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

Brown-Lewis, Charliese

Born in Versailles, Kentucky, Charliese Brown was the thirdAfrican American to be selected as the Kentucky Derby Festival Queen, crowned in 1996.…

Stanley, Frank L., Sr.

Frank L. Stanley, Sr. was senior editor and publisher of the Louisville Defender newspaper for 38 years. He was also a civil rights activist: in 1950…

Louisville (KY) African American Film and Video Festival

The two day festival was first held May 28-29, 2005, at the Kentucky Theatre in downtown Louisville, KY. All of the films were independently produced.…

Caroline (escaped slave) [Donnell v. State]

Caroline was a runaway slave from Trimble County, KY, who made a daring escape with her four children in 1847. Escorts in the Underground Railroad…

Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company

A Louisville-based company, Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company was Kentucky's largest African American-owned business, with offices in…

Wilkinson, Crystal

Crystal Wilkinson was born in Ohio and reared in Indian Creek, KY. She chaired the Creative Writing Department for the Kentucky Governor's School for…

Joe Louis Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and Joe Louis Bottling Company

Beginning in 1952, Joe Louis Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 86 proof, was a short-lived venture by then retired heavyweight boxer Joe Louis. He…