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

Lincoln Institute (Lincoln Ridge, KY)

The Lincoln Institute was formed in response to the 1904 Day Law, which was upheld by the 1908 Supreme Court decision forbidding the education of whites and blacks in the same Kentucky school. The law was aimed at Berea College, which had been integrated since 1863. The Lincoln Foundation was founded in 1910; Lincoln Institute opened in 1912 in Shelby County, KY. It offered vocational instruction, unlike the classical education that had been offered at Berea. The first African American president was Dr. Whitney M. Young, Sr.; he led Lincoln Institute for over 40 years as it became a prominent boarding school for African American children. The campus is presently leased by the federal government for the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Job Corps Center. For more see the Lincoln Foundation history page; G. C. Wright, "The founding of Lincoln Institute," Filson Club History Quarterly, vol. 49, issue 1 (1975), pp. 57-70; and "The Faith Plan: a black institution grows during the Depression," Filson Club History Quarterly, vol. 51, issue 4 (1977), pp. 336-349. The majority of the primary sources pertaining to Lincoln Institute are available at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA), and some at Kentucky State University Library. See Lincoln Institute oral history collection 2003-2008, video interviews of 86 individuals conducted by Dr. Andrew Baskin, Associate Professor of General and Black Studies at Berea College. The subjects are former Lincoln Institute students and some of the employees and their children. The recordings are available at Berea College Special Collections and Archives, where you will also find additional information on the history of Berea College.  See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Young, Whitney M., Sr.
NKAA Entry: Young, Whitney M., Jr.
NKAA Source: Filson history quarterly (periodical)
NKAA Source: Lincoln Institute oral history collection 2003-2008

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Lincoln Institute (Lincoln Ridge, KY),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed February 2, 2023,

Last modified: 2017-09-14 21:00:51