  Frankfort [Franklin County] 1886
Kentucky's African American Hamlets National Public Radio website 2000
Laurel County African American Heritage Center London [Laurel County] 2004 
Lincoln Institute (Simpsonville, KY) Lincoln Foundation [Jefferson County] 1910
Louisville Civil Rights History Tour, Self-Guided Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research, University of Louisville [Jefferson County]  
Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center Lexington [Fayette County] 2009
Muhammad Ali Center Louisville [Jefferson County] 2005
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Cincinnati, Ohio 2004
National Underground Railroad Museum in the Bierbower House Maysville [Mason County] 1994
Roots and Heritage Festival Lexington Roots & Heritage Festival [Fayette County] 1989
Simmons College of Kentucky (HBCU) Louisville [Jefferson County] 1879
Slave Deeds, Slaves in wills, Emancipation Papers, Colored Marriages, etc.  County Clerk Offices in Kentucky (120)  
Western Branch Library Louisville Free Public Library [Jefferson County] 1905
West Kentucky African American Heritage Center Historic Russellville [Logan County]  

Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky African American Musicians in Illinois (Chicago)
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1950
One strand of the African American migration from the south to northern cities involved musicians who were seeking more opportunities and larger venues that would give them greater exposure and recognition. The following is a list of some of the musicians who were born in Kentucky and lived in Illinois. These are individuals who made their living playing musical instruments.  Most of the musicians listed below were men who lived in Chicago in the late 1800s up to the end of the 1940s. Some of them became more well known than others. There are a few women in the list. There were hardly any African American women from Kentucky who made their living playing music in a town or city in Illinois, though there were a number of women singers and performers from Kentucky.  Sources: Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index; Cook County, Illinois, Deaths Index; U.S. Census Records; NKAA entries; and U.S. Social Security Death Index.


Withers Abernathy (b. 1906 KY - lived in Peoria, IL) [1940 Census]

Adlade Adams (b. 1917 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Charles "Cane" Adams (b. KY - lived in Chicago)

Boyd Atkins (b. 1900 Paducah, KY - d. 03/01/1965 Chicago)

Louis Bacon (b. 11/01/1904 Louisville, KY - d. 12/1967, lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York)  

Bernie Barbour (b.1881 Danville, KY - d. 04/11/1936 Chicago) - {last name misspelled in the death index as "Barfour"}

Jeffrie Bellamy (b. 1888 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Robert Berkley (b. 1915 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census] - son of Henry and Louise Berkley

James L. Blythe (b. 05/20/1901 Lexington, KY - d. 05/13/1941 Chicago)

George Richard Boarman (b. 02/01/1869 Wallingford, Hardin County, KY - d. 03/26/1942 Chicago) - son of Charles Boarman and Anice Neighbors Boarman

Thomas Boom (b. 1859 KY - lived in Villa Ridge, IL) [1880 Census] - son of A. and Martha Boom

James Bottoms (b. 1909 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Charles Noliner Brady (b. 02/09/1878 Frankfort, KY - d. 02/18/1920 Chicago) - son of Horace Brady and Johnsonia Buckner Brady, brother to Bessie May Brady

John Brim (b. 04/10/1922 Hopkinsville - d. 10/01/2003 lived in Chicago, lived & died in Gary, IN)

Clarence Brown (b. 1904 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Paul Brown (b. 1916 KY - lived in Blairsville, IL) [1940 Census]

Woodrow Bruewer (b. 1910 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Daniel G. Burley (b. 11/1908 Lexington, KY - d. 10/29/1962 Chicago)

Buddie Burton (b. 1890 Louisville, KY - d. 1976 lived in Chicago, lived & died in Louisville) [1940 Census] - {first name also spelled "Buddy."}

Sammie Butler (b. 1906 Henderson, KY - d. 05/08/1944 Chicago) - son of Mary Butler

Alexander Calmese (b. 1891 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Herbert Clerdy (b. 1915 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

J. Glover Compton (b. 1884 Harrodsburg, KY - d. 06/11/1964 Chicago) - son of Laura L. Bowman Compton and J. Glover Compton, Sr.

Charles L. Cooke (b. 09/03/1887 Louisville, KY - d. 12/25/1958 grew up in Detroit, lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York) 

James Coudelton (b. 1913 KY - lived in Chicago)  [1940 Census]

George Crittenden (b. 11/13/1873 KY - d. 07/05/1911 Chicago) - son of A. Crittenden and Anna Cowan Crittenden

Douglas Crosberry (b. 1842 KY - d. 03/17/1911 Chicago)

Teddy Darby (b. 03/02/1906 Henderson, KY - d. 12/1975 lived in Chicago, died in East St. Louis)

Billy Dorsey (b. 10/05/1878 Louisville, KY - d. 02/29/1920 lived in Chicago, lived & died in Arizona, buried in Louisville) - son of Daniel and Celia Smith Dorsey

Theory Drye (b. 1902 KY - lived in Chicago)

Clarence Duncan (b.1880 Midway, KY - d. 07/17/1930 Chicago) - son of Joseph Duncan and Sallie White Duncan

John Dunkins (b. 1889 Bowling Green, KY - d. 12/03/1925 Chicago)

George Edwards (b. 08/16/1873 Louisville, KY - d. 09/26/1937 Chicago) - son of Thomas Edwards

Herman Edwards (b. 1902 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Charles Eidson (b. 1896 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Logan Eubanks (b. 1898 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Luther Gafford (b. 1912 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

M. C. Gambles (b. 1908 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Harlan Graham, Sr. (b. 1910 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

William H. Griffin (b. 10/14/1878 Louisville, KY - d. 11/22/1932 Chicago) - son of Harry Griffin and Belindia Duncan Griffin

Lionel Hampton (b. 04/20/1908 Louisville, KY - d. 08/01/2002 lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York) - son of Gladys M. Morgan Hampton and Charles E. Hampton

Roger Haycraft (b. 1860 Louisville, KY - d. 10/13/1888 Chicago)

Wilbur Highbough (b. 1876 KY - d. 12/20/1892 Chicago)

James Howell (b. 1880 KY - d. 11/19/1913 Chicago) - son of William Howell

Charles Jackson (b. 1881 KY - d. 10/30/1928 Chicago) - son of Al and Louise Jackson

Willie M. Jefferson (b. 1910 KY - lived in Blairsville) [1940 Census]

Harry Johnson (b. 1894 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Meade Lux Lewis (b. 09/04/1904 Louisville - 06/1964 grew up in Chicago, died in Minnesota) - son of Hattie and George Lewis

George Lipscomb (b. 1879 KY - d. 05/05/1901 Chicago)

William Logan (b. 1896 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Sarah McLawler (b. 1926 Louisville, KY - lived in Chicago, lives in New York)

George Mitchell (b. 03/08/1899 Louisville, KY - d. 05/1972 Chicago)

Robert Montgomery (b. 1903 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

George Henry Moseley (b. 03/1897 Louisville, KY - d. 03/25/1922 Chicago) - son of Thornton Moseley and Lavinia German Moseley

James Olher Harrison Norris (b. 12/02/1894 KY - d. 06/13/1918 Springfield) - son of John Norris and Mollie Trailor Norris

Joseph Osbone [Osborne] (b. 1895 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census] - son of Anna Osbone [Osborne]

French Owen, Jr. (b. 1881 KY - d. 09/06/1912 Chicago) - son of French Owen, Sr. and Emma Burnell Owen

Jerome Don Pasquall (b. b. 1902 Fulton County, KY - d. 10/1971 grew up in St. Louis, lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York) 

Herman Patterson (b. 1897 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

John Pollard (b. 1870 KY - d. 12/24/1914 Chicago) - son of Bryant Pollard

Eugene Powers (b. 1854 KY - d. 01/28/1897 Chicago)

Greenville Raby (b. 1916 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Junes Rancy (b. 1870 KY - d. 03/07/1899 Chicago)

William Reeves (b. 1894 Winchester, KY - d. 03/26/1936 Chicago) - son of Samuel Reeves and Mary Haggard Reeves

Claude Rhodes (b. 1900 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census] - son of Hellen Rhodes Harding

Claude Rhodes (b. 1902 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

William K. Riley (b. 1874 KY - d. 01/03/1917 Chicago) - son of John R. Riley

Henderson Smith (b. 1858 Frankfort, KY - d. 09/21/1923 Chicago) - son of William and Maria Smith 

Ray Skivers (b. 1906 KY - lived in Joliet, IL) [1940 Census]

James Strange (b. 1905 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Ethel M. Swayne (b. 1898 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Harry Swift (b. 1884 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

John L. Thomas (b. 09/18/1902 Louisville, KY - d. 11/07/1971 Chicago) [1940 Census]

John Thompkins (b. 1894 New Castle, KY - d. 01/06/1942 Chicago) - son of Elijah Thompkins

Johnny Wells (b. 1905 KY - d. 11/25/1965 lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York)

Robert Williams (b. 06/10/1894 KY - d. 02/03/1923 Chicago) - son of Calvin Williams and Lizzie Herley Williams

Stanley R. Williams (b. 04/10/1894 Danville, KY - d. 12/17/1975 lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York) - son of Maria Jane Durham

James H. Wilson, Sr. (b. 12/19/1880 Nicholasville, KY - d. 10/02/1961 lived in Chicago, lived & died in Alabama) - son of Jacob and Hester Wilson

Preston Winston (b. 1903 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Britt Woodson (b. 1915 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Illinois

Kentucky African American Newspapers
Start Year : 1866
Below is a list of the African American newspapers in Kentucky that are mentioned within the Notable Kentucky African Americans Database. Included are the names of editors, owners, publishers, the cities where the newspapers were published, and the dates or estimated time periods the publications existed. The list does not include magazines, journals, and other periodic publications. For the names and locations of the many other African American newspapers in Kentucky and other states, see Bibliographic Checklist of African American Newspapers, by B. K. Henritze; A History of the Black Press, by A. S. Pride and C. C. Wilson, II; African-American newspapers and periodicals: a national bibliography, by J. P. Danky and M. E. Hady; and other sources. There is not a single source that lists every African American newspaper that existed or exists in Kentucky. New titles will be discovered with continued research.

African American Newspapers in Kentucky named within the NKAA Database.


Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky African American Servicemen in Skagway, Alaska
Start Year : 1899
Skagway [earlier spelled Skaguay] was a tent-town in 1897, but with the arrival of the Klondike Gold Rush, the town grew to have a population of more than 30,000. Skagway was a center point for mining operations, and it soon became a lawless town full of vice. By 1899, the gold rush was ending and the population in Skagway decreased as quickly as it had grown. The White Pass Railroad to Skagway was completed in 1900, which was also the year that the city was incorporated to become the first city in the Alaska Territory. [Alaska would become a state in 1958.] The Military Department of Alaska was established January 19, 1900, and it was recommended that a permanent post be established at Skagway. A military post had been established at Fort Wrangel when the United States acquired Alaska from Russia in 1867; the post was withdrawn in 1870. A military presence was restored in the area due to the lawlessness that came with the gold rush. In 1899, U.S. Army Company L, 24th Infantry, a regiment of African American troops, was stationed in Dyea, Alaska. They were forced to relocate to Fort Wrangel/Skagway due to a forest fire. According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, 10 of the men were from Kentucky: Sargent William Hanson, b. 1851 in Shelby County; Corporal Robert R. Cotton, b. 1861 in Boyle County; Private Edgar Merritt, b. 1879 in Hopkinsville; Corporal Orselin J. Kincaid, b.1877 in Stanford; Corporal Lafayette Coats, b. 1873 in Rowletts; Corporal Olijah Lee, b. 1877 in Paducah; Private Thomas Morton, b. 1868 in Bourbon County; Private Chester Sanders, b. 1879 in Carrollton; Private Leonard Watkins, born in Frankfort; and Private Victor Emmons, b. 1888 in Springdale. Sussie O'Connor, b. 1867 in Louisville, KY, was in Skagway with her husband, 1st Sargent Robert O'Connor. Peter Brown, who had arrived in Alaska in 1898, was a saloon keeper in Porcupine. A picture showing Company L, 24th Infantry in the Skagway 4th of July parade is available at Alaska's Digital Archives, as are other pictures of the infantry. One picture in particular shows all the men standing at attention on the Klondike Company wharf in Dyea. For more about the city see Skagway, District of Alaska, 1884-1912, by R. L. S. Spude; and The Truth About Alaska, by E. McElwaine.

See photo image of Company L, 24th Infantry in parade at Skagway, Alaska, at Alaska's Digital Archives.

Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: KY counties: Shelby, Boyle, Christian [Hopkinsville], Lincoln [Stanford], Hart [Rowletts], McCracken [Paducah], Bourbon, Carroll [Carrollton], Franklin [Frankfort], Mason [Springdale] / Dyea, Ft. Wrangel, and Skagway, Alaska

Kentucky African Americans in the Civil War: a defining moment in the quest for freedom
Louisville, Ky.: The Kentucky Heritage Council, 1997. An exhibit for the Kentucky State Fair, August 14-24, 1997. Sponsored by: The Kentucky Heritage Council, The Kentucky African American Heritage Commission and The Kentucky Humanities Council. Available at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, Kentucky, and the Kentucky Historical Society Library in Frankfort, Kentucky.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky and Insurance Policies on Slaves
Start Year : 1836
End Year : 1866
There is a long history of insurance policies on the lives of slaves, dating back to medieval times. In the 1500s, when slaves from Africa were considered part of the cargo brought to European countries, the slaves were insured. The practice of insuring human property was not new when African slaves were brought to the United States. In Kentucky, during the 1800s, slave owners had several options for purchasing policies on the lives of their slaves. Within the state, was the Lexington Fire, Life and Marine Insurance Company. This particular company was chartered by the Kentucky Legislature in 1836 with John W. Hunt as president, and board members John Norton, John Tilford, Elisha Warfield, John Brand, and Thomas Smith, all in Lexington; Thomas Y. Brent in Paris; and David Irvine in Richmond [source: "Chapter 425. An Act to Incorporate the Lexington Fire, Life and Marine Insurance Company. Acts Passed at the First Session of the Forty-Fourth General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, 1836, pp.601-604]. The table of rates was published within the company ads, an example is the ad in the Covington Journal dated 06/22/1850, on p.4. The company's earliest ads in 1836 did not mention policies on slaves; that notation was added around 1838, see the Lexington Fire, Life and Marine Insurance Company ad on p.4 of the Kentucky Gazette, 05/24/1838. In Frankfort, KY, H. B. Farrar was an insurance agent on St. Claire Street, his ad read "Lives of Negroes Insured. Insurance on Slaves." [source: Daily Commonwealth (Frankfort, KY), 03/04/1854, p.1]. Other companies that offered life insurance policies to slave owners in Kentucky included the Phoenix Life Insurance Company in St. Louis, MO, see "Insure Your Slaves" within the ad for Mutual Life Insurance on p.2 of the Daily Commonwealth, 10/31/1849. In Danville, KY, the Aetna Life Insurance Company agent was A. S. McGororty, see their ad on p.1 of The Kentucky Tribune, 02/22/1856; the Aetna Life Insurance Company was located in Hartford, Connecticut. In Louisville, KY, the Thomas S. Kennedy and Brothers, General Insurance Agents at No.413 South Side of Main Street, represented insurance companies in New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. The ad for Thomas S. Kennedy Brothers on p.4 of the Daily Louisville Democrat, 09/05/1861, included the line "INSURANCE ON LIVES OF SLAVES engaged in any kind of employment." These are only a few of the companies, there were many others. For the names of more insurance companies that insured the lives of slaves in Kentucky, see the advertisements placed in Kentucky newspapers prior to 1866. For more on the history of insuring slaves, see The Development of the Principles of Insurance Law in the Netherlands from 1500 to 1800 volume one by J. P. Van Niekerk; Speculators and Slaves: masters, traders, and slaves in the old south by M. Tadman; Encyclopedia of the Middle Passage edited by T. Falola and A. Warnock; and Investing in Life: insurance in Antebellum America by S. A. Murphy. See also the online article by M. S. Quinn,  "Slavery & insurance: examining slave insurance in a world 150 years removed," Insurance Journal, 05/15/2000.

Subjects: Slave Injury and Death Reimbursement & Insurance, Slavery in Kentucky, Sources
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education (KABHE)
Start Year : 1983
The organization was founded in 1983 by the late Dr. William Parker, then Vice-Chancellor of Minority Affairs at the University of Kentucky, and other minority leaders in the Commonwealth. The purpose of KABHE is to promote the advancement of Blacks in higher education by articulating needs and concerns, promoting unity and cooperation, and enhancing the personal and professional growth of its membership. Annual conferences are held in different regions of the state. An earlier model of this type of organization was the now defunct Kentucky Negro Educational Association, which was dissolved during the era of desegregation.
Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Start Year : 1903
The National Association of Colored Women was established in Washington, D.C., in 1896 and incorporated in 1904. The Kentucky chapter was represented by the Kentucky State Association of Colored Women's Clubs, organized in 1903 and boasting a membership of 2,500 women in 112 clubs. Kentucky's membership was second only to Tennessee among the 21 states reporting statistics in 1935. The NACW adopted the motto "Lifting As We Climb" and was dedicated to the "moral, mental and material progress made by our people. " The Kentucky clubs specialized in "Fostering Day Nurseries, Hospitals, Old Folks Homes; Homes for Delinquent Girls, Building Club Houses and Community Centers." The Lexington chapter was responsible for founding the Phillis Wheatley Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), which participated in the nationwide "Good Homes Movement" and still operates in Lexington today. The Good Homes Movement encouraged home ownership and the maintenance of clean, comfortable living quarters. Better Homes Week was held in the spring and sponsored programs that included such activities as selecting, furnishing, and opening a model home; reconditioning older homes; teaching about home finance; and encouraging such community projects as the paving and lighting of streets and the construction of playground and recreation centers. An important department of the NACW was the "Mother, Home and Child Department." During the 1920s, the national chairmanship of this department was held by a prominent Lexington woman, Mrs. Lizzie B. Fouse. Under her leadership, pamphlets were produced on various subjects; one pamphlet declared "Around Mother, Home and Child is woven the web of civilization," and suggested that mothers organize into block circles or local clubs, adopt a slogan, read progressive literature on modern child-rearing practices, and "get busy and do something at once." From the Fouse Family Papers, M-839, Special Collections, King Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington. See also, Pictorial Directory of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women, by L. H. Smith [available full-text in the Kentucky Digital Library - Books]. For information on more current clubs, see M. Davis, "Women's Clubs past, present fills needs," Lexington Herald-Leader, 3/11/2004, Free Time section, p. E2.
This entry was researched, written and submitted by

Nancy O'Malley, Assistant Director []
William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and
Office of State Archaeology
1020A Export Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506
Ph. 859-257-1944
FAX: 859-323-1968

See photo image of the Artistic Ten, the club formed in 1909 in Frankfort, KY. Image on p. 12 in Pictorial Directory of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women.
Subjects: Women's Groups and Organizations, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association), Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Community Centers and Cultural Centers, Care of the Elderly
Geographic Region: Kentucky

"Kentucky Babe" (song)
Start Year : 1896
The most famous of the Negro lullabies, "Kentucky Babe" was sung by Clarence Carroll Clark, who was born 1885 in Indiana. The song was a major hit in 1896. The record was sold in the Sears, Roebuck, and Company catalogue No.113, in 1903. For more see chapter 12 in Lost Sounds: blacks and the birth of the recording industry, 1890-1919, by T. Brooks. There is a Kentucky Babe sound recording by Adam Geibel and Richard Henry Buck, recorded in 1911, 78 RPM, 12 in.: "Presents a sentimental song about an Afro-American baby in Kentucky." That recording is available at the Library of Congress. A later recording is available at the University of Kentucky Fine Arts Media Center (Title: Tintypes [sound recording]: original Broadway cast recording). View video of Dean Martin & Four Vagabonds singing "Kentucky Babe" on YouTube.
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Bakers
Birth Year : 1920
A count of Negro bakers employed in Kentucky can be found in the U.S. Census records. Kentucky has never been a state with a large number of bakers of any race. The first comprehensive counting of bakers in the U.S. was reported in the 1850 record of American manufacturers. Men were the dominant wage earners. According to the census, by 1920 there were 720 Negro bakers in the United States: 530 males and 193 females, and of the total, 72 males were employed in Kentucky. The manufacturing of bread in the U.S. was valued at over a billion dollars, and the distribution of bakeries was about the same as the population distribution in urban areas. Between 1921-1929, bakery operations in the U.S. were expanding as grocery stores, restaurant chains, and retail bakeries began operating as multi-units. In 1930, there were 60 Negro male bakers in Kentucky and eight in Louisville. Over the next few decades the industry was affected by many factors, including rationing during the wars. The sale of pre-packaged mixes for cakes and other bread products increased, and large wholesale companies were able to mass produce baked products that had a longer shelf life in retail stores. The baking industry changed with the times. In 1960, there were 44 Negro bakers employed in Kentucky. Today, black-owned retail bakeries are counted within the category of food manufacturing in the Black-Owned Firms [.pdf] publication by the U.S. Census Bureau. Information for this entry came from the 14th Census of the U.S., 1920, vol. 4, Populations Occupations; 15th Census of the U.S., 1930, Population, vol. IV, Occupation by State; U.S. Census of Population: 1960, Final Report PC(1)-19A, Number of Inhabitants, Kentucky; The Baking Industry Under N.R.A, by R. W. Stone and U. B. Stone; The American Baking Industry, 1849-1923; as shown in the Census reports, by H. Kyrk and J. S. Davis; and Economic Changes in the Baking Industry, by C. C. Slater.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Black Caucus of Elected Officials
Start Year : 1999
The caucus, a membership organization, was formed "to express and share ideas, experiences, and knowledge and to provide a forum for educating members and the community." It is a constituency group of the Kentucky League of Cities. For more see SR127.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Black Deaf Advocates (KYBDA)
Start Year : 2003
"The KYBDA was formed in June 7, 2003 as a "Pending Chapter." On August 6, 2005, the KYBDA became an affiliate chapter of the National Black Deaf Advocates, Inc. and is currently recognized as Kentucky Black Deaf Advocates #31." For more see the Kentucky Black Deaf Advocates website.
Subjects: Deaf and Hearing Impaired
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Black Devils (Fulton, KY, baseball team)
The Kentucky Black Devils baseball team was probably organized prior to September 1930 when they were defeated by the Paris (TN) Giants, 10-2. July 1933, the Kentucky Black Devils were scheduled to play the Logansport Chase Cubs in Indiana at Riverside Park. The Devils had just lost to the Peru Ballyhoos, a semi-professional baseball team in Indiana. The Black Devils were a traveling comedy, professional Colored baseball club from Fulton, KY. A. Dinwiddie was described as the "diminutive pitcher" for the Devils. The team was traveling in the Logansport, IN area playing both white and African American teams. They defeated the Chase Cubs 5-3 in front of 2,000 fans. They defeated the Deer Creek Merchants on August 7th, and defeated the Logansport Independents 11-0 at Riverside Park the following day in front of 1,800 fans. They lost 8-5 to the Camden A. C. Team, followed by a four game series against the Flora Merchants, and a game against Logan-Sports, a team of independent players from the city of Logansport. The Black Devils lost 7-6 to the Logan-Sports team, and also lost their next game against the Deer Creek Merchants 12-3. The Black Devils continued to play various Indiana teams up to the end of September 1933, before returning to Kentucky. They were back in Indiana July 1934 for another season. For more see "The Fulton..." within the article "Tennessee - Paris" in the Baltimore Afro-American, 09/27/1930, p.18; and the following articles in the Logansport Pharos-Tribune: "Slate Speitel to hurl chase tilt Saturday," 07/27/1933, p.7; "Black Devils lose at Peru," 07/29/1933, p.2; "Deer Creek wins Black Devil tilt," 08/05/1933, p.2; and "Camden nine win over Black Devils," 08/18/1933,p.2. See articles in the Logansport Press: "Black Devils comedy, ball playing drop Chase Cubs 5-3," 07/30/1933, p.5; "Kentucky Black Devils too much for Independents, win 11-0," 08/02/1933, p.5; "Black Devils will play Logan-Sports at park on Monday," 08/04/1933, p.7; "Independents win by 7-6," 08/08/1933, p.2; "Black Devils to play 4 games in Flora next week," 08/09/1933, p.5; and "Camden will play Black Devils' team," 08/16/1933, p.5
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Fulton, Fulton County, Kentucky / Peru and Longsport, Indiana

Kentucky, Canada [D. Washington]
The town of Kentucky located in Canada, may or may not be the same community that was established around 1817 by escaped slaves from Kentucky and located near Amherstburg, Ontario [see NKAA entry about that community]. In the early 1800s, there was a town named Kentucky in Canada; D. Washington was born there in 1823. Washington was living in Southfield, Michigan when he was listed in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census, along with his wife Mary and their three children. The community of New Kentucky was established around 1860 in New Chatham, Canada.
Subjects: Communities, Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada
Geographic Region: Kentucky, Canada [no longer exists]

Kentucky Carnegie Colored Libraries International Influence
Start Year : 1927
The first Carnegie Colored Libraries were built in Louisville, KY: Western Branch in 1908 and Eastern Branch in 1914. The addition of the branches enhanced the recognition of the Louisville Free Public Library as the national leader in segregated library training and services for African Americans. There was an attempt on the part of the Carnegie Corporation to transfer the ideology to South Africa. In 1927, Frederick P. Keppel, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York visited South Africa and learned of the need for libraries. The corporation then sent Septimus A. Pitt and Milton J. Ferguson to Africa to assess the situation, and one of the outcomes from their visit was the development of the Non-European Library Service in South Africa. The Carnegie Corporation also provided grants to white South Africans for visits to libraries in the United States. In 1929, two of the visitors came to the Louisville Free Public Library seeking ideas on how to provide services to their “Negroes.” The visitors were Matthew W. Stirling, Librarian at Germiston, and Dugald Niven, Librarian at Bulawayo, Rhodesia [South Africa]. "We had the pleasure of showing them some of the colored work of the Louisville Free Public Library and they were very much impressed." The first Black librarian in South Africa, Herbert Isaac Ernest Dhlomo (1903-1956), was employed by the Carnegie Non-European Library Service, 1937-1940. Dhlomo, a Zulu, had the title of Library Organizer at the headquarters in Germiston. For more see J. E. Holloway, “Negro Libraries in America,” Bantu World, Johannesburg, 12/19/1936, p. 8.; H.I.E. Dhlomo Collected Works, by N. Visser and T. Couzens; Memorandum: Libraries in the Union of South Africa, Rhodesia, and Kenya Colony [duplicate titles], one by S. A. Pitt and one by M. J. Ferguson; “Quarter of a century with library here is Settle’s record,” The Courier-Journal (Louisville), 12/29/1929, Section 2, p. 8; M. K. Rochester, "The Carnegie Corporation and South Africa: Non-European Library Services," Libraries & Culture, vol. 34, issue 1 (Winter 1999), pp. 27-51; and the quotation from the Louisville Free Public Library, Regular meeting Board of Trustees, Wednesday, November 13, 1929, item d.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York / Germiston, Transvaal, South Africa / Bulawayo, [Rhodesia] Zimbabwe

Kentucky Cemetery Records Database (online)
Start Year : 2000
The following is taken from the introduction of the Kentucky Cemeteries Database site at the Kentucky Historical Society. "The Cemetery Preservation Program's database is a continuation of the work started by the Attorney General's Office in 2000." Entries are sorted by county name; each entry gives the cemetery name and location. A notes field may contain information about African Americans' (including slaves and free persons) burials. The listing of cemeteries will be updated quarterly as additional entries are added. For more information contact the Kentucky Historical Society.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Slavery in Kentucky, Sources
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Choir
Start Year : 1927
The choir was made up of men from the 369th Colored Infantry, also known as the Harlem Hellfighters. The unit, commanded by Colonel Arthur Little, was the first to reach the Rhine in 1918 during World War I. In 1927, Colonel Little's wife, Mrs. Charlotte Fairchild Little, passed away, and four members of the Kentucky Choir and Noble Sissle provided music at the funeral. For more see "Sing Negro Spirituals at Mrs. Little's bier," New York Times, 09/09/1927, p. 25.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Oral History Project
Start Year : 2013
The following comes from the University of Kentucky Public Relations press release, dated March 5, 2014. "The Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Oral History Project is being made possible by a partnership between UK Libraries' Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the UK Office of Community Engagement and the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. The commission established the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame to recognize men and women who are or have been leaders in the struggle for equality and justice in the Commonwealth; to raise public awareness about human rights issues; and to foster an environment for discussion and education regarding Kentucky civil rights history and ongoing challenges."


Access Interview See the list of names and listen to the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Oral History interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records are in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Oral History Collections, Kentucky Commission on Human Rights
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Classical and Business College (North Middletown, KY)
Start Year : 1856
The student body at the Kentucky Classical and Business College, located in North Middletown, KY, was white. The preparatory and music school had a coed student body, and males were allowed to board at the school, which was also referred to as the North Middletown Classical and Business College. At some point prior to the 1940s, Emma Cason Green, an African American, was a student at the school. It is not know if she was the first or only African American student. A brief description of the school and a picture are on page 76 of Paris and Bourbon County, by B. Scott and J. Scott. According to the annual catalog found in the University of Kentucky Special Collections [call number 378.769 K41235-H], the school was established in 1856. The 1914 Patterson's American Educational Directory, p. 145, gives the beginning date as 1868 [full-text online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: North Middletown, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Kentucky Club Café (Los Angeles, CA)
Start Year : 1929
The Kentucky Club Café, located at 2220 Central Avenue in Los Angeles, California, was named for its Kentucky racing décor. Central Avenue was the entertainment area of the city of Los Angeles. The Kentucky Club opened Thursday, March 14, 1929, as a premier club for African Americans and white Hollywood movie stars. The performers were all African American, headed by Miss Mildred Washington, with dance music by Howard's Quality Serenaders. Dinner cost $1.25, with the opening cover charge $1.50 and the regular cover charge 75 cents. For more see California soul: music of African Americans in the West, by J. C. DjeDje and E. S. Meadows; and the ad "Grand Opening Kentucky Club Café," California Eagle, 03/08/29, p. 6.
Subjects: Businesses, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / California

Kentucky Club (New York)
Start Year : 1925
Located on West 49th Street between 7th Avenue and Broadway in New York, the Kentucky Club had previously been called the Hollywood Club. By spring 1925 the club had closed and reopened as the Kentucky Club. Duke Ellington and his Kentucky Club Orchestra, a five-piece band, were the main feature for about two more years before the band left to play at the Cotton Club in 1927. The Kentucky Club is very often mentioned in reference to Duke Ellington and his band. For more on Duke Ellington at the Kentucky Club, see Current Biography, 1941 & 1970. 

See images and listen to East St. Louis Toodle-Oo (1927) HQ - Duke Ellington and his Kentucky Club Orchestra, on YouTube.
Subjects: Businesses, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / New York

Kentucky Colonization Society
The Kentucky Colonization Society purchased land for freed U.S. slaves settling in Liberia. In 1846 this land was called Kentucky in Liberia. Clay Ashland was the main city, so named to honor Henry Clay and his home Ashland. For more see All Things To All People: the American Colonization Society in Kentucky, 1829-1860, by C. R. Bennett (thesis); Henry Clay, Kentucky, and Liberia, by J. W. Coleman; The Kentucky Colonization Society, by J. W. Coleman; and C. Byron, "Man collects history of area called Kentucky halfway around the world," The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), 10/05/03, p.01B.
Subjects: Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Colonies, Colonization, Slavery in Kentucky, Sources
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Clay Ashland, Liberia, Africa

Kentucky Colony in Washington D.C.
The term "Kentucky Colony" can be found in many sources in reference to a group of Kentuckians living in a particluar area outside the state of Kentucky. The term was also used to refer to the "Kentucky Colony" neighborhood in Washington, D.C. on 10th Street between R and S Streets. The residents were members of the "Kentucky Colony" organization, a networking, society and support group of African Americans from Kentucky who had migrated to Washington, D.C. [There was also a group of whites in Washington, D.C. who were from Kentucky and were referred to as a "Kentucky Colony."] It is not known exactly when the African American Kentucky Colony organized, but they existed in the late 1890s and beyond 1912. The members were fairly well off, and in 1909 were led by Louisville, KY, native H. P. Slaughter [source: see H.P. Slaughter in column "The Week in Society," Washington Bee, 08/07/1909, p.5]. Slaughter was employed by the Government Printing Office in Washington, D.C. Other male members of the Kentucky Colony included James H. Black, William L. Houston, William H. Davis, Shelby J. Davidson, W. H. Wright, Charles E. Payne, Oscar W. Miller, J. C. Vaughn Todd, Louis P. Todd, Leslie Garrison Davis, Alex Payne, and Eugene Jennings [source: "Our Kentucky Colony," Colored American, 08/23/1902, p.9]. The members socialized with one another, and assisted other African Americans of similar means who were coming from Kentucky to live in Washington, D.C. It was the Colored newspapers in Washington, D.C. that first used the term "Kentucky Colony" in print, referring to African Americans in Washington, D.C. "Bluegrass visitors," an article in the Colored American, 07/23/1898, p.7, reported that the group had entertained a delegation of educators from Kentucky who were in D.C. for a National Education Association Meeting. A reception was held for the visitors at the home of Mrs. Anna Weeden, at 1731 10th Street NW. Mrs. Weeden was a widow born 1864 in KY, she owned a boarding house and shared her home with her son Henry and her sister Francis Starks, both of whom were also born in Kentucky. Another article, "Addition to our Kentucky Colony," Colored American, 01/27/1900, p.3, announced the arrival of William H. Davis from Louisville, KY, and his successful passing of the civil service exam, his new job with the government, and his past employment experience. In the Washington Bee column, "The Week in Society," 08/17/1901, p.5, there was mention of the group having entertained a contingency of young women referred to as "charming school maidens of the old Bluegrass State." The Kentucky Colony also kept ties to family and friends in Kentucky. In 1908, the group presented a 24-piece silver set to the newlyweds Jeanette L. Steward and James H. Black who were married on April 15, 1908 at the home of the bride's parents, Mrs. and Mr. W. H. Steward [source: "Our Kentucky Colony give star present at the Black-Steward wedding in Falls City," Washington Bee, 05/02/1908, p.5]. Both Jeanette and James Black were born in Kentucky. James had lived in Washington, D.C. for a few years beginning in 1902 when he was employed at the Government Printing Office [source: "The territory on 10th Street..." in the column "City Paragraphs," Colored American, 05/10/1902, p.15]. After they married, the couple remained in Louisville where James was a post office clerk, his wife Jeanette owned a cafeteria, and they shared their home with school teachers Mary and Myrtle Black [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census]. In 1912, several members of the Kentucky Colony were in Kentucky as reported in the Freeman, an Indiana newspaper, "Quite a number of the Kentucky Colony, of Washington, D.C., are in the city to cast their votes" [source: Lee L. Brown, "Everybody talking election," Freeman, 11/02/1912, p.8].
Subjects: Businesses, Communities, Migration North, Postal Service, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Kentucky Colored Conference (Methodist Episcopal Church, South)
Start Year : 1868
End Year : 1870
The Kentucky Colored Conference was the second colored conference to be formed within the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The members of the conference were Colored Methodists, many of whom attended churches that were led by former slave preachers. The first Kentucky Colored Conference was held November 20, 1868 in Hopkinsville, KY, with Bishop Holland N. McTyeire as the presiding bishop. The second conference was held in Winchester, KY, on October 13, 1869. The third and last conference was held in Louisville, KY, in 1870 at the Center Street Church, where Samuel G. Keas was pastor. It was in 1870 that the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church was formed and separated from the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. For more see The History of the CME Church (Revised), by O.H. Lakey; and A History of Methodism, by H. N. McTyeire.
Subjects: Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Kentucky Colored Fairs
Start Year : 1869
End Year : 1910
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture attempted to collect data on the associations that held fairs in Kentucky, but, for the most part, the data was not reported. The second report was published in 1879, wherein three Colored fair associations and their fairs were reported: Shelby, Bourbon, and Clark Counties. They are listed on p. 419 of the Second Annual Report of the State Bureau of Agriculture, Horticulture, and Statistics (1879), by W. J. Davie [available full-text at Google Book Search]. In addition to the three counties listed in the annual publication, there were many more Colored fairs that took place around the state beginning in the late 1800s. The fairs created business for the cities in which they were held and for the railroad companies. When a Colored fair was held, many times there would be special train services offered from various cities around the state to the fair location, sometimes with reduced round trip rates.

  • In 1869, the Lexington Colored Fair, the largest in the state, was held on Georgetown Pike. It may have been the first Colored fair in Kentucky. [See the 1869 Lexington Colored Fair entry in NKAA.] [Lexington is located in Fayette County.]
  • In 1870, the first colored fair for Simpson and Logan Counties was held. The fair did well for three years, netting $3,000 in 1870, then the profits fell off. The fair had been organized by the Agriculture and Mechanical Association in Simpson and Logan Counties. Two of the founders of the organization were Elijah P. Marrs and his brother H. C. Marrs. The project was started with $750 the brothers raised by selling 50 subscriptions (stock) that went for $15 each. H. C. Marrs was president, E. P. Marrs, secretary, and James Flint and James Tyree secured the property for the fair. The men purchased 42 acres for $4,200. When the profits began to fall, E. P. Marrs sold his stock. [Source: Ante-bellum free Negroes as race leaders in Virginia and Kentucky during Reconstruction (thesis) by C. B. King, p. 134.]
  • In 1874, the Kentucky General Assembly set restrictions against selling beverages and alcohol within one mile of the Bourbon County Colored Fair. The fair was managed by the Agricultural and Mechanical Association of the Colored People of Bourbon County. [See the Agricultural and Mechanical Association of the Colored People of Bourbon County entry in NKAA.]
  • In 1878, a Colored Fair was held in Abdallah Park in Harrison County. [See the Harrison County Colored Fair entry in NKAA.]
  • In 1879, a Colored Fair had been held in Clark County. In 1910, the Clark County Colored Fair Association was formed with President J. C. Hopewell, Vice-President John Pervine, Recording Secretary C. H. Curry, Corresponding Secretary H. P. Alexander, Treasurer J. W. Bates, and Assistant Treasurer Woodson Miller. The organization planned their first fair for 1911.
  • In 1897, a Colored Fair was held in Springfield. The fair was raided by Sheriff Baughman and his posse due to gaming operations: "sure things," a wheel of fortune," bee hive," and the "tin horse steal." In 1900, the Washington County Colored Fair Association held their fair September 20-23. The fair was referred to as the Springfield Colored Fair and as the Washington County Colored Fair. In 1902 and 1903 the fair was a loss financially and attendance was down.
  • In 1898, the Danville Colored Fair was held August 24-27. [Danville is located in Boyle County.]
  • In 1898, the Stanford Colored Fair was held September 30-October 1. [Stanford is located in Lincoln County.]
  • In 1899, the Louisville Colored Fair was held during the month of August. Round trip train fare was available from Mt. Vernon to Louisville for August 25 and 26. In 1900, the L & N Railroad service provided a special rate from Hopkinsville, with return on August 15 and 16 from Louisville. In 1910, the Louisville Colored Fair Association held its fair September 21-24. The Illinois Central provided round trip train service from Hopkinsville to Louisville for $5.38. [Louisville is located in Jefferson County.]
  • In 1900, Professor J. F. Gray from Russellville, traveled to Earlington to advertise the second fair to be held in Guthrie, October 11-13, by the Guthrie Colored Fair Association. [Guthrie is located in Todd County.]
  • In 1900, the Hustonville Colored Fair Company had a loss of 35 cents on its fair held August 15-18. The fair included a cake walk and a baseball game. [Hustonville is located in Lincoln County.]
  • In 1900, the Illinois Central provided round trip train service from Hopkinsville to Paducah for the Colored Fair, September 12-14. In 1908, a Colored fair association was formed in Paducah with the intention of having a fair in either August or September of 1909. [Paducah is located in McCracken County.]
  • In 1900, the first Colored Fair was held in Richmond by the Young Men's Agricultural and Mechanical Association. The event was held at the Richmond Fair Grounds, August 23-25. In 1901, E. M. Embry was president of the organization, and B. F. Stone was secretary. [Richmond is located in Madison County.]
  • In 1900, the Shelbyville Colored Fair was held September 5-7, one week after the Shelbyville Fair for whites. Southern Railroad offered services at low rates from various cities to Shelbyville. In 1924, the New Colored Shelby County Association, Inc. held their third annual fair. [See the New Colored Shelby County Fair Association, Inc. entry in NKAA.]
  • In 1900, the Stamping Ground Colored Fair was again being held at Wash's Woods. [See the Stamping Ground Colored Fair entry in NKAA.] [Stamping Ground is located in Scott County.]
  • In 1901, the Newburg Colored Fair was held in September. The Illinois Central provided round trip service from Hopkinsville, with a transfer in Princeton, then on to Louisville, with a return on September 6, at $2.50. [Newburg is located in Jefferson County.]
  • In 1901, the Owensboro Colored Fair was held August 29-31. For those attending the fair from Beaver Dam, a round trip train ticket cost $1.25. In 1903, the Owensboro Colored Fair was held in October. [Owensboro is located in Daviess County.]
  • In 1902 and in 1903, the Lincoln County and Garrard County Colored Fair Association held its fair at the Stanford Fair Grounds. In 1903 the fair was held August 27-29 in the woodlands on Danville Avenue, the property of Mrs. Nora M. Goodknight. The fair association officers were W. M. Jones, President; Alex Miller, Vice-President; W. H. Harris, Secretary; and J. Miller Broaddus, Assistant-Secretary. In 1905, the combined county fair was held in Lancaster, August 24-26. By 1906, the union was dissolved and Lincoln and Garrard Counties were holding their own Colored fairs in their respective counties.
  • In 1903, the Colored Fair held in Frankfort was not a success. In 1905, the Frankfort Colored Fair was held September 12-16. During the fair, the Ninth Battalion, Ohio National Guard, an all African American unit, was to hold their annual encampment in Lexington rather than Frankfort. Lexington officials had sought and received permission from Kentucky Governor Beckham to allow the Ninth Battalion to enter the state bearing arms. In 1906, the Colored Fair Association held its fair at Glenwood Park, September 6-8. By 1908, the organization name had changed to the Frankfort County Colored Agricultural and Industrial Association. [Frankfort is located in Franklin County.]
  • In 1904, the Henry County Colored Fair was held September 29-October 1. The L&N Railroad sold tickets to Eminence at a rate of one fair plus 25 cents for the round trip. [Source: "Eminence, Ky." in the column "L. and N. Special Rate Column within the Lexington Herald, 10/02/1904, p. 3].
  • In 1905, the Harrodsburg Colored Fair was held, and in 1906 the Harrodsburg Colored Fair Association was included in the List of National, State, and Local Commercial Organizations, compiled by the Interstate Commerce Commission, p. 172 {Google Book Search}. [Harrodsburg is located in Mercer County.]
  • In 1905, the Scott County Colored Fair was held August 9-12.
  • In 1905, the Midway Colored Fair was held at the end of August, 1905. [Source: "The Midway Colored Fair...," Lexington Herald, 09/14/1905, p. 8.] [Midway is in Woodford County.]
  • In 1906, the Hardin County Colored Fair was held in Elizabethtown, September 28 and 29. The L&N Railroad offered round trip service from Mt. Vernon to Elizabethtown for $3.85.
  • In 1906, the Nelson County Colored Fair was led by 78 year old Jarvis Wilson.
  • In 1907, the Christian County Colored Fair was held in Hopkinsville at the Horse Show grounds in September.
  • In 1907, the success of the combined Lincoln and Garrard County Colored Fairs prompted a separate Colored Fair in Lancaster, August 8-10. The Lancaster Fair Association was led by African Americans from Lancaster and Garrard County. The fair was canceled for 1910 by the association president George Morgan and secretary James B. Williams due to a misunderstanding about the cost of renting the fair grounds. [Lancaster is located in Garrard County.]
  • In 1907, the first Laurel County Colored Fair was held September 27 and 28 in London. It was during the baseball game that Russell Dyche, editor of the London Sentinel, was struck by a baseball and taken to Louisville, KY, for eye surgery.
  • In 1908, a Colored Fair Association was being formed in Berea; it had hoped to hold a fair in September of that year. The Berea Fair Association voted to rent the fair grounds to the Colored association. [Berea is located in Madison County.]
  • In 1908, the Knox County Colored Fair Association was incorporated in July and planned to hold its first fair, a two day event, a few months later. The association executive members were President Jeff Etter, Vice President J. W. Mullins, Secretary Mary L. Jones, and Treasurer J. J. Croley. The Knox County Colored Fair Association was one of the few in Kentucky to have a woman on the executive committee.
  • In 1909, the Montgomery County Colored Fair Association had its fair at the Mt. Sterling Fair Grounds, September 22-25. [See the Montgomery County Colored Fair Association entry in NKAA.]
  • In 1910, the Glasgow Colored Fair was held October 6-9. [Glasgow is located in Barren County.]
  • In 1901, a Colored Fair Association was formed in Nicholasville, and the first meeting was held at the Knights of Pythias fair grounds on September 2 and 3. Nicholasville is located in Jessamine County. See Colored fair "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 08/07/1910, p. 16.

For more see "Look out for them" in the News-Leader, 09/02/1897, p. 2; "Colored Fair at Danville" in the Central Record, 07/15/1898, p. 1; "The Stanford Journal says..." in the Central Record, 09/16/1898, p. 1; "One fair for the round trip..." in the Mount Vernon Signal, 08/25/1899, p. 3; "Our Colored citizens" in The Bee, 10/04/1900, p. 7; "The Hustonville Colored Fair Company..." in the Central Record, 08/23/1900, p. 1; "The Catalogues for the colored fair" in the Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, 07/27/1900, p. 3; "Special rates via L & N..." in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 08/10/1900, p. 8; "Account of Colored Fair..." in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 09/07/1900, p. 8; "The first Colored fair ever..." in the Citizen, 08/29/1900, p. 1; "Low rates via Southern Railroad" in the Mt. Sterling Advocate, 08/28/1900, p. 1; "Colored Folks" in the News-Leader, 09/20/1900, p. 1; "Colored fair here" in the Richmond Climax, 08/08/1900, p. 3; "Louisville return $2.50" in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 08/16/1901, p. 7; "On account of Owensboro Colored Fair..." in the Hartford Herald, 08/21/1901, p. 1; "The Colored fair held here..." in the Frankfort Roundabout, 10/03/1903, p. 8; "Big Colored Fair" in the Central Record, 04/24/1903, p. 1; "John and Edmund Holland attended the Owensboro Colored Fair Saturday" in The Bee, 10/08/1903, p. 6; "Allowed to bear arms" in the Citizen, 07/27/1905, p. 7; "Colored Fair in Lancaster" in the Central Record, 06/30/1905, p. 1; "Reduced tickets to Scott County Colored Fair. Georgetown, Ky" in The Blue-grass Blade, 08/06/1905, p. 3; "Colored People's Fair" in The Frankfort Roundabout, 08/18/1906, p. 2; "Reduced rates" in the Mount Vernon Signal, 09/14/1906, p. 3; "Proud of his record" in the Springfield Sun, 04/25/1906, p. 1; "The colored fair will be held..." in the Central Record, 07/19/1907, p. 1; "The First annual exhibition..." in the Citizen, 09/12/1907, p. 8; "Colored Fair" in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 09/21/1907, p. 1; "Shattered Glass" in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 10/01/1907, p. 4; "Berea and vicinity" in the Citizen, 03/12/1908, p. 3; "Knox County Colored Fair Association" in the Mountain Advocate, 06/26/1908, p. 3; "Colored citizens may have a fair next fall" in The Paducah Evening Sun, 05/26/1908, p. 6; "Colored Fair," Mount Sterling Advocate, 09/15/1909, p. 6; "Glasgow colored fair, October 6, three days" in the Hartford Herald, 07/27/1910, p. 1; "Louisville Colored Fair Ass'n" in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 09/24/1910, p. 4; "Colored Column: On the night of October 27..." in the Winchester News, 10/29/1910, p. 4.

**All articles and additional information are available online at Kentucky Digital Library - Newspapers.
Subjects: Businesses, Colored Fairs, Black Expos, and Chautauquas, Fraternal Organizations, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Conference (African Methodist Episcopal Church)
Start Year : 1873
Talk of forming the Kentucky Conference took place as early as 1866. "The Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. Wm. P. Quinn, Rev. D.A. Payne D.D., Rev. A.W. Wayman, Rev. J.P. Campbell, and some of the elders of the A.M.E. Church, will meet in Convention all ministers and delegates representing churches who are favorable to the formation of a Conference in the State of Kentucky, to be called the Kentucky Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church." ~ [source: "Kentucky Conference of the A.M.E. Church to be formed," The Christian Recorder, 06/16/1866]. It would take a few years before the Kentucky Conference of the AME Church was established on September 27, 1873 in Louisville, KY, under Bishop Daniel A. Payne. The officers of the conference were Rev. Robert G. Marshall, John W. Asbury from the Ohio District, and Charles Porter. Six sub-committees were formed, and a fire-proof safe was purchased by the trustees of Asbury Chapel (Louisville, KY) for the deposit of the Kentucky Conference archives. In 1880, the West Kentucky Conference split from the main conference, which resulted in the Kentucky Conference with 60 preachers, and West Kentucky Conference with 36 preachers. For more see History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (The Black Church in Action) by H. D. Gregg.
Subjects: Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Kentucky Conference (African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church)
Start Year : 1866
African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church, an independent body, was established in New York City in 1820. The Kentucky Conference of AMEZ was formed June 6, 1866, by Bishop Sampson D. Talbot at the Center Street Church in Louisville, KY. Membership included AMEZ churches throughout Kentucky. At the first conference meeting there were over 1,800 in attendance, and at the second meeting there were over 3,200. But by the 3rd year, members had been lost to the newly formed Colored Methodist Episcopal Church (CME). The Kentucky Conference of the AMEZ Church should not be confused with the conference by the same name that was formed with white members of the Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC) in 1852. For colored members of the MEC, the Lexington Conference was developed in 1869 out of the MEC's Kentucky Conference. William H. Miles had been a member of the MEC, but left to become a member of the AMEZ Church and was a founding member of the AMEZ Kentucky Conference. Miles would return to the MEC and help develop the Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church in 1870. Miles had also led in the development of the short-lived Kentucky Colored Conference (1868-1870) of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The MEC went to court and won back the Center Street Church property from the AMEZ, and the 3rd and final Kentucky Colored Conference was held at the church in 1870. AMEZ's Kentucky Conference struggled off and on for a few years, but was able to bounce back with the conference being carried into four adjoining states. The Arkansas Conference and The Missouri Conferences grew out of the AMEZ Kentucky Conference. Quinn Chapel, named after Bishop William P. Quinn, located in Louisville, KY, became the main church for the AMEZ movement in Kentucky. For more see the "Methodist Church" entry in the Kentucky Encyclopedia; and One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church... by J. W. Hood, and History of the A.M.E. Zion Church in America by J. J. Moore [both available full text at the UNC Documenting the American South website].
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Conference Branch (African Methodist Episcopal Church)
Start Year : 1914
In 1914 the Kentucky Conference Branch was a separate body of the AME Annual Conference and held its first convention in Bethel AME Church in Nicholasville, KY. The prior year, the separation had taken place in St. Matthews Church in Midway, KY during the annual conference. The Kentucky Conference Branch was a women's missionary organization that existed prior to 1897. One of the sub-units was a women's group that was named the WMMS in 1897, the group's task was to collect money that was brought to the Annual Conference by the women's pastors and distributed to AME member-preachers of lesser means. Mrs. Leanna Snowden and Mrs. E. Belle Jackson were two of the women who served as presidents of the Kentucky Conference Branch before the separation in 1914, and Mrs. Snowden was president the year of the separation. There were several sub-units of the Kentucky Conference Branch and a more detailed history of the entire organization can be found in Part II of The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright, pp.427-430. Pictures of members on pp.540-541. [WMMS - Women's Mite Missionary Society]
Subjects: Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky

Kentucky Congress of Barbers and Beauticians
Start Year : 1937
The Kentucky Congress of Barbers and Beauticians was probably the continuation of the Kentucky State Colored Beautician's Association, which was formed in 1937, though it is not known exactly when the Kentucky Congress of Barbers and Beauticians got its name. For the 13th annual conference, Mrs. Christine Moore Howell, an authority on health regulations, addressed the group at Emmanuel Baptist Church during the meeting held in Louisville, KY, June 25-28, 1950 [source: "Mrs. Howell speaks to Kentucky barbers," Washington Afro-American, 07/01/1950, p. 6]. About 2,000 persons attended the conference. The 20th annual conference was held in Lexington, KY, in 1957. The 21st conference was held in Louisville, KY, with R. Joss Brown serving as the speaker for the opening session; Brown was a civil rights lawyer from Vicksburg, Mississippi [source: "Equal rights must be won 'cafeteria style'," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/15/1958, p. 5]. The 24th conference was also held in Lexington, July 9-12, 1961 [source: "Kentucky show to include barbers," Barber Trade, 01/01/1961, p. 21]. Mrs. Martha Cobb was president of the organization.

  See photo image of beauticians unit and barbers unit from the 20th conference on p. 34 in Lexington, Kentucky, by G. Smith, at Google Books.
Subjects: Barbers, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Darkies Amateur Minstrel Society
The Kentucky Darkies, a white minstrel company in Liverpool, England, performed benefit Negro minstrels in blackface in the late 1800s. There was no connection to the state of Kentucky in the U.S. other than the entertainment marketing value of the perception of happy, singing and dancing African Americans in Kentucky. In 1897, the Kentucky Darkies performed in the Philharmonic Hall "in aid of the funds of the Liverpool Food Association." The Food Association, formed in 1893, went through several name changes before it became known as the League of Welldoers in 1909. The organization did charitable work to help alleviate social problems. See additional information in "Food Association's Benefit Entertainment," The Liverpool Courier, 05/29/1897, p. 7 (from which the above quotation was taken); "Food Association's Recent Benefit Entertainment," The Liverpool Courier, 06/01/1897, p. 3; and "Kentucky Darkies and Newspaper Criticism," Liverpool Mercury, 08/01/1893, issue 14220.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Liverpool, England, Europe

Kentucky Deputies, 1897
Start Year : 1897
A. D. James was the new Republican U. S. Marshal in 1897 and he appointed the first African American Deputy U. S. Marshals for Kentucky: Paul H. Kennedy of Henderson and Walker Blackburn of Russellville or Louisville. For more see "Negro Deputies in Kentucky," The Washington Post, 07/08/1897, p. 3; and "Two Colored Men Deputies," The New York Times, 07/08/1897, p. 1.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Kentucky Digital Library Images Collection
There are over 50,000 digital images in the Kentucky Digital Library (KDL) collection, including images of African American individuals, gatherings, and buildings. Some of the images can be retrieved by entering the following search terms (including the * will pick up singular or plural entries): Negro* or African American*.
Subjects: Photographers, Photographs
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials
Start Year : 1969
The first issue of the Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials was published in 1969 by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. Issues are available at the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Subjects: Directories, Kentucky Commission on Human Rights
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Divisions of the Universal Negro Improvement Association
Start Year : 1914
August 1, 1914, Marcus Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in Jamaica, with the goal of uniting all of African ancestry. The organization's motto was "One God! One Aim! One Destiny!" The New York Division of UNIA was established in 1917 with a membership of over 3,000. By 1920, there were more than 1,000 UNIA divisions in over 40 countries. In Kentucky, there were at least 11 divisions in Benham, Clay, Coxton, Daniel Boone, Florence, Erlanger, Louisville, Madisonville, Sassafras, and Sergent, and a chapter in Oakland Addition (Louisville). For more see Race First by T. Martin; The Official UNIA website; and The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers, edited by R. A. Hill.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)
Geographic Region: Kentucky: Benham and Coxton, Harlan County / Erlanger, Kenton County / Florence, Boone County / Louisville, Jefferson County / Madisonville, Hopkins County / Sassafras, Knott County / Sergent, Letcher County

The Kentucky Four
Start Year : 1890
This dance group performed with Orpheus McAdoo's Minstrel and Vaudeville Company in the late 1890s when the company was located in Australia. Their performances were written about in the Freeman newspaper in the U.S. The dance group members were Katie Carter, a vernacular dance specialist; Muriel Ringold; Amon Davis; and Aaron Taylor (Master Livers). Katie Carter also danced in the South Before the War production. According to J. Malone, author of Steppin on the Blues, p. 60, Carter's buck and wing dancing helped establish the dance form as a major attraction in black shows. For more see Out of Sight: the Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895, by L. Abbott and D. Seroff.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Australia

Kentucky, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872 @
Start Year : 1865
End Year : 1872
"These records include letters and endorsements sent and received, account books, applications for rations, applications for relief, court records, labor contracts, registers of bounty claimants, registers of complaints, registers of contracts, registers of disbursements, registers of freedmen issued rations, registers of patients, reports, rosters of officers and employees, special and general orders and circulars received, special orders and circulars issued, records relating to claims, court trials, property restoration, and homesteads." [source: Kentucky, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872." Images. FamilySearch. : 14 June 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication M1904. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.]


*Browse all Historical Records Collections @, including Freedmen Bureau Records for other states, and U.S. Freedmen Bureau Records in general.

Subjects: Freedom, Resources Dedicated to Kentucky African Americans [Statewide]
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Gambling Law, Negroes
Start Year : 1836
Gambling with cards and dice greatly increased following the American Revolution. Every state had passed laws to curtail gambling, particularly among the "lower classes" where such vices were thought to create theft, idleness, and other immoral indulgences. In 1836, the Kentucky penal code was amended to include gambling between Whites and African Americans. "Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, That all persons hereafter gulity of playing with a free Negro, mulatto or slave, any game at cards, or with dice, or any other game whatever, whereby money or property is won or lost, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined therefore, at the discretion of a jury, a sum not exceeding fifty dollars, upon the presentment of a grand jury." From Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, December Session, 1836, Chap. 430-AN ACT to amend the Penal Laws, 305-306. See also, P. D. Jordan, "Lady Luck and her Knights of the Royal Flush," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, vol. 72, issue 3, pp. 295-312.
Subjects: Gambling, Lottery
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Harmony Singers, [Housewife Training School] (Fulton, KY)
Start Year : 1923
End Year : 1936
The Kentucky Harmony Singers, from Fulton, KY, a women's quintet led by Mrs. Louise Malone Braxton (an educator, lecturer, and female bass singer), sang in churches and traveled throughout the country for several weeks at a time, performing Negro spirituals, and southern plantation and jubilee songs. The group's travels took them to Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nebraska, Missouri, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, Indiana, New York, Wisconsin, Canada, and Mexico. The performances were initially a fund-raising effort for the building of the Housewife [or wives] Training School for Colored girls and women, located in Fulton. The school taught the students how to be good wives, including the art of homemaking. Four of the singing group members were students; funds from their later performances were used to pay for a dormitory and industrial department. There was no admission charge for the performances, but a "free-will offering" was collected at the end of each program. The group became a favorite at African American churches, and they continued performing for several years at not only churches but also at social functions held by such groups as the Kiwanis, the YMCA, the Ladies Aid Society, and the Exchange Club. Articles about the group first appeared in Illinois newspapers in 1923, and for the next 13 years there were announcements and articles in an array of town newspapers. In the 1930s, they were singing as a quartet to audiences with close to 1,000 in attendance. Louise M. Braxton, who was credited with founding five schools, was a graduate of Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University]. She was described as being of French, Indian, Scotch Irish, and Negro descent. For more see "Mrs. Louise Braxton and Company please," Waterloo Evening Courier, 12/01/1923, p. 6; "Harmony Singers in concert here," The News-Palladium, 07/26/1929, p. 6; "Concerts are featured in two churches," The News-Palladium, 09/22/1930, p. 4; photo and caption, "Kentucky Harmony Singers here Sunday," The Piqua Daily Call, 02/21/1931, p. 10; and "Harmony quartet render concert," The Richwood Gazette, 11/19/1931, p. 1. See also the NKAA entry for African American Schools and students in Fulton County, KY.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Fulton, Fulton County, Kentucky

Kentucky Historical Society Publications
This website includes a list of recent articles featuring African American topics in the Kentucky Historical Society publications The Register and Kentucky Ancestors.  Contact the Kentucky Historical Society about additional articles and information on ordering articles.
Subjects: Genealogy, History
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Home Society for Colored Children (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1908
End Year : 1937
Charles Henry Parrish, Sr. was the founder of the Kentucky Home Society for Colored Children, and in 1909, Mr. O. Singleton was the superintendent. After a few months, Singleton was replaced by Parrish. In 1910 the Kentucky General Assembly passed an act for the benefit of the organization: "...the sum of five thousand dollars per annum payable annually, for the benefit of the Kentucky Home Society for Colored Children...." The sum was raised to $10,000 per year in 1912 and $15,000 in 1920. The home was located at 825 S. Sixth Street in Louisville. Some of the children, described as "defective" and "hard to place," were housed in the buildings at the former Eckstein Norton school in Cane Springs, KY. The Sixth Street location was managed by Bessie Allen at some point when blues singer Mary Ann Fisher was one of the children at the orphanage. The care of the children and the condition of the facilities were always in question. In 1937, the state funding was withdrawn, and the Home Society was reorganized with the children being removed and placed in boarding homes under a state-employed supervisor. A newly created section for colored children was developed in the Division of Child Welfare of the State Department of Welfare. In 1938 a consultant from the Children's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor was loaned to the Kentucky Division of Child Welfare to conduct a study of resources for the care of Colored children, followed by a conference of representative Negro citizens held in Louisville to discuss the results. For more see Acts Passed at the ... Session of the General Assembly, Chapter 34, Published 1910, J. Bradford, printer to the Commonwealth [available full view at Google Book Search]; Child Welfare Services Under the Social Security Act [.pdf] by the U.S. Department of Labor, Children's Bureau, Title 5, part 3, Development of Prograrm 1936-38, Bureau Publication No.257 [available online]; Other sources...Box 12 Kentucky Home Society for Colored Children 1936-38 at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives; and Chapter V, "Kentucky Home Society for Colored Children" in Child Welfare Work in Louisville, by W. H. Slingerland [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Kentucky: Inequities in Graduation Rates for Black Males [data portal]
Start Year : 2003
Since 2003, the Schott Foundation for Public Education has investigated public education opportunities for Black males in the United States. There is a separate report for the state of Kentucky. Contact the Schott Foundation for Public Education for additional information.
Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Jubilee Singers
Start Year : 1870
The chorus was probably formed in the mid-1870s but may have existed prior to that. The group toured around the country singing spirituals, and, unlike other jubilee groups, survived at least until the 1890s. In 1928, Forbes Randolph organized an eight-man chorus by the same name; the group was used in a stage production, made film shorts and recordings, and toured in Australia and Europe until the beginning of World War II. Arthur J. Gaines was one of the group members. A trio from the group, known as Day, Dawn, and Dusk, continued to perform until the 1950s. For more see chapter 7 of Lost Sounds: blacks and the birth of the recording industry, 1890-1919, by T. Brooks; and "The Kentucky Singers" in Under the Imperial Carpet edited by R. Lotz and I. Pegg, pp.157-163. *Songs performed by Forbes Randolph's Kentucky Jubilee Singers can be heard on the album, Church Choirs, Gospel Singers and Preachers Vol. 2 (1925-1955), availabe in African American Song, an online listening service by Alexander Street Press.
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Australia / Europe

Kentucky Land Grants, African Americans
Start Year : 1782
End Year : 1924
The Commonwealth of Virginia issued land grants to settlers in the western Virgina area that is today known as Kentucky. The land was transferred to individuals through a process called patenting, and the final document of purchase was the patent deed. The Virginia series of the Kentucky land grants were issued before 1792. After Kentucky became a state, June 1, 1792, the land grants were issued in the Old Kentucky series by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Land warrants included treasury, state, county, and military warrants issued to soldiers as payment for service in the French-Indian War and the American Revolutionary War. There were a few free African Americans who owned patent deeds, such as Free Frank who had 50-200 acres in Pulaski County from 1826-1827, Free Jack with 8 acres in Pulaski County in 1856, and Colored Man Jim with 17 acres in Taylor County in 1858. For more see Kentucky Land Grants by W. R. Jillson; and see Kentucky Land and Property, a FamilySearch website. Contact the Kentucky Land Office / 700 Capital Ave., Ste. 80 / Frankfort, KY 40601 / (502) 564-3490.
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky Land Grants, Slavery in Kentucky, Sources
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Pulaski County, Kentucky / Taylor County, Kentucky

Kentucky Members of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB)
The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters was founded in 1976 with the headquarters in Washington, D.C. Taken from the NABOB website: "NABOB has two principal objectives: First, to increase the number of African-American owners of telecommunications facilities, and second, to improve the business climate in which we operate. The overall objective is to maximize the potential for financial success through providing advocacy resources and information in critical business areas including, advertising sales, station acquisition, financing, and federal broadcast regulation." The majority of the members are located on the eastern side of the United States, including 11 NABOB members that were in Kentucky: one in Latonia, two in Lexington, and eight in Louisville. The NABOB conducts workshops, compiles statistics, lobbies and provides legal representation for minority ownership policies, and the organization holds an annual Communications Award Dinner.
Subjects: Radio, Television
Geographic Region: Latonia, Kenton County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Kentucky Minority Artists Directory 1982
Start Year : 1982
This directory was the result of a cooperative effort between the Renaissance Development Corporation, the Kentucky Arts Council and others. It was the first official documentation of minority artists in Kentucky. Kendrick Moore conducted a statewide survey to locate as many artists as possible for the publication. The first Minority Artists Conference in Kentucky was held in 1982. Available in the University of Kentucky Libraries' Lucille Little Fine Arts Library and Young Library reference collections: N6538.N5 K450 1982.
Subjects: Directories
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Negro Bar Association
Start Year : 1908
The Negro Bar Association of Kentucky was founded in August 1909. Several African American attorneys came together at the YMCA in Louisville, KY, and elected Albert S. White from Louisville as president, J. W. Schooler of Lexington as vice president, W. H. Wright of Louisville as secretary, H. P. Alexander from either Winchester or Louisville became assistant secretary, and J. W. Head of Hopkinsville was named treasurer. The Association had the endorsement of J. G. Jones of Chicago, President of the National Negro Bar Association, and Booker T. Washington. The National Negro Bar Association had been established in 1908, and in October 1909, Albert S. White was named president of the association. One of the goals of the national organization was to have branches in every state, and the Kentucky Negro Bar Association was one of the first branches. For more information about other nominations see "Colored Attorney's Association," Lexington Leader, 08/19/1909, p.2; and "Kentucky to Have Colored Bar Association" on page 116 in Law Notes [available online at Google Book Search]; "National Negro Bar Association," Baltimore Afro-American, 10/23/1909, p.3.
Subjects: Lawyers, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal
Start Year : 1916
End Year : 1952
The publication is also known as KNEA Journal and informally known as the Negro or Black Education Journal. The journal covers African American education in Kentucky prior to integration. Full-text access is available to the public - from the 1916 Proceedings through vol. 23 (1952) - via the Kentucky Digital Library - Journals. Paper copies of the journal issues are also available at CESKAA, Kentucky State Univesity. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA)
Start Year : 1877
End Year : 1956
The organization was formed when State Superintendent of Public Instruction H. A. Henderson gathered 45 Negro educators and trustees to form the State Association of Colored Teachers. In 1913 it was renamed the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA). This representative body of Kentucky's Negro educators was an influential lobbying group for education issues. Annual conferences were held in Louisville, KY. In response to desegregation, the organization was renamed the Kentucky Teachers Association, though it was still referred to in general conversation as KNEA. In 1956, KNEA was subsumed into the formerly all white Kentucky Education Association. KNEA was the predecessor to present day organizations such as the Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education. For more see The Kentucky Negro Education Association, 1877-1946 by H. C. Russell, Sr.; and the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal [available full-text via the Kentucky Digital Library and in paper at Kentucky State University Library]. For information on the prior education organization see Kentucky State Colored Educational Convention. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Negro Officers Commissioned at Fort Des Moines, Iowa
Start Year : 1917
In 1917, the Fort Des Moines, Iowa training camp became the first training camp established exclusively for Negro officers, most of whom had been civilians but also included those who were from the National Guard and U.S. Army, such as 1st Lieutenant Charles D. Young. The roster of officers is available in History of the American Negro in the Great World War, by W. A. Sweeney. Civilians from Kentucky who were commissioned officers were Harrison W. Black, Lexington; Charles C. Bruen, Mayslick; Lucian P. Garrett, Louisville; Jesse J. Green, Georgetown; Charles M. Hayes, Hopkinsville; Bush A. Hunter, Lexington; Maxey A. Jackson, [Marian] Marion; John W. Rowe, Danville; and Abram [Abraham] L. Simpson, Louisville.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky : Danville, Boyle County; Georgetown, Scott County; Hopkinsville, Christian County; Lexington, Fayette County; Louisville, Jefferson County; Marion, Crittenden County; Mayslick, Mason County

Kentucky Negro Press Association
Start Year : 1915
The Kentucky Negro Press Association was formed in 1915 with Ed Willis, of the Lexington News, as president, and Lee S. Brown as secretary. The association office was in Louisville, KY. The 2nd Annual Conference of the Kentucky Negro Press Association was held in Lexington, KY, in September of 1916. It was held on the grounds of the Kentucky Fair Association. The attendees were guests of the Lexington Colored Fair Association. An earlier Negro Press Association, Kentucky was formed in 1907. For more see a letter from the "Office of the Secretary, Kentucky Negro Press Association, Louisville, KY, October 23, 1915," Freeman, 10/30/1915, p.1; and "The Second Annual Session of the Kentucky Negro Press Association," Freeman, 09/09/1916, p.1.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Kentucky Press Association (Integration)
Start Year : 1946
End Year : 1964
The integration of the Kentucky Press Association (KPA) took 18 years, beginning April 1946, when the Louisville Defender newspaper applied for membership to KPA. The application was denied, and in June of that year the request was put before the full membership, and was again denied with only one dissenting vote. H. A. Browning, President of KPA, explained that the denial of membership was to keep all from being embarrassed during social events, since KPA was a social meeting organization. The KPA was integrated in 1964 after some of the larger newspapers threatened to terminate their memberships. For more see "Negro press barred," The New York Times, 06/30/1946, p.23; and "Kentucky Press Association" in The Kentucky Encyclopedia by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Racial Justice Act of 1998
Kentucky was the first state to pass a Racial Justice Act, March 1998. In capital cases, statistical evidence is allowed to show that race influenced the decision to seek the death penalty. If the judge determines that race was a factor, then the death penalty will be barred. The act is not retroactive. The bill came about after it was found that all of the African Americans on death roll were there for killing whites, but there were no whites on death row for killing African Americans. For more see The Advocate, vol. 20, no. 4 (July 1998) and SB 171.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Ridge, Nevada County, California
Start Year : 1851
The African American community at Kentucky Ridge, California, was NOT founded or populated by former slaves from Kentucky. The community was located in Nevada County, California, near Bidney Springs. It was established by Colonel William F. English, a former plantation owner from Georgia. In 1851, English moved with colleagues and slaves to California, where they were unsuccessful as quartz miners. The male slaves were then used as placer miners and the females became washer women. Colonel English died in 1853, and the slaves were eventually freed. For more see Blacks in Gold Rush California, by R. M. Lapp; and A History of Black Americans in California, a National Park Service website.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Kentucky Ridge, Nevada County, California

Kentucky Sickle Cell Disease Detection Act of 1972 - KRS 402.310-340
Start Year : 1972
In 1972, the National Sickle-Cell Anemia Control Act became law, and millions of dollars were authorized for state research, screening and counseling programs. The Kentucky Sickle Cell Disease Detection Act of 1972 went into effect January 1, 1973. The law required all newborn African American babies and African Americans applying for a marriage license to be tested for Sickle Cell Anemia. The Secretary for Health and Family Services was responsible for adopting the rules and regulations for the administration and enforcement of the law. The testing was to be confidential and the sample was to be sent to the Division of Laboratory Services, State Department of Health, or to an approved laboratory. As with other couples applying for marriage, the sample would also be tested for any other genetically transmitted disease that affected hemoglobin. If both members of the couple tested positive, then they were to receive genetic counseling from a doctor or to be referred to the Department of Health or an approved agency. Applicants could not be denied a marriage license due to the test results. Dr. Maurice Rabb, a member of the National NAACP, and others were opposed to the law. Dr. Rabb was present at the hearing held by the Kentucky Board of Health in January 1973, and he voiced his concern that the new law was targeted to one group of people when all people should be tested. Lyman T. Johnson was also present at the meeting, and he questioned whether the new law was an infringement on the rights of African Americans. In 1974, the testing of African American newborns was repealed. That same year, KRS 402.320, Kentucky Sickle Cell Disease Detection Act of 1972, Revised Statute, Section 1, was amended for the continued testing of African American marriage applicants. Blood tests are no longer required of any marriage applicant in Kentucky. The most recently Revised Sickle Cell Disease Detection Act of 1972 makes testing and counseling available to all marriage applicants. For more see Ky Acts ch. 122, sec. 1; Repealed 1974 Ky Acts ch. 273, sec.3; Ky Acts ch. 273, sec. 1; Kentucky Revised Statutes KRS Chapter 402.00; "Sickle Cell Law draws opposition," Sunday Herald-Leader, 01/28/1973, p. 50; and "Sickle Cell Testing Law now in effect," Lexington Leader, 03/16/1973, p. 10. For more about the nation-wide legislative attention suddenly given to Sickle Cell Anemia in the 1970s, see President Richard Nixon, "155 - Statement on Signing the National Sickle Cell Anemia Control Act," 05/16/1972, available online at; Patient in the Womb, by E. P. Volpe; and Backdoor to Eugenics, by T. Duster.
Subjects: NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Sickle Cell Anemia
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Slave Narratives
The memories of former Kentucky slaves were recorded as part of the 1936-1938 Federal Writers' Project, Slave Narratives: a folk history of slavery in the United States from interviews with former slaves - Kentucky Narratives. The title is available full-text online at Project Gutenberg and includes a brief glimpse of the lives of former slaves such as Eliza Ison, who lived in the African American community of Duncantown in Garrard County; George Scruggs of Calloway County, a slave of racehorse owner Vol Scruggs; and Reverend John R. Cox of Boyd County, minister of the Catlettsburg A.M.E. Church and also the city's first African American truant officer.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Military & Veterans, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work, Slavery in Kentucky, Sources
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Slave Servants, War of 1812
Start Year : 1815
End Year : 1815
George and Richard were two slaves listed among the Kentucky Soldiers of the War of 1812, compiled by M. S. Wilder, p. 262. Their rank is listed as 'servant' with the enlistment date February 8, 1815, to March 7, 1815. The men are listed under the heading 'Roll of Field and Staff, Francisco's Regiment of Kentucky Militia, War of 1812 - Commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel John Francisco."
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Slavery in Kentucky, Sources
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Slaves and Free Blacks, 1800
Start Year : 1800
G. Glen Clift, Assistant Secretary of the Kentucky Historical Society, compiled and published "Second Census" of Kentucky 1800, originally published in Frankfort, KY in 1954. The following quotation is taken from the title page: "A Privately Compiled and Published Enumeration of Tax Payers Appearing in the 79 Manuscript Volumes Extant of Tax Lists of the 42 Counties of Kentucky in Existence in 1800." Within the table on page VI is the following information: 739 free Colored and 40,303 slaves, and there is also a breakdown by county.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C], Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J], Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M], Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z], Slavery in Kentucky, Sources
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Slaves and Free Persons Not White, 1790
Start Year : 1790
In 1790, there were 11,830 slaves and 114 free blacks in the area known as Kentucky, according to the title Black Genesis: A Resource Book for African-American Genealogy, p116. Another source is the "First Census" of Kentucky 1790, compiled by C. B. Heinemann, published in Washington in 1940. The following quote comes from page 1. "It is a privately compiled list of tax payers appearing in the tax lists of all Kentucky counties which were established at the time of the First Federal Census." In Heinemann's work, the number of slaves are slightly higher: 12,430 slaves and 114 free persons who were not white. The following information comes from p.3.

  • Bourbon County:     6,929 whites,   908 slaves,
  • Fayette County:    14,626 whites, 3,752 slaves, 32 free persons
  • Jefferson County:    3,857 whites,    903 slaves,   5 free persons
  • Lincoln County:       5,446 whites, 1,094 slaves,   8 free persons
  • Madison County:     5,035 whites,    737 slaves
  • Mason County:        2,500 whites,    229 slaves
  • Mercer County:        5,745 whites, 1,339 slaves,   7 free persons
  • Nelson County:      10,032 whites, 1,248 slaves, 35 free persons
  • Woodford County:    6,963 whites, 2,220 slaves, 27 free persons

Subjects: Early Settlers, Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C], Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J], Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M], Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z], Slavery in Kentucky, Sources

Kentucky Slaves, Slave Owners, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes (composite search in NKAA)
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
This entry was created using a single keyword search for entries in the Notable Kentucky African Americans Database. The search was constructed to locate those entries with data on the number of slaves, slave owners, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes in Kentucky.  There are more than 100 search results.
Subjects: Slavery in Kentucky, Sources
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Speedway Incident
Start Year : 1928
In 1928, African American auto mechanic and racecar driver Charlie Wiggins was driving the pre-race qualifying lap at the Kentucky Speedway in Louisville, KY, when white fans protested: the Speedway was "whites-only." A mob broke through the protective fence around the track. Police officers held back the mob, and race officials ordered the Kentucky militia to arrest Wiggins for his own safety. The police quickly took Wiggins away in a paddy wagon. Wiggins was placed in a jail cell until nightfall, when he could slip out of town. A police report was filed stating that Wiggins was arrested for speeding. Wiggins would go on to win more races than any other African American racecar driver. For more see D. Hunt, "Brothers in pit, not on oval: a tale of Black drivers," The Philadelphia Tribune, 08/15/2003, vol. 119, issue 78, p. 2C; and For Gold and Glory: Charlie Wiggins and the African-American Racing Car Circuit, by T. Gould.
Subjects: Automobile Races, Race-car Drivers, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Kentucky State College, Integration of Football [Barry Coleman Moore]
Birth Year : 1946
Death Year : 2007
In 1964, Barry C. Moore became the first white player to sign an athletic grant-in-aid to play football at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. Moore was a graduate of Frankfort High School, where he was a star, playing three positions on the football team. At Kentucky State College, Moore played quarterback and halfback. He was the only white player on the team. Ellis Whedbee was the coach. The team played their first game against Fisk University in Nashville. Barry C. Moore graduated from Kentucky State College. He was born in Frankfort, KY, the son of Coleman E. Moore and Margaret Wiley Moore. Barry Coleman Moore died October 2, 2007 in Maryland [source: Social Security Death Index]. For more see "White youth gets grant to Negro college," Jet, June 11, 1964, p. 24; "Integration lease-lend in Kentucky," The Spokesman-Review, 12/21/1964, p. 8; and 'Reverse Play' within the article "Scorecard," in Sports Illustrated, 10/19/1964 [online]. See also NKAA entries for Betty Marie Ellis and Geraldine Cox Ogden, the first white students to apply for admission to Kentucky State College.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Football
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Kentucky State College, NCAA Membership
Start Year : 1951
January 1, 1951, Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] became the third Negro college to be admitted to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The school was granted full, active, and voting membership and was a member of the Mid-West Athletic Association. There were other Negro schools that belonged to the NCAA as allied members because their conference belonged to the NCAA, but the schools had no voting privileges. The Black colleges that were members with voting rights were Kentucky State College, Wilberforce State [now Wilberforce University], and Lincoln University of Missouri. For more see "News Release: Kentucky State College admitted to membership in N. C. A. A." p.42 within the file Kentucky State College (Frankfort), Louisville Municipal College, & West KY Vocational Training School (Paducah), part of The Claude A. Burnett Papers: The Associated Negro Press, 1918-1967, Part 3: Subject Files on Black Americans, 1918-1967, Series A, Agriculture, 1923-1966 -- Proquest History Vault.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Kentucky State College Players
Start Year : 1940
End Year : 1993
A brief entry about the Kentucky Players, a college theatre group, can be found in The African American Theatre Directory, 1816-1960, by B. L. Peterson. According to the author, the group produced some "excellent" plays between the 1940s and 1993, including Sleeping Dogs and A Woman's Privilege. For more information, contact Kentucky State University Library, Special Collections. To locate members of the Kentucky Players, see the Kentucky State University Thorobred yearbooks (most are online).


  See photo images of the Kentucky Players on p.53 in the Kentucky State University 1965 Thorobred yearbook.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Kentucky State College, Women's Basketball, 1981 NAIA Champion
Start Year : 1981
The Kentucky State College women's basketball team won the first NAIA Women's Basketball Title in 1981. The team defeated Texas Southern 73-67 for the championship in Kansas City, MO. At the end of the regular season, the Kentucky State team was ranked 7th among the 8 teams in the tournament; the Thorobreds had a pre-tournament record of 15-7 and an overall record of 21-7. The team members included Carolyn Walker, a 5'7" senior who was the tournament's most valuable player and was named First Team All-Tournament; she averaged 20 points and five rebounds per game during the regular season. Pam King, center, was a sophomore who stood 5'11"; she was named Second Team All-Tournament. Angelia Barnett, a freshman, was a forward standing 5'10"; she was named Second Team All-Tournament. Other team members included Paula Jennels, Felicia Jordan, Darlene Brown, and Rhonda Beauford. The team was initially coached by Cornieth Y. Russell, then replaced by Ron Mitchell, who was also the school's athletic director; he became the interim coach midway through the regular season after the head coach was removed. He was named NAIA Coach of the Year after the tournament. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Women's Basketball Tournament was established in 1981. To date, the 1981 win by the Kentucky State College Thorobreds is the team's only NAIA championship. KSC was the first HBCU (Historically Black College and University) and, so far, only HBCU to win an NAIA women’s basketball national championship. They were also the first women’s college basketball team in Kentucky to win a national championship [the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament started in 1982]. For more see "Kentucky State women win NAIA basketball crown," Jet, 04/09/1981, p. 52; NAIA website; NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Championship Records; E. Patton, "Reflecting on the past: KSU's 1981 women's NAIA championship team to be honored," State Journal (Frankfort, KY), 03/13/2013, reprinted in BSTM [Black Sports The Magazine] Special Edition, May 2013, vol. 5, pp. 4-5 [online .pdf]; and Kentucky State University website about the 1981 team’s recognition.

Subjects: Basketball, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Kentucky State Collegians
Start Year : 1938
End Year : 1976
The collegians were college dance bands, one of which was located at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. The Kentucky group, first called the Danny Williams Band of Chicago, had performed in 1938 for the Kentucky State Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, thanks to Mrs. Clarice J. Michaels, head of the school's music department. Michaels, a pianist and soprano, had been a member of the World Famous Williams Jubilee Singers, formed in 1904 by Charles P. Williams from Holly Springs, MS. C. P. Williams, who had migrated to Chicago, was the father of Danny Williams. Kentucky State Dean John T. Williams (no relation) persuaded President Rufus Atwood to enroll the Danny Williams Band members and allow them to become the school band for student and faculty dances. The contract stipulated performance payments for the band members from which school fees would be paid. Harvey C. Russell, Jr. president of the student council, became the group’s business manager. They performed on campus and throughout the state, including at white fraternity parties and dances at the University of Kentucky and at functions given by then Governor Happy Chandler. After a year, Kentucky State was no longer able to honor the contract because funding was tight, and Danny Williams and several band members left school. New student members were added to the group that then became known as the Kentucky State College Collegians. The band grew to include 16 members and continued performing until 1946, when John T. Williams was president of Maryland State College [now University of Maryland Eastern Shore] and the band members left to join him; they became the Maryland State Collegians. [Mrs. Clarice J. Michaels would also eventually move on to Maryland State.] One of the band members, Newman Terrell, returned to Kentucky to complete his studies, and he organized and led the new Kentucky State College Collegians. Both the group and the music department prospered; in 1962, the group was the third ranked jazz ensemble among small colleges, and President Carl M. Hill is credited with developing the school’s music department into an accredited program with 14 full-time music specialists. In 1976, several members of the Collegians left to form the group Midnight Star. For more see W. C. Swindell, "The Kentucky State Collegians," The Black Perspective in Music, vol. 15, issue 1 (Spring 1987), pp. 3-23; and Kentucky State University Archives. See photo images of the Kentucky State Collegians members in the Kentucky State University Thorobred yearbooks (most are online).


  See photo image of the 1958 Kentucky State Collegians, on p.63 of the Kentucky State University Thoroghbred yearbook.


Subjects: Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Chicago, Illinois / Holly Springs, Mississippi / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Princess Anne, Maryland

Kentucky State Colored Beautician's Association [Sarah E. Thomas]
Start Year : 1937
The first annual meeting of the Kentucky State Colored Beautician's Association was held in Lexington, KY, in 1937. Mrs. Sarah E. Thomas of Louisville was named president. Her beauty shop was located at 703 W. Walnut Street in Louisville, and she was manager of Madam C. J. Walker Beauty College at 707 1/2 W. Walnut, according to the 1937 Caron's Louisville (Kentucky) City Directory. For more see "Heads KY Beauticians," Baltimore Afro-American, 10/23/1937, p.8.
Subjects: Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Kentucky State Colored Educational Convention
Start Year : 1868
End Year : 1877
African Americans from Kentucky and neighboring states would come together at a number of meetings to plan for the educational future of the race. A convention had been held in 1868 in Owensboro, KY, where Marshall W. Taylor was named president. The 1869 convention was held in Louisville, KY, at Benson's Theater. Seven hundred delegates were in attendance with Reverend H. J. Young of Louisville serving as convention president. A convention was held in Fayette County in 1875, led by African American ministers and Reverend E. H. Fairchild, President of Berea College. The purpose of these meetings was not only to address educational needs but also to coordinate the issues and present them to the Kentucky Legislature to encourage better funding for Negro schools and teachers. The result was the development of the state-recognized Colored Teachers' State Association and the State Colored Educational Conventions, the first of which was held in Frankfort, KY, in 1877. The organization name would later become the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, and from 1916 -1929, the conventions would be recorded in the Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association. For more see Kentucky State Colored Educational Convention, held at Benson's Theater, Louisville, Ky., July 14, 1869; A History of Blacks in Kentucky: from slavery to segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas; Proceedings of the State Colored Educational Convention held at Frankfort, Kentucky, August 22, 1877; and Proceedings of the State Colored Educational Convention (1800s). See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Kentucky State Fair
"As most things were during the first few decades of Kentucky State Fair's existence, the event remained racially segregated. Various counties in the state had previously attempted to produce a "colored fair," but those were often one-time-only events and did not continue with much success." For more information about the history of the Kentucky State Fair and African Americans, see Kentucky State Fair Board Press Release, January 31, 2005; or contact the Kentucky State Fair Board.
Subjects: Colored Fairs, Black Expos, and Chautauquas
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky State University Homecoming, 1952
Start Year : 1952
The November 1, 1952 homecoming game at Kentucky State University (K-State) in Frankfort, KY, was the first interracial football game in the state. K-State's football team, coached by George "Big Bertha" Edwards, had all black members, and its opponent, the Taylor University football team from Upland, Indiana, had all white members. The K-State co-captains were Lorenzo Croft and Grant Dungee. In the second quarter K-State player James "Juicy" Glover scored the first touchdown, Dungee the second. During the second half, Jimmy Taylor scored on an 82-yard run, followed by consecutive touchdowns by Ted Wilson and quarterback Royal Starks. Kickers Gerald Hall and Jodie Concentine added the final points to make the score K-State 39, Taylor University 0. Years later, co-captain Lorenzo Croft donated his football sweater to The Center of Excellence for the Study of Kentucky African Americans (CESKAA). The game was covered in the Louisville Defender newspaper; a copy of the article is available in the K-State Archives clipping series of President R. B. Atwood Papers, Box 36, Folder 2. There was also a brief article in Jet, 11/06/1952, vol. III, issue 2, p. 31.
Subjects: Football
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Upland, Indiana

Kentucky State University (K-State)
Start Year : 1886
Originally named the State Normal School for Colored Persons, the school received funding from the Kentucky Legislature and opened in 1886. John H. Jackson, a Berea College graduate, was named president and charged with the mission of training Negro teachers for the state's Negro schools. For 20 years, Berea College, an integrated school, had been the main institution for the training of Negro teachers in Kentucky. At the new school, tuition was free to students who pledged to teach in Kentucky; four years later one quarter of the Negro teachers in the state were graduates of the State Normal School for Colored Persons. In 1890 the school became a land-grant college, and in 1902 the name was changed to Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons. After several additional name changes, references to race were removed in 1952 when the school became Kentucky State College. It was named Kentucky State University in 1973. In 1982 an additional mission was added with K-State aiming to become a major repository for the collection of artifacts, books, and records related to its history of educating black citizens; the Center of Excellence for the Study of Kentucky African Americans (CESKAA) houses that collection. Today, Kentucky State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges, and the school awards bachelor and associate degrees and the Master's of Public Administration degree. Kentucky State University is the state's Historically Black American College and University (HBCU). For more information about the history of the university see History of the Kentucky State Industrial College for Negroes [i.e. Kentucky Industrial College for Colored Persons] (thesis) by A. Edwards; Onward and upward: a centennial history of Kentucky State University, 1886-1986 by J. A. Hardin; Against the tide: a narrative of a century long struggle ...," by A. J. Heartwell-Hunter; and visit the Kentucky State University Library and Archives and CESKAA.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Kentucky State University Presidents, 1886-present
Start Year : 1886
Below is a list of the permanent presidents of what is today known as Kentucky State University (K-State), located in Frankfort, KY.  The information comes from an unpublished document, "Kentucky State University Presidents, 1886-Present," created by the Center of Excellence for the Study of Kentucky African Americans (CESKAA), no date; a copy of the document was sent from the Kentucky State University Library, Special Collections. For a list of the interim presidents, contact the Kentucky State University Library, Special Collections.

Subjects: Education and Educators, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Kentucky State University Yearbooks [online .pdf]
Start Year : 1916
The Kentucky State University (KSU) yearbooks are available online in .pdf (format), covering 1916 forward. Access to the individual volumes is provided by the KSU Special Collections and Archives Department. Both the yearbooks and KSU have gone through several name changes, so there are title variations. Kentucky State University is the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Kentucky. KSU is located in Frankfort, KY, the capital of the Commonwealth. Contact the KSU Library for additional information or questions about the yearbooks.
Subjects: Yearbooks [Online]
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Kentucky Superintendent of Public Instruction Day Books - Colored
Start Year : 1874
End Year : 1906
The Day Books document the financial transactions of the Kentucky Superintendent with county school administrators, including school commissioners, board officials, settlement of the school fund, and salaries paid. The books are also a source for documenting the counties with colored schools, including those schools located within the city limits but overseen by the county superintendent. See the Kentucky Department of Education's Superintendent of Public Instruction, Day Book - Colored, 1874-1892 and Superintendent of Public Instruction, Day Book - White / Colored, 1893-1906. See also the NKAA entries for African American Schools.
Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Kentucky

The Kentucky Union for the Moral and Religious Improvement of the Colored Race
Start Year : 1834
This organization was formed in 1834 with White members from several denominations in Kentucky; the members were referred to as the best religious leaders in the state. They were also referred to as the "Gradual Abolitionists" by author G. H. Barnes. The group's purpose was to provide religious and moral instruction to slaves and to support the gradual emancipation of slaves for colonization. Reverend H. H. Kavanaugh of Lexington was president, the ten vice presidents were from various parts of Kentucky, and the executive committee of seven members was located in Danville, KY, with Reverend John C. Young, Centre College, serving as the chair. The group produced a circular that was distributed to ministers of the gospel in Kentucky. In 1835, the group brought before the Kentucky Legislature the bill that called for the gradual emancipation of the slaves--the bill did not pass, losing but by a narrow margin. For more see The Religious Instruction of the Negroes. In the United States, by Charles C. Jones [available online at UNC Documenting the American South website]; The Evangelical War Against Slavery and Caste, by V. B. Howard; The Feminist Papers by A. S. Rossi; The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus, by American Anti-Slavery Society [available online via Project Gutenberg]; and The Antislavery Impulse, 1830-1844, by G. H. Barnes.
Subjects: Freedom, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky v Dennison (1861)
Start Year : 1859
End Year : 1861
This was the last of four major slave cases heard by the U. S. Supreme Count. The case involved Willis Lago, a free African American who lived in Ohio; in 1859 he had helped a slave named Charlotte escape from Woodford County, Kentucky, into Ohio. Charlotte's owner, C. W. Nuckols, filed an indictment against Lago, and the state requested, via Kentucky Governor Beriah Magoffin, that both Charlotte and Lago be returned to Kentucky. Lago was to be extradited to stand trial for seducing and enticing Charlotte to escape. Ohio Governor William Dennison refused to extradite Lago or Charlotte. The case went before the Supreme Court in 1861: Dennison was admonished, but there were no orders that Lago and Charlotte be extradited to Kentucky. "Taney ruled that interstate extradition was a matter of gubernatorial discretion, to be performed out of comity and good citizenship. This precedent remained good law until 1987." For more see Paul Finkelman "Slavery," The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, Kermit L. Hall, Oxford University Press, 2005; Oxford Reference Online; and Kentucky v Dennison 65 U.S. 66; 16 L. Ed. 717; 1860 U.S. LEXIS 376; 24 HOW 66.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Ohio / Woodford County, Kentucky

Kentucky Vagrancy Law [Ben Burton]
Start Year : 1899
In 1899, the Kentucky vagrancy law was ruled unconstitutional by Judge Scott in Richmond, KY. The law had been in effect for 30 years, allowing any person charged with vagrancy to be sold at auction for a predetermined number of years of servitude. [See the Aunt Charlotte and King Solomon NKAA entry.] In April 1899, the constitutionality of the law was challenged in court for the first time in the case of African American Ben Burton, from Richmond, KY. His lawyer, John H. Chandler, who was white, argued that vagrancy was a misdemeanor and not a crime. Also, the selling and enslaving of individuals was in violation of the 18th Amendment. Chandler, from Campbellsville, KY, was a new attorney who had been assigned to Burton's case by Judge Scott. After hearing Chandler's argument, Scott sustained the demurrer, and Ben Burton was released. The Kentucky vagrancy law was later repealed and replaced by a new law. For more see "A Young lawyer wins his first case and upsets a thirty year practice," Richmond Climax, 04/26/1899, p. 2; and History of Kentucky, by Kerr, Connelley, and Coulter [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Court Cases
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky

Kentucky Wesleyan University, 1957
Start Year : 1957
The All-American City Basketball Tournament was held at Kentucky Wesleyan College in 1957. On January 2, Iona was scheduled to play Ole Miss in the second game, but prior to the tipoff, Ole Miss Coach Bonnie Graham pulled his team off the floor because the Iona team had an African American player, Stanley Hill. As the Ole Miss players left the court, Hill stood in the middle of the floor feeling hurt and humiliated. Coach Graham had received a call from Mississippi Governor James P. Coleman ordering that Ole Miss not play any team that had an African American player. The Iona team was awarded a 2-0 forfeit. Later that night, Ole Miss players went to Hill's motel room and apologized. The forfeit was erased from the Ole Miss athletic records, making it look as if the team had never participated in the tournament. In 2001, Iona and Ole Miss were paired in the NCAA Tournament. Stanley Hill was flown to Kansas City to watch the game as a guest of Ole Miss; it was a gesture to heal a 44-year-old wound. Hill sat beside Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove. Iona lost the game 72-70. For more see "News and views; the night Ole Miss walked off the floor rather than play basketball against a team with a Black player," The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 04/30/2001, issue 31, p. 83; and "Former Iona basketball player honored as University of Mississippi gestures to heal racism," Jet, 04/02/01.
Subjects: Basketball
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Kentucky's Underground Railroad at KET
KET looks at the fugitive slave movement in this one-hour documentary.
Subjects: Freedom, Genealogy, History, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kersands, William "Billy"
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1915
Billy Kersands was a blackface minstrel performer and a vaudeville performer who was known for his comedy, dancing, singing, musical performances, and acrobatics. Kersands was about six feet tall and weighed near 200 pounds. He had a large mouth, which he filled with various objects during his stage performances. He was one of the most popular African American entertainers of his time. Kersands began as a minstrel performer in the 1860s. His exact birth location is not known, but has been given as Baton Rouge, LA. Though, in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, New York was listed as his birth location when Kersands was living in Louisville, KY, at the home of Carrie Jackson. Kersands was listed as Jackson's son-in-law. According to a newspaper article, Kersands had been a slave in Kentucky and was freed after the Civil War [source: Iowa State Reporter, 12/04/1878, p.8]. In 1895, Billy Kersands married Louisa Strong in Ascension, LA, and the couple would later own a vaudeville company. Billy Kersands performed with a number of groups, the Charles Hicks Minstrels, the Harvey Minstrels, Richards and Pringle's Georgia Minstrels, and others, including his own company Kersands' Minstrels, and Louisa and Billy Kersands' vaudeville company. Billy Kersands performed throughout the United States and in England for Queen Victoria. For more see by F. Cullen and et. al.; The Ghost Walks by H. T. Sampson; and Staging Race by K. Sotiropoulos.
Subjects: Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Key Newsjournal (newspaper)
Start Year : 2004
The Key Newsjournal newspaper was founded in 2003 by Patrice K. and LaMaughn Muhammad. The paper is published by LexTown Publications, a company also owned by the Muhammads. The newspaper, published biweekly, focuses on the African American population in Central Kentucky. Initially, the paper was available in Winchester, Richmond, Berea, Nicholasville, Frankfort, and Georgetown. The circulation region has expanded over the past five years. It is only the second of two newspapers in Lexington to focus on the African American community since the early 1900s. The other publication, Community Voice, ceased publication in 2001. In addition to the newspaper, Patrice Muhammad also has a radio show, Key Conversations, that is broadcast Sundays at 10 a.m. on Groovin 1580AM, also available online. LexTown Publications also publishes The Lexington and Central Kentucky Black Book, a resource directory. Patrice Muhammad is a native of Detroit, MI, and a graduate of Central State University. For more see R. Brim, "Paper to feature Black news," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/15/2004, Business section, p. C1; and the Key Newsjournal website.
Subjects: Businesses, Directories, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Radio, Migration South
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Keys, Martha Jayne
Birth Year : 1892
Death Year : 1975
Martha Keys, an evangelist, was the first woman to be ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1948. She had campaigned and introduced a bill to the AME General Conference for the ordaination of women in 1935 (and/or 1936) and again in 1940. In 1951, she was pastor of the Evangelical Rescue Mission at 2113 W. Walnut in Louisville, KY, according to Caron's Louisville (Jefferson County, KY.) City Directory. Keys was born in Mayfield, KY, the daughter of Thomas J. and Lizzie A. Keys. She earned her D.D. at Payne Theological Seminary in 1930. She was president of the West Kentucky Conference Branch for five years. In 1947, she had been pastor of five churches. She lived in Louisville, KY when she authored the one act, gospel drama titled The Comforter, which was copyrighted [D 22176] on April 12, 1933 under the name Evangalist Dr. Martha J. Keys Marshall. For more see Catalog of copyright entries, Part 1, Group 3, v.6, issue1, p.135 [available online at Google Book Search]; see Martha Jayne Keys in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Authors, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky / Louisivlle, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Kidd, Mae Street
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 1999
Born in Millersburg, KY, Kidd served the 41st district (Louisville) in the Kentucky House of Representatives, 1968-1984. She sponsored a resolution to ratify the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U. S. Constitution; legislation for low-income housing in Kentucky; legislation to make Martin L. King's birthday a state holiday; and much other legislation. Kidd was a graduate of Lincoln Institute. The Mae Street Kidd Collection is housed at Kentucky State University. For more see Passing for Black, by W. Hall and M. S. Kidd; Who's Who Among African Americans, 13th ed. Who's Who in American Politics, 1975-1998; and Rep. Mae Street Kidd, on the Women in Kentucky Public Service website. The Mae Street Kidd oral history recordings and transcripts are available online at the University of Louisville Libraries Digital Archives.
Access InterviewThe Mae Street Kidd oral history recordings and transcripts are available online at the University of Louisville Libraries Digital Archives.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Millersburg, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

The Kidnapping of Daniel Prue and John Hite
Start Year : 1858
Prue, 18, and Hite, 19, were tricked into following Napoleon B. Van Tuyl from Geneva, NY, to Columbus, OH, where they were to be employed at a hotel. Van Tuyl, about 21 years old, had been a clerk in a dry good store in Geneva. The three were traveling by train, and along the way, Van Tuyl met up with Barton W. Jenkins from Port Royal, KY, and Henry Giltner and George W. Metcalf from Carrollton, KY. Prue overheard Van Tuyl use an alias while discussing the sale of his two slaves, Prue and Hite. Prue also realized that the train had passed Columbus, and when he tried to get off at the next stop, he got into a scuffle with Jenkins. Prue escaped, and Jenkins and Van Tuyl went searching for him. Hite, unaware of what had taken place, remained on the train with Giltner and Metcalf and was eventually taken to Carrollton, KY, and put in jail for safe keeping. Van Tuyl arrived two days later, and Hite was sold for $750 to Jenkins; $200 was deducted for the Kentucky men's services in attempting to get Prue and Hite to Kentucky. A few days later, Jenkins sold Hite to Lorenzo Graves of Warsaw, KY, and Hite was locked away in Louisville, KY. When all parties involved realized that Van Tuyl had conned them, Hite was returned to New York. His release had come about thanks to the Geneva citizens who had persuaded New York Governor John A. King to send an agent to Kentucky to retrieve Hite. Van Tuyl fled to New Orleans, LA, where he was arrested and taken to Frankfort, KY, to stand trial for obtaining money by false pretenses. Van Tuyl was acquitted, but Kentucky authorities turned him over to the authorities in Geneva, NY, to stand trial for kidnapping. For more see M. C. Sernett, "On freedom's threshold: the African American presence in Central New York, 1760-1940," Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, vol. 19, no. 1 (Jan 31,1995), pp. 43ff.; and Geneva (N.Y.) Kidnapping Case in The Fugitive Slave Law and Its Victims, by S. May [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Slave Trade (U.S.)
Geographic Region: Geneva, New York / Columbus, Ohio / Port Royal, Henry County, Kentucky / Carrollton, Carroll County, Kentucky / Warsaw, Gallatin County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New Orleans, Louisiana / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Kimbley, George P.
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1996
Born in Frankfort, KY, Kimbley was the son of Ella and Luther Kimbley. He grew up across the street from the white family that had owned his parents during slavery. Kimbley was a World War I veteran, returning home from the war to become the oldest of a group of miners who helped form a union in District 31, the Calumet Region in Gary, Indiana. He was first to sign a Steelworkers Organizing Committee card in 1936. Kimbley was also the first African American to serve as chair of the grievance committee in basic steel. For more see Black Freedom Fighters in Steel, by R. Needleman; and George Kimbley in "Obituaries" in the Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/04/1996, p.C2.
Subjects: Migration North, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Gary, Indiana

King, Alfred D. W.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 1969
The youngest brother of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Alfred King was pastor of the Louisville Zion Baptist Church (1965-1968); it became the largest African American Baptist church in Kentucky. He founded the Kentucky Christian Leadership Council and assisted in the organization of the Committee for Open Housing's nightly marches in Louisville. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Kentucky African American Churches, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

King, Henry
In 1921, Henry King, aboard the horse Planet, was the last African American jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby until the year 2000 [Marlon St. Julien]. Henry King finished 10th in the 1921 Derby. Source: Black Winning Jockeys in the Kentucky Derby by J. R. Saunders and M.R. Saunders.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, Betting, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Kentucky

King, John
Birth Year : 1870
John King, born April 1, 1870, in Eminence, KY, was a horse trainer. In 1914 his permanent address was 460 Chestnut Street, Lexington, KY [source: U.S. Emergency Passport Application #660]. In October, 1914, King applied for an emergency passport at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna; he had come to Vienna in May of 1914 to work at a horse racing site in Kriau and wanted to remain in Austria for no more than six additional months. King was described on the application as a 44 year old black male who was 5'5" and partly bald. In 1900, John King and his wife Maria lived in Louisville, KY, where John was employed at the race track [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1910, he was employed at the trotting track in Shelby County, TN [source: U.S. Federal Census].
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, Betting, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Eminence, Henry County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Vienna, Austria, Europe

King, Norris Curtis
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1960
Dr. Norris Curtis King was the founder of Curtis King Hospital in Newnan, GA, and in 1941, the Rose Netta Hospital in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. King was born in Princeton, KY, the son of Dee and Nettie Metcalf King. The family of four moved to Cairo, IL, and lived on Poplar Street, according to the 1900 U.S. Census. Norris King completed high school in Cairo, and by 1910, his father had died and the family of three was living in Louisville, KY, on W. Chestnut Street [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Norris was employed as a presser in a tailor shop, and his brother Cassius was a roller in an iron foundry. By 1920, Norris and his mother lived in Nashville, TN, where Norris King was a student at Roger Williams University [source: U.S. Federal Census]. He continued his education and was a 1924 graduate of Meharry Medical School [now Meharry Medical College]. Norris King moved to Newnan, GA, where he opened his medical practice and later founded the Curtis King Hospital. His specialty was the prevention and cure of venereal diseases. While in Newnan, GA, Norris King met and married Rosa Mae Webb, who was a nurse. The couple had a daughter, and in 1929 the family moved to, Los Angeles, CA, where Dr. King founded the Rose Netta Hospital. It was said to be an interracial hospital because the employees were Negroes, Mexicans, Japanese and White assistants. While in California, Dr. King was also head of the Los Angeles Venereal Clinic and several other clinics. The first interracial blood bank was was established at the Rose Netta Hospital by the Red Cross in 1942. Dr. Norris C. King was the sponsor of the "Craftsman of Black Wings," a Negro aviator and student group seeking to become licensed pilots. Dr. King also owned and bred palomino horses on his ranch in Elsinore, CA. He was a member of the Palomino Horse Association and several other organizations, and he was a 33rd Degree Mason. He was a WWI veteran, and received a certificate of merit and selective service medal for outstanding work during WWII. Dr. Norris Curtis King died December 29, 1960 in Riverside, CA [source: California Death Index]. For more see Norris Curtis King on p.32 in Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition; "Dr. Norris Curtis King," Jet, 01/19/1961, p.17; "Dr. Norris Curtis King," J.A.M.A., 05/20/1961, p.143; and “Rose-Netta Hospital, L.A.,” Opportunity, 08/20/1942, p.429.
Subjects: Businesses, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, Betting, & The Derby, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Migration South, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Tailors
Geographic Region: Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky / Cairo, Illinois / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee / Newnan, Georgia / Los Angeles, California

King, Ron
Birth Year : 1951
Ron King, a 6'4" shooting guard, was born in Louisville, KY. He played high school ball at Central High School where he scored 44 points in the state title game against Ohio County in 1969 [source: C. L. Brown, "Central High back in the middle of things," Louisville Courier-Journal, 03/18/2008, p.C.1.]. The championship win gave Central High School its first state basketball title and Ron King was selected as Kentucky's Mr. Basketball. He chose Florida State University to play his college ball and scored 35.7 points while on the freshman team 1969-70 [NCAA did not allow freshmen to play on the school's regulation team]. King was an All-American Honorable Mention his sophomore year; he averaged 22.7 points per game. During his junior year, King averaged 17.9 points; he was 1st Team All-American. He took the Florida State University basketball team to their first NCAA Final Four; they lost in the championship game 81-76 to UCLA. In his final year at Florida State, six games into the season, King tore three ligaments in his left ankle when he stepped on another player's foot; he was out for the rest of the season. King was selected by the Golden State Warriors in the 4th round of the 1973 NBA Draft, and he was also selected by the Kentucky Colonels, an ABA team. He chose to play for the Kentucky Colonels and stayed a few months before going to play for the Golden State Warriors for a short period, then left and tried out for a few other teams, including a brief stint in Israel, and a return to the U.S. to play for the Kentucky Stallions before the team folded. Ron King returned to Louisville and became the Youth Director of the California Community Center. In 2005, Ron King's jersey was retired at Florida State University. For more see C. Ray Hall, "Headline: What's up with...? Ron King; Former Central star scores as youth director," Louisville Courier-Journal, 02/02/2004, p.E.1; D. Poore, "Trip to Florida State revived memories for Central's Ron King," Louisville Courier-Journal, 12/28/2009, Section: ZONE; and Ron King at
Subjects: Basketball
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Kirk, Andrew D. "Andy"
Birth Year : 1898
Death Year : 1992
Kirk was born in Newport, KY, and raised in Denver, CO. He was a mail carrier prior to joining George Morrision's jazz band in Denver, CO, in 1924. He organized his band, Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy, in Oklahoma City in 1929. Kirk's first recording was made in 1929, and he went on to acquire international fame. One of his more popular songs was Until the Real Thing Comes Along. He played in the major night clubs and ballrooms such as the Cotton Club in New York and the Tunetown Ballroom in St. Louis. Kirk died in New York according to the Social Security Death Index. For more see Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 7th-8th eds., revised by N. Slonimsky. View images and listen to I Lost My Girl From Memphis - Andy Kirk and His Twelve Clouds of Joy on YouTube.

Subjects: Migration North, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky / Denver, Colorado / New York

Kirtley, Edward
Death Year : 1910
It was reported in the Richmond Climax newspaper that Edward Kirtley was thought to be one of the first African Americans to commit suicide in Kentucky. Kirtley had previously been arrested for selling teachers' examination papers and was under $1,000 bail bond in Frankfort, KY. He was arrested a second time for jumping bail and is said to have committed suicide at the Lexington Police Station at about 2:30am on January 6, 1910; the cause of death is not listed on the death certificate that has Kirtley listed as a female. According to the article in the Bourbon News, Kirtley died from having ingested strychnine [source: "Negro Suicide," The Bourbon News, 01/07/1910, p.5]. Edward Kirtley was buried January 7, 1910 in Campbellsville, KY. He had been a student and later taught at the Richmond Colored School. Kirtley was a school teacher in Barbourville in 1908 [source: "Colored School," Mountain Advocate, 12/25/1908, p. 1]. For more see "First Negro Suicide" on p.5 of the Richmond Climax, 01/12/1910; "Suicide in Police Station," Leader, 01/06/1910, p.6; "The Colored school..." in the column "Local Loom" on p.3 of the Mountain Advocate, 08/07/1908; and Certificate and Record of Death Registered #15. 
Subjects: Education and Educators, Suicide
Geographic Region: Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Barbourville, Knox County, Kentucky

Kisner, Robert G.
Birth Year : 1940
Death Year : 2004
Robert G. Kisner, an obstetrician-gynecologist, was born in Lexington, KY, son of Robert O. and Thelma Jackson Kisner. The family moved to Pittsburgh, PA, where R. G. Kisner attended grade school and graduated from Schenley High School in 1959. He went on to earn his BS at Morgan State University and his MD at Meharry Medical College in 1969. Kisner returned to Pittsburgh where he was a staff member of the Magee Women's Hospital for 31 years. After completing his internship, Kisner opened his practice in 1973 in the East Liberty section of the city; he was the second African American obstetrician in private practice in Pittsburgh. Kisner was one of the first African American doctors in many areas of medical practice in Pittsburgh, including serving as the medical director of the Family Planning Council of Western Pennsylvania. For more see "Dr. Robert Garland Kisner," 04/01/04, a Post-Gazette website; "Robert Garland Kisner - doctor who promoted family planning," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 04/01/2004, Obituary section, p. C-17; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1977-2004.

Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Kleizer, Louisa and Mary (sisters)
The following information comes from the unpublished manuscript Tracking Free Black Women in Bourbon County: the Intriguing Case of the Kleizer Women, by Nancy O'Malley.


As part of a larger ongoing project to gather information about free people of color, particularly women, in Bourbon County, Kentucky, the existence of two sisters, Louisa Warren and Mary Malvina Kleizer, was uncovered. They owned property and were businesswomen in Paris and both sisters eventually “passed for white”. They are thought to be the daughters of Bourbon County blacksmith Henry Kleizer, who  died intestate in 1836, probably on his farm of 147 acres on the Iron Works Road. The inventory of his estate included “1 Negro woman and 2 children” valued at $800. On July 4, 1836, Henry’s father, John Kleizer, acting on his son’s request, freed the woman, 42 year old Jude, an African American, and her two mulatto daughters, 14 year old Louisa Warren, and 12 year old Mary Malvina. Sadly, Jude died of cholera in 1849.


On May 29, 1850, Louisa and Mary Kleizer purchased a house and lot on Main Street in Paris, KY, for $800 from William and Catherine P. Duke. The lot was part of in-lot 14 near the corner of Main and Mulberry (now 5th) Streets. The property corresponds to 428 Main Street where the City Club is now located. Louisa's 8 year old daughter named Ellen Burch, a mulatto, lived with the two sisters. When they were censused in 1850, Louisa was 24 years old and was not listed with an occupation nor could she read or write. Mary was 22 years old, also without an occupation, but was able to read and write. Ellen Burch had attended school during the year.


George W. Ingels, a white stable keeper, began a relationship with Mary Kleizer that resulted in the birth of four children by the next census in 1860. The two sisters, under the spelling of Cliser, are listed as living together in Paris and working as confectioners. Their real estate had increased in value to $1400, split between them, with a combined personal worth of $1000. Mary’s children included Jennie Elizabeth aged 8, Louisa aged 5, George W. aged 3, and Mollie aged 1.


In 1867, Mary and George moved with their children to Cincinnati, Ohio, leaving Louisa Kleizer and Ellen Burch in Paris, KY. Williams’ 1868 Cincinnati Directory listed George W. Ingels as a partner in the firm Arnold, Bullock & Co. James L. Arnold, Thomas L. Arnold, W.K. Bullock and George W. Ingels were wholesale grocers, commission merchants and liquor dealers at 49 W. Front Street. In the 1869 directory, George was associated with J. L. Arnold in a coal dealership under the firm name of Arnold & Ingels. George W. Ingels appears in the 1870 census for Cincinnati, Ohio, living with Mary who assumed his surname as did their children. Mary and her children are all identified as mulatto in this census. Two more children, Hiram, aged 8, and Birchie (a nickname for Burch), a daughter aged 5, had been born in Kentucky since the last census.


In the 1870 census, Louisa Kleizer is a notions and fancy goods merchant in Paris, KY, and her daughter Ellen Burch was working as her clerk. The 1860 census indicated that Louisa had married within the year, but no evidence was found to indicate that she had a husband. She is not listed with a husband in 1870.


In October of 1880, George and Mary Ingels sold Mary’s half-interest in the Paris Main Street property to Louisa Kleizer for $900. Louisa was living by herself by this time and was listed as a widow without an occupation. No record of any marriage was found in the Bourbon County records for Louisa Kleizer.


In the 1880 census record, Mary is still listed as mulatto, all of her and George’s children are listed as white. The family lived on Hopkins Street and was still living there in 1890. Mary and George Ingels lived in Cincinnati for the rest of their lives. By 1900, they were living on Wesley Avenue just a few blocks from their former home on Hopkins Street. The census taker incorrectly spelled their name as Engalls. George reported that he was 76 years old, born in February of 1824 and married for 47 years. He was a landlord. His wife Mary was identified as white rather than mulatto. She was 75 years old, born in February of 1825.


George W. Ingels died on July 23, 1901 and was buried in the Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. His “wife” followed him in death on May 24, 1907 and was buried beside him. [They could not have been legally married while in Kentucky since interracial marriage was prohibited, and they may never have formally solemnized their relationship. Interracial marriage was not legalized in Ohio until 1887. No marriage record has been found for George and Mary Ingels although they clearly considered themselves married.] All of their children remained in Cincinnati and were buried in the family lot at Spring Grove Cemetery.


Louisa Kleizer’s whereabouts are unknown between 1881 when she purchased an easement along an alley on one side of her property on Main Street in Paris, KY, and December 17, 1902 when she died in Massachusetts. Limited evidence suggests that she left Paris and moved to Springfield, Massachusetts where her daughter, Ellen Burch, was living with her husband, a white man named Charles Knight, and their children. After the Civil War, he worked as an armorer at the U.S. Armory until his death at age 65 on August 9, 1904.


Ellen, who went by the name Ella, also crossed the boundary between white and black. Her husband was a New Hampshire native who fought in the Civil War with a New Hampshire company and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for meritorious conduct at the Battle of the Crater. Charles and Ella had three daughters, Clara Louise born in February of 1879, Sarah Elizabeth born in July of 1880, and Laura Gertrude born in July of 1883.


No record was found for Louisa Kleizer in the 1900 census in either Bourbon County or Massachusetts. Her death date was discovered in a deed that was filed when Ella Knight and her daughters sold Louisa’s property on Main Street in Paris, KY, in 1910. The deed stated that Louisa Knight had died intestate in Springfield, Massachusetts “about four years” earlier. The place of Louisa’s death was incorrect in the deed; she actually died in Northampton about 15 miles north of Springfield but was buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Springfield. Louisa's daughter, Ella M. Burch Knight, died in 1932, and she and her family are also buried in Oak Grove Cemetery.


Louisa’s death record confirms that her father was Henry Kleizer; her mother’s name is recorded as Julia rather than Judith with the surname Johnson.


Sources: website


Bourbon County deed books, County Clerk’s office, Paris, Kentucky

Samuel B. Kleizer to Henry Kleizer, July 20, 1833, Deed Book Z, p. 616.

William and Caroline P. Duke to Louisa and Mary Kleizer, May 29, 1850, Deed Book 44, p. 332.

George W. and Mary Ingels to Louisa Kleizer, October 27, 1880, Deed Book 65, p. 54.

Charles Henry and Louisa Singer to Louisa Kleizer, need date, Deed Book 65, p. 363.

Ella M. Knight, Clara Louise Knight, Sarah Elizabeth Knight, and Laura Gertrude Knight to W.W. Mitchell and William Blakemore, February 19, 1910, Deed Book 96, p. 330.


Bourbon County manumission book, County Clerk’s office, Paris, Kentucky, deed of emancipation from John Kleizer to Jude and her daughters, Louisa Warren and Mary Malvina, July 4, 1836.


Historical Census Browser, 2004, Retrieved 13 November 2013, University of Virginia, Geospatial and Statistical Data Center:


Inventory of Henry Kleizer, Bourbon County Will Book K, p. 204, June 14, 1836, County Clerk’s office, Paris, Kentucky


Federal censuses, Bourbon County, Kentucky and Hamilton County, Ohio; various years


Find-A-Grave website for George W. Ingels family website


Paris True Kentuckian, October 4, 1871 issue (Original at the Bourbon County Citizen/Citizen Advertiser office in Paris)


Sanborn Insurance maps, Kentucky Digital Library website


For more information contact

Nancy O'Malley, Assistant Director

William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and

Office of State Archaeology

1020A Export Street

University of Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky 40506

Ph. 859-257-1944

FAX: 859-323-1968
Subjects: Businesses, Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Mothers, Interracial Marriage and State Laws
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Springfield and Northampton, Massachusetts

Knight, David Lawson
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1922
In 1897, David L. Knight established the first transfer line in Louisville, KY, owned by an African American, and he claimed to be the first to hire an African American woman as bookkeeper and stenographer. The transfer business involved hauling freight for export or import, as explained by W. T. Garnett, a transfer agent in Louisville, KY. Knight was president of the Negro Business League of Louisville in 1909, the year that the National Negro Business League held its 10th Annual Convention in Louisville. Kentucky Governor A. E. Willson and Louisville Mayor James F. Grinstead [Greenstead] were on hand to welcome the association to Kentucky. David L. Knight was born in Kentucky, he was the husband of Fannie Terance. According to the U.S. Federal Census, by 1910, David L. Knight was a widower with three children: Robert (20), Leona (16), Josephine (18). Robert (1890-1926) was a teamster with his father's transfer business. The family lived on South 18th Street in Louisville, KY. Though he is listed in Caron's Dirctory of the City of Louisville, for 1923, p.2315, David Lawson Knight died October 9, 1922 according to death certificate registered# 3152. For more see p.21 in A History of Blacks in Kentucky by M. B. Lucas and G. C. Wright; C. B. Lewis, "Louisville and its Afro-American citizens," Colored American Magazine, vol.10, no.3-4, pp.259-265; see Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919: D. L. Knight, "Transfer Business" [frame 248], and W. T. Garnett, "Transfer Business" [frame 273] both at the 3rd Annual Convention, Richmond, Virginia, August 25-27, 1902, reel 1; and "First Day's Session," 10th Annual Convention, Louisville, KY, August 18-20, 1909, reel 2, frames 148-167.
Subjects: Businesses, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Negro Business League
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Knight, Etheridge
Birth Year : 1931
Death Year : 1991
Etheridge Knight was born near Corinth, MS and grew up in Paducah, KY. He was the son of Bushie and Belzora Knight, one of their seven children. He mastered the art of toast - a form of poetry that dates back to the 19th century and began writing poetry while serving an eight year sentence in Indiana State Prison, including Poems from Prison and Black Voices From Prison. Knight was a member of the Black Arts Movement. He was also a veteran and had been a medic in the Army during the Korean War. Knight was the husband of Sonia Sanchez, they divorced in 1972 and the following year Knight married Mary Ann McAnally. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed. Supp.; "Etheridge Knight" in Notable African American Writers; and Etheridge Knight, Jr. Papers at the Indiana Historical Society.

See photo and additional information on Etheridge Knight at the Poetry Foundation website.
Subjects: Authors, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Poets, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Corinth, Mississippi / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Knight, Mattye Breckinridge Guy
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 1986
Knight, a teacher, civic and community leader, and musician, is remembered for leading the drive to get new homes to replace those lost in the mudslide at Sanctified Hill in Cumberland, KY. Knight had also lost her home in the slide. She received a number of awards for her leadership, including a HUD award in 1979. Knight taught for more than 30 years in Franklin County, Lebanon, and Harlan County. She taught English, history and music in the public schools and was the minister of music, director of education, and a Sunday school teacher at her church. Knight also founded the Greater Harlan County Community Center. She was a graduate of Mayo-Underwood High School and Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], both in Frankfort, and Hampton Institute [now Hampton University] in Virginia. For more see J. Hewlett, "Mattye Knight Dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/28/1986, Obituaries, p. B15. Also see the entry Sanctified Hill, Cumberland, KY.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Communities, Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Sunday School, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Cumberland, Harlan County, Kentucky

Knights of Pythias Temple (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1893
Two African American Knights of Pythias lodges are listed in the 1893 Louisville City Directory. The Temple at 928-932 West Chestnut Street, built in 1914-1915 at a cost of $130,000, served as the Knights' headquarters and housed a drugstore, movie theater, offices, a restaurant, and hotel rooms for men. The ballroom on the sixth floor and the garden on the roof were used for parties and dances. In 1925, 25,000  attendees came to Louisville for the National Pythian Convention. In 1953, the building was sold to the Chestnut Street YMCA. The building, still in use today, is located across the street from the Western Branch Library. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The building also has a Kentucky Historical Marker (#1662). For more see marker #1662 in the Kentucky Historical Marker Database; and Black Heritage Sites: an African American Odyssey and Finder's Guide, by N. C. Curtis.
Subjects: Businesses, Civic Leaders, Fraternal Organizations, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association), Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Knott County (KY) Free Blacks and Free Mulattoes, 1900-1920
Start Year : 1900
End Year : 1920
Knott County, located in eastern Kentucky, was formed from portions of Perry, Letcher, Floyd, and Breathitt Counties in 1884. It is surrounded by six counties and was named for Governor James P. Knott, who was also a U.S. Congressman. The county seat is Hindman, founded in 1884, and named for the Lieutenant Governor James P. Hindman. The county population in 1900 was 8,776. Knott County was formed after Kentucky slaves were freed by the ratification of the 13th Amendment; therefore, below are the number of Blacks and Mulattoes for 1900-1920.

1900 U.S. Federal Census

  • 169 Blacks
  • 0 Mulattoes
  • All lived in the community of Carr, Knott County, KY.
1910 U.S. Federal Census
  • 143 Blacks [majority with the last names of Adams, Christian, Combs, Cowles, Francis, Hagans, or Williams]
  • 6 Coloreds [last names Adams, Cowles, Francis, or Williams]
  • 5 Mulattoes [all with last name Hagans]
  • All lived in Lower Carr, Knott County, KY, except two who lived in Troublesome, Knott County, Ky.
1920 U.S. Federal Census
  • 150 Blacks
  • 0 Mulattoes
  • All lived in Lower Carr, Knott County, KY.
  • About 8 Blacks and 2 Coloreds registered for WWI in Knott County, Kentucky.
For more see the Knott County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; History and Families, Knott County, Kentucky, Turner Publishing Company; and Community and Neighborhood Groupings in Knott County by M. D. Oyler.
Subjects: Communities, Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Knott County, Kentucky

Knox County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Knox County, located in southeastern Kentucky, was established in 1799 from a portion of Lincoln County and is surrounded by four counties. The county was named for Henry Knox, a bookseller from, Boston, MA, who would become the first Secretary of War. Knox County industries included mining and and the discovery of oil beginning in 1900. The county seat is Barbourville, established in 1800 and named for James Barbour, who gave the land for the city site. The 1800 county population was 1,109, according to the Second Census of Kentucky; 1,044 whites, 62 slaves, and 3 free coloreds. In 1830 there was one free African American slave owner in Knox County. The population increased to 7,218 by 1860, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 123 slave owners
  • 414 Black slaves
  • 198 Mulatto slaves
  • 56 free Blacks
  • 143 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 115 slave owners
  • 311 Black slaves
  • 179 Mulatto slaves
  • 62 free Blacks
  • 123 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 279 Blacks
  • 365 Mulattoes
  • About 40 U.S. Colored Troops listed Knox County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Knox County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; A History of Knox County, Kentucky, by K. S. Warren; Marriage Certificate Book (Freemen's Marriage Register), 1851-1867, from Knox County (KY) County Clerk; and Tax Assessment Books (1800-1892), from Knox County (KY) County Clerk.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Knox County, Kentucky

Kohler, Maximilian Philip "Maxie"
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1951
Around 1917, Maxie Kohler was living in Paris, Kentucky when his race was questioned in newspaper articles printed around the country. As it was retold in the newspapers, his story started when Maxie and his sister were placed in an orphan home in Cincinnati, OH. At the age of eight, Maxie and his sister were said to be adopted by landowner Nat C. Rogers of Bourbon County, KY. Nat Rogers supposedly died, and the children went to live with his son, Roseberry Rogers. After Roseberry Rogers' death, his family members told Maxie Kohler that he was a Negro and should live with other Negroes on the farm, which he did. During the years of transition, Kohler lost track of his sister. He moved to Paris, KY, and owned a successful bricklaying business. He married and had two children, they were all recognized as Negroes in the Paris community. This was said to be the life of Maxie Kohler, until his long lost sister placed an ad in a Cincinnati newspaper seeking the whereabouts of her brother. Kohler is said to have answered the ad and he and his sister started corresponding by mail. His sister lived in Oklahoma and was unaware that Maxie had been told that he was a Negro. She sent her brother pictures of their parents and had other relatives send letters to Maxie to help convince him that he was white. Though, when Maxie Kohler's sister and other family members learned that he was married to a Negro woman and they had children, and that Maxie intended to stay with his wife and children, all correspondence ended. In 1917, Kentucky law forbid the marriage of Negroes and whites, and according to Maxie Kohler's story in the newspapers, he was in a bit of a quandary. - - [Sources: "Racial tragedy victim," The Milwaukee Journal, 07/01/1917, p.2; "Marries Negress; learns he's white," Arizona Republican, 07/25/1917, p.5; R. Montgomery, "Shall I defy law or break up my home?," The Day Book, v.6, no.237, 07/06/1917, p.14; and "Twenty-eight years Negro discovers he is white," Negro Year Book 1918-1919, 5th edition, pp.113-114]  


The Maxie Kohler story was not the first of an interracial marriage in Kentucky, nor would it be the last. Kohler's story, as told in the newspapers, has a bit of untruth. His notoriety, whether intended or unintended, was short-lived. There is no mention as to how the story came to be published in the newspapers. There are no sources given in the newspaper articles; no quotes from Kohler, or his sister or other family members, or from anyone in the Rogers family. It should be noted that Nat C. Rogers (1841-1920) was still very much alive when Maxie Kohler, his wife Mary B. Embry Kohler, and their first two children were living in Paris, KY in 1917 [source: Nat C. Rogers' death certificate, File No.13002, Registered No.89]. Maxie Kohler and his sister could very well have been placed in an orphanage in Cincinnati, OH, by their parents, and were later adopted (in some sense of the word) by Nat C. Rogers and lived with the Rogers family in Bourbon County, KY, where Maxie was told that he was Negro. All of which would have made for a more challenging life for a young man trying to find his place in the world, though his life was far from a tragedy and there didn't seem to be a question of what to do.   


Based on government documents, the following is known about Maximilian Philip Kohler:  He was born in Cincinnati, OH to Max and Eva Kohler on June 4, 1883 [source: Kentucky Death Certificate State File No.11000, Registrar's No.81]. By 1900, he was listed as "white" in the census record, that particular year he was living with the Leu family in Ruddles Mills [Bourbon County], KY, and was employed as a servant [source: U.S. Federal Census, name misspelled as "Max Cohen"]. He is listed as "mulatto" in the 1910 census, and he had been married to a Black woman for 3 years; their names are misspelled as "Macks Cola" and "Malinda Cola" [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The couple lived on Higgins Avenue in Paris. Other information on the census record was that Max Kohler (Sr.) was born in Germany and Eva Kohler was born in Ohio. Several years later, Maximilian Philip Kohler is listed as "white" on his WWI Draft Registration Card signed September 7, 1918. He was still married to Mary Kohler and had a bricklaying business, and the couple live on Paton Street in Paris, KY. In 1940, Max and Mary Kohler were still married and they had had five children [source: U.S. Federal Census; and the Kentucky Death Certificate for Johnson Kohler, File No.10533-22, Registered No.62]. The Kohlers owned their home on West Street in Paris, and Max was employed on a farm. Their daughter Elizabeth was employed as a student worker via the NYA. Everyone in the family is listed in the census as "Negro." Max and Mary Kohler were married until the end. According to his Kentucky Death Certificate, State File No.11000, Registrar's No.81, Max Kohler died as a "colored" man on June 18, 1951. His funeral arrangements were handled by the Negro funeral home owned by Hitch & Cunningham, and Max Kohler is buried in the "Negro" cemetery, Cedar Heights.   


Members of both the Max and Mary Kohler family, and the Nat C. Rogers family, still live in Bourbon County, Kentucky. 


Subjects: Interracial Marriage and State Laws
Geographic Region: Cincinnati, Ohio / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky


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