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

McFarland, Richard L., Sr. "R.L."

Richard L. McFarland, Sr. was born in Owensboro, KY. He was valedictorian of his 1935 graduating class at Western High School in Owensboro. McFarland…

Strickland, Nathaniel

Nathaniel Strickland was born in Irvine, KY, the son of Mitchell and Helen Strickland. In 1973 he was elected city council member and Mayor Pro Tem in…

Smith-Wright, Pamela L.

In 2007, Pamela Smith-Wright was the first African American elected president of the the Kentucky AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary. Smith-Wrightis from…

Jones, William A., Sr.

William A. Jones, Sr. was a minister who helped lead the Civil Rights Movement in Lexington, KY, via the Lexington Chapter of Congress of Racial…

Hutton, Henry T. "Hut"

In 1985, Henry Hutton almost became the fourth African American mayor in Kentucky and the first in eastern Kentucky. Hutton was temporarily named…

Harvey, Wardelle G., Sr.

Wardell G. Harvey, Sr.was born in Booneville, IN, and is a graduate of Tri-State Baptist College. He came to Kentucky in 1962 to pastor at the…

Coleman, Robert Alfonzo

Robert A. Coleman, a civil rights activist, was born in Hopkinsville, KY. He was a postal carrier in Paducah, KY, and the first African American…

Brown, James and Bridgett

In 2006, the husband and wife team of James, born 1970 in Chicago, and Bridgett, born 1973 in Louisville, KY, opened Brown's Bakery in Lexington, KY.…

Ellison, Fanny McConnell

Fanny M. Ellison was born in Louisville, KY, to Ulysses and Willie Mae Brock McConnell; her parents divorced before Fanny was a year old and she and…

Civil War Colored Troops, Columbus, KY

During the Civil War, Fort DeRussey was located within what is now the Columbus-Belmont State Park. The town of Columbus was considered the state's…