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Ainsworth, Marilyn V. Yarbrough
Birth Year : 1945
Death Year : 2004
Ainsworth was born Marilyn Virginia Yarbrough in Bowling Green, KY, the daughter of Merca L. Toole and William O. Yarbrough. When Marilyn was a child, the family moved to Raleigh, NC. She was a graduate of Virginia State University and, in 1973, the UCLA Law School. Ainsworth was an aerospace engineer with IBM and Westinghouse. She and her husband, Walter, were able to pay her law school tuition with her winnings from the Hollywood Squares Show. Marilyn Ainsworth later earned additional winnings from the television game shows Concentration and Match Game. She was a law professor at several colleges and served as dean of the University of Tennessee College of Law. She was the first African American woman to become dean at a major southern law school, and she was one of the first African American female law professors in the United States. Prior to her death, Ainsworth was a law professor at the University of North Carolina. For more see Who's Who In American Law; Who's Who of American Women; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006; and L. Stewart, "Yarbrough, 58, law professor," The Daily Tar Heel, 03/15/04.

 See photo image and biography of Marilyn Y. Ainsworth at the University of Kansas Women's Hall of Fame website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Lawyers, Television, Migration East
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Barnes, Walter Leland
Birth Year : 1929
Death Year : 2014
Walter L. Barnes was the founder of the Black Achievers Program in Louisville, KY. He also served as the executive director of the Chestnut Street YMCA in Louisville; he started working there in the fall of 1953 and was named Executive Director in 1968. In 2003, the City of Louisville honored him by renaming Tenth Street to Walter Barnes Way. Walter L. Barnes had come to Kentucky to attend college, he was a 1953 graduate from Kentucky State University (KSU). Walter L. Barnes was captain of the 1951 KSU football team and was named All -American End. He was inducted into the KSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1980. He was a member of the KSU National Alumni Association, and for 61 years he was a member of the Louisville Alumni Chapter of KSU. He was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Walter L. Barnes was born in Huntington, WV, and in 1948 graduated from the Douglass High School in Huntington. He was the last of the six children of U. L. Barnes, Jr. and Bennie Mae Williams Barnes. He was the husband of Martha J. Washington Barnes. For more see H. Taylor, "In Memoriam: Barnes known for community service," Louisville Courier-Journal, 08/13/2014, p.A.9; and funeral program "Homegoing Services for Walter Leland Barnes," services at Calvary Baptist Church, A.D. Porter & Sons Funeral Home.


*This entry and supporting documents were provided by Juanita L. White, Louisville, KY.
Subjects: Football, Migration East, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association), YMCA Black Achievers
Geographic Region: Huntington, West Virginia / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Bolen, Stephanie L.
Birth Year : 1973
Stephanie L. Bolen is from Hopkinsville, KY.  In 1998, she was the first African American to earn a Master of Science degree in forestry at the University of Kentucky.  She had already earned a Bachelor of Science from Old Dominion University, and in 2015, she earned a juris doctoral degree from Valparaiso University. Stephanie L. Bolen's law office is located in Norfolk, VA. The title of her master's thesis is Barriers that Limit Outdoor Recreation Participation for Individuals with Disabilities. At the time of her graduation, the Master of Science in Forestry was still a relatively young program at the University of Kentucky. In much earlier times, the forestry program was offered only as a bachelor's degree that could be earned in cooperation with the School of Forestry at Duke University. A student's first three years were spent in residency at UK while taking liberal arts and science classes. The student's last two years were spent at the School of Forestry at Duke; only seniors and graduate students were accepted at the Duke School of Forestry. By 1967, the UK Forestry Department was established in the College of Agriculture and Home Economics. The program was part of the Southern Regional Plan that allowed for students to complete their bachelor degrees in forestry at one of the Southern Forestry Schools. The master's program became available at UK in the early 1980s. In 1998, Stephanie L. Bolen and six other graduates earned a Master of Science in Forestry. For more about the forestry program during the years mentioned in this entry, see pp.58-59 in the Bulletin of the University of Kentucky, General Catalog 1953-54, v.46, no.5, May 1954; see pp.126-127 in the University of Kentucky Bulletin Catalogue 1967-68; p.132 in University of Kentucky Bulletin 1983-84; and other University of Kentucky bulletins available online at Explore UK. For the list of 1998 forestry graduates who earned master degrees, see p.94 in the Minutes of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees, May 5, 1998.
Subjects: Agriculturalists, Agriculture, Produce, Lawyers, Migration East
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Norfolk, Virginia

Boyd, Charles W. "C. W."
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1951
Charles Wesley Boyd was born in Mt. Sterling, KY, the son of John Boyd and Ella Steele Boyd. He was the husband of Kate Jarrison Boyd. Charles Boyd was an education leader during the early years of the African American school system in Charleston, WV. He was an 1891 graduate of Wilberforce University in Ohio, continuing his education at several other universities and earning his master's degree at Wilberforce University. Boyd taught school in Clarksburg, WV, until 1891 when he moved to Charleston to become a principal and teacher. He was the first long-term leader of the school system; prior to his arrival school principals had served only a year or two. In 1893, he was named one of the vice presidents of the newly formed West Virginia Colored Institute, later serving one year as president. In 1900, he was the founder and principal of Garnet High School, which would become the largest African American high school in West Virginia. In 1904, Boyd was named Supervisor of the Colored Schools in Charleston. He was also a leader in his church, instrumental in the First Baptist Church becoming the first African American church ranked as a Standard Sunday School. He was also a member of the Pythians and the West Virginia Grand Lodge. Charles W. Boyd was born August 19, 1865, and died February 1, 1951, according to West Virginia Certificate of Death State File #1554. For more see Early Negro Education in West Virginia, by C. G. Woodson; Charles Wesley Boyd, a West Virginia Division of Culture and History website (photo error); Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and "Charles Wesley Boyd" in History of the American Negro, West Virginia Edition edited by A. B. Caldwell.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work, Migration East, Fraternal Organizations, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / Charleston, West Virginia

Brown, Hugh Victor
Birth Year : 1891
Death Year : 1994
Hugh V. Brown was born in Henderson, KY. He was a school principal in Virginia and North Carolina. Brown also organized district associations for the North Carolina Teachers Association while serving as its first president in 1936; he served as president again from 1948-1950. He was also president of the Southeastern District Teachers Association. Brown was a two time graduate of Hampton Institute [now Hampton University], and was a trustee in 1950. He was a veteran of WWI. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; Folks Around Here by G. Price; and "Hugh V. Brown" in the Obituaries section of the Daily Press, 09/22/1994, p.C4. See also A History of the Education of Negroes in North Carolina by H. V. Brown; E-qual-ity Education in North Carolina Among Negroes by H. V. Brown; and A Study of the Functional Value of Curricula Materials and Methods of the Goldsboro (North Carolina) Negro Schools in Meeting the Economic and Civic Needs of the Pupils (thesis) by H. V. Brown.

Access Interview Read about the Hugh Victor Brown oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration East
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Virginia / North Carolina

Brummell, William C., Sr.
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 1969
Brummell, born in Salina, Kansas, was the first African American member of the Kentucky Parole Board in 1966. He was named to the board by Governor Breathitt for a four year term at $12,000 per year. Brummell, a social worker, had been director of the Louisville-Jefferson County Children's Home. For more see "Negro on Kentucky Board," New York Times, 07/12/1966, p.4.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Social Workers, Migration East, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Salina, Kansas / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Bryant, Roscoe C., Jr.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2005
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Bryant was the son of Dr. Roscoe C. Bryant, Sr. and Curlie Marshall Bryant. Bryant, Jr. had been on the staff of the Red Cross Hospital in Louisville, KY, for one year when, in 1948, he and two other doctors applied for membership to the segregated Jefferson County Medical Society. Bryant and his colleagues were accepted. Bryant would also become the first African American physician on the Louisville/Jefferson County Board of Health. He was a graduate of Fisk University and Meharry Medical College. Bryant practiced medicine for almost 50 years in Louisville before his retirement in 1994. He was the father of Louisville Council Member Cheri Bryant Hamilton. For more see P. Burba, "Physician Roscoe Bryant Jr., 83 dies," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 07/13/2005, p. 06B.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration East, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Fort Worth, Texas / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Calloway, Ernest Abner
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 1989
Calloway was a writer, a union organizer and advocate, a civil rights activist, a politician, and an educator. He was born in Herberton, WV, and came to Letcher County, KY, with his family in 1913. They were one of the first African American families in the coal mining community in Letcher County. His father helped organize the first Local United Mine Workers Union. In 1925, Calloway ran away to Harlem [New York City]. Within a few years he returned to Kentucky and worked in the coal mines. Beginning In 1930, Calloway was a drifter for three years, traveling throughout the U.S. and Mexico before returning to Kentucky to work in the coal mines again. It would be Calloway's writing that would help him leave Kentucky for good. He had written an article on the use of marijuana and submitted it to Opportunity magazine. The article was rejected, but Calloway was asked to write an article on the working conditions of Negro coal miners in Kentucky. The article was published in March 1934, resulting in Calloway being offered a scholarship to Brookwood Labor College [info] in New York. He would go on to help establish and influence many union organizations. Early in his career, he developed the Virginia Workers' Alliance; organized the Chicago Redcaps [railroad station porters] and the United Transport Employee Union; and assisted in the writing of the resolution for the development of the Committee Against Discrimination in the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). Calloway was the first African American to refuse military service because of racial discrimination. In 1955, he was president of the St. Louis, MO, NAACP Branch. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1968 and was a part time lecturer at St. Louis University in 1969. For a more detailed account of Calloway's career, see the "Ernest Abner Calloway" entry in the Dictionary of Missouri Biography, by L. O. Christensen; and the Ernest Calloway Papers, 1937-1983 in the Western Historical Manuscript Collection at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration East, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Union Organizations, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Herberton, West Virginia / Letcher County, Kentucky / New York / Chicago, Illinois / Saint Louis, Missouri

Calvin Ruff and Libby Lightburn
Start Year : 1885
Calvin Ruff, who was white, was the son of J. Q. Ruff, a wealthy man in Galveston, Texas. Libby Lightburn was an 18 year old mulatto who had moved from Texas to Louisville, KY. In 1885, Ruff arrived in Louisville to ask Lightburn to be his wife. Interracial marriage was illegal in Kentucky, so the couple was married in New Albany, Indiana, where interracial marriage was also illegal, but since both were unknown, Ruff was able to purchase the marriage license as a Colored man. The state of Indiana had an 1840 law that made all white-black marriages null and void, and for those who married after the law was passed, if caught, the charge was a felony with the penalty of 10-20 years in the state prison. For more see "Marriage of Black and White," The New York Freeman, 06/27/1885, issue 32, Col. F; and T. P. Monahan, "Marriage across racial lines in Indiana," Journal of Marriage and the Family, vol. 35, issue 4 (Nov., 1973), pp. 632-630.
Subjects: Migration East, Interracial Marriage and State Laws
Geographic Region: Galveston, Texas / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New Albany, Indiana

Cotton, John A.
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1943
Born in Manchester, KY, Reverend John Adams Cotton was the second African American President of Henderson Institute in Henderson, N.C. (1903-1943). The school, which existed from 1891-1970, was known as Henderson Normal and Industrial Institute until 1903, when Cotton changed the name to Henderson Institute. Cotton was educated at Berea College and Knoxville College and was a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He was the husband of Maude Brooks. In 1903, the Cottons came to Henderson, N.C. from Cleveland, Ohio; Rev. Cotton had been transferred by the General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church of America to replace Rev. Jacob Cook, who had died. Henderson Institute was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1995. Rev. John A. Cotton was the son of Nelson Cotton and Silphia Carroll Cotton. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; Minutes of the General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church of America, by United Presbyterian Church of America, General Assembly (1958); Vance County, North Carolina, by A. D. Vann; and "John Adams Cotton" in History of the American Negro, North Carolina Edition edited by A. B. Caldwell.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work, Migration East
Geographic Region: Manchester, Clay County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio / Henderson, North Carolina

Crump, Steven
Birth Year : 1957
Steven Crump, a news reporter and an award-winning documentary filmmaker, was born in Louisville, KY. He has won a number of awards for his work. Crump is a reporter with WBTV 3 in Charlotte, NC. He has produced more than 20 documentaries that focus on African Americans and the Civil Rights Era. The titles include Forgotten at the Finish Line, Souls of Passage, Nickles from Heaven, Airmen and AdversityLessons from the Lunch Counter, and Louisville's Own Ali, which was recognized as a 2008 NABJ Salute to Excellence Award title. The documentaries are aired at WTVI (Charlotte, NC) and have also aired on other educational and public television stations around the U.S. Crump is a graduate of Trinity High School in Louisville and Eastern Kentucky University. This entry was submitted by Suzanne D. Cordery. For more see M. Washburn, "Steve Crump's documentary takes us to landmarks of Civil Rights Era," The Charlotte Observer, 01/18/2009, Carolina Living section, p.1E; "New ASC Award honors lifetimes of creativity," The Charlotte Observer, 09/21/2008, Carolina Living section, p.3E; and L. M. Imuhammad, "Louisville's own Ali," The Courier-Journal, 01/15/2007, Features section, p.1E.

See photo image and additional information about Steven Crump at
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Historians, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Television, Migration East, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Charlotte, North Carolina

Davis, DeWayne Frank
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1969
Born in Covington, KY, DeWayne F. Davis became the assistant health commissioner in Charleston, West Virginia, and a physician at West Virginia State College [now West Virginia State University], where he had received his undergraduate degree. Davis received his M.D. from Meharry Medical College. He was the son of Ella May Holmes Davis and Henry Davis, according to the State of Texas Certificate of Death #03158 for DeWayne F. Davis, who died in Houston on January 20, 1969. Dr. Davis had been in Houston for six years. He was a veteran of WWI, and was buried in the Paradise South Cemetery in Houston. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Migration East, Migration South
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Charleston, West Virginia / Houston, Texas

Dawson, Howard Preston, Jr.
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 1961
H. Preston Dawson, a horse trainer, was born July 20, 1916 in Kentucky, the son of Howard Preston Dawson, Sr. and Nettie B. Baker Dawson [source: West Virginia Deaths Index]. Preston Dawson died in Wheeling, WV, and is buried in Springfield, KY.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, Betting, & The Derby, Migration East
Geographic Region: Wheeling, West Virginia / Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Donan, Russell
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 1992
Russell Donan was one of the very few African American men from Kentucky to serve on a Navy submarine during WWII. He was an Officer's Cook 1st Class, and served first on the “R-3” and made several war patrols on the “Cobia”. He would be assigned to several other submarines before ending his military career in 1946 on the “Sperry” and on the “Carp”. Donan was born in Edmonton, KY, the son of Mary and James Donan. The family lived on State Street in Bowling Green, KY, in 1930, according to the U. S. Federal Census. Donan was the husband of Mary R. Mayfield, they were married in 1946. Russell Donan was a graduate of Tennessee A&I State University [now Tennessee State University]. He later earned a master's degree. He was an instructor and an assistant football coach at Virginia Union University. This entry was suggested by UK Librarian Shawn Livingston. For more see the "Russell Donan" entry in Black Submariners by G. A. Knoblock.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Football, Military & Veterans, Migration East
Geographic Region: Edmonton, Metcalfe County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Virginia

Dunlap, Mollie E.
Birth Year : 1898
Death Year : 1977
Born in Paducah, KY, Dunlap received her library degree from the University of Michigan in 1931. She was an instructor at Wilberforce University (1918-1923), returning in 1947. Dunlap was also a librarian at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina (1934-1947). She was also assistant editor of the Negro College Quarterly (1944-1947), authoring several bibliographical studies of Negro literature that were published in the journal. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Notable Black American Women, Book II, ed. by J. C. Smith.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North, Migration East
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Wilberforce, Ohio / Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Eaves, Jerry Lee
Birth Year : 1959
Born in Louisville, KY, Jerry L. Eaves played high school basketball at Ballard in Louisville and was selected as a McDonalds' All-American in 1978 after his team won the Kentucky state basketball championship. Eaves played college ball at the University of Louisville and was a member of the 1980 NCAA Championship team. The 6'4" guard was selected by the Utah Jazz in the 1982 NBA draft and ended his professional playing career five years later with the Sacramento Kings. He played in a total of 168 games and had 1,132 points and 414 assists. Eaves was head basketball coach at North Carolina A & T University 2003-2012. For more see Jerry Eaves at
Subjects: Basketball, Migration West, Migration East
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Utah / Sacramento, California / North Carolina

Elzy, Robert James
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1972
Born in Lexington, KY, Elzy was a 1909 graduate of Fisk University and completed his graduate work at Columbia University and New York University. He was assistant principal and a teacher at Joseph K. Brick School in North Carolina, then taught for a year at State Normal School for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]. Elzy left Kentucky to practice social work in Brooklyn, New York. He was the founder and executive secretary of the Brooklyn Urban League, chaired the Colored Case Committee of the Bedford and Ft. Green districts of the Brooklyn Bureau of Charities, and was treasurer of the Brooklyn Social Service League. Robert J. Elzy was the husband of Louise Voorhees Elzy. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29 and 1950; and "Robert Elzy of Urban League, champion of Black welfare, dies," New York Times, 02/20/1972, p. 68.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Social Workers, Migration East, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / North Carolina / Brooklyn, New York

Exum, William
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1988
William Exum, born in Illinois, was the first African American varsity football player at the University of Wisconsin. He was both an outstanding track star and student at Wisconsin, completing his bachelor's, master's, and doctorate. His father's family had originally come from Mississippi and Tennessee, and his maternal grandmother was from Kentucky, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. William Exum's family settled in Gary, Indiana; after he graduated from high school, he left Indiana to attend school in Wisconsin. In 1949 Exum was hired as head of the Kentucky State University (KSU) Physical Education Department and later was made head of the Athletics Department, sometimes coaching various sports teams. In 1964 he coached the KSU men's cross country team to an NCAA Division II championship. He was the manager of the United States Track and Field teams at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics. In 1978 the National Association of College Directors of Athletics inducted him into the Hall of Fame. Exum retired from KSU in 1980. The William Exum Athletic Center at KSU was named in his honor in 1994. William Exum was the son of William (b.1868 in MS) and Ruth Exum (b.1876 in IL). For more see N. C. Bates, "Exum a great athlete and coach," Post-Tribune (IN), 02/06/2003, Neighbors section, p. B2.

See photo images and additional information at the website.

Access Interview Read about the William Exum oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Education and Educators, Migration North, Track & Field, Migration East, Migration South, Olympics: Athletes, Games, Events
Geographic Region: Illinois / Mississippi / Tennessee / Gary, Indiana / Wisconsin / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Friday, Rufus M.
In May of 2011, Rufus M. Friday was named the president and publisher of the Lexington Herald-Leader. He is the first African American named to the post. Rufus M. Friday had been the president and publisher of the Tri-City Herald in Washington (state), beginning in 2005. While there, he was named the 2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Award winner. Rufus M. Friday is a native of North Carolina. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University and played tight end on the football team. For more information see D. Foster, "Herald's publisher wins MLK Jr. Spirit Award," Tri-City Herald, 01/17/2010 [online]; and J. Patton, "Herald-Leader publisher Tim Kelly to retire; Rufus Friday to succeed him," Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/06/2011, p.A1. This entry was suggested by Lisa A. Brown.

See video of Rufus M. Friday at Bethel Church Transformation 2008 Conference, on YouTube.

See video of Rufus M. Friday on Connections with Renee Shaw, program #719 at Kentucky Educational Television.

Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Migration East
Geographic Region: Gastonia, North Carolina / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Gaines, Clarence E., Sr. "BigHouse"
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 2005
Born in Paducah, KY, Clarence E. Gaines was the salutatorian of his graduating class at Lincoln High School; he went on to graduate from Morgan State University with a chemistry degree. He had been on the basketball, football, and track teams. In 1946 Gaines began coaching football and later coached basketball. In 1967 his Winston-Salem State College [now Winston-Salem State University] team won the NCAA Division II basketball championship, led by Earl "The Pearl" Monroe. It was the first time that a historically Black college had won a national championship. The Clarence Edward "Big House" Gaines, Sr. Collection is housed in the Winston-Salem State University Archives and Manuscripts. He was the son of Lester and Olivia Bolen Gaines. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2006; African-American sports greats: a biographical dictionary, ed. by D. L. Porter; V. Berstein, "Big House Gaines, 81, basketball coach, dies," The New York Times, Sports Desk section, p. 19; and The Legacy of Clarence Edward "Big House" Gaines, Sr., a Digital Forsyth website.

See photo images at the Digital Forsyth website.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Basketball, Football, Track & Field, Migration East, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Gomez, Wanti W. [Louis Jones]
Wanti (or Wante) W. Gomez is said to have appeared in Durham, NC, from 'out of nowhere' in 1920. He was first an independent agent with the Mutual Building and Loan Association, and with that major success, he was named director of the company's education department. Gomez left the position and founded the Bankers Fire Insurance Company, which was also a success. Gomez chose a low profile as secretary of the company. Bankers Fire was listed in Best Insurance Reports, vol. 22, 33rd ed., 1922-23, p. 54, wherein Gomez was credited as having several years of insurance business [online at Google Book Search]. In 1924, he pushed for the establishment of the National Negro Finance Corporation within the National Negro Business League. The Finance Corporation was a complete failure in the late 1920s. Gomez was long gone by that time, having disappeared from Durham in 1926 and taking with him assets from his business, Durham Commercial Security Company. He was never heard from again. It was soon learned that Gomez's real name was Louis Jones and he was a fugitive from Kentucky who was wanted for arson. He had left the Bankers Fire Insurance Company in good standing, and Wanti Gomez is still considered one of the major contributors toward the making of Black Wall Street in Durham. For more see Black Business in the New South, by W. B. Weare; Durham County, by J. B. Anderson and Historic Preservation Society of Durham; "Bankers Fire Insurance Company, Durham, N. C., condition December 31, 1921, as shown by statement filed," The Landmark, 04/27/1922, p. 3.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Migration East, Negro Business League
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Durham, North Carolina

Halliday, Thelma Dorothy Yancey
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 2005
Thelma Dorothy Yancey was one of the first African Americans in Kentucky to earn a library college degree. She was born in Great Falls, Montana on October 12, 1912 and moved to Lexington, KY after her father became ill. She attended Chandler School and Lincoln Institute in Kentucky. She later attended Kentucky Normal School for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University] and went to Hampton Institute [now Hampton University] where she received her Bachelor's in Library Science in 1938. She was one of the school's first library graduates from Kentucky [source: Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones, p.83]. Prior to receiving her library degree, she was an assistant librarian at Kentucky State Industrial College [Kentucky State University], and read a paper, "Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind and the Negro," during the 1937 Annual KNEA Librarians' and Teacher-Librarians' Conference in Louisville, KY [source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, v.8, no.1, p.21]. Thelma Yancey was employed as a librarian in Pine Bluffs, Alabama. She was later librarian at Dunbar High School up to 1955 or 1956. She married Neil Lilburn Halliday Sr. (formerly of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) and had two children - Antoinette "Toni" and Neil Jr. Neil Halliday was a mail carrier in Lexington, KY. When her husband got a job with the US Postal Service in Washington, D.C., the family moved to D.C. Thelma D. Yancey Halliday was librarian at Anacostia High School and Cardoza High School in D.C. She was later employed by Howard University, where she was in the reference department under Maurice Thomas and head librarian Dr. Paul Reason. She later accepted a position setting up the library for the Small Business Development Center under Dr. Wilfred White, and the library became part of the Howard University School of Business. She received her Masters Degree in Library Science from Catholic University. She retired from Howard University, and remained an active member of the American Library Association after her retirement. She was a golden soror of Delta Sigma Theta. She was author of the annotated bibliography The Negro in Business and the title City Directories of Black Businesses: a list, and was editor of Against the Tide by Ann Heartwell Hunter, the book is a history of Kentucky and Kentucky State University. Thelma D. Yancey Halliday was the granddaughter of Jordan Carlisle Jackson Jr. and E. Belle Mitchell Jackson; the daughter of Charles H. Yancey and Minnie Carlisle Jackson Yancey; and the sister of Sadie Mae Yancey and Myrtle Yancey Mitchell. This entry was submitted by Toni H. Schooler, daughter of Thelma D. Yancey Halliday.
Subjects: Authors, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North, Postal Service, Migration East
Geographic Region: Great Falls, Montana / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Henderson, Louis B.
Birth Year : 1904
Born in Maysville, KY, Henderson grew up in Springfield, Ohio. He was a chemical engineering graduate from Case Institute of Technology [now Case Western Reserve University]. He had been employed in West Virginia at the Weirton Steel Company in the metallurgical department and later moved to Stubenville, Ohio. Henderson was a life-long Mason and in 1952 was awarded 33rd Degree by the United Supreme Council. In 1955 he was Grand Master. For more see Chapter 16 of The History of Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Free and Accpeted Masons of the State of Ohio, 1849-1960 by C. H. Wesley.
Subjects: Engineers, Migration North, Migration East, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Weirton, West Virginia / Stubenville, Ohio

Hunter, William H.
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1938
William H. Hunter was a shoe maker and an industrial arts teacher from South Carolina. He is credited as the person who introduced shoe making as an industrial arts subject in the Negro public schools in Louisville, KY [source: "K. N. E. A. Kullings," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, January-February 1939, v.9, no.2-2, p.28].  Hunter learned his trade at Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University] and is listed as a former student on p.28 in the 1910 title Industrial Work of Tuskegee Graduates and Former Students During the Year 1910 by M. N. Work, Division of Research and Records, Tuskegee Institute, Ala.  According to the publication, Hunter had been at his trade for 7 years and was earning $15 per week. In 1917, Hunter was a shoe maker at the Boston Shoe Company in Louisville, and he lived at 1920 W. Madison [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1917, p.727]. In 1930, Hunter was a teacher at Jackson Street Junior High School [source: Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1930, p.1024]. William H. Hunter died November 28, 1938 in Louisville, KY [source: Kentucky Death Certificate #27559]. He was the husband of Willie Hunter (b.1882 in GA).
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration East, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jackson, Blyden
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 2000
Born in Paducah, KY, and raised in Louisville, KY, Blyden Jackson was an editor, critic, essayist and activist. He was a graduate of Wilberforce University and the University of Michigan, where he earned his Ph.D. He was an English professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the first African American faculty member in a tenured faculty position. His wife, Roberta, was also a faculty member at the school. Blyden Jackson wrote The Waiting Years: Essays on American Negro Literature and A History of Afro-American Literature and co-authored Black Poetry in America: two essays in historical interpretation. Jackson, credited as a pioneer in the study of Black literature, also wrote many articles. In 1992, the admissions building at Chapel Hill was named in honor of Blyden and Roberta Jackson. Blyden Jackson was the brother of Reid E. Jackson, Sr. For more see the Roberta H. Jackson and Blyden Jackson Papers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library; "First tenured Black UNC professor dead at 89," The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 05/06/2000; and "The First Black faculty members at the nation's 50 flagship state universities," The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, no. 39 (Spring 2003), pp. 118-126.

See photo image and additional information about Blyden Jackson at The Fellowship of Southern Writers website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration East
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Jackson, James W. (police)
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 2006
Jackson was born in Arkansas and grew up in Paducah, KY. After graduating from Lincoln High School in 1933, he attended West Kentucky Industrial College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College]. During World War II, he was a member of the 9th Cavalry and a mounted soldier in the 2nd Cavalry, deployed in Italy. In 1960, Jackson joined the Kansas City Police Department, the third African American reserve officer on the force; he retired in 1974. He also worked at the post office and retired from there in 1992 after 50 years of employment. For more see "James Warren Jackson," Kansas City Star, 02/10/2006, Obituary section, p. B4.
Subjects: Migration West, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police, Postal Service, Migration East, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Arkansas / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Kansas City, Missouri

Jackson, Luther Porter
Birth Year : 1892
Death Year : 1950
Born in Lexington, KY, Luther P. Jackson was full professor and head of the history department at Virginia State College [now Virginia State University] beginning in 1922. He founded the Virginia Negroes League to encourage African Americans to vote, and he spoke out in his writings for racial equality. He delivered a paper on Virginia and the Civil Rights Program during the annual meeting of the Virginia Social Science Association in 1949. He authored a number of books, including The Virginia Free Negro Farmer and Property Owner, 1830-1860 (1939). He was also on the editorial staff of the Journal of Negro History and Negro History Bulletin. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; Luther P. Jackson at the University of Virginia website; Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History, 2nd. ed., edited by C. Palmer, vol. 3, p. 1142; and a more detailed biography, Luther Porter Jackson (1892-1950), at Encyclopedia Virginia [online].

Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Historians, Voting Rights, Migration East
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Petersburg, Virginia

Jennings, G. W.
Birth Year : 1854
G. W. Jennings, born in Kentucky around 1854, was a race rider in Weldon, N.C., according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. He was the husband of Rose Jennings.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, Betting, & The Derby, Migration East
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Weldon, North Carolina

Jones, Benjamin Franklin, Sr.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1939
Benjamin F. Jones, Sr., a physician, was a former slave born in Sussex County, Virginia. He was a graduate of Normal and Agriculture Institute [now Hampton University] and completed his M.D. in 1890 at Howard University Medical College. Jones moved to Kentucky where he practiced medicine in Paris and Danville. He was named the physician for the Colored children at the Danville Deaf and Dumb Institute in 1898. Benjamin Jones was the husband of Matilda W. Jones (b. 1864 in Virginia), with whom he had five children, all born in Kentucky. The family lived on East Walnut Street in Danville, according to the 1910, 1920, and 1930 U.S. Federal Census. For more see the Benjamin Franklin Jones entry in A Historical, Biographical and Statistical Souvenir, by Howard University Medical Department [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration East, Deaf and Hearing Impaired
Geographic Region: Sussex County, Virginia / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Jones, Virginia L.
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 1984
Virginia Lacy Jones came to Kentucky in 1933 to become the assistant librarian at the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes; it was her first library job. She worked with Eliza Gleason in offering library classes to African American students. Jones became head librarian at the Municipal College in 1936, leaving the school in 1938 for a position at the Atlanta University Library [now Clark Atlanta University]. Rufus Clement had encouraged her to come to Atlanta. In 1945 Jones became the second dean of the school's library program and remained so for 36 years. More African American librarians graduated from that program than from any other library program in the United States. Virginia Lacey Jones was born in Cincinnati, OH, and raised in West Virginia. She was a graduate of Hampton Institute [now Hampton University] (B.A.), and the University of Chicago (M.A. & Ph.D.). For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones; The Ebony Success Library, vol. I: 1,000 Successful Blacks, by the editors of Ebony; and Who's Who Among Black Americans, 1975-76 & 1976.

  See photo image and additional information about Dr. Virginia L. Jones in Jet, 11/01/1985, p.19.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration East, Migration South
Geographic Region: Cincinnati, Ohio / West Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia

Malone, Claudine B.
Birth Year : 1936
Claudine B. Malone, born in Louisville, KY, is a graduate of Wellesly College and Harvard Business School. Since 1984, she has been president and chief executive officer of Financial and Management Consulting, Inc. in McLean, Virginia. Malone has been a business professor at Harvard, Georgetown University, and the University of Virginia. She is on the board of directors of a number of corporations, including Hasbro, Inc., a post she held 1992-1999 and again since 2001. In 2003, Malone was named to the Norvell Board of Directors. For more see Claudine B Malone Profile at; Norvell names Claudine B. Malone and Kathy Brittain White to Board of Directors, a 12/01/2003 press release at the Norvell website; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006.

See photo image of Claudine B. Malone (middle of the page) at Kellogg School of Management website.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Migration East
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / McLean, Virginia

McClain, Paula Denice
Birth Year : 1950
Paula D. McClain is a political science professor at Duke University with a focus on racial politics and urban politics, and she has a joint appointment with Sanford Institute of Public Policy [Duke University]. In 2007, McClain became the first African American to chair the Duke Academic Council, the leading governing body at the school. McClain has also authored several books, the most recent she co-authored in 2006: Can We All Get Along?: racial and ethnic minorities in American politics, 4th edition. The book received an award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the study of Human Rights in North America. Paula D. McClain was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Robert Landis and Mabel T. Molock McClain. She is a three time graduate of Howard University. For more see Paula McClain Curriculum Vitae and Diversity: Paula McClain, both Duke University websites; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2006.

Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration East
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Durham, North Carolina

Nichols, M. Celeste
Birth Year : 1951
Death Year : 1996
Nichols, born in Tulsa, OK, was an English professor at Bellarmine College [now Bellarmine University] in Louisville, KY. She was the Louisville coordinator for the National African American Read-In Chain. She also chaired the First National Toni Morrison Conference that was held at Bellarmine in 1995. Nichols was the first African American to earn a doctorate in English from the University of Louisville, where she wrote her dissertation, The Rhetorical Structure of the Traditional Black Church. Nichols taught at Kentucky State University before leaving to teach at Bellarmine from 1993 until her death. The Dr. M. Celeste Nichols African American Collection, works by and about African American female writers, was established in the W. L. Lyons Brown Library at Bellarmine. For more see High Upon a Hill, by W. H. Hall; and "Belknap; Bellarmine honors dynamic professor," Courier-Journal, 04/06/2001, News Neighborhoods Daily News Report section, p. 2B.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Poets, Migration East
Geographic Region: Tulsa, Oklahoma / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Nichols, Paul
Birth Year : 1939
Death Year : 1990
Paul Nichols was born in Bowling Green, KY, the son of Mary and George Nichols, Sr. He was a graduate of Virginia Union University, Presbyterian School of Christian Education [now Union Theological Seminary & Presbyterian School of Christian Education], and American University. From 1976-1984, Nichols was dean of the School of Theology at Virginia Union. He was vice president of the National Ministers Council/American Baptist for three years and in 1989 was named to the executive director of the Board of National Ministries for the American Baptist Churches USA, making him the highest ranking African American of the 1.6 million member organization. Nichols was also pastor of the Good Shepherd Baptist Church. He was well respected in the Richmond, VA, community. Noted among his many achievements was the renaming of the Shockoe Bridge for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For more see T. Muller, "Hundreds here celebrate the life of beloved pastor," Richmond Times-Dispatch, 06/02/1990, Area/State section, p. 2; "Paul Nichols, 50, dies, was Baptist executive," New York Times, 05/30/1990, p. B20; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1977-1995.

See photo image and full biography of Paul Nichols by Gloria Taylor at the Talbot School of Theology website.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work, Migration East
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Richmond, Virginia

Penn, Anna Belle Rhodes
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1930
Anna Belle Rhodes Penn was born in Paris, KY, the only child of William and Sophia Rhodes. The family moved to Lynchburg, VA, when Anna was a small child. Educated by private teachers, she is a graduate of Shaw University. Penn was a school teacher and noted essayist and poet. Her published works include "Grief Unknown," and her handwritten collection includes "Light Out of Darkness." She was the wife of I. Garlan Penn, with whom she had seven children: Anna, Marie, Louise, Elizabeth, Georgia, Irvine, Jr., and Wilhelmina. The family moved to Cincinnati, where Anna Belle Rhodes Penn was a well-known social worker. For more see "Anna Belle Rhodes Penn" in Noted Negro Women: their triumphs and activities, by M. A. Majors; and The Life and Times of Irvine Garland Penn, by J. K. Harrison and G. Harrison.

See halftone photomechanical print of Anna Belle Rhodes Penn at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Poets, Migration East
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Lynchburg, Virginia / Cincinnati, Ohio

Pleasant, Mae Barbee Boone
Birth Year : 1919
Mae Barbee Boone Pleasant, a Kentucky native, is the daughter of Minnie Burks and Zelma Barbee. She is the author of Hampton University: Our Home By the Sea, a history of the school. Pleasant was an administrative assistant to five presidents of Hampton University. She was also very socially active on campus and within the Hampton community. Pleasant received a number of awards, including twice being named "Woman of the Year" when the school was known as Hampton Institute, and receiving the Humanitarian Award given by the Peninsula Chapter of the Virginia Conference for Community and Justice in 2007. Pleasant is a graduate of Tennessee State University and Hampton University. For more see K. F. McLoughland, "An educating read about HU," Daily Press, 02/07/1993, Outlook section, p. F5; and Who's Who Among African Americans (2008).
Subjects: Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration East
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Hampton, Virginia

Purce, Charles L.
Birth Year : 1856
Charles L. Purce was president of Selma University (1886-1893) and State University (Simmons University) in Louisville, KY. He was considered one of the best educators in the country, credited with the rapid growth of State University. Purce was born in Charleston, SC, the son of Stephen Sr. and Fannie Purce. He was an 1883 graduate of Richmond Theological Seminary [later merged with Wayland Seminary to become Virginia Union University]. For more see Charles L. Purce in Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings, online at the Documenting the American South website; and A Story of a Rising Race: the Negro in Revelation, in History, and in Citizenship, by J. J. Pipkin.

See photo image of Charles L. Purce from The Negro in Revelation, in History, and in Citizenship by J. J. Pipkin, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work, Migration East
Geographic Region: Charleston, South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Randolph, Benjamin F.
Birth Year : 1820
Death Year : 1868
Born in Kentucky, Benjamin F. Randolph was a political leader during Reconstruction in South Carolina. He served as a chaplain for the 26th Colored Infantry during the Civil War. He co-founded the Charleston Journal in 1866 and became editor of the Charleston Advocate in 1867. Within the South Carolina Republican Party, he organized the Union League. In 1876 Randolph was appointed Vice President of the South Carolina Republican Executive Committee and the next year was appointed president of the committee. In 1868 he was elected to the South Carolina Senate for Orangeburg County. Randolph advocated legal equality for African Americans, including the integration of schools. In 1868, while soliciting for the Republican Party, he was shot and killed in Donaldsville, SC, a predominately white area of the state. For more see American National Biography (2004), by P. R. Betz and M. C. Carnes.

See photo image and additional information on Benjamin F. Randolph at the Historic Randolph Cemetery website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work, Migration East, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Donaldsville, South Carolina / Orangeburg, Orangeburg County, South Carolina

Robinson, William Henry
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1962
Born in Louisville, KY, William H. Robinson was head of the Physics and Math Department at Tillotson College [now Houston-Tillotson University] and Bricks Junior College, in North Carolina, and assistant director of the Mechanical Arts Department at Prairie View College [now Prairie View A&M University] before becoming head of the Physics and Math Department at North Carolina College [now North Carolina Central University], beginning in 1938. Robinson received his Ph.D. in 1937. He was author of several articles, including "The Negro and the Field of Physics," Beta Kappa Chi Bulletin (1945). William H. Robinson died in Durham, NC, on March 27, 1962, he was the son of Amanda Obannon Robinson and Lee Robinson [source: North Carolina Death Certificate]. He was the husband of Fannie Robinson. William H. Robinson's funeral arrangements were handled by A. D. Porter and Sons in Louisville, KY, and he was buried in Eastern Cemetery. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration West, Physicists, Migration East, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / North Carolina / Texas

Russell, Randa Davenport
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2008
Randa D. Russell was the second graduate of the college department at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] to earn a Ph.D. [The first was Sadie Yancey.] Randa D. Russell was a graduate of Central High School in Louisville, KY, and of Kentucky State College with an A.B. degree in education. She earned a bachelor's degree from North Carolina A&T [now North Carolina A&T State University], a master's from the University of Minnesota, and a doctorate (1949) from the University of Michigan. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and a fellow of the American School Health Association (ASHA). She also worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) promoting public health awareness in the Philippines and Taiwan. Randa Russell supported Berea College as a member of the Founders Club and by donating $75,000 to the school endowment. Russell was a professor at Virginia State University and at Spelman University. For 40 years she was a professor in the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation at North Carolina A&T. She retired in 1993, a year after the death of her companion, Eva Doris McKinney, who was a retired professor of physical education at the University of North Carolina. Randa D. Russell died in Cincinnati, OH, in 2008 and is buried in Louisville, KY. She was the daughter of Julia Jones Russell and Harvey C. Russell, Sr. and a sister of Bessie Tucker Russell Stone and Harvey C. Russell, Jr. For more see "22 faculty/staff members at N.C. A&T retire," News & Record (Greensboro), 06/24/1993, p. 2; "Two Kentucky state graduates...," The Crisis, vol. 57, no. 11 (Dec 1950), p. 736; "Eva Doris Mckinney, physical ed professor," Boston Herald, 06/13/1992, Obituaries section, p. 33; and A. Howard, "Randa Russell, 86, was public health expert," Cincinnati Enquirer, 01/25/2008. See also Russell's dissertation, A Study of the Factors Related to the Teaching of Physical Education in Selected Virginia Elementary Schools.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration East, Women's Groups and Organizations, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, ...
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Greensboro, North Carolina / Cincinnati, Ohio

Smith, Carl H.
Since 1958, Carl H. Smith has been the director of the Kentucky State University (KSU) Choir, exept for the year he took off to earn his doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh. Smith was born in Terrell, TX, and grew up in Tulsa, OK. He did his undergraduate work at Lincoln University of Missouri, and after graduating, he accepted the choral director's position at KSU. He has developed many great musicians, music teachers, and professional singers. Smith is known in Kentucky and throughout the United States for his music instruction and choral music. In 2009, he was honored at the 5th Annual Presidential Scholarship Gala held at KSU, a tribute to all that Carl H. Smith has accomplished. He has received numerous awards, and in 2009, Smith was chosen to conduct the performance of the 2nd Historically Black Colleges and Universities National Concert Choir performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The Kentucky State University Singers, with director Carl H. Smith, can be heard singing on A Session of Afro-American Folk Songs. For more see M. Davis, "KSU is set to honor a choral icon," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/29/2009, City Region section, p. C1; and additional information available at CESKAA, Kentucky State University.

Subjects: Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration East
Geographic Region: Terrell, Texas / Tulsa, Oklahoma / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Smith, Charles Herbert
Birth Year : 1931
The following information comes from the written biography of Reverend Charles H. Smith, provided by Yvonne Giles. Reverend Charles H. Smith, born in Lexington, KY, was recognized by the Herald-Dispatch newspaper as the 6th most influential person of the 20th Century in the Huntington Tri-State area (West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky). Rev. Smith is a graduate of Virginia Union University (BA in English) and the school's Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Religion (Masters of Divinity), and he holds post-graduate certification in Epidemiology in Public Health from the University of Pennsylvania and Executive Management Certification from Harvard University. In 1960, he became pastor of the First Baptist Church in Huntington, WV, and took on the mission of eliminating segregation in Huntington. He was co-founder and executive director of the Tri-State Opportunities Industrialization Center (O.I.C.) in Huntington [employment and training programs], which had an integrated faculty and student body. He was director of the West Virginia Jobs Program. He was co-founder of ACTION, Inc. (A Community to Improve its Neighborhood), which advocated for social and economic justice for the common good of the community. He led his church in establishing Rotary Gardens, a 21-acre low income integrated housing development in Huntington. Rev. Smith was active on many fronts, including serving as chair of the West Virginia State NAACP Life Membership Committee, deputy executive director of the national NAACP, and a member of the board of directors of the national NAACP. Rev. Smith established a seafood business, Fisherman's Wharf, and a catering business that provided food services to child development centers and commercial institutions. A few years after leaving Huntington, Reverend Charles H. Smith and his wife Kimanne I. Core Smith lived in Madison, NJ, where Rev. Smith was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Madison, NJ. His publishing company, Jubilee Creations, produced Jubilee Legacy Collection, which traces the spiritual origins of African Americans, from Africa to the 20th Century.


Additional information:

Reverend Charles H. Smith, the son of Rev. T. H. and Helen Smith, was a civil rights activist in his hometown of Lexington, KY; he participated in the early sit-ins in downtown Lexington [source: Blackford, Linda B., "Lexington civil rights pioneer credits church for his many successes," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/27/2013, p. A3]. He also helped organize the first chapter of CORE at Shiloh Baptist Church where his father, Rev. T. H. Smith, was pastor for 30 years. CORE meetings were held at Pleasant Green Baptist Church in Lexington. Rev. Charles H. Smith had returned to Lexington in 1955, after his graduation from Virginia Union University and following his brief time as pastor of a church in Philadelphia, PA. In 1960, he left Kentucky for Huntington, WV, where he was pastor of the First Baptist Church and a civil rights activist; he is a member of the West Virginia Hall of Fame. He continues to be remembered for being the eulogist at the funerals of the 13 who died in the 1970 plane crash when most of the Marshall University football team was killed.


Rev. Charles H. Smith served as the chair of the NAACP's Board's Committee on Economic Development in 1973 while also serving as pastor of his church in Huntington [source: "NAACP Board selects Illinois leader as successor to Ming," The Crisis, December 1973, pp. 349-350]. The First Baptist Church in Huntington, WV, is located at 801 6th Avenue, and within the building is the Charles H. Smith Fellowship Hall. The Rotary Gardens Housing Complex is located at 65 Smith Drive (also named for Rev. Charles H. Smith) [source: T. Stuck, "First Baptist Church to host youth group reunion," Herald-Dispatch, 08/17/2014, p. 1]. During his tenure at the First Baptist Church in Huntington, "the church was engaged in a grocery store, fish market, restaurant, credit union, low-income housing and state supplemented day care."- - [source: First Baptist Huntington History webpage (link below)]. In 1980, after 20 years as the church pastor, Rev. Smith left the First Baptist Church in Huntington to become Deputy Executive Director of the NAACP [source: "Deputy Executive Director named," The Crisis, June/July 1980, p. 222]. At that time, he was the husband of Lillie Hamilton, from Richmond, VA, and they were the parents of three daughters. In 1983, Rev. Smith was named deputy national political director of the John Glen presidential campaign (OH U.S. Senator, Democrat) [source: "On the move," Black Enterprise, July 1983, p. 76, bottom of column 3]. Throughout his career, Rev. Smith frequently visited the Huntington First Baptist Church for anniversaries and other special occasions, as noted in articles in the Herald-Dispatch. Rev. Smith was pastor at the First Baptist Church in Madison, CT for ten years, serving as interim pastor, having replaced Rev. Johnnie Brewster, who died in 2000, and becoming the permanent pastor in 2002 [S. Capone, "Madison well-wishers say goodbye to Rev. Smith," Madison Eagle, 08/24/2012 - online]. Rev. Smith left the church in 2012 for his new home in Georgia, though he continues to serve as pastor emeritus at the First Baptist Church in Huntington. Rev. Smith is the father of five daughters.



See photo image and history about the First Baptist Church in Huntington, WV.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Migration North, Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Religion & Church Work, Migration East
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Huntington, West Virginia / Wayne and Madison, New Jersy / Georgia

Taylor, Joseph H.
Birth Year : 1898
Taylor was born in Burkesville, KY. He was dean of the Alabama State Teachers College [now Alabama State University] from 1930-1939 and later history professor and chairman of the division of social science at North Carolina College for Negroes [now North Carolina Central University], beginning in 1939. His doctoral dissertation was entitled, The Restriction of European Immigration, 1890-1924. Taylor was also author of a number of articles. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration East, Migration South
Geographic Region: Burkesville, Cumberland County, Kentucky / Florence, Alabama / North Carolina

Taylor, Melvin W., Sr.
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1997
Born in Iowa, Melvin W. Taylor, Sr. was the director of West Kentucky State Vocational Technical School [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] in Paducah, KY, from 1972-1985. He was a member of a host of organizations, including the National U.S. Olympic Club. He had been an outstanding athlete in high school and college, lettering in basketball, baseball, football, track, and tennis; he also played one year of semi-pro football. He was the father of Springfield, IL, painter E. Vern Taylor. The Taylor family came to Paducah in 1954. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton; and T. Brown, "Artists share their journeys," State Journal Register, 06/21/2007.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration East
Geographic Region: Iowa / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Tolbert, Hardin
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1966
Hardin Tolbert was an outspoken newspaper publisher, journalist, and civil rights activist. On more than one occasion, he was also accused of getting the story or the facts wrong. Tolbert was publisher of the Frankfort Tribune and The Star and was a correspondent for the Freeman (Indianapolis, IN). He was said to be the only African American in Kentucky who earned his living solely from his work as a newspaper correspondent [source: "Hardin Tolbert...," Freeman, 06/21/1913, p. 1]. Tolbert's office was at 425 Washington Street in Frankfort in 1911, and he later conducted business for the State Bureau at the People's Pharmacy at 118 N. Broadway, Lexington, KY. His business was also known as the Tolbert Publicity Bureau. In 1912, Tolbert expanded the operation and appointed William Baxter as regular correspondent of the Freeman in Shelbyville, KY, with headquarters in the Safell and Safell Funeral Home [source: "Mr. Baxter...," Freeman, 05/04/1912, p. 1]. In 1914, Hardin Tolbert established the Colored Bureau of Education, an employment agency for Negro teachers [source: first paragraph of "Kentucky's Capital," Freeman, 01/31/1914, p. 4]. In November of 1914, Hardin Tolbert was arrested for publishing an article that criticized President Green P. Russell of the Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute [now Kentucky State University]; President Russell had senior student Willie Mea Toran arrested for her speech and petition against Russell's rule over the school, and student Vera Metcalf from Hopkinsville, KY, was kicked out of the dorm for not signing a petition that was in support of President Russell [source: "Kentucky's Capital," Freeman, 11/14/1914, p. 2]. Tolbert also criticized three white men on the school board who endorsed President Russell's actions: Dr. C. A. Fish, George L. Hannon, and former mayor J. H. Polsgrove. All four men, Russell, Fish, Hannon, and Polsgrove, swore out warrants for the arrest of Hardin Tolbert, and he was jailed. State Superintendent Barksdale Hamlett provided the bail of $250 for Tolbert's release. Tolbert was charged with making false statements and fomenting trouble, all of which was summed up in the courtroom by the Commonwealth Attorney who said that Tolbert, a black man, had no right to criticize a white man; Tolbert was fined $10 and costs [source: "Calls colored editor "Nappy Headed Black Brute," Cleveland Gazette, 11/28/1914, p. 2]. Tolbert continued his criticism and also participated in the attempt to desegregate the Ben Ali Theater in 1915 and the Strand Theater in 1916, both in Lexington, KY. Hardin Tolbert would eventually leave Kentucky. In 1920, he was editor of the Cincinnati Journal [source: "Editor Hardin Tolbert...," Cleveland Gazette, 07/03/1920, p. 3]. The newspaper was located at 228 W. 8th Street; Tolbert also had a room at 636 W. 9th Street [source: William's City of Cincinnati Directory, 1919-1920, p. 2013]. Hardin Tolbert was born in February, 1880 in Shelbyville, KY, according to his World War I and World War II draft registration cards; he died June 3, 1966 in Martinsburg, WV, according to the West Virginia Certificate of Death #66008064.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Employment Services, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Corrections and Police, Migration East, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Martinsburg, West Virginia

Valentine, Lee A.
Birth Year : 1910
Born in Mayfield, KY, Valentine was an insurance salesman with the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, beginning in 1946. He was also responsible for leading the campaign to build a new 10-room elementary school for African American children. Valentine was vice president of the Elizabeth City Civic and Welfare League and publicity chairman of the NAACP chapter. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Social Workers, Migration East, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky / Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Vaughn, Postelle A.
Birth Year : 1901
Death Year : 1988
Born in Hopkinsville, KY, Vaughn became a teacher and principal in North Carolina and Indiana schools. He began working for the Pennsylvania State Employment Service in 1938 as a senior interviewer, advancing to the position of office manager in 1943. The service was located at 253 N. Broad Street in Philidelphia, PA. In 1941, Vaughn was supervisor of Negro Research and Placement when he gave testimony to the Select Committee Investigating National Defense Migration. Vaughn was also author of several articles, including "Stone Wall and Brown Hands," Brown American, 1940. He was the bridge editor for the Philadelphia Tribune. For more see Testimony of Postel Vaughn 5787, Statement by Postelle A. Vaughn 5787, and Testimony of Postelle A. Vaughn, resumed 5792, in Hearings Before the Select Committee Investigating National Defense Migration, House of Representatives, 77th Congress, Part 14, Trenton Hearings, June 27 and 28, 1941; and Who's Who in Colored America, 1950. For more on the Employment Service, see Public Employment Service in the United States, by R. C. Atkinson, et al.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Employment Services, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Migration East
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / North Carolina / Indiana / Pennsylvania

Wallace, Theodore Calvin, Jr. "Ted"
Birth Year : 1941
Death Year : 2006
Judge Theodore C. Wallace, Jr. was born in Kimball, WV, and grew up in Lexington, KY. He was the son of Theodore "Cal" Sr. and Bonnie Goddard Wallace. Judge Wallace was known as Ted. He left Kentucky and eventually settled in Detroit, MI, in 1973, where he served as judge of the 36th District Court for seven years. He had been a member of the Michigan House of Representatives beginning in 1988 when he won a special election to fill the last two months of Representative Virgil Smith's term. Rep. Wallace was then elected to the House of Representatives and served for 10 years. He was also a member of the Michigan Law Revision Commission beginning in 1993. Ted Wallace had a law practice for 17 years. He was a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and earned his undergraduate degree from Wright State University. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and served in Vietnam, and he served in the Michigan National Guard. For more see E. Lacy, "Confident, easy going judge was a joker, but took care of business," The Detroit News, 01/24/2006; and W. R. Knox, "Michigan House of Representatives: new members," Public Sector Reports, 01/27/1989, pp.1-2.

For more about the Wallace Family in Lexington, KY, the oral history recording by Thomas C. Wallace, brother to Judge Ted Wallace, is available within the Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project at the University of Kentucky Libraries' Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. See also the oral history recordings for Cal Wallace and Edgar Wallace. See also the NKAA entries for Thomas C. Wallace and Leula Wallace Hall.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Migration East, Judges, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kimball, West Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Wheeler, John Leonidas
Birth Year : 1869
Death Year : 1957
John L. Wheeler left teaching to become a leader within the North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company, the largest African American owned business in the U.S. He was an 1897 graduate of Wilberforce College [now Wilberforce University]; immediately after graduating, he became a faculty member at Kittrell College, where he would become a president of the school for four years. [Kittrell College was a Black College in North Carolina, 1886-1975. The location is now Kittrell Job Corps Center.] In 1908, Wheeler left Kittrell College to accept a position with North Carolina Mutual, where he would become superintendent of the Raleigh District. Wheeler would later move to the records department in the Durham office. He also served as master of the Knights of Pythias while in Durham. He invested in real estate and owned property in North Carolina, Ohio, and New York. In 1913, Wheeler was named the North Carolina Mutual state agent for Georgia. In 1922, he was elected to the company's board of directors and in 1927 was named regional supervisor. In 1930, Wheeler was insurance superintendent in Atlanta, GA, and would become assistant director of agents in charge of the southern region. In Atlanta, he was also a member of the NAACP, the Negro Business League, and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Wheeler was born and raised in Nicholasville, KY, the son of Phoebe Wheeler, a former slave. He was the husband of Margaret Hervey (b. in 1880 in KY). For more see John Leonidas Wheeler in History of the American Negro and His Institutions, 1917, edited by A. B. Caldwell [online at Google Book Search]; and in An Economic Detour, by M.S. Stuart [online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Education and Educators, Migration East, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Negro Business League
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Raleigh, Durham, North Carolina / Atlanta, Georgia

Williams, Charles Holston
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1978
Born in Camp Nelson, KY [according to his World War II draft registration card], Charles Holston Williams attended high school at Berea College until the Day Law was passed making Berea a segregated school. Williams transferred to Hampton Institute, where he finished high school and continued on to college. An outstanding student and athlete, Williams was a star baseball player at Hampton. He graduated in 1909 and the following year became the physical training director at the school. He was co-founder of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), and as a coach, he won CIAA championships in football, basketball and wrestling. He organized physical education demonstrations with Hampton students and faculty members performing drills, gymnastics and dances for the public. He formed the Hampton Creative Dance Group, the first national touring company made up of college students. Williams is author of Cotton Needs Pickin', Characteristic Negro Folk Dances and Negro Soldiers in World War I: the human side and co-author of Sidelights on Negro Soldiers and The Race Problem. Williams retired from Hampton in 1951. He was inducted into the CIAA Hall of Fame in 1975. He died in 1978, according to the Social Security Death Index. For more see African-American Concert Dance; the Harlem Renaissance and Beyond, by J. O. Perpener III.

   See photo image of Charles Holston Williams and additional information at the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum website.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Authors, Baseball, Migration East
Geographic Region: Camp Nelson, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky / Hampton, Virginia


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