Complete A-Z list

Complete list of sources

Recent Additions / Updates

About NKAA

NKAA Brochure

African American Library Directors in the USA

Links of Interest




staff only

University of Kentucky Libraries

Notable Kentucky African Americans Database

Search Results

Use the back button to select a different record.

Cole, I. Willis
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1950
I. Willis Cole was born in 1887 in Memphis, Tennessee. He was a graduate of Le Moyne Junior College [now Le Moyne College]. When Cole came to Kentucky, he was a salesman who shortly thereafter became the founder of the African American newspaper, the Louisville Leader, the leading African American newspaper in Louisville. Cole used the medium to protest discrimination toward African Americans. He was a supporter of the Garvey Movement and served as the regional director of the National Negro League. In 1921, Cole was unsuccessful in his campaign for the Kentucky Senate. For more see The Leader at kytales.com; The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; River Jordan: African American Urban Life in the Ohio Valley, by J. W. Trotter & J. W. Trotter, Jr.; Life Behind a Veil: Blacks in Louisville, Kentucky, 1865-1930, by G. C. Wright; and p. 363 of The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers: 1826-August 1919, by R. A. Hill, M. Garvey, & the Universal Negro Improvement Association.

See photo image of I. Willis Cole at Hall of Fame 2001, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website. 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)
Geographic Region: Memphis, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky



Return to the search page.