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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Hancock County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870

Hancock County was formed in 1829 from portions of Ohio, Breckinridge, and Daviess Counties. It is located on the north-western edge of Kentucky along…

Hardin County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870

Hardin County, KY, created in 1792 from a portion of Nelson County, is located on the Ohio River and bordered by seven Kentucky counties. It was named…

"African American Heritage Guide: history, art & entertainment," Lexington, KY

The African American Heritage Guide was published by the Isaac Scott Hathaway Museum, Inc. in Lexington, KY, and funded in part by the Lexington…

Young, Aurelia J. Norris

Aurelia Young was a musician, composer, performer, writer, and educator. She was formerly a music professor at Jackson State College [now Jackson…

Herod, Henry Louis and Elizabeth Frances

The Herods, Henry (1875-1935) and Elizabeth (1881-1953), were Kentucky natives: Elizabeth was born in Millersburg, and Henry may have been born there,…

Harrison County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870

Harrison County, located in north-central Kentucky in the Bluegrass Region, was formed in 1793 from portions of Bourbon and Scott Counties. It was…

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…

Compton, John Glover

John Glover Compton, born in Harrodsburg, KY, was a noted ragtime jazz pianist and entertainer. He was the husband and, for a time, musical partner of…

Castleman, William Saffell Jr. "Will"

Will Castleman was a bartender in Frankfort, KY, in 1940, he and his wife Christine lived on Wilkerson Street [source: 1940 U.S. Federal Census]. Will…