There are more notable African Americans with Kentucky roots and ties than any one person knows about. Very little has been written about many of them and it is a challenge to find what was written in the past. For some, their stories have only been told by word of mouth. The Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (NKAA) has been developed as a finding aid to bring together a brief description of pertinent names, places, and events, and to list the sources where additional information may be found. This is not currently an all inclusive database, but we are working toward that goal and suggestions are welcomed.

Recently Updated/Added

Waits, Ernest J., Sr. "Ernie"

Ernie Waits, Sr. is often referred to as the first African American disc jockey in both Kentucky and Ohio [source: E. S. Murrain, "Payola and the Pied…

Lewis, Cary Blackburn, Sr.

Cary B. Lewis, Sr. was a newspaper journalist and editor. Hewas born in Louisville, KY in 1878,the son of Plummer Sr. andMattieLewis [source:…

Henderson, Dennis Irwin

Republican Dennis I. Henderson was elected Representative of the 42nd District (Louisville) in 1948, the second African American elected to the…

Harris, Emma E. "The Mammy of Moscow"

Actress and singer Emma Harris told others that she was from Kentucky but gave Augusta, GA as her birth place on her 1901 U.S. Passport Application.…

Olive, Lewis Cortez, Jr.

Lewis C. Olive, Jr. was one of the first African Americans from Kentucky to be appointed to West Point Military Academy. New York Congressman Adam…

Wade, Andrew

Andrew Wade was born on Feb 12, 1922 in Nashville, TN. Charlotte Ann Wade (Williams) was born on November 22, 1928 in Louisville, KY. They were…

Spring Valley, Illinois

Located in northern Illinois, Spring Valley was built by the Spring Valley Coal Company and the Spring Valley Townsite Company in 1884. Men from…