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Akins, Clyde B., Sr.
Birth Year : 1950
Clyde B. Akins, Sr. is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Bracktown, KY, and an educator. He is also author of From burden to blessing. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a B.A. in Social Work, and his Master's of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministry are from Lexington Theological Seminary. He served in the Army as a multilingual interpreter and taught foreign languages, having studied eight languages. Akins was appointed to the Kentucky Board of Education in 2006. He was appointed by Governor Steve Breshear to the University of Kentucky Board of Trustee in 2011. For more see First Baptist Church Bracktown; "Governor Fletcher Appoints Members to the State Board of Education," 02/24/2006 (a Kentucky government press release); F. E. Lockwood, "Expanding a ministry - First Baptist Church Bracktown moves into its $6.5 million facility with lots more room and outreach opportunities," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/08/2006, Main News section, p. A1; the Akins interview, "Future Black Males Working Academy," Connections with Renee Shaw, #215, 06/02/2007, at KET (Kentucky Educational Television); and L. Blackford, "Lexington minister joins UK board - Breshear fills number of college posts," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/02/2011, p.A4.
Subjects: Authors, Civic Leaders, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Bracktown, Fayette County, Kentucky

Bentley, Denise
Bentley is from Louisville, KY. In 2002, she was the first African American woman to be elected President of the Louisville Board of Aldermen. Bentley was a mortician in California for 10 years prior to returning to Louisville. She served as Alderman of the 9th Ward, West End, in Louisville for eight years, 1997-2005. Bentley resigned from the council to serve as the liaison between the Louisville Metro and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government councils, a position within Governor Fletcher's administration. For more see J. Bruggers, "Bentley scores landslide over 2 Democratic foes," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 05/29/02, News section, p. 05A; SR50; and "Governor Ernie Fletcher Appoints Louisville Metro Council Woman," a Ky.gov Electronic Archives Press Release, 02/23/05.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Brown, John Michael
Birth Year : 1950
J. Michael Brown is the first African American to be appointed Secretary of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet; he was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear in 2007. Brown was born in New York, the son of John Sylvester Brown and Cora Lewis Brown. He is a graduate of City College of New York, where he earned his undergraduate degree in political science. He was a paratrooper and infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division, where he piloted helicopters, and was later stationed at Fort Campbell, KY, with the 101st Airborne. Brown remained in Kentucky, graduating in 1979 from the University of Louisville School of Law. He has served as a Louisville District Court Judge and as Law Director for the City of Louisville. For more on Brown's career, see L. Lamb, "J. Michael Brown tapped as new Justice Cabinet Secretary," Inside Corrections, vol. 1, issue 4 (January 2008), pp. 1 & 6-7 [available online]; and J. Michael Brown, a Kentucky.gov website.

Subjects: Aviators, Lawyers, Military & Veterans, Migration South, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: New York / Fort Campbell, Christian County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Brown, Viola Davis
Birth Year : 1936
Viola D. Brown was born in Lexington, KY. In 1955, she was the first African American admitted to a nursing school in Lexington. Brown attended the Nazareth School of Nursing, which was affiliated with St. Joseph Hospital, where Brown would be promoted to hospital supervisor in 1960. Her promotion was another first for African Americans in Lexington. In 1972, Brown and Lizzie Conner were the first two African American RNs to receive advanced practice as Nurse Practitioners in Lexington. In 1980, Gov. John Y. Brown, Jr. appointed Viola Brown to the position of Executive Director of the State Office of Public Health Nursing; she held the post for 19 years. Viola Brown was inducted into the University of Kentucky College of Public Health Hall of Fame in 2004. For more see L. Blackford, "Her essay won a prize, but she couldn't go to ceremony," Lexington Herald Leader, 09/09/04, Main News section, p. A1; and V. D. Brown and J. Marfall, "Swinging bridges of opportunity and challenges: memoirs of an African American nurse practitioner pioneer on providing primary care for the underserved," Journal of Cultural Diversity, vol. 12, issue 3 (Fall 2005), pp. 107-15.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Nurses, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

Burks, Ishmon, F. Jr.
Birth Year : 1945
Ishmon Burks, Jr. was born in Louisville, KY. He was the first African American Kentucky State Police Commissioner, appointed by Governor Paul Patton in 2000. Burks was promoted to Justice Cabinet Secretary in 2002. In 2011, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer named Ishmon Burks, Jr. interim chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Burks is a former executive vice president and COO of Spalding University. He is a graduate of Lincoln University of Missouri, Indiana University, and City College of New York. He is a retired colonel from the U.S. Army. Ishmon Burks, Jr. is the son of Ishmon Sr. and Juanita Burks. For more see "Retired Army officer first Black KSP chief," The Kentucky Post, 08/23/2000, News section, p.1K; D. Stephenson, "Burks becomes state police head," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/01/2000, City & Region section, p. B1; and "Mayor selects Ishmon Burks as Louisville's interim police chief [Opinion: The Arena]" by T. McAdam, online at Louisville.com.


 Access InterviewListen to the Ishmon Burks oral history interviews, by Mike Jones, 10/07/2002,  at the Kentucky Historical Society website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Clarke, Daniel
Death Year : 1872
Clarke was born in Africa. When he was a child, he was captured by slave traders and brought to the U.S. He first lived in Clark County, KY, then came to Frankfort, KY, as a servant to U.S. Congressman and later Kentucky Governor James Clarke. At the end of Gov. Clarke's term (1836-1839), Daniel Clarke continued as a servant to all of the following Kentucky governors until his death in 1872. At some point prior to his death, the Kentucky Legislature passed a law giving Daniel Clarke a pension of $12 per month. A joint resolution was introduced by Senator Webb in honor of Daniel Clarke's years of dedicated service to Kentucky governors. For more see "Death of the Kentucky Governor's Servant," New York Times, 02/29/1872, p. 5. Also thought to be the same Daniel Clarke at rootsweb.com.
Subjects: Freedom, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Slave Trade (U.S.)
Geographic Region: Africa / Clark County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Clayton, Denise
Birth Year : 1952
Judge Denise Clayton was born in Louisville, KY. In 2000, Clayton became the first African American woman appointed to a circuit judgeship in Kentucky when Governor Paul Patton appointed her to the 30th Judicial Circuit, Division 7. Clayton graduated from the University of Louisville Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1976. In 1996, she became the second African American woman judge in the state; she was a Family Court judge. In 2007, Judge Clayton became the first African American woman on the Kentucky appeals court; the appointment was made by Governor Ernie Fletcher. Judge Clayton is the granddaughter of Atwood S. Wilson. She is a graduate of Defiance College and the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. For more see the Louisville Defender, 10/12/00; "Historic choice, new circuit judge has broken barriers before," Lexington Herald Leader, 10/20/2007, Commentary section, p. A12; and "The Honorable Denise Clayton" in Who's Who in Black Louisville, 2nd ed.

See photo image and additional information about Judge Denise Clayton at the Kentucky Court of Justice website.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cosby, Laken, Jr.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 2014
Laken Cosby, Jr. is a graduate of Lousiville Central High School, he was born in Alabama. In 1988, he became the first African American chairman of the Jefferson County School Board. Cosby was also appointed to the Kentucky Board of Education in 1994 by Governor Brereton Jones; Cosby was vice chairman of the board for three terms. In 2002, Cosby was not reappointed to the board by Governor Patton. Laken Cosby, Jr. was the son Maudie B. Cosby and Laken Cosby, Sr. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He was also owner of the Laken Cosby Real Estate Company. For more see "Cosby is Jefferson County board's first black chairman," in 1988 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Seventh Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 36; M. Pitsch, "Longtime advocate of school reform replaced on board," Courier-Journal, 05/11/2002, News section, p. O1A; and A. Wolfson, "Laken Cosby Jr., civil rights leader, dies at 83," Louisville Courier-Journal, 06/14/2014, online obituary.
 
See photo image and additional information about Laken Cosby, Jr. at Hall of Fame 2012, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website. 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Huntsville, Alabama / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Elliott, Cynthia E.
From Jackson, KY, Elliott is a lawyer who in 1997 was appointed by Gov. Paul Patton to serve as Special Justice to the Kentucky Supreme Court, the first African American woman appointed to the post. She is a two-time graduate of Wayne State University in Michigan, where she received her undergraduate and law degrees. For more information see the Kentucky government press release, "Governor Patton Appoints First African-American Woman as Special Justice to Kentucky Supreme Court," 09/14/97.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Jackson, Breathitt County, Kentucky

Farris, Elaine
Birth Year : 1955
On June 22, 2004, Elaine Farris became the first African American school superintendent in Kentucky, at age 49. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Eastern Kentucky University and is pursuing her doctorate at the University of Kentucky. She has taught in Winchester, where she was also an assistant principal and principal. Elaine Farris was the school superintendent of Shelby County in 2004. She left that post in 2007 when she was named Deputy Commissioner with the Kentucky Department of Education. In 2009, Farris was named Superintendent of Clark County Schools. For more see G. Kocher, "A Kentucky first, a racial barrier broken, Shelby County breaks ground by hiring black schools chief," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/23/04; R. H. Ismail, "4 Kentucky educators named to key state-level positions," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/30/2007, p. B2; and KET's "Connections with Renee Shaw" - #310: Elaine Farris.

See photo image of Elaine Farris at the Kentucky Council on Post-secondary Education website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Shelby County, Kentucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

Fouse, Elizabeth B. Cook
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1952
Elizabeth B. Cook Fouse was an advocate for African American women's opportunities and equal rights. A schoolteacher who was active in social and religious activities, she served as president of the Kentucky Federation of Colored Women and was founder of the Phillis Wheatley YWCA in Lexington, KY. She was a member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. In 1944 Fouse was appointed by Governor Simeon Willis to serve on the Kentucky Commission for the Study of Negro Affairs. She was married to W. H. Fouse. For more see Jesus, Jobs, and Justice, by B. Collier-Thomas; and the Fouse Family Papers in the Kentucky Digital Library.


See photo images of Elizabeth B. Cook Fouse and others, in the Collection Inventory [click on links at the bottom of the page] in Explore UK.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association), Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Goodwine, Pamela R.
Birth Year : 1960
In 1999, Judge Pamela Goodwine became the first African American woman appointed to the bench; she was appointed by Governor Paul Patton, and later that year was elected to the position. In 2003, she was the first to be elected Circuit Court Judge in Fayette County and was re-elected in 2006. Judge Goodwine, from Youngstown, Ohio, received her JD from the University of Kentucky in 1994. She was inducted into the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics Alumni Hall of Fame in 2002. During her interview on the Renee Shaw show, Judge Goodwine talks about her life with Crohn's disease. For more see Gatton College of Business and Economics Alumni Hall of Fame, University of Kentucky; "A Pledge of Service," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/28/03, Final Ed., p. B1; and KET's "Connections with Renee Shaw" - #315: Pamela Goodwine.

See photo imge of Judge Pamela Goodwine and additional information at University of Kentucky Gatton College website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Youngstown, Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Gray, Leonard W., Sr.
Birth Year : 1942
Death Year : 2005
Born in Louisville, KY, Leonard W. Gray, Sr. a sales associate, was elected the Representative of the 42nd District (Jefferson County) to the Kentucky General Assembly for 1990-1995. Gray sponsored the bill that made Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a state holiday. He was a graduate of the University of Louisville, having graduated from Central High School in 1960 with his friend, Cassius Clay. In 1995, Gray gave up his seat in the House of Representatives to become Governor Patton's House Liaison. He was Patton's first African American appointee, serving as the minority chairman of Patton's successful 1995 gubernatorial campaign. In August 1996, the personnel records of Gray and two other top staff members were subpoenaed by the Franklin County Grand Jury. Gray testified but was not indicted. He was later named Minority Affairs Director by Patton. For more see "Patton picks legislator as his house liaison, Louisville representative will leave his seat in '96," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/22/1995; "Patton's aides' personnel records sent to grand jury," Lexington Herald Leader, 08/15/1996; G. Josephstaff, "Ex-legislator, Democratic activist Leonard Gray Sr. dies," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 07/19/2005; or contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.

See photo image of Leonard W. Gray, Sr. with Governor Paul Patton and ETA Director Rose Walton, 10/28/2002, at e-archives.ky.gov.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Greene, Harold, Jr.
Greene was the first African American to be appointed to serve as Administrative Assistant to a governor (John Y. Brown in 1980). He is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and earned his law degree from the University of Kentucky. He was a former leader of the Lexington Urban League and the Lexington NAACP Chapter. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and J. Campbell, "Lexington attorney to speak at awards banquet," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 09/07/2004, section C, p. 1.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Harper, Nathaniel R.
Birth Year : 1846
Death Year : 1921
One of the first two African Americans to practice law in the Louisville courts, Nathaniel R. Harper was the first African American judge in Kentucky. He established the Harper Law School in his office. Nathaniel R. Harper was born in Indiana, the son of Hezekiah and Susan Harper who was born in 1828 in Kentucky. The family lived in Centre Township in Indianapolis, IN, and according to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, they were free and the family was supported by Hezekiah who was a blacksmith. Nathaniel was married to Maria [or Mariah] Harper, born 1851 in Pennsylvania. Kentucky Governor W. O. Bradley appointed Nathaniel Harper a member of the State Industrial Bureau. He was to investigate, organize, and encourage members of his race toward industrial ventures. Harper traveled the state assisting in the establishment of industrial societies. In 1872, Harper was co-founder of the newspaper Louisville Weekly Planet. Harper was owner of the Tallaboo Dramatic Company, and in 1912 the company was touring central Kentucky. For more see Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000 [electronic version available on UK campus and off campus via the proxy]; The Owl: The Newsletter for Employees of the University of Louisville, vol. 17, issue 1 (February 2002), p. 2; "Kentucky's Negro Lawyers," New York Times, 11/28/1871, p. 5; The Commercial history of the Southern States by Lipscomb and Johnston; and see the paragraph "Lawyer N. R. Harper's "Tallaboo"..., within the column "At Kentucky's Capital" in Freeman, 06/01/1912, p.4.

See photo image of Nathaniel R. Harper at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Blacksmiths, Migration South, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Haskins, Harriet Yevette Penick
Yevette Haskins, from Campbellsville, KY, attended Kentucky State University. In 1983, she became the first African American to be elected to the Warren County Board of Education (Bowling Green, KY). In 2004, she was appointed to the Board of Regents at Kentucky State University. Haskins was also chair of the African American Heritage Trail Task Force and a member of the Board of Directors of the Lake Cumberland Area Development District. She is the wife of Clem Haskins. Information provided by Kipley D. Carr; see also Yvette Haskins in the Kentucky government press release "Governor Ernie Fletcher announces appointments to the state university boards," 06/30/2004.

 

Access Interview Read the transcript and listen to the oral history interview of Yvette Haskins by Lynne Ferguson, 01/30/2006, at the Kentucky Historical Society.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Helm, Marlene
Birth Year : 1950
Marlene Helm was the first African American school superintendent in Kentucky, presiding over the Shelby County schools. (The exception is Jefferson County, where two African American superintendents each served three months.) Helm was acting superintendent in Fayette County, KY, in 2004. She had been the Secretary of the Education, Arts and Humanities Council under Governor Patton. For more see "Interim leader for schools is selected, Black woman is first ever to hold post in Kentucky," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/18/04, p. A1; and "Governor appoints two Cabinet Secretaries," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/11/99 p. B1.

See photo image and additional information about Marlene Helm at the UK Alumni Association website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Shelby County, Kentucky

Jackson-Sears, Pandora
Birth Year : 1963
Born in Madisonville, KY, Jackson-Sears is the daughter of Larry and Vivian Lewis. She is president and owner of Jackson-Sears and Associates and has over 17 years of minority and women's business development and diversity experience. In 2003, Gov. Paul Patton appointed her to the Kentucky Commission on the Small Business Advocacy Board. She is also an elementary school teacher in Louisville. She is the author of dipped in milk: conversations between an African-American son and his mother, which examines African American males raised in the suburbs and their struggle to fit in with their inner-city peers. For more see S. Bartholomy, "Parents face split decision," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 05/05/2004, B section, p. 1.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Education and Educators, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jordan, Eleanor
Birth Year : 1953
In 2001 Governor Patton appointed Eleanor Jordan Executive Director of the Office of the Ombudsman for the Cabinet for Families and Children. Prior to that, she had served three terms as a Kentucky Representative (Louisville). In 2000 she unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in Kentucky's Third Congressional District. She was the first African American candidate for national office from Kentucky. In 2007, Jordan was appointed Executive Director of the Kentucky Commission on Women by newly elected Governor Steve Beshear. For more see Kentucky Women, by E. Potter; Y. Scruggs-Leftwich, "Significance of Black Women's Vote Ignored," in Women's ENews; D. M. Clayton, "African American women and their quest for Congress," Journal of Black Studies, Jan 2003, vol. 33, issue 3, pp. 354-388; and Kentucky Governor Press Release, 01/02/2008, "Governor Beshear Appoints Executive Director of the Kentucky Commission on Women.


Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, Legislators, Kentucky, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Martin, Janice R.
Birth Year : 1956
From Morganfield, KY, Janice R. Martin, at the age of 35 became the first elected African American woman judge in Kentucky, in 1991. She earned her undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of Louisville; she was the only African American female in the Class of 1977. Martin was also the first African American woman to serve as bar counsel for the Kentucky Bar Association.  She was selected by Gov. Brereton Jones to fill the District Court vacancy left by Judge Steven Mershon. She was then elected to the position in 1993, and retired in 2009. For more see Black Firsts, by J. C. Smith; Who's Who Among African Americans, 8th-13th editions; Y. D. Coleman, "Kentucky's first Black female judge appointed," The Louisville Defender, 03/12/1992, pp. 1 and 4;  "Janice Martin installed as first Black woman judge in Kentucky," Jet, 02/01/1993; and M. Williams, "The Honorable Janice Martin," Who's Who in Black Louisville, 3rd ed., p.69.

See photo image and additional information about Janice R. Martin in "Judge Janice R. Martin receives Gender Equity Award," The Women's Center News, Winter 2006, v.14, issue 2, p.1 [.pdf].
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

McAnulty, William E., Jr.
Birth Year : 1947
Death Year : 2007
William E. McAnulty, born in Indianapolis, IN, became a judge with the Jefferson County (KY) Juvenile Court in 1975. By winning the 1977 election (which was his first campaign), McAnulty became the first African American judge to serve on the Louisville (KY) District Court. In 1998 McAnulty was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. In 2005, he became the first African American justice to serve on the Kentucky Supreme Court. McAnulty was appointed by Governor Fletcher to replace Justice Martin Johnstone, who retired in June, 2005. Justice William E. McAnulty, Jr. was elected to the Kentucky Supreme Court in 2006. He resigned in 2007 due to illness. For more see "Kentucky's first black sheriff one of six black county officials," in the 1982 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, 6th Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 19; R. Alford, "Kentucky gets 1st black justice," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/29/06, City/Region section, p. B1; A. Wolfson "Kentucky Supreme Court; McAnulty beats Shake to keep seat," Courier-Journal, 11/08/2006, News section, p. 5K; A. Wolfson, "McAnulty leaving Supreme Court," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 08/10/2007, News section, p. 1A; and "Special Tribute to the Honorable William E. McAnulty Jr." in Who's Who in Black Louisville, 2nd ed., pp.41-46.

See photo image and additional information about William E. McAnulty in "Alumni Profile" by A. D. White in UL: University of Louisville Magazine, Winter 2007, v.25. no.1.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Indianapolis, Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

McLeod, J. D.
In 1879, McLeod was appointed Government Store-keeper at Covington, KY. The appointment was made during the administration of the newly elected Kentucky Governor, Keen Johnson. McLeod was the first African American to be appointed to a position in Kentucky government. For more see "Kentucky's first colored officeholder," New York Times, 01/29/1879, p. 1.
Subjects: Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Nutter, Homer
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1989
Reverend Homer Nutter was a minister, an undertaker, and civil rights leader who fought to end discrimination at downtown businesses in Lexington, KY. He was born in Harrison County, KY, and raised in Paris, KY; in 1900, the Nutter Family lived on 8th Street in Paris, KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Rev. Nutter was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Lexington for 50 years; he replaced Rev. Robert Mitchell in 1926 and retired in 1976. He was a two-time graduate of Simmons University [Simmons College]. Kentucky Governor Wetherby appointed Rev. Nutter to the Governor's Advisory Committee on Education Desegregation. He was also a member of the Board of Regents at Kentucky State University and the Board of Trustees at Simmons University. He served in the U.S. Army during WWI as a company clerk. Homer Nutter was the husband of Ida B. Coleman Nutter and the son of Harrison and Ameila Nutter. For more see "Lexington Civil Rights Leader Dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/10/1989, City/State section, p. B1.

 

Access Interview Read about the Homer Nutter oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Kentucky African American Churches, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Harrison County, Kentucky / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Peterson, Roy Phillip
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 1998
Born in Alexandria, LA, Roy P. Peterson lived in Lexington, KY. He was the Deputy Executive Director for Academic Affairs at the Kentucky Council on Higher Education [now the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education], and temporarily left Kentucky in 1985 to become the Interim President of Tennessee State University. Upon his return in 1987, Peterson was named Executive Assistant Director for Educational Attainment at the Kentucky Council on Higher Education. He is credited with the development of a number of programs, including the Governor's Minority Student College Preparation Program; the Southern Regional Education Board's Compact for Faculty Diversity; and the Committee on Equal Opportunities. He was appointed by Gov. Wallace Wilkinson to the Governor's Task Force for the Arts, and in 1995, Gov. Paul E. Patton appointed him Secretary of the Cabinet for Education Arts and Humanities. The Milner Award was presented to Peterson posthumously in 2000. Peterson, a biology and liberal arts major, was a 1957 graduate, cum laude, of Southern University. He earned a master's degree in reproductive biology in 1961 at the University of Oregon, and his Ph.D. in endocrinology in 1967 at the University of Iowa. For more see Musical Heritage Celebration, February 27, 2004 and March 3, 2006, both by the Musical Heritage Celebration Committee; and J. Hewlett, "Education Secretary Roy Peterson, 64, dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/29/1998, City & Region section, p. B1.

See photo image of Roy P. Peterson and additional information at the Ky.gov e-archives website. 
Subjects: Biologists, Education and Educators, Migration North, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Alexandria, Louisiana / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Porter, Benjamin F.
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1911
Dr. B. F. Porter was 3rd Assistant Physician at the Central Kentucky Lunatic Asylum in Louisville, KY, in 1896; he was the first African American doctor at the facility. Porter was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the husband of Elizabeth Porter (1843-1910, born in CT) and the father of Wiley Porter (b. 1877 in KY). Dr. Porter received his medical degree in 1878 and was an 1899 graduate of the College of Hypnotism. The family had lived in Columbia, SC, where Dr. Porter was a minister before coming to Kentucky, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. The Porter's employed two African American servants who worked at their home. While Dr. Porter was employed at the asylum, he and his family lived in the housing provided by the institution. The Central Kentucky Lunatic Asylum had been established in 1874 as a state house for "feeble minded children." A third of the appropriations for the facility were to be used for the Colored inmates, who were to be kept in a separate ward from the white inmates. The facility had formerly been the State House of Reform for Juveniles. Dr. Porter's appointment to the institution by Kentucky Governor William O. Bradley caused a bit of alarm throughout the state when it was reported that Dr. Porter would be treating both Colored and white children. An article by the asylum superintendent, H. F. McNary, was published in The Medical News, reassuring all that Dr. Porter would only be treating the more than 200 Colored patients. With McNary's published letter, The Medical News editor gave the journal's approval to the hiring of Dr. Porter. In addition to his medical duties, Dr. Porter was also pastor of the African Methodist Church in Louisville, KY. By 1910, the Porter Family had left Kentucky for Carbondale, IL, where Dr. Porter practiced medicine, was minister of the Bethel A.M.E. Church, and was a member of the Knights and Daughters of Tabor. The family employed one African American servant. Dr. Porter was also a veteran; he was a barber when he enlisted in the Union Army on February 10, 1864, and served with the 5th Massachusetts Colored Calvary, according to his military service records. For more see "Colored Medical Doctors as Attendants in Insane Asylums," The Medical News, vol. 68, January-June 1896, p. 622 [available full-text at Google Book Search]; "Rev. B. F. Porter," The Daily Free Press, 12/22/1911, p. 5; and Marie Porter Wheeler Papers at the University of Illinois at Springfield. For more about the Asylum see Acts Passed at the ... Session of the General Assembly for the Commonwealth, Regular Session, December 1873, Chapter 287, pp. 29-30 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Barbers, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Williamstown, Massachusetts / Columbia, South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Carbondale, Illinois

Randolph, Alma L.
Birth Year : 1957
Born in Beaver Dam, KY, Alma Randolph was the first African American woman elected to the Beaver Dam Council (1980) and the first African American to hold office in the county. Randolph is also a gospel singer locally and nationally. In 1993, she founded the Alma Randolph Charitable Foundation, which buys school supplies and back-to-school clothing for disadvantaged children. She is the Human Rights/Community Relations Specialist for Owensboro and in 2007 was appointed to the state Human Rights Commission by then Governor Ernie Fletcher. For more see Women in Kentucky Reform; and KET's "Connections with Renee Shaw" - #308: Alma Randolph.

 
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Beaver Dam, Ohio County, Kentucky / Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Richardson, Henry Reedie
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2008
Henry R. Richardson was the first African American teacher at Campbellsville High School and Campbellsville University, both located in Campbellsville, KY, Richardson's home town. He was the son of Reedie R. and Fisher Richardson, and the husband of Beulah Rice Richardson. He was a science graduate of Kentucky State University and earned his Master of Science degree in animal husbandry from Michigan State University. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, Richardson enlisted December 18, 1942 in Louisville, KY, according to his Army Enlistment Record. He was a staff sergeant and platoon leader with the 364 Quartermaster Truck Company. He was a biology teacher in the Campbellsville School System for 32 years, 11 years at a segregated school. Richardson was also a community leader, he was one of the first board members of the Taylor Regional Hospital and was also on the Campbellsville Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. In recognition of his community service, Richardson was awarded the Campbellsville Citizen of the Year Award, the Campbellsville-Taylor County Chamber of Commerce Award, and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award. He was appointed to the Western Kentucky University Board of Regents by Governor John Y. Brown. For more see the Henry Reedie Richardson entry in the "Obituaries & Memorials," Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/27/2008, p.B4.

  See photo image of Henry R. Richardson on p.62 in the book Campbellsville by J. Y. DeSpain et. al.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Housing Authority, The Projects, Military & Veterans, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky

Roberts, Erwin
Birth Year : 1972
In 2004, Erwin Roberts was the first Director of Homeland Security in Kentucky. Later that year he was named Secretary of the Personnel Cabinet by Governor Fletcher. He resigned from that position in 2006, the same year that he was named to the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees; his term expired in 2012. Roberts is a graduate of Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky Law School. He was an attorney with Frost Brown Todd LLC in the Louisville office. He has served as Assistant U.S. Attorney of the Western District of Kentucky and as Fayette County Assistant Commonwealth Attorney. In 2010,. Erwin Roberts opened his law pracice in Louisville, KY. For more see Kentucky Government Press Release, "Personnel Cabinet Secretary Erwin Roberts resigns," 05/03/2006; and the Erwin Roberts Law Office website.


 
Subjects: Lawyers, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Smith, S. E.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1907
Born in Barren County, KY, Rev. S. E. Smith had lived in Owensboro, KY. He was a minister and a civil rights activist. He spoke out against the Separate Coach Act in Kentucky. In 1886, he was one of the spokesmen who appeared before the Kentucky Senate demanding just laws for African Americans. He was a trustee of State University [later named Simmons University]. Smith was a delegate to the National Republican Convention over a period of 16 years. He was author of History of the Anti-Separate Coach Movement in Kentucky [full-text available online at Kentucky Digital Library]. Kentucky Governor Bradley appointed Rev. Smith as the Kentucky representative at the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897. Rev. Smith was the National Grand Secretary of the Order of Samaritans. He was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Lexington, KY, and just prior to his death, he had accepted the position as pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Columbus,OH. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; S. E. Smith in Chapter 12 of The Reformed Reader [available online]; and "Noted colored man dies," The Washington Post, 08/08/1907.


See photo of Rev. S. E. Smith on p. 295 in Sermons, Addresses and Reminiscences and Important Correspondence, by E. C. Morris, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Barren County, Kentucky / Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio

Stanley, Frank L., Jr.
Birth Year : 1937
Death Year : 2007
Frank L. Stanley, Jr. was a journalist and was editor and publisher of the Louisville (KY) Defender newspaper until 1976. He chaired the Allied Organizations for Civil Rights (AOCR), the organization that coordinated the 1964 March on Frankfort, KY, where Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed 10,000 citizens. The march was in support of the public accommodations bill, which was not passed. Stanley was active in many civil rights efforts in Louisville, including voter registration and public demonstrations. In 1968, he was executive director of the Los Angeles National Urban League. Kentucky Governor Julian Carroll appointed him executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Corrections and Community Service in 1974. Ten years later he planned to run as a Democratic candidate for mayor of Louisville. Frank L. Stanley, Jr. was the son of journalist Frank L. Stanley Sr. He was a graduate of Louisville Central High School, the University of Illinois, and George Washington University. For more see Kentucky's Black Heritage, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; and P. Burba, "Frank Stanley, Jr., champion of civil rights in Louisville, dies at 70," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 03/02/2007, News section, p. 4B.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

Travis, Oneth M., Sr.
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1991
Travis was born in Albany, KY, the son of Jacob and Nanny Overstreet Travis. He graduated from Lincoln Institute. He owned a family dry goods store and was also an educator and community leader in Monticello, KY. Travis purchased a bus from Wayne Taxi Company to establish the first school transportation system in Wayne County, KY. Travis also purchased land and established the Travis Elementary and High Schools in Monticello. In 1955, Travis and Ira Bell helped facilitate the integration of the Monticello and Wayne County Schools. In 1965, Travis was appointed to the Kentucky Board of Education by Governor Simeon S. Willis, and was the first African American to be named to the post. Later, Bell was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame. Travis also developed a recreation center in Wayne County. He was a World War I veteran and a Kentucky delegate to Republican national conventions. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias and a Mason. Travis moved to Pittsburgh in 1986, where he passed away in 1991; he is buried in the Monticello Cemetery. He was the uncle of Thomas J. Craft, Sr. and the father of Oneth M. Travis, Jr. For more see "Oneth M. Travis," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 08/20/1991, OBIT section, p. B4. See also African American Schools in Wayne County, KY; and Mr. Oneth Morview Travis in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database. See photo image of Negro school and gymnasium in Monticello, KY, Kentucky Digital Library - Images.

Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Board of Education, Bus Transportation: Employees, Owners, Segregation, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Albany, Clinton County, Kentucky / Lincoln Ridge, Shelby County, Kentucky / Monticello, Wayne County, Kentucky / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

White, Albert S., Sr. and Sally J. Seals
Albert S. White, Sr. (1869-1911), was born in Kentucky, the son of Albert and Jane Buckner White. He was an attorney and dean of Louisville (KY) Central Law School, where he served from 1896-1911. He fought for African American voting rights; when White and others insisted on voting in the 1890s, they were beaten by Louisville police officers. White was a graduate of State University [Simmons, KY] and Howard University Law School. In 1902 he was appointed a U.S. Revenue Agent following the election of Kentucky's first Republican governor, William O. Bradley. White was unsuccessful in his quest to be named the Minister to Liberia. He was killed by Louis A. Evans in a dispute over the removal of personal belongings at the Lyric Theater, located at 13th and Walnut Streets in Louisville. His wife, Sally J. Seals White (b.1868 or 1871 in KY), was the first woman to graduate from Central Law School, where she was also an instructor. In 1904, she became the first African American woman to be admitted to the Kentucky Bar. White had a bachelor's degree from Fisk University. For more see Central Law School Alumni Information, a University of Louisville website; C. B. Lewis, "Louisville and its Afro-American citizens," Colored American Magazine, vol. 10 (no.3-4), pp. 259-265; Life Behind a Veil, by G.C. Wright; Emancipation: the making of the Black Lawyer, 1844-1944, by J. C. Smith; "Negro woman admitted to bar...," The Landmark, 09/23/1904, p. 3 (also in Marshall Expounder, 09/23/1904, p. 2); and "Albert S. White is shot to death," Lexington Leader, 07/22/1911, p.8. See also the entry for Central Law School.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Voting Rights, Lawyers, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Whitney, Francis E.
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 2006
Whitney was born in Hopkinsville, KY. In 1948 he began operating the F. E. Whitney Real Estate Agency in Hopkinsville. He co-organized and was secretary/treasurer of the Durretts Avenue Realty Co., Inc., which developed and built the Gladys-Gail Village, the first subdivision developed by African Americans in Hopkinsville. The subdivision established a new trend in housing for African Americans. Whitney was appointed to the Interim Council of the City of Hopkinsville by Governor Wetherby in 1953, serving for 21 years as a city councilman. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Businesses, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Wilson, George W., Sr.
Birth Year : 1943
Death Year : 2005
Wilson was born in Paris, KY. In 1981 he was appointed secretary of the Corrections Cabinet of Kentucky, in charge of administering a budget of more $50 million. He was the state's first African American cabinet-level officer. Prior to accepting this position, he had been the commissioner of the Bureau of Corrections, Department of Justice. Wilson received a B.A. in history and political science with a second major in sociology from Kentucky State University. He earned an M.S. from the Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville. In 1993, while warden of the Blackburn Correctional Complex in Lexington, KY, he was awarded the Anderson Medal, named for Kentucky's first African American legislator, Charles W. Anderson, Jr. For more see HR183; see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton and A. Jester; and "George W. Wilson 1943-2005, first black to serve in state cabinet dies at 61," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/02/05, City&Region section, p.B1.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Wood, George E.
In 1895, George E. Wood, from Madisonville, KY, was appointed Notary Public by Governor William O. Bradley. He was the first African American to hold the post in Hopkins County, and in 1902 he was reappointed for his third term, by Governor J. C. W. Beckham. For more see "Madisonville," Kentucky Reporter, 03/22/1902, p. 1.
Subjects: Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Notary Public
Geographic Region: Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky

 

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