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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African American Schools in Robertson County, KY

As early as 1880, there was a colored school in Mt. Olivet, KY; William Crosby was the school teacher and he was also a farm worker according to the…

African American Schools in Rowan County, KY

The colored schools in Rowan County, KY, seemed to come and go from the late 1800s to about 1930. As early as 1895, there was one colored school in…

Smith, Holloway

Kentucky native Holloway Smith was the second African American football player at Iowa State. The first African American player was Jack Trice, who…

Frederick Douglass, Convention Presidential Nominations, and Kentucky

June 23, 1888 is hailedas the day thatFrederick Douglass received one vote from the Kentucky Delegation at the Republican Convention in Chicago,…

"Ol Man River"/"Long Haired Mama" Song Controversy

The song, "Ol Man River," written in 1927, has beenreferred to as a Negro folk song and iscredited to Jerome Kern for the music and Oscar Hammerstein…

African American Schools: African American Education in South Central Kentucky, 1920–1960 - Oral History Collection by Joseph Carl Ruff (FA166)

The following information is taken from the descriptive inventory. "This project, “African American Education in South Central Kentucky, 1920 –…

African American Schools in Shelby County, KY

As early as 1849, a colored school was attempted in Shelbyville, KY;Rev. C. W. Robinson was flogged in the school room by the Shelby County chief…

African American Schools in Simpson County, KY

Elijah P. Marrs is credited with opening the first school for Negros in Simpson County in 1866; Marrs had returned home from service in the American…

African American Schools in Spencer County, KY

Spencer County hadcolored schools as early as 1886, according to theReport of the Superintendent of Public Instruction,school year ending June 1886…