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.

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Primo Carnera v Ed "Bearcat" Wright (boxing)

The Kentucky Derby brings a large number of spectators to Louisville, KY, and in 1930, the racing weekend's activities included boxing matches. At top…

Gibbons, Harriet

Harriet Gibbons was born in Louisville, KY. A graduate of Kentucky State University and the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, she taught black…

Elmore, Ronn

Born in Louisville, KY, Ronn Elmore left Kentucky at the age of 16 and became an actor and dancer in Europe before becoming a minister and marriage…

Ray, Joseph R., Jr. "Joie"

Born in Louisville, KY, Joseph R. Ray, Jr. drove in his first race in 1947. He is sometimes called the World's Only Colored Racing Driver. He has also…

Bond, Ruth E. Clement

Ruth E. Clement Bond was born in Louisville, KY, four years after her brother Rufus E. Clement. They were the children of George Clement, Bishop of…

Simpson, Arnold

Arnold Simpson was the first African American to become city manager of Covington, KY, and also, in 1994, the first elected state representative from…

Reynolds, Louise E.

Louise E. Reynolds, a stenographer, was the first African American to work at the Republican headquarters in Louisville, KY (1953-1959); she was…

Randolph, Benjamin F.

Born in Kentucky, Benjamin F. Randolph was a political leader during Reconstruction in South Carolina. He served as a chaplain for the 26th Colored…

Powers, Georgia D.

Born in Springfield, KY, Georgia Davis Powers was the first African American and woman in the Kentucky Senate (1967-1988); she served five four-year…

Poston, Ersa Hines

Ersa H. Poston was born in Mayfield and raised in Paducah, KY, after her mother's death. She was the daughter of Vivian Johnson Hines (1905-1925, died…