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Narratives of Fugitive Slaves (literature influence)
Start Year : 1845
In 1849, The Christian Examiner recognized the narratives of fugitive slaves as a new and marketable addition to American literature; it also provided an early analysis of the potential impact and influence of African American literature. Five authors were noted: Frederick Douglass (pub. 1845), Henry Watson (pub. 1848), and Kentucky authors William W. Brown (pub. 1847), Lewis and Milton Clarke (pub. 1848), and Josiah Henson (pub. 1849). The biographies were expected to have a major effect on public opinion because it was the beginning of an era of more widely-produced book-formatted literature from the voices of those who had been enslaved. The books were translated into European languages and sold overseas. William W. Brown's book had sold more than eight thousand copies in 1848, and Frederick Douglass' went through seven editions before it went out of print. The first slave narratives were written in the latter half of the 1700s and gained wider recognition beginning in the 1840s. The five mentioned narratives, and many others, are available full-text online at the UNC Documenting the American South website. For more see The Christian Examiner and Religious Miscellany, 4th Series, vol. 12 [available online at Google Book Search]; and Slave Narratives and Uncle Tom's Cabin at the PBS website.
Subjects: Authors, Freedom, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky

National Afro-American Council
Start Year : 1898
End Year : 1907
The first meeting of the National Afro-American Council was held in Rochester, NY, in 1898. It was the first national civil rights organization in the United States, and served as an umbrella organization with local or state branches. The group was led by Bishop Alexander Walters, from Kentucky, who was elected president from 1898-1902. The Council had been co-created by Timothy Thomas Fortune, both he and Walters were members of the unsuccessful National Afro-American League. Fortune was elected the second president of the National Afro-American Council and served until 1904, when he resigned, and Kentucky native William Henry Steward, the vice president, completed his term. Walters was re-elected in 1905 and served until the organization closed in 1907. The annual meetings of the National Afro-American Council were held in large cities, they met in Louisville, KY, in 1903. Women members were also welcomed; Ida B. Wells-Barnett served as the first secretary. The Council campaigned for an anti-lynching law and voting rights for African Americans in the South. For a more complete history of the National Afro-American Council see E. L. Thornbrough, "The National Afro-American League, 1887-1908," The Journal of Southern History, vol.27, issue 4 (Nov., 1961), pp.494-512; and A. Shaw, "The Origins of the Niagara Movement: The Afro-American League and the Afro-American Council" a paper presented at the Association for the Study of African American Life and History in Buffalo, New York, 08/31/2009. See also The National Afro-American council, organized 1898 : A history of the organization, its objects, synopses of proceedings, constitution and by-laws, plan of organization, annual topics, etc. : Comp. by Cyrus Field Adams, secretary ... in the "Pamphlets from the Daniel A. P. Murray Collection 1818-1907", a Library of Congress website
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights
Geographic Region: United States

National Archives
The National Archives include all documents and materials relating to the business of the U. S. federal government. Within the collections is the African American Research page as well as online veterans and military records searchable by race and geographic location, including county. A search of the World War II Army Enlistment Records, using the terms "Kentucky Negro," results in more than 25,000 records, one of which is that of Easly B. Green, born in 1918, a geographer from Bourbon County who enlisted in 1942. Within the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) is the 1917 picture of Negro draftees in Lexington, KY. There is much more -- visit the National Archives website. The National Archives is located in College Park, Maryland.
Subjects: National Resources
Geographic Region: Kentucky / College Park, Maryland

National Association of Colored Fairs
Start Year : 1921
In 1921, James A. Jackson (1878-1960) began his push for the establishment of the National Association of Colored Fairs. Jackson, who was born in Pennsylvania, had performed in minstrels and was a journalist and promoter. He believed that a national fair association would strengthen and financially benefit fair officials, park owners, theater owners and managers, and Black communities. Jackson also proposed that the national fair association be affiliated with the National Negro Business League. As editor of the Negro Department of Billboard magazine, he compiled the first directory of colored fairs, which included fairs in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Colored fairs had been held in Kentucky since shortly after the end of the Civil War. In a 1922 Billboard editorial, Jackson gave attendance statistics for the major fairs. The National Association of Colored Fairs was chartered at a meeting in Norfolk, VA, in 1922. The organization was a subsidiary of the National Negro Business Men's League. For more see "The National Association of Colored Fairs" in Pages from the Harlem Renaissance, by A. D. Hill. For more on James A. Jackson, see his entry in the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Subjects: Colored Fairs, Black Expos, and Chautauquas, Negro Business League
Geographic Region: Kentucky / United States

National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN)
Start Year : 1908
End Year : 1949
The National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN) was founded in 1908 by Martha M. Franklin, and the first annual meeting was held in Boston in 1909. Members were nurses who had graduated from a training program. In 1918, the U.S. Secretary of War authorized a call to Colored nurses to come into national service. Nurses registered with the American Red Cross Society were allowed to render service to Colored Army enlistees. Colored nurses were assigned to six base hospitals, including Camp Taylor in Louisville, KY. By 1940, there were 94 professional Colored nurses in Kentucky (graduates and students): 91 women and three men. In 1949, Mrs. Alida C. Daily was president of NACGN when the national conference was held in Louisville, KY. It was during that meeting that NACGN accepted the suggestions presented by the American Nurse's Association (ANA) that it assume responsibility of NACGN and that the association be integrated. The NACGN archives were placed in the New York Public Library. For more see p. 378 of Scott's Official History of the American Negro in the World War, by E. J. Scott [available full-text on Google Book Search]; M. K. Staupers, "Story of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses," The American Journal of Nursing, vol. 51, issue 4 (Apr., 1951), pp. 222-223; E. M. Osborne, "Status and contribution of the Negro nurse," The Journal of Negro Education, vol. 18, issue 3 (Summer 1949), pp. 364-369; "New York Library receives NACGN documents," The American Journal of Nursing, vol. 54, issue 5 (May 1954), pp. 546-554; and No Time for Prejudice, by M. K. Staupers.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Nurses
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools, and Kentucky
Start Year : 1903
End Year : 1966
In 1907, the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools (NATCS) was established from the National Colored Teachers Association, an organization started in 1903. The association's goal was to promote higher ideas, better teaching methods, and cooperation between teachers to adapt education to community needs. In 1908, the 5th Annual Conference of the NATCS was held in Louisville, KY, June 24-26, hosted by the State Association of Teachers of Colored Schools, and the Teachers' Association of Louisville. The conference sessions were held in the white high school. Berea College President William G. Frost asked for and received a place on the program to discuss the "New Berea" [what would become Lincoln Institute]. Albert E. Meyzeek, from Louisville, would later serve on the Executive Committee of NATCS. In 1934, Kentucky native Francis M. Wood was elected president of NATCS and he established a permanent office in Washington, D.C. The following year, the elected president was Rufus E. Clement, Dean of the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes in Louisville, KY. In March of 1937, the 4th regional NATCS meeting was held in Cincinnati, OH, and included Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, and Tennessee. Later in 1937, the NATCS name was changed to American Teachers Association, and in 1966 it was merged with the National Education Association. Long before the establishment of the NATCS, in Kentucky the State Association of Teachers in Colored Schools had been formed in 1877 by Kentucky Superintendent H. A. Henderson. W. E. B. DuBois considered the Kentucky association the strongest among the top five state colored teachers associations. The name of the Kentucky organization was changed in 1913 to the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA). In 1920, NATCS President John M. Gandy visited the state organizations in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania, while outlining the annual NATCS meeting that was to be held in Baltimore, Maryland. KNEA would follow the structure of NATCS in establishing departments, one example being the Parent Teacher Association. Members of KNEA were encouraged to join the NATCS via ads in the KNEA Journal. In 1926 a resolution was adopted by the KNEA membership for a delegate from each of the KNEA departments to become an affiliate with the the corresponding department of NATCS. For more see "National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools" on p.171 in Negro Education, v.1, Bulletin 1916, No.38, by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Education; see the NEA-ATA Joint Committee web page; see the following three articles - "Join the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools" an ad on p.18, "Resolutions reported and adopted, April 24, 1926" on p.19, and "The Parent Teacher Association..." on p.7 of the Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 21-24, 1926; see W. T. B. Williams, "The National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools" on pp.423-424 in The Southern Workman, January 1908, v.37; Efforts for Social Betterment Among Negro Americans by W. E. B. DuBois; "The New Berea," Cleveland Gazette, 07/18/1908, p.3; "Educators meeting," Washington Bee, 05/29/1920, p.1; "NATCS Regional Meet," Cleveland Gazette, 03/27/1937, p.1; and R. E. Clement, "II. Richard Robert Wright," Phylon, vol.9, no.1, 1st Qtr., 1948, pp.62-65.

Access Interview Read the Herbert Hoover message to the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools, July 28, 1931, at the American Presidency Project website.
Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Washington, D. C.

National Colored Press Association/American Press Association, 1881-1909; National Negro Press Association, 1909-1939
Start Year : 1881
End Year : 1939
The first organizational meeting of African American editors and publishers was held in Louisville, KY, in 1881. The next two meetings, held in Washington, D.C., resulted in the formation of the National Colored Press Association. In 1887 the organization's annual meeting was again held in Louisville, the proceedings covered by the Courier Journal, beginning August 9. The organization's name was eventually changed to American Press Association (APA). John "J.Q." Adams, from Louisville, KY, was the first president of the APA. The APA became defunct, and in 1909 the National Negro Press Association (NNPA) was organized, and its first convention was held in Louisville. Members were African American editors and journalists coming together to strengthen the influence of the African American press. The Negro Business League had inspired the association, which became an affiliate member of the league. In 1940, the National Negro Press Association was coming to an end when the National Newspaper Publishers Association (also NNPA) was established. For more see The Negro Press in the United States, by F. G. Detweiler; A History of the Black Press, by A. S. Pride & C. C. Wilson II; the National Newspaper Publishers Association website; and "Minutes of the Twenty-Ninth Annual Session of the National Negro Press Association Held in Louisville, KY, April 11-14, 1928," available in the Black Culture Collection, by Micro Photo Division, Bell & Howell Co., 1972.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Negro Business League
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

National Colored Teachers' Agency, Louisville, KY
Start Year : 1928
At the end of the 19th Century, teacher employment agencies developed in the United States, and in 1914, the National Association of Teachers' Agencies (NATA) was formed by the National Education Association (NEA), which was segregated. The NATA members were school-related agencies only; membership was not open to commercial teachers' employment agencies. All of the agencies had the dual role of finding employment for educators and directing employers to the best educators. African American teachers belonged to the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools (NATCS), founded in 1904. Predating NATCS was the development of the commercial colored teachers' employment agencies in the late 1800s. The agencies flourished around 1915 when numerous agency ads could be found in issues of the Crisis. Around 1930, the number of ads and agencies was greatly reduced with the onset of the Great Depression. In June of 1930, Marion C. Davis sent a letter to the Crisis inquiring as to where she might find a colored teachers' agency or bureau; it had been a while since there were agency ads in the Crisis [read digital image of letter online]. The colored teachers' employment agencies were independent of one another and had slight name variations, such as the Interstate Colored Teachers' Agency in Richmond, VA; the Southern Colored Teachers' Agency located in Dallas, formerly the Texas Colored Teachers' Agency; the Colored Teachers' Agency in Washington, D.C., one of the oldest agencies; and the Colored Teachers' Agency in Alabama. In 1928, the National Colored Teachers' Agency in Louisville, KY, was located at 632 W. Walnut Street. This particular agency was a division of the National Teachers' Agency in Louisville. Jesse B. Colbert (1861-1936) was the general manager of the colored division. Colbert placed ads in publications such as the Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association that read, "Now is the time to enroll for a position for the next school term. We secure positions for teachers in any state in the Union desired."-- [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, issue 04/18-21/1928, p. 19]. Jesse B. Colbert was an agent for the colored division of the National Teachers' Agency while also an employee of the National Employment Bureau in Louisville [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville]. The National Employment Bureau was a free employment service provided by the government. The National Colored Teachers' Agency was a business that charged fees. It is not known how long the National Colored Teachers' Agency existed in Louisville. See also the NKAA Database entry Colored Bureau of Education, an earlier teachers' employment agency in Frankfort, KY.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Employment Services
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

National Convention of Colored Men of America, and Kentucky
Start Year : 1843
In 1843, the first National Convention of Colored Men of America was held in Buffalo, New York, attended by hundreds of freemen and escaped slaves from throughout the United States. The convention was also referred to as the Colored National Convention. The purpose of the organization was to bring together forces to end slavery and fight for African Americans' human rights. The convention was held in Louisville, KY, in September 1883. Frederick Douglass was president and Henry Scorff was a vice president, representing Kentucky. A digital copy of the text of the 1883 convention program is available at the Library of Congress website. See also "Frederick Douglass" at the Louisville Free Public Library, Western Branch website.

Access Interview
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

National Underground Railroad Museum (Maysville, KY)
Start Year : 1994
The National Underground Railroad Museum opened in 1995 and is located in the Bierbower House at 38 West Fourth Street in Maysville, KY. For more information contact the National Underground Railroad Museum.
Subjects: Genealogy, History, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

National Youth Administration (Kentucky)
Start Year : 1935
End Year : 1943
The National Youth Administration (NYA) was established in 1935 by order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. NYA was a division of the Works Progress Administration by way of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act. The Depression had drastically impeded the education and employment of more than 20 million young people. NYA provided student aid work funds for the part-time employment of persons between the ages of 16 and 25 to help them continue their education and enhance their employability and to help them develop constructive leisure activities. The Division of Negro Affairs, headed by Mary McLeod Bethune, oversaw the participation of Negro youth. Financial support and staffing were to be at the same percentage as the percentage of Negroes in a given state, though in reality the support was much less. The Kentucky NYA Office was located in Louisville at 9th and Broadway, with Robert K. Salyers as director. There were district offices in Madisonville, Louisville, Lexington, and Paintsville. Theodore E. Brown was State Supervisor of Negro Activities. For the program year 1936-37, there were 415 Negro college students who received NYA aid at Kentucky State Industrial College for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University], West Kentucky Industrial College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College], and Louisville Municipal College for Negroes [now merged with University of Louisville]. Funding for graduate students was administered by the Washington Office, and Negroes from Kentucky could apply for out-of-state assistance. (There were no in-state graduate programs in Kentucky for African Americans.) High school and elementary students received up to $6 per month for their work, and for the program year 1936-37, there were 1,265 Negro youth of Kentucky employed through the NYA school aid program. Participants who were out of school were certified members of relief families, and they were employed in projects such as sewing, carpentry, construction and repair work on schools and public property, child care, and recreation. There actually was not much done in the area of recreational opportunities for Negroes: projects were established for supervised play leaders at playgrounds and at nursery schools and recreational education institutes were held to train participants. The projects were located in Louisville, Covington, Bowling Green, Winchester, and Paducah. Some of the crafts and toys made by the NYA youth were given away at the Community Christmas Tree, and others were showcased at the NYA exhibit displayed during the KNEA meeting in Louisville. The recreation work was often cited as having decreased delinquency. In 1938, Harvey C. Russell, Sr. was the state NYA Supervisor of Negro Activities in Kentucky, see his online article at the Kentucky Digital Library - Journals: Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, vol. 9, issues 1-3 (January-February 1938), pp. 47-50; see also "N. Y. A. offers employment opportunities for state youth," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, vol. 13, issue 2, pp. 29-31. For more detailed information see Negro Youth and the National Youth Administration in Kentucky, by T. E. Brown; W. G. Daniel and C. L. Miller, "The Participation of the Negro in the National Youth Administration Program," The Journal of Negro Education, vol. 7, issue 3, (July 1938), pp. 357-365; and National Youth Administration for Kentucky: Basic Information on NYA Workers in Kentucky by the NYA Work Project. National Youth Administration images are available online at Google.

Subjects: Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, National Resources, Works Progress Administration (WPA) / Work Projects Adminstration (WPA), National Youth Administration (NYA)
Geographic Region: Kentucky

NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Game, Coming South
Start Year : 1958
End Year : 1981
In March of 1958, the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship finals were held in Louisville, KY, at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, Freedom Hall. In the final game, the University of Kentucky (UK) defeated Seattle University 84-72. Elgin Baylor, one of the African American players on the Seattle team, was named the MOP (Most Outstanding Player) of the tournament. Baylor was also the 1958 No.1 NBA draft pick by the Minneapolis Lakers that became the Los Angeles Lakers in 1959. Elgin Baylor was an outstanding basketball player. The 1958 NCAA Championship in Louisville was his last college game and it had been played in front of an all-white audience of 18,803 spectators [source: D. Raley, "Where Are They Now? John Castellani, Seattle U basketball coach." Seattle pi, 03/27/2007 (available online)]. In 1958, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) was still within the early stages of the integration of basketball teams. For example, in 1958, Mississippi State did not participate in the NCAA Tournament due to the school's policy of not competing against racially integrated sports teams. Mississippi State did not allow African American athletes on any sports team. Mississippi State was not the only school with such policies. Integrated college basketball tournaments had been taking place since 1948 with the team at Indiana State Teachers College [now Indiana State University], the team was coached by John Wooden. In 1947, Wooden's team had received an invitation to the NAIB Tournament (National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball), but the team could play only if their African American teammate, Clarence Walker, did not participate in the games. Coach Wooden declined the NAIB invitation. The following year, the NAIB reversed its decision to ban African American players [source: K. Abdul-Jabbar, "One sport, two games" in ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia, pp.12-19]. Two years later, in 1950, both the NIT (National Invitation Tournament) and the NCAA reversed their ban on African American basketball players. Though the national basketball organizations had lifted the race restrictions in reference to basketball players, and there were a few African American basketball players on NCAA teams in 1958, the change did not address games played before segregated audiences. In 1958, the University of Kentucky basketball team had no African American players and would not have any until 1969. During the 1957-1958 basketball season, UK had no ban that prohibited the team from competing against teams with African American players. Though, the seating in Memorial Coliseum, the home basketball stadium, was segregated with lower level seating off limits to African Americans [source: see M. Fields, "Legendary Lexington basketball coach S. T. Roach dies at 94," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/03/2010 [online]. The NCAA site selection committee was very much aware of integration and segregation rules at the member schools and the segregation rules in reference to public access to tournament sites in the various geographic locations. During the years that the NCAA had race restrictions in place, the finals tournament had never been held in the south or in Kentucky which was often referred to as a border state. During the first 20 years of the NCAA Championships, there had been seven finals held in Kansas City, MO, between 1940 and 1957, and the tournament locations were no further south in either the west or the east. Oklahoma State University was the first most southern team to ever win the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship in 1945 and 1946. The final games were played in New York City, NY. Other southern teams with championships for the first time were the University of North Carolina in 1957; University of Texas El Paso in 1966; North Carolina State University in 1974; and the University of Florida was the first Deep South team (minus Texas) to win an NCAA Men's Basketball Championship in 2006, the game was played in Indianapolis, IN. The team won the championship again in 2007, the game was played in Atlanta, GA. Almost 50 years prior to that championship, the 1958 NCAA Championship played in Louisville was the first step toward holding the finals in the south. Perhaps Louisville was selected because the city had been thought of as a transition point where the north becomes the south and the south becomes the north. A few examples are the segregated bowling tournaments that didn't come any further south than Louisville prior to the 1940s; in 1915 the Interracial YWCA Conference, and the YWCA Subcommittee Conference on Colored Work held their first southern conferences in Louisville; and beginning in the late 1800s, with interstate travel on trains, and later on Greyhound Buses, the stop in Louisville meant that African American passengers had to move to the Jim Crow car of trains and move to the back of buses [sources: E. Guess, "The Struggle makes you strong," in All We Had Was Each Other by D Wallis, p.47; and "The Color Line," in Life Behind a Veil by G. C. Wright, p.50-76]. In the 1950s, civil rights and equal opportunity efforts were being championed and challenged in Louisville. In 1951, Louisville Municipal College for Negroes was integrated into the University of Louisville; in 1953, the segregated Louisville Greyhound Bus Station waiting area was challenged by an African American man; in 1954, the General Hospital School of Nursing had started to integrate after the election of a new mayor in Louisville; and in 1956, the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA) was subsumed into the previously all-white KEA (Kentucky Education Association). The KNEA had kept a close tie to Louisville where the annual KNEA conference had been held for more than 50 years. Change was happening in Louisville, but not in a riotous manner, and the 1958 NCAA Tournament went off without a hitch. There were no headlines questioning why there had been an all-white audience at Freedom Hall. In 1959, the NCAA basketball finals were again held in Louisville before an all-white audience, and in the final game, the University of California, Berkeley, defeated West Virginia University [source: "Louisville is site of NCAA series," The Spokesman-Review, 08/31/1958, p.5]. There were no African American players on either team. Jerry West, on the West Virginia team, was named the tournament MOP. NCAA tournament finals continued to be held in Louisville: 1962, 1963, 1967, and 1969 [source: NCAA Men's Basketball Championship History website]. During the first 40 years of the NCAA Men's Basketball Finals Tournament, 1939-1979, the furthest south the finals were held was in Los Angeles, CA (1968); Houston, TX (1971); and Atlanta, GA (1977). It was after 1981 that more southern cites were selected as the site for the finals. For more information see The Encyclopedia of the NCAA Basketball Tournament by J. Savage; Benching Jim Crow by C. H. Martin; and Elgin Balor by B. C. Bayne. 


  See University of Kentucky athletic publication promoting the 1958 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship in Louisville, KY. Publication online at Explore UK.  


  See photo image of play in the 1958 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game between University of Kentucky and Seattle University.

Subjects: Basketball
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Neal, Gerald A.
Birth Year : 1945
Gerald A. Neal, elected to represent Senate District 33 (Jefferson County), is the first African American man elected to the Kentucky Senate. He was first elected in 1990 and has since been consecutively re-elected. Other than Senator Georgia Powers, Neal has served longer than any other African American member of the Kentucky General Assembly. Neal earned his undergraduate degree from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and his JD from the University of Michigan, then attended graduate school at the University of Michigan. For information on Senator Neal's recent voting record, see Kentucky by USA Votes, Inc.; for additional background information on Senator Neal see Project Vote Smart or contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.

See photo image of Senator Gerald A. Neal at Kentucky Legislature website.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Neal, Homer Alfred, Sr.
Birth Year : 1942
Homer Alfred Neal, Sr. was born in Frankfort, KY. He is a graduate of Indiana University and a two time graduate of the University of Michigan, earning his Ph.D. in physics in 1966. He was the 2003 recipient of the the Edward A. Bouchet Award for his contributions to experimental high energy physics. Neal is a professor at the University of Michigan and has served as chair of the Physics Department and as Interim President of the University. He has also served on a number of other organization boards. A joint resolution appointed Neal a Citizen Regent on the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institute. In 2007, it was announced that Michigan University physicists, including Homer Neal, had made a significant contribution toward the discovery of a new particle, Cascade b (Xi-b) baryon. For more see T. Davis, "Physics: U-M physicists contribute to new particle discovery," Ann Arbor News, 07/02/2007, p. C1; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1977-2006.

See photo image of Homer Alfred Neal, Sr., about mid-way down the webpage of the NMAAHC.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Physicists, Researchers
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Flint, Michigan

Neal, Sterling Orlando, Sr.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1977
Sterling Neal Sr. was born in Cleveland, OH, and made his home in Louisville, KY. He was the son of Robert and Anna Harper Neal. In 2003, Sterling O. Neal Sr. was selected for the Hall of Fame at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. He had been employed at the International Harvester Co. and in 1952 was elected the international vice-president and district president, and a member of the general executive board of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). Neal represented more than 300,000 workers in the United States and Canada. He had previously been the president of the UE District 7, representing Kentucky and Ohio. He was the first African American elected district president. Neal was also a civil rights activist in Louisville, KY, he was a mentor and associate of Anne Braden. He served as Grand Knight of the St. Augustine Council 58, Knights of Peter Claver. As president of District 7, he spoke before a U.S. House agriculture committee about the farm crisis that was causing high unemployment in the farm equipment industry. He asked for action from the U.S. Government to reverse the crisis. In 1957, Neal was called to testify before a U.S Senate committee about Soviet activity in the U.S., and Neal was accompanied by James T. Wright, his attorney. Exhibit No.475, a periodical article written by Neal, was presented as evidence during the hearing: S. O. Neal, "Unity pays off - everyone benefited when Negro and White workers stuck together at Louisville Harvester Plant," March of Labor, September 1953, p.9. Sterling Neal, Sr. was the father of Kentucky Senator Gerald Neal. For more see SR 42 in Memory and Honor of Sterling Orlando Neal, Sr., 05/30/1997 [online];  "Union Leader" in Plaindealer, 02/29/1952, p.2; "Long range farm program," Hearing before the Committee on Agriculture, House of Representatives, 83rd Congress, 1st Session, held at Columbus, OH, October 20, 1953, Serial R, pt.10, p. 1525; and "Scope of Soviet activity in the United States," Hearing before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Acts of the Committee of the Judiciary United States Senate, 85th Congress, 1st Session, June 6, 1957, pt.68, p.4206. The government publications research for this entry was completed by UK Librarian Carla Cantagallo.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Migration South, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Cleveland, Ohio / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Neblett, Charles D.
Birth Year : 1941
Charles D. Neblett was a founding member of the group known as "The Freedom Singers." The quartet performed at the 1963 March on Washington, and decades later Neblett was one of the performers in the "Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement," an event that took place in 2010 with President Obama in attendance. The Freedom Singers formed in 1962 in Albany, GA, as part of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The original members were Cordell Reagon, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Charles Neblett (bass), and Ruth Mae Harris. Charles Neblett had been active in civil rights demonstrations in Cairo, IL before he joined The Freedom Singers in Albany, GA. Once the group was formed, they performed throughout the U.S., raising money for SNCC and educating communities about civil rights efforts. The original group broke up in 1963 and there were other members who continued to perform under the group name.  Read more about The Freedom Singers at the New Georgia Encyclopedia website. Years later in Russellville, KY, Charles D. Neblett became the first African American magistrate, and he led in establishing the Logan County and Warren County Human Rights Commission. He is also a founder of the annual Martin L. King, Jr. March and the King Celebration that takes place in Logan County. For more information see "Charles D. Neblett" at the Hall of Fame 2010 website by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.


  See the Charles D. Neblett interviews within the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Oral History Project.


 Access Interview  Listen to the program "The Inspiring Force of 'We Shall Overcome' from NPR, by Noah Adams, 08/28/2013.


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Albany, Georgia / Cairo, Illinois / Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky

Negrito (in Kentucky)
Birth Year : 1896
This entry was added in response to the reference question, "Were Negro jockeys in Kentucky descendents of Negrito slaves brought to Kentucky prior to 1865?"  No evidence has been found at this time to support the idea that Negro jockeys in Kentucky were descendents of Negrito slaves.


In 1896, there was an article written about a "Negrito" in Kentucky. The article, "The Pygmy in the United States" by Dr. James Weir, was published in Appleton's Popular Science Monthly, May-October 1896, v.49, pp.46-56. No name is given in the article for the man being referred to as a "Negrito." He was said to have been born in Bayou la Têche, LA, and was 50 years old when he was brought to Kentucky by his old mistress who was not named in the article. The man was said to be 4 feet 9 inches tall, and there are two pictures of him in Dr. Weir's article. The term "Negrito" is a Spanish word for "little Negro" or "little black person." The term has been used in reference to ethnic groups throughout the world, but in particular to populations in isolated areas of Southeast Asia. "Negritos" have been characterized as less than five feet in stature, with dark skin, and wiry, bushy, or tightly curled hair. For more than a century, the racial, cultural, and biological origins of persons defined as "Negritos" has been debated and analyzed by researchers such as Dr. James Weir, Louis Lapicque, David P. Barrows, R. Bennet Bean, and Clarissa Scholes et al. There are hundreds of journal articles and books written about populations in various geographic regions who are referred to as "Negritos," though not in Kentucky. There are also a number of newspaper articles about "Negritos" in Southeast Asia, including about 35 articles in Kentucky newspapers found in Kentucky Digital Library dated from 1896-1920. For more about Louis Lapicque see his entry in the Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography, 2008, v. 8, pp.29-30. See D. P. Barrows, "The Negrito and allied types in the Philippines," American Anthropologist, July-September 1910, v.12, no.3, pp.358-376; R. B. Bean, "Types of man in the yellow-brown race," American Journal of Anatomy, March 1925, vol.35, no.1, pp.63-80; Clarissa Scholes et. al. "Genetic diversity and evidence for population admixture in Batak Negritos from Palawan," American Journal of Physical Anthropology, September 2011, vol.146, no.1, pp.62-72; and see I. Arenillas and J. A. Arz,  "Hominid Descriptions" on pp.13-25 in the 21st Century Anthropology; a reference handbook by H. J. Birx, 2010.
Subjects: Race Categories
Geographic Region: Bayou la Teche, Louisiana / Kentucky

Negro Boy Scouts
Start Year : 1916
On July 31, 1916, the first official Boy Scouts Council-promoted Negro Troop was formed: Troop 75 in Louisville, KY. It was not the first troop of Negro Boy Scouts; five years earlier, in 1911, the first Negro Boy Scouts Troop was established in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. By the late 1920s, there were over 200 all-Black troops, with more than 500 Scouts in Louisville. For more see Historical Boys' Uniforms, United States Boy Scout Uniforms: 1920s, by Christopher Wagner; and The History of the Boy Scouts of America, by W. D. Murray.
Subjects: Scouts (Boys and Girls)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Negro business directory and fair souvenir: a miniature list of trades, businesses and professions among the Negroes of Lexington, Kentucky
Start Year : 1899
[Lexington, Ky.] : Standard Printing Co., 1899. Housed in the University of Kentucky Special Collections Library Rare Books: call no. F459.L6 N4560 1899.
Subjects: Businesses, Colored Fairs, Black Expos, and Chautauquas
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Negro Business League (Kentucky)
Start Year : 1916
In 1916, the state of Kentucky did not have a state Negro Business League but did have thirteen chartered local leagues: Bowling Green (J. R. Vass, chair); Covington; Danville (John W. Bate[s], chair); Frankfort (T. K. Robb, chair); Owensboro (Dr. R. B. Bell); Paris (Dr. J. W. Mebane, chair); Lawrenceburg (J. K. Stovall, chair); Georgetown (Manlius Neal, chair); Hopkinsville (E. G. Lamb, chair); Lexington (Dr. W. H. Ballard, chair); Louisville (W. H. Stewart, chair); Winchester (Rev. H. D. Coleaire, chair); and Madisonville (P. R. Cabell, Jr., chair). For more see Negro Year Book: An Annual Encyclopedia of the Negro, 1916-1917 [full view available via Google Book Search].
Subjects: Businesses, Negro Business League
Geographic Region: Kentucky: Bowling Green, Warren County / Covington, Kenton County / Danville, Boyle County / Frankfort, Franklin County / Owensboro, Daviess County / Paris, Bourbon County / Lawrenceburg, Anderson County

Negro Businesses (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1901
In 1901, the following Lexington, KY, businesses were included in Dr. L. D. Robinson's report at the 2nd Annual Convention of the National Negro Business League in Chicago: [barbers] Benjamin Franklin, A. L. Hawkins, Anderson & Suter, A.B. Fletcher, Frank Buckner, Howard Miller; [grocery stores] John T. Clay & Sons, and A. W. Taylor; [baker and confectioner] Charles H. Allen; [cafes] Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Thompson, Walker & Roberts, Ladies Exchange, Richard Williams and Green Miller, and R. H. Gray, who owned several patents, a cafe, and an ice cream and soda parlor. For more see Dr. L. D. Robinson, "Negro Business Enterprise of Lexington, Kentucky," Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919, 2nd Annual Convention, August 21-23, 1901, reel 1, frames 221-222.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Negro Business League
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Negro Churches in Georgetown, KY
Start Year : 1866
According to B. O. Gaines History of Scott County, the first Negro Churches in the county were the Wesley Chapel - M.E. Church (1866) on Mulberry Street and the First Colored Baptist Church (1869) on Jefferson Street. Reverend C. J. Nichols had served as pastor of the Methodist Church, which had a membership of 236. By the early 1900s, the membership had decreased to 113 and Reverend J. H. Ross was the pastor. Reverend Reuben Lee was the pastor of the Baptist Church. By the turn of the century, the church had grown to a membership of 600 and Reverend R. H. Porter was the pastor. Later there were three additional churches: Zion Baptist on Mulberry Street, led by Rev. D. W. Seals [see photo image of church on p.99 in Golden jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky]; Wayman Chapel, a Methodist church near the Negro school, led by Rev. S. Lee; and the Christian Church, led by Rev. A. W. Davis. A lot had been purchased on Mulberry Street for a new church building. For more see p. 328, vol. 2 of B. O. Gaines History of Scott County, by B. O. Gaines (1905) [vols. 1-2 available full text in the Kentucky Digital Library- Books Collection].
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky

Negro Construction Camp, Wilmore, KY
Start Year : 1930
In 1930, there was a Negro Construction Camp located in Wilmore, KY, with 48 men, most from Alabama, with a few from Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, and Florida. The men are all listed as laborers in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. The camp was located in the Lee Magistorial District No. 2. The census data for the camp was collected on April 14, 1930, Sheet 13A, by Robert W. Thompson. None of the men were veterans. Only 17 of the men could read and write. To date, there is still the search for data to help answer the questions as to what agency, organization or business brought the men to Wilmore, and what were the men constructing. During this time period, there were groups of African American men from Alabama who were recruited up-north to work in the coal mines in eastern Kentucky. But, there were no coal mines in Wilmore. The 48 men in the Negro Construction Camp were only recorded as being in Wilmore at the time of the 1930 U.S. Census; they were not in the 1920 or the 1940 census. The men made up more than half the total Negro population of Wilmore in 1930. Below are the camp workers' names, home states, and ages. Any additional information about the men, the camp, and the construction project, would be greatly appreciated.


1. Benson, Walter - 30 - single - from Alabama 

2. Bram, Joe - 40 - single - from Alabama 

3. Brazil, Levy - 35 - single - from Tennessee 

4. Brown, Bill - 50 - married - from Alabama 

5. Bryston, Gus - 38 - married - from Alabama 

6. Cantrel, Lee - 24 - single - from Georgia 

7. Coleman, Hosie - 30 - single - from Alabama 

8. Common, Moses - 40 - single - from Tennessee 

9. Conner, Hearbert - 25 - single - from Alabama 

10. Cook, Ernest - 23 - single - from Tennessee 

11. Dirgle, Arthur - 25 - single - from Tennessee 

12. Edmondson, John - 22 - single - from Alabama 

13. Ester, William - 23 - single - from Alabama 

14. Frazier, James - 28 - married - from Alabama 

 15. Gimble, John - 46 - single - from Alabama 

16. Godwin, John - 23 - single - from Alabama 

17. Head, Louis - 25 - single - from Alabama 

18. Huit, Dave - 45 - single - from Alabama 

19. Jenkins, George - 22 - single - from Alabama 

20. Jones, Frank - 55 - married - from Alabama 

 21. Jones, Jonnie - 30 - single - from Texas 

22. Jones, Virginia - 23 - single - from Alabama [male] 

23. Kennedy, Robert - 21 - single - from Alabama 

24. Kikes, Bud - 30 - single - from Tennessee 

25. King, Tom - 50 - married - from Alabama 

26. Lane, Albert - 39 - single - from Alabama 

27. Lee, Albert - 35 - single - from Alabama 

28. Lewis, Ben - 50 - married - from Alabama 

29. Lewis, Phillip - 25 - single - from Alabama 

30. Lipscomb, John - 23- single - from Georgia 

31. Love, Isaac - 25 - single - from Tennessee 

32. Nicholson, Orange - 27 - single - from Alabama 

33. Porter, William - 28 - single - from Alabama 

34. Radford, Steven - 20 - single - from Georgia 

35. Reynolds, Bill - 30 - married - from North Carolina 

 36. Rucker, Howard - 23 - single - from Georgia 

37. Sanders, Bozrie - 22 - single - from Alabama 

38. Shephard, Frank - 40 - single - from Alabama 

39. Shephard, Leon - 23 - single - from Alabama 

40. Smith, Charlie - 24 - single - from Tennessee

41. Smith, John - 51 - single - from Alabama 

 42. Smith, Sylvester - 40 - married - from Tennessee 

43. Teasley, John - 20 - single - from Alabama 

44. Thrasher, Robert - 27 - single - from Alabama 

45. Ward, George - 30 - single - from Florida 

46. White, Henry - 35 - single - from Alabama 

47. Williams, Charles - 23 - single - from Tennessee 

48. Williams, Ralph - 26 - single - from Tennessee 


*Additional information provided by Ken Rickard, Curator of the Wilmore Railside Museum: These men [in Negro Construction Camp] were probably railroad laborers. The DG Beers map of 1877 identifies southwest Jessamine County as Precinct 2.  The current Magisterial District 2 includes the High Bridge area. That left me confident that the workers were in the area where the railroad work was underway. In 1930 and 1931 the Southern Railroad Company completed a "double tracking" project, which included abandoning some of the original 1854 - 1877 right of way and building new lower grade (more level) and straighter routes. According to E.M. Bell, Trains Magazine, December 2013, pg. 26, and Southern Ties Magazine, August, 1963, the original route was abandoned in 1930. The Lexington Leader newspaper has an article about the completion of a double track project, April 4, 1931, pg.1, cols. 2-3.  About five miles between Wilmore and High Bridge was abandoned, including a 500 foot tunnel, and the new, currently in use right of way was built, which includes a deep cut over which High Bridge Road (KY 29) now crosses. I believe the Lee Magisterial District No. 2 is the same as the current district no 2, which includes all the area between Wilmore and High Bridge. This would place the men's camp in the area of the work. While I cannot specifically prove these men were here for the purpose, it is most likely the case that they either worked for the railroad or for a contractor hired by the railroad to do this work.


Ken Rickard works as a volunteer under the supervision of the Wilmore Community Development Board. The Wilmore Railside Museum is housed in a 1950's era Southern Railway bay window caboose. There is a collection of railroad and local history artifacts, exhibits, photos and literature which tell the story of the Wilmore-High Bridge area.


Wilmore Railside Museum

335 E. Main Street 

Wilmore, KY 40390 

(859) 858-4411 

Subjects: Construction, Contractors, Builders, Migration North, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Wilmore, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Alabama / Tennessee / Georgia / Texas / North Carolina / Florida

Negro Exodus (Hopkinsville, KY)
Start Year : 1904
In 1904, the city of Hopkinsville, KY, was a bit alarmed by the number of Negroes who had left the county due to the collapse of the tobacco market. Also in 1904, the Planters Protective Association had been formed to protect the tobacco prices against the marketing trusts. The association soon developed into a group of armed and hooded night riders whose actions went from boycotting to violence. Most of the violence was centered in the Black Patch (dark fired tobacco) area of Western Kentucky and Tennessee. Entire towns were captured, there were hangings and killings, and tobacco warehouses were burned. According to an article in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian, a large number of Negroes had quit farming tobacco in Hopkinsville and left the county for work on the railroads, the mines, or as teamsters in northern cities. A few moved as far away as Honolulu, Hawaii to farm sugar cane. Some followed Riley Ely to Ita Bena, MS, where he and his brother raised cotton on a 7,000 acre farm. The names of those who left for Mississippi included Henry Gant and family, Bud Wilson, and John Ritter. For more see "Negro exodus," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 02/23/1904, p. 1. See also the "Black Patch War" entry in the Kentucky Encyclopedia; The Black Patch War, by J. G. Miller; and Breaking Trust (dissertation), by S. M. Hall.
Subjects: Migration North, Migration West, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Migration South
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Negro Gig: Four, Eleven, Forty-four
Start Year : 1892
4-11-44 was also referred to as the Negro gig, the coon gig, or the washerwoman's gig. The numbers were a favored combination for "policy" because of the promise of a large payout; the number sequence rarely hit. "Policy" was an illegal gambling system for players who paid a small sum each week to select three numbers. If all three numbers hit, it was referred to as a "gig"; the payout was about $10 per winning ticket. This was a lot of money in 1892 when the numbers hit in the Frankfort Lottery drawing in New York City. The policy shops [gambling houses] took a hard hit, losing about $20,000. The lotteries were actually outlawed in New York State in 1834. The numbers thereafter came from New Jersey, until lotteries were outlawed there in 1840. After that, the numbers were drawn in Kentucky, Missouri, or Louisiana, then sent by telegraph to the headquarters in New York. The 4-11-44 number sequence hit in 1886 in Chicago and paid out about $3,000, considered a big hit to the policy houses. In 1898 the sequence hit two days in a row in Chicago. By the early 1900s, the odds of winning at policy were 7,878 to 1. The game was often referred to as being common in African American communities within cities. Around 1915, Sam Young, remembered as the father of Policy, named his Policy wheel the Frankfort, Henry, and the Kentucky. The wheel was located in Chicago. Policy evolved into the numbers game. For more see "A shock to the policy shops, 4-11-44 comes out and the players win something like $3000," Chicago Daily Tribune, 12/24/1886, front page; "Policy players win on 4-11-44: famous gig comes two days in succession and there is joy on the levee," Chicago Daily Tribune, 02/05/1898; "Four, Eleven, Forty-four," New York Times, 08/14/1892, p. 20; "Policy Sam Young Rites held Friday," Chicago Defender, 05/22/1937; R. M. Lombardo, "The Black Mafia: African-American organized crime in Chicago 1890-1960," Crime Law & Social Change, vol. 38 (2002), pp. 33-65; J. Burnham, "Gambling," Encyclopedia of Recreation and Leisure in America (2004), vol. 1, pp. 373-382; and T. Sellin, "Organized crime: a business enterprise," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 347: Combating Organized Crime (May 1963), pp. 12-19.
Subjects: Gambling, Lottery
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Louisiana / Missouri / New Jersey / New York City, New York / Chicago, Illinois

"Negro Hamlets and Gentlemen Farms: a dichotomous rural settlement pattern in Kentucky's Bluegrass Region" by P. C. Smith
Start Year : 1972
Several African American communities discussed in this work are listed in the NKAA Database. Other communities mentioned in the work are: Brentsville, Centerville, and Clintonville (all in Bourbon County); Dixtown and Keene (both in Jessamine County); Frogtown, Jimtown, Jonestown, and Willa Lane (all in Fayette County); Davistown, Huntertown, and Russelltown (all in Woodford County); Pea RidgeWatkinsville, and Zion Hill (all in Scott County); and Hootentown and Peytontown (both in Madison County). Negro Hamlets and Gentlemen Farms is available at the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Negro Hamlets (photography)
Start Year : 2001
While working on a horse racing research project, photographer Sarah Hoskins learned of the Negro Hamlets in the Bluegrass area of Kentucky. Since 2001, she has been photographing the hamlets around Lexington, Kentucky. The hamlets were developed after the Civil War and the emancipation of Kentucky slaves; a track of land would be divided into lots that were sold or given to former slaves who were employed by the land owner. For some, the land owner was also the former slave owner. By Hoskins earlier count, there are 29 remaining hamlets. She had taken about 11,000 black and white photographs of the area and the people who lived in the hamlets. By 2010, Hoskins was at the end of the project. For more about Hoskins' project see C. Gibson, "A very living past," American Legacy, 2005, vol. 11, issue 2, pp. 34-36, 40, 42; and Photographer finds kinship with a Black homeplace at NPR, April 2010 [NPR Story audio and The Home Place video].

  NPR, April 2010 [NPR Story The Home Place video].


  Sarah Hoskins photography - The Homeplace 
Subjects: Communities, Photographers, Photographs
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Negro Hotels in Kentucky
Start Year : 1942
In preparation for the publication of the first Negro Handbook, compiled and edited by Florence Murray, there was a survey of Negro-owned and -operated hotels in the United States. Approximately 400 hotels were identified, including 10 in Kentucky, including the Preston Hotel in Glasgow Junction [a junction between the L&N Railroad mainline and a branch to Glasgow and a branch to Mammoth Cave]; in 1938, the name Glasgow Junction was changed to Park City. Louisville had several hotels, as well: the Allen Hotel at 2516 W. Madison Street; Knights of Pythias Temple Hotel at 10th and Chestnut Streets; and Walnut Hotel at 615 Walnut Street. The Brantsford Hotel [see Bransfords] was located at Mammoth Cave. In Mt. Sterling, the Dew Drop Inn stood on E. Locust Street. There were four hotels in Paducah: the Burlington Hotel at 48 Kentucky Avenue; the Jefferson Hotel at 514 S. 8th Street; the Washington Hotel at 805 Washington Street; and the city's oldest African American hotel, the Metropolitan, owned by Maggie Steed. For more see "Facts Concerning Hotels" in The Negro Handbook (1942), by F. Murray.
Subjects: Businesses, Bed & Breakfast, Hotels, Inns
Geographic Region: Glasgow Junction [now Park City], Barren County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Mammoth Cave National Park, Edmonson County, Kentucky / Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Negro Jurors in Lexington, KY
Start Year : 1941
George Johnson, a plumber, and Charles Call, Jr., a tailor, were reported to be the first African American jurors called to the Fayette County grand jury in Lexington, KY. Source: "Jury Service: 1940-41" in The Negro Handbook (1942), compiled and edited by F. Murray, p. 50.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Plumbers, Tailors
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Negro Jury in Danville, KY
Start Year : 1887
March of 1887, what is thought to be the first all African American jury was held in Danville, KY. The case was the State against Tom Elmore for the malicious shooting and wounding of John Forris. Both Elmore and Forris were African Americans. Elmore's attorney was James W. Schooler. Elmore was found guilty and sentenced to a year in prison. For more see "Unusual trial at Danville, Ky," Cleveland Gazette, 03/19/1887, p.3.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Negro Jury in Louisville, KY
Start Year : 1872
In 1872, a Negro jury was summoned in Louisville, KY, by the coroner for the case involving the stabbing death of John Wagner. William Reynolds was found guilty of stabbing Wagner on the steamer Robert Burns in May of 1872. The jury is thought to be the first Negro jury in Kentucky. This information comes from "The First Negro jury in Kentucky," New York Times, 06/21/1872, p. 1.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Negro League Museum
The Negro League Museum was located in Ashland, KY, until it closed. The Ashland files were donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame. For more see Buck Leonard by S. Payment; and see  Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Ashland, Boyd County, Kentucky

Negro Library Conference
Start Year : 1927
End Year : 1930
The 1st Negro Library Conference was founded by Thomas Fountain Blue, head of the Negro Department of the Louisville Free Public Library. The conference was held in the Museum of Hampton Institute [now Hampton University], March 15-18, 1927. Thomas Fountain Blue was a graduate of Hampton Institute, and the Hampton Library School was a continuation of the Negro library training program that was established at the Louisville Free Public Library from 1912-1931. The Negro Library Conference was a result of the continued work between the Thomas Fountain Blue and the Hampton Library School director, Florence Curtis. The Carnegie Corporation financed the conference that was attended by 25 librarians from the South. The 2nd Negro Library Conference was held at Fisk University, November 20-23, 1930. The conference was held in conjunction with the dedication of the new library at Fisk. The conference was organized by conference committee members Louis S. Shores, Tommie D. Barker, Thomas Fountain Blue, Florence Curtis, Ernestine Rose, Charlotte Templeton, and Edward Christopher Williams who died prior to the conference. The committee members voted to have the Negro Library Conference become a sectional meeting of the American Library Association and Thomas Fountain Blue was named chair of the committee. The Negro Library Conference would never be affiliated with the American Library Association and the second conference was the last meeting. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; Thomas Fountain Blue (theses) by L. T. Wright; Handbook of Black Librarianship by E. J. Josey and A. A. Shockley; and Negro Library Conference by Fisk University.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries
Geographic Region: Hampton, Virginia / Nashville, Tennessee

Negro Motorist Green Book (serial) and Kentucky
Start Year : 1936
End Year : 1964
The Negro Motorist Green Book provided African American travelers with the names and locations of businesses that welcomed their patronage. The book was published by Victor H. Green, a postal worker in New York. The first edition, in 1936, covered metropolitan New York only. In 1937 the book was developed into a national publication that covered the United States, and soon included Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and Alaska [not yet a state]. In the 1949 issue, the following Kentucky cities were listed: Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, Hazard, Hopkinsville, Lancaster, Lexington, Lincoln Ridge, Louisville, Paducah, and Paris. During the 1950s the publication title changed to The Negro Travelers' Green Book, and the title changed again to Travelers' Green Book before the publication ceased in 1964. For more information see the Negro Motorist Green Book, 1949 issue online [.pdf] at the University of Michigan; and C. Mcgee, "The Open road wasn't quite open to all," New York Times, 08/22/2010, p. C1 [online].

Access Interview The Negro Motorist Green Book, 1949 edition [.pdf], University of Michigan.

  Search the Negro Travelers' Green Book, 1956 at the University Libraries, University of South Carolina website.
Subjects: Directories
Geographic Region: United States / Kentucky

Negro Press Association, Kentucky
Start Year : 1907
In June of 1907, a group of African American newspaper men gathered at Calvary Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and formed the Negro Press Association for Kentucky. N. W. Magowan, editor of the Reporter in Mt. Sterling, KY, was president; J. E. Wood of the Torch Light in Danville, KY, was vice president; Miss Julia S. Young from Louisville was secretary; and E. E. Underwood of the Blue Grass Bugle in Frankfort, was treasurer. There was also an executive board: W. H. Steward, R. T. Berry, and Rev. S. L. M. Francis. A second meeting was held in Mt. Sterling, KY, in August of 1907, and steps were taken to solidify the Negro vote in Kentucky. All Colored newspapers in Kentucky were invited to join the organization. It is not known how long the initial association existed. The Kentucky Negro Press Association was formed in 1915. For more see "State press association," Freeman, 06/29/1907, p.1; "Negro editors," Lexington Leader, 08/17/1907, p.4; "Negro Press Association," Lexington Leader, 08/28/1907; and "Kentucky Negro press association...," Freeman, 09/07/1907, p.4.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Negro Traveling Library (Fulton County, KY)
Start Year : 1910
The first state-supported Negro traveling library in Kentucky was established in 1910 at a Colored school in Fulton County. By 1926 the traveling library was one of two that served African Americans; the other was in Delaware. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Fulton County, Kentucky / Delaware

Negro Uprising Scare, Lancester, KY
Start Year : 1917
On July 31, 1917, J. V. Shipp, a landowner in Midway, KY, went to the office of L. O. Thompson in Lexington, KY, to report that his two Negro employees, Robert and Eliza Withers, who lived in the Negro community of Logan Town near Lancaster, were being incited against the United States Government and whites. Mr. Shipp had gotten the information from his wife who stated that the Withers said that Negroes would not fight against the Germans and talked in positive terms about Germans ruling the United States. There was a German settlement in the Knobbs, which was located near Logan Town, and Mrs. Shipp thought that someone in that area was inciting the Negroes to become German sympathizers. It was known in Lancaster that German residents near the Knobbs visited the homes of Negroes in Logan Town and the two groups socialized together. Mr. and Mrs. Shipps' report was received and typed by L. O. Thompson, who forwarded the report to the War Department and asked if further action was needed. The Shipps agreed to continue to gain information from the Withers until they heard back from Thompson. For more see Collection Title: Federal Surveillance of Afro-Americans (1917-1925): The First World War, the Red Scare, and the Garvey Movement. Series: RG165 War Department: General and Special Staffs-Military Intelligence Division, Military Intelligence Division, Series 10218. Casefile 10218-2. War Department. Folder: 001360-019-0311. Title: Possible Uprising of Negroes (Lancaster, KY): Alleged Acts of German Sympathizers, report by L. O. Thompson, 07/31/1917, 2 pages. Proquest History Vault.

Subjects: Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Logan Town and Lancaster, Garrard County, Kentucky / Washington, D. C.

Negro Village Site (Marshall County, KY)
Start Year : 1938
The Negro Village Site was part of the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) Kentucky Dam Project. The following information comes from the Forrest C. Pogue Public History Institute (website removed), by Bill Mulligan at Murray State University (KY). Kentucky Dam Village is located in Gilbertsville, KY, and the Kentucky Dam Village District is part of the Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park. During the late 1930s, the workers' villages were constructed for the TVA's Kentucky Dam Project. The Negro Village was established in 1938 and removed after the dam was completed in 1945. The temporary homes had been built by Negro builders at Pickwick Landing Dam and barged downstream to the Kentucky Dam. The local people did not want the community to become a long term addition to the county. There were 19 homes, a recreation building, two dormitories and a school, which was a converted farm house. The dormitories were under-utilized, and there were not enough homes because the workers brought their families with them. Some of the families found housing in nearby towns. The village was placed away from the white village, which was in accordance with TVA policy to help keep peace between the races. Nonetheless, there were racial and social tensions between the Black and white workers, so much so that complaints were filed by the local Black Chapter of the Hod Carriers Union. Louisville had one of the largest chapters of the union, which was dominated by African Americans. The Black chapters of the Hod Carrier Unions supported the employment rights of the African American workers on TVA dam projects. In 1940 there were two fights that led to the Thanksgiving Strike that shut down the project for three days. Three workers were fired, but after reconciliations, the men were rehired. For more information, visit the Forrest C. Pogue Public History Institute site or contact the Murray State University Libraries or the Tennessee Valley Authority. See E. L. Rousey, "The Worker's life at Kentucky Dam, 1938-1945," Filson Club History Quarterly, vol. 71, issue 3 (1997), pp. 347-366.
Subjects: Communities, Parks & Resorts, Union Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Gilbertsville and Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, Marshall County, Kentucky

Negro wit and humor: also containing folk lore, folk songs, race peculiarities, race history
Start Year : 1914
In 1914, Marion Franklin Harmon published Negro Wit and Humor through his Louisville, KY, press, Harmon Publishing Company. The book was one of the joke books published by whites and distributed throughout the South for the purpose of entertaining other whites. Harmon claimed the book was meant to show the progress of the race, the content based on his observations and the words of friends "who vouch for their accuracy and originality." The book is full of supposed Negro dialect. Harmon gives thanks to Professors A. J. Aven of Mississippi College, Joseph [S.] Cotter, [Sr.] of Louisville Coleridge Taylor Colored School, and Thomas [F.] Blue, [Sr.], head of the Louisville Colored Branch Library. In 1929, Harmon produced The History of Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) in Mississippi, published in Mississippi. For more see R. D. Abrahams, "Folk beliefs in Southern joke books," Western Folklore, vol. 24, issue 4 (Oct. 1964), pp. 259-261; J. Morgan, "Mammy the huckster: selling the Old South for the New Century," American Art, vol. 9, issue 1 (Spring 1995), pp. 86-109; S. A. Brown, "The Negro character as seen by White authors," The Journal of Negro Education, vol. 2, issue 2 (April 1933), pp. 179-203; and Negro Wit and Humor, by M. F. Harmon.
Subjects: Authors, Jim Crow, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Poets
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Negro Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Kentucky [Sojourner Truth WCTU]
Start Year : 1905
End Year : 1963
The earliest Negro branches of the Kentucky Woman's Christian Temperance Union (KWCTU) were organized around 1906 in Pineville, KY, with 15 members, and in Hopkins County, KY, with 30 members (three men were honorary members). Each branch was a sub-unit of the white branch of the KWCTU in the area. The development of Negro branches was a big step for Kentucky; it came about much later than Negro branches in some other states but had finally happened. The national Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was founded in Cleveland, OH, in 1874, for white women. Their goal was to promote abstinence from alcohol in order to make women and families safe from the destruction resulting from alcohol use. WCTU is the oldest voluntary, non-sectarian women's organization. Chapters were formed throughout the U.S. and Canada. As more of the branches did work with the Negro populations, it was decided by the national union that there needed to be Negro branches to work with their people. The Work Among Negroes Department was formed in 1883. On the state level, the Kentucky Woman's Christian Temperance Union (KWCTU), was formed in 1881 by Mrs. Judson, who lived in Ohio, and Julia Shaw was elected president. The first state convention was held in Lexington in 1881. Though there was some work with Negroes in Kentucky, the membership was not opened to Negro women until a discussion of the topic during the KWCTU Executive Committee Meeting in 1905. It was voted that KWCTU branches would be requested to organize auxiliary unions among Negroes. In 1945, the Negro auxiliary branches were separated from the KWCTU and reorganized under the Kentucky Sojourner Truth Woman's Christian Temperance Union, with Mrs. Elizabeth B. Fouse as president. The Sojourner Truth Union was a second union in Kentucky, an auxiliary to the national WCTU. In 1956, Mrs. Decora A. Williams was president of the Sojourner Truth Union. During the KWCTU Executive Meeting, May 10, 1963, a motion by Mrs. T. E. Bowen was passed to accept Negro women members rather than have the union segregated, if the Negro women agreed. Below is a list of some of the Negro unions that were formed in Kentucky, 1906-1963.

  • 1906 Pineville (Bell County)
  • 1906 Hopkins County
  • 1907 Carlisle (Nicholas County) - Mrs. Sadie Hall
  • 1907 Lexington Negro Woman's Christian Temperance Union established a Colored industrial school in the old Good Samaritan Hospital on East Short Street. The school had a day nursery, and plans included having Negro nurses for baby care. The goal of the school was to prepare Negro children to go into the field of labor [source: see Lexington Leader below].
  • 1908 Henryville (Nicholas County)
  • 1911 Princeton (Caldwell County)
  • 1912 Paducah (McCracken County)
  • 1912 London (Laurel County)
  • 1914 Lexington, Beauchamp #2 (Fayette County) - Mrs. C. M. Freeman
  • 1915 Pembroke #2 (Christian County)
  • 1917 Winchester #2 (Clark County)
  • 1918 Nicholasville (Jessamine County)
  • 1923 Violet Whyte was paid for organization work in Winchester, Mt. Sterling, Wilmore, Nicholasville, and Harrodsburg
  • 1932 Middlesboro (Bell County)
  • 1939 Beatrice Laine, from Richmond (Madison County), endorsed as National Organizer among Negroes
  • 1939 Esther B. Isaacs, a Negro worker sent to Kentucky by the national WCTU
  • 1945 Negro KWCTU auxiliary branches are reorganized under the Kentucky Sojourner Truth Woman's Christian Temperance Union
  • 1949 Paducah (McCracken County) Sojourner Truth WCTU
  • 1952 Henderson (Henderson County) Sojourner Truth WCTU
  • No date - Jessamine County; Louisville Local No. 2 (Jefferson County) - Mrs. Annie Rice, President; Lexington Sojourner Truth WCTU (Fayette County) - Mrs. Ballard and Mrs. Elizabeth B. Fouse
For more, see the chapter by F. E. W. Harper, "The Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the Colored Woman" in Standing Before Us, by D. M. Emerson, et al. The chapter is a reprinted article from the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, July 1888; A Glorious Past & a Promising Future, by P. Woodring; and "Industry," Lexington Leader, 08/31/1907, p. 8.
Subjects: Alcohol, Education and Educators, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky

NEH Digital Newspaper Program at the University of Kentucky
Start Year : 2005
Included in this leading-edge preservation project is the digitization of some of the earliest issues of the Afro-American Mission Herald, American Baptist, Kentucky Reporter, and The Southern Evangelist (later called the Afro-American Presbyterian). Issues of the Afro-American Mission Herald were borrowed from the Congregational Library and Archives in Boston, Massachusetts. Keyword-searchable digital images of the newspapers are available to the public via the Kentucky Digital Library Newspapers. Newspapers Wanted! Early issues of other Kentucky African American newspapers are wanted; please contact the University of Kentucky Libraries Digital Programs at (859) 257-3210.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Kentucky Newspaper Project
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Neighbors, George and Bertha, and Jesse [Blue Grass Female Orchestra]
The Blue Grass Female Orchestra was was organized in Lexington, KY in 1905 by photographer G. W. Neighbors [sources: "Colored," Lexington Leader, 08/03/1905, p.2; and The Negro Population of Lexington in the Professions, Business, Education and Religion by L. Harris, pp.[8 & 9] in photocopy c.2 of title at UK Special Collections]. The group was also referred to as the Blue Grass Orchestra. In 1907, members of the orchestra were Alice Richardson, Ethel White, Estella Braxton, Mattie Hamilton, Mary B. Johnson, Bertha Neighbors, Mary Randolph, Gertrude Ferguson, Nellie Gibson, Mattie Sanders, Mary E. Mitchell, and Olive Thomas. Though they were referred to as girls and young ladies in the newspaper, half of the group members were married women. Mrs. Bertha Fortune Neighbors was the first cornetist in the orchestra and she was the wife of George W. Neighbors. Bertha was born in 1883 in Cave City, KY. She was the cornetist in the senior choir at Main Street Baptist Church in Lexington, and she had had many public performances, sometimes she and her husband performed as a duet. Neither Bertha nor George W. Neighbors were from Lexington, KY. George was born December 29, 1877, in Hardin County, KY, and in 1880 he lived in Glendale with his brother William and his grandmother Elizabeth Neighbors [source: 1880 U.S. Census; and George W. Neighbors' WWII Draft Registration Card]. George W. Neighbors was a self-taught photographer. He is listed as "George Neighbors (Neighbors Bros.)" in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1899, p.825. George and his brother Jesse R. Neighbors owned their photography business that was first located at 931. W. Walnut Street, and by 1901, the business was located at 912 W. Walnut; their business was located within their home according to Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville. Their father, John Neighbors, was listed as the photographer at 912 W. Walnut Street in 1903 [source: p.962 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1903]. By 1904, Jesse Neighbors had taken over the photography business that lasted until at least 1933 when the business address was 1117 W. Walnut Street in Louisville [source: Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1933, p.1247]. His brother, George W. Neighbors, was married to Bertha Fortune by 1904 and had a photography business in Lexington, KY at his home, 1118 N. Broadway [source: p.472 in Lexington City Directory, 1904-1905]. In 1906, George Neighbors attended the Aristo School of Photography held in Louisville [source: The Negro Population of Lexington in the Professions, Business, Education and Religion by L. Harris]. In 1907, George and Bertha's son, George H. Neighbors, was born; the family lived on Chestnut Street in Lexington and Bertha's mother, Jennie Fortune, lived with the family [source: 1910 U.S. Census]. The family is last listed in the 1909 Lexington city directory; the Neighbors family left Lexington and were living in Chicago where George W. Neighbors owned his photography shop [source: 1920 U.S. Census]. George and Bertha's daughter Virginia was born in Chicago in 1912 [source: Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922]. A second son, Harold, was born in 1919, and according to the 1920 census, there were also two boarders who lived with the family on Forest Avenue. In 1921, the couple suffered the loss of their stillborn son [source: Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947]. By 1930, George W. Neighbors' job was registration clerk at a post office in Chicago, the couple had a fourth child, John, and Bertha's mother, Jennie Fortune, still lived with the family [source: 1930 U.S. Census]. George W. Neighbors died in Chicago on April 29, 1949 [source: Cook County, Illinois Death Index, 1908-1988]. He was the son of John and Sallie Williams Neighbors [source: Neighbors Family Tree in]. Bertha Fortune Neighbors died April 19, 1955 in Chicago [source: Cook County, Illinois Death Index, 1908-1988]. Jesse R. Neighbors was born May 4, 1876 and died in Louisville on April 4, 1940 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death Registrar's #1900]. George Neighbors and his brother Jesse Neighbors were among the first African Americans to own photography businesses in Kentucky.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Photographers, Photographs, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Glendale, Hardin County, Kentucky / Cave City, Barren County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Nelson County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Nelson County, located in west-central Kentucky, is surrounded by seven counties. It was the fourth county established in Kentucky, formed in 1784 from a portion of Jefferson County and named for the governor of Virginia, Thomas Nelson. The county seat is Bardstown, first known as Salem and later renamed for one of the original town settlers, David Bard (spelled as Baird in some sources). In the First Census of Kentucky, 1790, there were 10,032 whites, 1,248 slaves, and 35 free persons. The county population in 1800 was 9,866, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 7,948 whites, 1,902 slaves, and 16 free coloreds. In 1830 there were four free African American slave owners in Bardstown. The population increased to 10,270 by 1860, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 997 slave owners
  • 4,156 Black slaves
  • 969 Mulatto slaves
  • 94 free Blacks
  • 1 free Colored [Charlot Humphrey]
  • 21 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 1,053 slave owners
  • 4,918 Black slaves
  • 578 Mulatto slaves
  • 79 free Blacks
  • 32 free Mulattoes

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 3,092 Blacks
  • 796 Mulattoes
  • About 221 U.S. Colored Troops listed Nelson County, KY, as their birth location.

For more see Nelson County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Abstracts of Wills Nelson County, Kentucky 1785-1823: complete index including slaves, Blacks, and servants by Nelson County Historical Society; Marriage Bond Books, 1785-1913 by Nelson County Clerk; From Out of the Dark Past Their Eyes Implore Us: the Black roots of Nelson County, Kentucky by P. Craven and R. L. Pangburn; and Declaration of Marriage of Negroes and Mulattoes: the Commonwealth of Kentucky [1900-1985?] by Nelson County Historical Society.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z]
Geographic Region: Nelson County, Kentucky

Nelson, James
James Nelson was born a slave in Kentucky and he was a blacksmith. As a freeman, Nelson moved to Springfield, Ohio, where he maintained a successful business manufacturing IXL and Whiteley plows, wagons, and carts. His business catered to customers throughout the United States. Both Nelson and William Dixon are mentioned in the title The Sage of Tawawa as being "owners and operators of prosperous blacksmith shops" in Springfield [p. 33]. James Nelson's company is mentioned on p.274 of William's Springfield City Directory for 1890-91, the business was located at the corner of Main and Jackson, and Nelson lived at 12 N. Light Street. By 1893, the business name had changed to James Nelson and Sons, according to the city directory. For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings [available full view at Google Book Search]; and full text at UNC Documenting the American South website.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North, Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Springfield, Ohio

Nelson, William Stuart
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1977
William S. Nelson was born in Paris, KY, grew up in Paducah, KY, and his final home was in Washington, D.C. He was a 1920 graduate of Howard University and a 1924 divinity graduate of Yale University. He would become the first African American president of Shaw University (1931-1936) in North Carolina, saving the school from closing due to financial hardship during the Great Depression. Nelson was also the first African American president of Dillard University in New Orleans, beginning in 1936. He wrote La Race Noire dans la Democratie Americaine, and Bases of World Understanding (Calcutta University Press, 1949). He worked with Mahatma Gandhi while in India on a special mission for the American Friends Service Committee from 1946-1958. He was a friend of Martin Luther King, Jr. and joined him on the march from Selma to Montgomery, AL, in 1965. The William Stuart Nelson Scholarship Fund was established at Howard University, where he was former dean of the School of Religion and vice president for special projects. Nelson was the son Emma Kersands Nelson and William Henry Nelson. He was married to Blanche Wright Nelson. He was an Army veteran of World War I. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines, vol. 11, Sept. 1976-Aug. 1979; "The Tradition of White Presidents at Black Colleges," The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, no. 16 (Summer 1997), pp. 93-99; J. R. Hailey, "William Nelson, dean at Howard, dies," The Washington Post, 03/30/1977, Metro section, p. C6; and William Stuart Nelson (1895-1977) at the Martin Luther King, Jr and The Global Freedom Struggle website.


  See photo image of William S. Nelson, top left hand column, on p.39 in Golden jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky edited by C. H. Parrish.


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / India / Washington D.C.

Nelson-Johnson, Esther Byrd
Birth Year : 1931
Death Year : 2008
Nelson-Johnson was born in Hickman, KY, one of the six children of Louis and Hestella Holmes Byrd. In 1982, Nelson-Johnson became a part of the history of the female leadership of the Sacramento NAACP: she was the fourth woman elected president of the Branch, serving four terms. For 30 years, she was a counselor at the American River College. She had taught school in Virginia and Missouri before moving to California in 1963. Nelson-Johnson is remembered for her leadership and advocacy for women, young people, and African Americans, and the programs she developed to assist students. She is also remembered for her research and the resulting exhibits she created to show the contributions of African Americans and women. When the NAACP Office in Sacramento was bombed in 1993, the organization's history was safe with Nelson-Johnson. She was a historian and collected resources that documented the history of civil rights in Sacramento. She was the author of A Model Community Counseling Program for Ethnic Minority Low Income Women, Leaving on the Black Star Line and Cotton Patch Cooking. Nelson-Johnson was the first person in her family to attend college, earning a bachelor's degree at Kentucky State University, a master's at Chapman University, and a doctorate at Nova University. For more see R. D. Davila, "Former NAACP chief fought for education and civil rights," Sacramento Bee, 02/13/2008, Metro section, p. B4.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Historians, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Hickman, Fulton County, Kentucky / Sacramento, California

Nero, Benjamin W.
Birth Year : 1937
Dr. Benjamin W. Nero, born in Greenwood, MS, was the first African American to graduate from the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Dentistry in 1967. He is an orthodontist. Prior to attending UK, Benjamin Nero attended Kentucky State College (now Kentucky State University) and was the starting quarterback on the football team.  He had also been the quarterback and captain on the Broad Street High School football team in Mississippi, where Nero led the team to a Northern Division Championship in 1955. After high school, Negro attended Tougaloo College, but decided to transfer to Kentucky State College where there was a stronger football program. He graduated from Kentucky State College with a bachelor's degree in biology, and was drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers in 1960 (now the San Diego Chargers). The year 1960 was the team's first season, as well as the first season for the original eight teams that made up the 3rd version of the American Football League (history at  Benjamin Nero attended the Los Angeles Chargers' training camp and was told that he could not play the quarterback position because he was a Negro. Benjamin Nero decided not to play professional football. He next looked to continue his education and was accepted into the second class at the UK College of Dentistry in 1963. After graduation, he began a rotating internship at Albert Einstein Hospital in Philadelphia (now Einstein Healthcare Network). Nero was enrolled in the hospital's three year residency in orthodontics. Upon completing the internship, Dr. Nero became the first African American graduate of the residency program. In 1971, Dr. Nero took over the practice of Dr. Knowlton Atterbeary in Philadelphia; at the time, Dr. Knowlton Atterbeary was the first and only African American orthodontist in Philadelphia. Dr. Nero's practice was a success and he opened two more practices in Philadelphia. Dr. Nero would also have a practice in New Jersey. Back in Kentucky, in 2010 a scholarship at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry was named in honor of Dr. Benjamin W. Nero, and Dr. Robert H. Biggerstaff, the first African American faculty member at the college. For more see Dr. Benjamin Nero, a UK Alumni Association website; see Dr. Benjamin Nero in E. Arvedlund's article, "Memoirs by seniors offer lessons worth sharing," online at, also in the Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/04/2015, Advance edition, Business section, p.E01; and T. Kuykendall, "Nero praised as 'the Tiger Woods of orthodontics'," The Greenwood Commonwealth, 02/01/2010, News section [Note Writer Error: "He began looking into other schools across the nation and found a connection to the University of Kentucky [should be Kentucky State College] through his high school football coach."  See more about Dr. Knowlton Atterbeary and his family within the Richaleen Atterbeary online obituary at, also in The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre), 11/12/2008, News section, p.A8.


  See photo image of Dr. Benjamin W. Nero at UK Alumni Association website.

Subjects: Football, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Dentists
Geographic Region: Greenwood, Mississippi / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Nero, Elijah
Birth Year : 1881
Death Year : 1956
Elijah Nero was a jockey and horse trainer in Lexington, KY [source: 1920 & 1930 U.S. Federal Censuses]. He was the son of James and Gertrude Nero. He is listed in the 1900 census as a 19 year old jockey, born March of 1881; the family lived on Mt. Mullen Street in Lexington [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. Elijah Nero was the husband of Eva Haggard Nero, and he was the father of Gertrude M. Nero Morbley. In 1923, the family lived at 315 E. Third Street; Elijah Nero is listed in the city directory as a colored horseman [source: Lexington City Directory, 1923, p. 600]. Elijah Nero is last listed in the 1955 directory, when the family was living at 547 E. Third Street [source: Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY) City Directory, p. 464]. Elijah and Eva's son, Ruford Nero, who lived with his parents, was a horseman with Darvis Stevens. Elijah Nero died April 9, 1956 in Lexington, KY [source: Kentucky Death Index].
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, Betting, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Nero, Ruford
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 1981
Ruford Nero was a horseman from Lexington, KY. He was the son of Elijah and Eva Haggard Nero [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census], he was born December 8, 1916 [source: Kentucky Birth Index]. Ruford's occupation is given as stablemen on his WWII Army Enlistment Record; he enlisted in Cincinnati, OH, October 23, 1942. After the war, Ruford continued to be listed in the Lexington city directories as a horseman. In 1955, Ruford Nero was a horseman with Darvis Stevens [source: Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY) City Directory, p.464]. Ruford Nero died in Arkansas in 1981 [source: Social Security Death Index].
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, Betting, & The Derby, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Arkansas

New Homemakers of America, Kentucky
Start Year : 1945
End Year : 1965
The New Homemakers of America (NHA) was the African American organization that was to parallel the Future Homemakers of America (FHA). Both were established as segregated organizations for girls, beginning in 1945. The two organizations merged in 1965. Boys became members of the FHA starting in 1974-75. In 1999, FHA was renamed Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. The official magazine of the FHA was Teen Times, published four times per year. The official magazine for the NHA was Chatter Box, published two times per year. September 20, 1945, the Official Guide for the Organization and Development of the Program of the New Homemakers of America was published in Washington, D.C. During the initial years of the FHA,1944-45, Kentucky was the first state to qualify for a state charter. Among the 16 southern states, Kentucky was 8th to have NHA Chapters; there were 27 chapters with 777 members [source: The Growth and Development of New Homemakers of America by M. C. Moffitt, p.43]. The next year, there were 28 chapters with 792 members. The goal of both the NHA and the FHA was to bring together high school and junior high school home economic clubs, and NHA chapters were established in states that maintained segregated schools for African Americans. One of the NHA chapters was located at the Mayo-Underwood School in Frankfort, KY. In 1949, the state body of the Kentucky NHA was reorganized to strengthen the organization [source: "Kentucky," Chatter Box, v.5, no.1, Fall 1949, p.6]. During the year, there were four district meetings and the state convention was held in June of 1949. Two years later, the spring rally was held at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], and Mrs. Roxie B. Butler and her college homemaking students were hosts to the NHA delegates [source: "Kentucky in the spring," Chatter Box, v.6, no.2, Spring 1951, p.14]. The last year of the NHA, there were 2 chapters in Kentucky with 102 members; it was the lowest number of chapters and members per state [Mofitt, p.57]. For more see History of FHA-FCCLA, a Nicholas County, KY, school website; Chatter Box: for New Homemakers of America, 1945-1965 [bound issues of the Chatter Box publication]; and The Growth and Development of New Homemakers of America by M. C. Moffitt. There are photographs of members of the New Homemakers of America at Kentucky State University, within the Rufus Ballard Atwood Papers, ca. 1929-1965: New Homemakers of America - Photographs -, [n.d] [box: 27, folder: 10].

See photo image of NHA students at Mayo-Underwood School, at Kentucky Historical Society Digital Collections.

  • National Officers of the NHA from Kentucky -- Sources: The Growth and Development of New Homemakers of America by M. C. Moffitt, pp.101-106; and Chatter Box 
    1. Patricia Jane Small, Elkton, V. P. Sec. B, 1952 [previously served as Kentucky NHA reporter and historian]
    2. Barbara Lynem, Frankfort, V. P. Sec. B, 1953 (replaced P. Small)
    3. Emolyne Hines, Anchorage, Treasurer, 1954
    4. Lois Robertson, Louisville, Treasurer, 1955
    5. Mary Lois Williamson, State Adviser, 1954-55
    6. Lois Irene Robinson, Drakesboro, Secretary, 1955
    7. Emolyne Hines, Anchorage, Secretary, 1956
    8. Maxine Brown, V. P. Sec. B, 1956
    9. Sandra C. Wright, Lincoln Ridge, V.P. Sec. B, 1956-57 (replaced Maxine Brown)
    10. Naomi Thomas, Hopkinsville, Chatter Box Committee, 1958-59
    11. Emilie High, State Adviser, 1958-59
    12. Gladys Carroll, Lincoln Ridge, Secretary, 1961-62
    13. Talberta Owens, Lexington, Historian, 1963
    14. Barbara Ann Williams, Lincoln Ridge, Historian, 1963-64 (replaced T. Owens) [also served as member of the national executive council, Kentucky NHA secretary, and president of Kentucky NHA Association]


  • New Homemakers of America, Kentucky Chapters -- Source: Chatter Box
  1. Benham High School, Benham
  2. Bond-Washington High School, Elizabethtown
  3. Caverna Independent High School, Horse Cave
  4. Douglas High School, Lexington
  5. Drakesboro Community School, Drakesboro
  6. Dunbar High School, Somerset
  7. DuBois High School, Mt. Sterling
  8. Liberty High School, Hazard
  9. Lincoln Institute, Lincoln Ridge
  10. Mayo-Underwood High School, Frankfort
  11. Palmer-Dunbar High School, Wheelwright
  12. Riverview High School, Hickman
  13. Todd County High School, Todd County


  • Three photograhs within the Rufus Ballard Atwood Papers, ca.1929-1965: New Homemakers of America - Photographs -, [n.d], Box 27, folder 10. Back of photos: George A. Hall Studios, 214 W. 2nd Street, Frankfort. Items in Kentucky State University, Special Collections.
  1. Barbara Johnson, Western High School, Owensboro
  2. Bettie Ann Goodwin, Western High School, Owensboro
  3. Jamie Bell Brouaugh, Earlington
  4. Marie O. Drake, State President, Drakesboro

Subjects: Education and Educators, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Kentucky

New Kentucky, Chatham Township, Canada
Start Year : 1860
Author R. W. Winks described New Kentucky as one of the short-lived all-Negro towns established by escaped slaves from border states. The town, established in 1860, was located in Canada. An earlier town named Kentucky was established in Canada in the early 1800s. For more see p. 245 of Blacks in Canada: a history, by R. W. Winks; and mention of the town at the website Kentiana: Negro Colonies in Kent County, by V. Lauriston.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration North, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: New Kentucky, Chatham Township, Canada (no longer exists)

New Zion, Kentucky
Start Year : 1868
In 1868, Calvin Hamilton and Primus Keene bought 23 acres and sold plots to other freemen; this area developed into the community of Briar Hill, KY, later named New Zion. The community is located in southern Scott County and extends into Fayette County. Family members of Hamilton and Keene still live in New Zion. The community has a Kentucky Historical Marker [number 1938]. For more see M. Davis, "Settlement tales part of Fayette heritage," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/10/1999, KyLife section, p. J1.

See Kentucky Historical Marker #1938
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: [Briar Hill] New Zion, Scott County and Fayette County, Kentucky

Newboy, Mrs. Henry
Mrs. Henry Newboy was considered one of the "best African American women experts" on the game of baseball played by African Americans. She practiced with the men's club that her husband managed in Louisville, KY, and also served as the club's secretary. The Newboy Baseball Club was formed in 1908 [source: "Henry Newboy has organized a baseball club" within the article "Teachers hold session" continued on p.4 of the Freeman, 07/04/08]. Of related interest, an article in the Indianapolis Freeman questioned why there was not an African American women's baseball team in Louisville. For more see "Baseball among the Fairer Sex Coming into Prominence," Indianapolis Freeman, 12/26/1908, reprinted in The Unlevel Playing Field: a documentary history of the African American experience in sport, by D. K. Wiggins and P. B. Miller, pp. 56-57; and J. H. Ardell "Oral History, Mamie 'Peanut' Johnson: The Last Female Voice of the Negro Leagues," NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture, vol. 10, issue 1 (Fall 2001), pp. 181-192.
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Newhouse, Richard H., Jr.
Birth Year : 1924
Death Year : 2002
Richard H. Newhouse was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Richard, Sr. and Annie Louise Singleton Newhouse. He was a World War II veteran and a two time graduate of Boston University. Newhouse earned his JD at the University of Chicago Law School. Before entering law school, Newhouse had come to Chicago to work for the Chicago Defender. In 1975, he was the first African American to run for Mayor of Chicago; he lost to Richard J. Daley. [Harold Washington would become the first African American mayor of Chicago in 1983. See Roy L. Washington, Sr.] Newhouse was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1968 and retired in 1991. Newhouse founded the National Black Legislative Clearinghouse. For more see A. Madhami, "Richard Newhouse, Jr., 78, state senator, 1st Black in Chicago mayor race," Chicago Tribune, 05/02/2002, Obituaries section, p. 8; C. Lawrence, "Richard Newhouse, Jr., state senator," Chicago Sun-Times, 05/01/2002, News section, p. 77; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2002; and the Richard H. Newhouse Papers at the Black Metropolis Research Consortium Survey.

See photo image of Richard H. Newhouse at the Newhouse Program and Architecture Competition website.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Nicholas County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Nicholas County was formed in 1799 from portions of Bourbon and Mason Counties. It is bordered by five counties and was named for George Nicholas from Virginia, who was a veteran of the American Revolutionary War and was the first Kentucky Attorney General. Carlisle, in Nicholas County, is one of the state's smallest county seats. It was established in 1816. The town was developed on land that had belonged to John Kincart, who named the town in honor of his father's hometown of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The 1800 Nicholas County population was 2,925, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 2,597 whites, 322 slaves, and 6 free coloreds. In 1830 there was one free African American slave owner. By 1860, the population was 9,416, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 421 slave owners
  • 1,283 Black slaves
  • 214 Mulatto slaves
  • 121 free Blacks
  • 48 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 381 slave owners
  • 1,407 Black slaves
  • 207 Mulatto slaves
  • 112 free Blacks
  • 42 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 955 Blacks
  • 225 Mulattoes
  • About 75 U.S. Colored Troops listed Nicholas County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see Nicholas County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; for more on George Nicholas stand on slavery see Kentucky and the Question of Slavery, a Kentucky Educational Television website; Edmund Lyne Papers [slaves manumission]; Marriage Books (indexed), 1800-1934 by Nicholas County Clerk; and Nicholas County Memorial Library Oral History Collection.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z]
Geographic Region: Nicholas County, Kentucky

Nichols, George, III
Birth Year : 1960
Born in Bowling Green, KY, George Nichols III was the first African American insurance commissioner in Kentucky (1995-2000) and the first to become president of the 120 year old organization, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Nichols left Kentucky to become senior vice president of the New York Life Insurance Company. He is a graduate of Alice Lloyd College (associate's), Western Kentucky University (B.A.) and the University of Louisville (M.A.). For more see "Nichols finds the right fit," Best's Review, March 2002, p. 7; and SR69.

See photo image and additional information about George Nichols III at "Nichols receives national recognition," 03/28/2012, in The Eagle's Nest, a website by Alice Lloyd College.
Subjects: Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Nichols, John and Lucy A. Higgs
Lucy A. Higgs Nichols was the only female to serve with the Twenty-third Indiana Regiment during the Civil War. According to information from the New Albany, IN, Carnegie Center, Lucy Nichols was born in North Carolina, April 10, 1838. In the U.S. Federal Census, her birth location has also been given as Kentucky and several other states, and also listed are various birth dates from 1843-1850. In 1898, Lucy Nichols began receiving a pension of $12 per month for her nursing services during the Civil War; the veterans of 23rd Regiment had advocated on Lucy's behalf, and her pension was approved by a special act of the U.S. Congress [HB4741, Congressional Serial Set, v.74, pt.3, p.6107- 1898]. She was one of the few honorary female members of the Grand Army of the Republic Post. According to an article in the Janesville Daily Gazette newspaper, Nichols fought in 28 battles, and she was a nurse, and a cook and servant to the officers. She joined the 23 Regiment in 1862 in Bolivar, TN; Lucy Nichols was a runaway slave. She was a slave in Tennessee when she learned that her owner's slaves were to be confiscated and sold south, Lucy left her husband behind, took her baby daughter and ran. Intending to go north, she arrived at the camp of the Twenty-third Regiment in Bolivar, TN. She was bleeding from the cuts and scratches received from the bushes and brambles she had made her way through during the night. She suffered from exhaustion. When her owner arrived at the camp to retrieve Lucy and the baby, Lucy refused to go with him and the soldiers of the Twenty-third came to her rescue. When the regiment marched south, and Lucy and her baby went with them. Her baby died in Vicksburg, MS. According to the Janesville Daily Gazette article, Lucy remained with the regiment in Thompson Hill, Raymond, Champion Hill, the capture of Jackson, MS, she marched in Sherman's raid, the pursuit of Confederate General Hood in Georgia and Alabama, and she fought in the regiment's last battle in Bentonville, NC in 1865. She was with the regiment when it was mustered out in Washington, D.C. and she went with the men when they returned to the New Albany, Indiana area. On April 13, 1870, Lucy married John Nichols [source: Floyd County, Indiana, Index to Marriage Record 1845-1920, Inclusive Volum, W.P.A. Book Number Indicates Location of Record, Book 6, p.572]. He and Lucy lived in the 5th Ward of New Albany, IN, with John's father Leander Nichols (b.1812 in NC) [source: 1870 U.S. Federal Census]. John Nichols (b.1845 in TN) was the son of Leander and Sena Nichols (b.1812 in TN), according to the 1850 Census when the family of ten were listed as free and living in Washington County, TN. As early as 1840, Leander Nichols and his family had been listed as free in the U.S. Census, and Leander was last listed in the 1870 Census as living in New Albany, IN with John and Lucy Nichols. In 1880, John and Lucy were living on Washington Street in New Albany, and nine years later, according to the Janesville Daily Gazette article, the couple lived near Floyd's Knobs. John Nichols is listed in Caron's Directory of the City of New Albany 1888-9 as a fireman at a mill owned by the W. C. Depauw Co., and he lived on Nag[h]el Street. John and Lucy were still living in the home they owned on Nagel Street when the 1900 Census and 1910 Census were taken. John Nichols was a Civil War veteran, he enlisted in Paducah, KY, October 18, 1864, and served with the 8th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery [source: U.S. Colored Troops Military Service Records]. Lucy Nichols is not listed in the military records as a veteran, but having served with the 23rd Indiana Regiment, she participated in all the 23 Regiment reunions, participated in the State Encampments and the Decoration Day Programs, and marched with the veterans in parades. Lucy Nichols died January 29, 1915. [The U.S. Federal Census gives Lucy Higgs Nichols birth location as Tennessee (1870 Census), Kentucky (1880 Census), Virginia (1900 Census), and Tennessee (1910 Census). Her birth year is given as 1843, 1845, 1847, and 1850.] [John Nichol's birth location is also given as Tennessee (1850-1870 Census), Kentucky (1880 Census), Virginia (1900 Census), and Tennessee (1910 Census)]. For more see "Pension for Lucy Nichols," New York Times, 12/14/1898; "Daughter of the regiment," Janesville Daily Gazette, 03/14/1889, p.1; "Colored nurse's pension," Logansport Journal, 07/15/1898, p.5; and see Lucy Nichols in "Obituary Notes," New York Times, 01/31/1915. See a photo of Lucy Higgs Nichols on Facebook. For additional information about Lucy A. Higgs Nichols, contact the Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, IN.

  See photo image of Lucy Higgs Nichols, a Wikipedia website.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Kentucky / New Albany, Indiana

Nichols, M. Celeste
Birth Year : 1951
Death Year : 1996
Nichols, born in Tulsa, OK, was an English professor at Bellarmine College [now Bellarmine University] in Louisville, KY. She was the Louisville coordinator for the National African American Read-In Chain. She also chaired the First National Toni Morrison Conference that was held at Bellarmine in 1995. Nichols was the first African American to earn a doctorate in English from the University of Louisville, where she wrote her dissertation, The Rhetorical Structure of the Traditional Black Church. Nichols taught at Kentucky State University before leaving to teach at Bellarmine from 1993 until her death. The Dr. M. Celeste Nichols African American Collection, works by and about African American female writers, was established in the W. L. Lyons Brown Library at Bellarmine. For more see High Upon a Hill, by W. H. Hall; and "Belknap; Bellarmine honors dynamic professor," Courier-Journal, 04/06/2001, News Neighborhoods Daily News Report section, p. 2B.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Poets, Migration East
Geographic Region: Tulsa, Oklahoma / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Nichols, Paul
Birth Year : 1939
Death Year : 1990
Paul Nichols was born in Bowling Green, KY, the son of Mary and George Nichols, Sr. He was a graduate of Virginia Union University, Presbyterian School of Christian Education [now Union Theological Seminary & Presbyterian School of Christian Education], and American University. From 1976-1984, Nichols was dean of the School of Theology at Virginia Union. He was vice president of the National Ministers Council/American Baptist for three years and in 1989 was named to the executive director of the Board of National Ministries for the American Baptist Churches USA, making him the highest ranking African American of the 1.6 million member organization. Nichols was also pastor of the Good Shepherd Baptist Church. He was well respected in the Richmond, VA, community. Noted among his many achievements was the renaming of the Shockoe Bridge for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For more see T. Muller, "Hundreds here celebrate the life of beloved pastor," Richmond Times-Dispatch, 06/02/1990, Area/State section, p. 2; "Paul Nichols, 50, dies, was Baptist executive," New York Times, 05/30/1990, p. B20; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1977-1995.

See photo image and full biography of Paul Nichols by Gloria Taylor at the Talbot School of Theology website.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work, Migration East
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Richmond, Virginia

Nichols, Pleasant A.
Birth Year : 1863
Born near Leesburg, KY, Nichols was the son of William and Pliny Nichols. He taught for 14 years in Kentucky schools and was principal of Newport City Schools. In 1885 he became a preacher. Nichols contributed articles to many magazines and newspapers and owned and published The Negro Citizen, a weekly newspaper, in Paducah, KY. His editorials helped secure jobs for African Americans in the local hospital. He was married to Dovie Candaca Haddox, of Beattyville, KY, in 1887, and in 1916 became secretary at Wilberforce University. For more see Centennial Encyclopedia of the American Methodist Episcopal Church..., by Richard Allen and others (Philadelphia: 1816) [available online at the UNC Documenting the American South website].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Leesburg, Harrison County, Kentucky / Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Beattyville, Lee County, Kentucky

Nicodemus Company
Start Year : 1877
The seven-member company formed to develop the town of Nicodemus in 1877. S. P. Roundtree, the company's secretary, was an African American minister from Kentucky; he was branded on one cheek when a boy because the master's son had taught him how to read. W. R. Hill, the company's treasurer, was a white man from Indiana who had experience developing towns. W. H. Smith, the company's president, was an African American born in Tennessee. Ben Carr, vice president, was an African American. The others were Jerry Allsap, Jeff Lenze and William Edmona, all from Kentucky. W. R. Hill and W. H. Smith later became business associates in the development of the Hill City Town Company. For more see The Origins and Early Promotion of Nicodemus, by K. M. Hamilton.
Subjects: Communities, Migration West, Nicodemus, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Nicodemus, Kansas / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Indiana / Tennessee / Hill City, Kansas

Nicodemus, Kansas
Start Year : 1877
The community of Nicodemus was founded in 1877 by a group of African Americans from Lexington; two years later there were over 600 people. The first families to arrive lived in dugouts, homes dug into the earth. The population continued to grow until the anticipated railroad bypassed the town, and then the population began to decrease. There are about 100 people living in the town today. Nicodemus is a National Historic Landmark, the only entirely African American community in Kansas. For more see Going Home to Nicodemus, by D. Chu and B. Shaw; and The Origins and Early Promotions of Nicodemus, by K. M. Hamilton.

See photo images of Nicodemus at the African-American Mosaic, a Library of Congress website.
Subjects: Communities, Migration West, Nicodemus, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Nicodemus, Kansas / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Norman, Florence K. Morton
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1944
Norman was born Florence K. Morton in Mason County, KY. Her mother, Sallie Morton, was a widow and the mother of three girls: Mary, Florence, and Susan. In 1900 the family lived at 570 E. Fifth Street in Maysville, KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Florence would become the wife of musician and music arranger Fred Norman (1910-1993). The couple lived in New York. Florence Norman was the past president of the National Council of Negro Women. She had attended Howard University and the Jenifer Business College and managed the Washington Business Institute in D.C. She had also been employed as secretary to Carter G. Woodson at the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. For more see "Mrs. Fred Norman," New York Times, 02/11/1944, p. 19.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations, National Council of Negro Women
Geographic Region: Mason County, Kentucky / New York

Northern Kentucky - "Stories of African-Americans in WWII went untold"
This article by Ted Harris was published in The Cincinnati Post, 02/28/02, Editorial section, p. 4K; it tells the stories of Albert Nutter Jr., George Frank Nutter, Melvin W. Walker, and Henry C. Lowe.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Northern Kentucky

Northington, Nathaniel "Nate"
Birth Year : 1948
Nate Northington was born in Louisville, KY. In 1966 he was one of the first two African Americans who signed to play football at the University of Kentucky (UK), where he played under Coach Charlie Bradshaw. In 1967, Northington was the first African American to play in a Southeastern Conference football game. After the death of his roommate and teammate, Greg Page, Northington transferred to Western Kentucky University. For more see B. Reed, "Bradshaw's Style Didn't Change to Suit Times," Lexington Herald Leader, 06/04/99, Sports section, p. C1; and M. Story, "They were our Jackie Robinsons - Hackett recalls days as trailblazer at UK of 1960s, a story for every county," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/28/2007, Sports section, p. C2. For more on the recruitment of Northington, see the "Ed T. Breathitt" interview transcript at Kentucky Historical Society Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky website. See also Still running: the autobiography of Nate Northington, the first African American football player in the Southeastern Conference by N. Northington.

  See photo image of Nate Northington at Kentucky Digital Library.
Subjects: Football
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Nurse, John Robert
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1964
Born in Louisville, KY, Nurse was the physician-in-charge of infant welfare at Central Louisville Health Center from 1919-1935, a time when infant mortality was beginning to decline. Nurse was also medical director of the Mammoth Life Insurance Company in Louisville, beginning in 1946. He was the son of Robert L. and Pattie Nurse. In 1900 the family of four lived on Oak Street in Louisville, according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Nutter, Homer
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1989
Reverend Homer Nutter was a minister, an undertaker, and civil rights leader who fought to end discrimination at downtown businesses in Lexington, KY. He was born in Harrison County, KY, and raised in Paris, KY; in 1900, the Nutter Family lived on 8th Street in Paris, KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Rev. Nutter was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Lexington for 50 years; he replaced Rev. Robert Mitchell in 1926 and retired in 1976. He was a two-time graduate of Simmons University [Simmons College]. Kentucky Governor Wetherby appointed Rev. Nutter to the Governor's Advisory Committee on Education Desegregation. He was also a member of the Board of Regents at Kentucky State University and the Board of Trustees at Simmons University. He served in the U.S. Army during WWI as a company clerk. Homer Nutter was the husband of Ida B. Coleman Nutter and the son of Harrison and Ameila Nutter. For more see "Lexington Civil Rights Leader Dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/10/1989, City/State section, p. B1.


Access Interview Read about the Homer Nutter oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Kentucky African American Churches, Military & Veterans, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Harrison County, Kentucky / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Nwangwa, Shirley A. Bacon
Birth Year : 1944
Death Year : 1996
Born Shirley Bacon in Christian County, KY, she received her B.A. in elementary education from Lane College in 1966 and her M.S. in public health and community organization from the University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill in 1970. She was employed by the Halifax County Health Department and worked in the area of teenage pregnancy. Nwangwa was the executive producer of the film, The Eye Can Story, a 30-minute documentary created to promote the self-esteem of teenagers and to deter early sexual involvement. For more see Contemporary Black American Playwrights and Their Plays, by G. L. Peterson, Jr.
Subjects: Authors, Medical Field, Health Care, Poets, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Christian County, Kentucky / Halifax County, North Carolina


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