From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Shake Rag (Bowling Green, KY)

The Shake Rag District of Bowling Green, KY was an African American community with families, schools, businesses, and churches. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The community was settled by former enslaved people, families, and soldiers who had fought for the Union Army during the U.S. Civil War. A large portion of Bowling Green's domestic employees lived in Shake Rag. The Southern Queen Hotel and Covington-Moses home, located in Shake Rag at 140 State Street, is still the only African American-owned hotel in Bowling Green. Built in 1906 by James Covington, his family members still live in the home.

Prior to school integration, State Street High School was where African American students in Bowling Green attended school.

In 2008, the 5th Annual Shake Rag Heritage Festival was held by the New Era Planning Association, an organization working to revitalize the Shake Rag District.

For more see ShakeRag: a pictorial history from 1946 to 1967, by D. Thompson and K. R. Singleton; and the following articles from the Daily News (Bowling Green): J. Dooley, "Visitors' bureau highlights Shakerag area," 10/08/2002, News section; Alyssa Harvey, "Shake Rag group hosting heritage festival," 5/30/2003; A. Carmichael, "Shake Rag looks toward resurgence," 8/17/2003, News section; A. Harvey, "Shake Rag's festival returns - fifth annual event pays tribute to BG's historic black area," 5/15/2008, Feature section; and B. Speakman, "Celebrating Shake Rag," 5/17/2008, (

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Warren County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Bowling Green, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: ShakeRag: a pictorial history from 1946 to 1967: a collection of photos passed down from the late Joseph C. Hampton
NKAA Source: Daily news (Bowling Green, KY) (newspaper)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  African American Schools in Warren County, KY
NKAA Entry:  Crowders, Reuben [Ernest Hogan]
NKAA Entry:  Wilson, Atwood S.

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Shake Rag (Bowling Green, KY),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed November 27, 2022,

Last modified: 2022-06-29 17:00:53