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Abbington v Board of Education of Louisville (KY)
Start Year : 1940
When the Louisville Board of Education denied the petition for equal pay for African American teachers, a suit was filed by the NAACP on behalf of Vallateen Virginia Dudley Abbington. The case of Abbington v. Board of Education of Louisville was filed on December 5, 1940, in the Federal District Court. Abbington (1907-2003), a native of Indiana, was a school teacher in Louisville at the time. She was one of the African American teachers who received 15% less salary than white teachers. The case, brought by the NAACP, was argued by Thurgood Marshall. The School Board agreed that if Abbington would drop her lawsuit, the discrimination in salaries would cease. The lawsuit was withdrawn, and a retroactive clause in the suit gave African American teachers back pay. The equalization of teacher salaries was a campaign by the NAACP that began in 1936. Abbington v Board of Education of Louisville was the third case for the NAACP, the first such case in Kentucky. Abbington left Louisville and moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she is remembered as a social worker, civic leader, and civil rights leader. Vallateen Dudley (1907-2003)was born in Indianapolis, IN, the daughter of George (b. in KY) and Annie L. Dudley. For more see Papers of the NAACP, Part 3, The Campaign for Educational Equality: Legal Department and Central Office Records, 1913-1950 / Series B, 1940-1950 / Reel 8; see "Kentucky Cases" in The Negro Handbook 1946-1947, edited by F. Murray; "Alumna, 96, remembered as strong-willed activist," Exemplar (Eastern Michigan University), Winter 2004, Special Annual Report Issue; and "Vallateen Abbington, social worker, civic leader," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/19/2003, Metro section, p. D15.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Social Workers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Court Cases
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Berry, Theodore M., Sr.
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 2000
Theodore M. Berry was born in Maysville, KY, to a white father and an African American mother. Berry was the first African American graduate of Woodward High School in Cincinnati, OH. He earned his law degree from the University of Cincinnati. Berry was also a civil rights attorney with the NAACP. He was elected to the Cincinnati City Council in 1950 and as vice mayor in 1955, then became the city's first African American mayor in 1972. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and "Theodore M. Berry Cincinnati's First Black Mayor, Dies at age 94," Jet, 11/06/2000.

See photo images and additional information about Theodore M. Berry at "A Timeline of His Life and Works," a University of Cincinnati website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Mayors
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Bluegrass Chronicle (newspaper) [Edgar Wallace]
Start Year : 1978
End Year : 1980
The Bluegrass Chronicle was a weekly African American newspaper in Lexington, KY, published from April 1978 - May 1980. The paper was owned by Edgar Wallace, an Urban County Councilman and former president of the Lexington NAACP. The newspaper was started because Wallace felt the Lexington Leader and the Lexington Herald were not adequately covering Lexington's Black community. Circulation was about 2,000. For more see "Fledgling paper will be aimed at minorities," Lexington Leader, 03/30/1978, section D-1, col. 5-6; and T. Tolliver, "Chronicle still out of print," Lexington Leader, 01/12/1981.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Burroughs, Olive
Birth Year : 1951
Death Year : 2003
Olive Burroughs was the first African American woman elected to the Owensboro, KY, City Commission, first elected in 1995 and continuously re-elected until 2002. She was instrumental in developing the Neighborhood Alliance and the Owensboro Youth Council. She served on the Kentucky Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, the National League of Cities Human Development Committee, and the Coalition Drug Task Force of U. S. Representative Lewis Heartland. The Heritage Award was presented to Burroughs posthumously by the Owensboro Board of Realtors in 2004, its highest community honor. Burroughs received many additional awards, including the NAACP Herman E. Floyd Award. For more see "Burroughs wins Heritage Award posthumously," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 05/12/04.

Access Interview Read about the Olive Burroughs oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Caldwell, John Martin, Jr.
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1987
Born in Henry County, KY, Reverend Caldwell was the son of Anna Hobbs Caldwell and John Martin Caldwell, Sr. Beginning in 1932, he was pastor of the Zion Baptist Church in Evansville, IN, continuing in that position for 57 years. Caldwell was a 1949 graduate of Evansville College [now University of Evansville] and completed his theology degree at Simmons University (Louisville). He received a citation from President Roosevelt for his service on the draft board during World War II. Caldwell was also a member of the masons, and he was the author of the annual publication Zion Pulpit. In 1967, he became the the first African American elected official in Evansville, IN: he was elected to the City Council and served three terms. Caldwell was also president of the Evansville NAACP for 15 years, leading the fight to integrated businesses and the University of Evansville. He was a member of the group that sued the city of Evansville to stop segregated housing. Caldwell received the first Mayor's Human Rights Award in 1977. The housing projects, formerly Sweeter public housing, were renamed the Caldwell Homes and Terrace Gardens in memory of John Martin Caldwell. For more see the John Martin Caldwell entry in the Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers, by E. L. Williams; and "The Rev. John Caldwell," Evansville Courier, 09/28/1999, Metro section, p. A3.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Henry County, Kentucky / Evansville, Indiana

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

Carr, Kipley D.
Birth Year : 1967
Kipley D. Carr was born in Bowling Green and served as the first African American student representative on the Bowling Green Independent School Board, 1983-1984, and is believed to be the first African American student representative to a local board of education in the Commonwealth. Active in the NAACP since childhood, Carr served as president of the Bowling Green-Warren County NAACP Youth Council and later as president of the Kentucky State NAACP Youth & College Division. From 1995-97 Carr was Political Action Chairman of the Kentucky State NAACP Conference, as the youngest state political action chairperson anywhere in the country. Carr played a leading role in Bowling Green's first Martin Luther King March. He later moved to West Virginia, where he became the first African American elected to the Martinsburg City Democratic Committee and served as a charter member of the city's Human Relations Commission. Carr returned to Bowling Green and was elected the first African American president of the city's Young Democrats Club in 1995. Carr served as Secretary for the Georgia State Conference, NAACP, from 2005-2011. In 2009, Carr was elected the first African American president of the College Park (GA) Historical Society, and in 2011 became the first African-American president of the Historic College Park Neighborhood Association. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 8th-15th editions. In 2012, Kipley D. Carr ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the Georgia General Assembly.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Board of Education
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Martinsburg, West Virginia / Atlanta, Georgia

Cayce, James B.
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1971
James B. Cayce was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Paul and Mamie Cayce. He was an instructor at Simmons University in Louisville from 1940-1942. During that same time period, he supervised the division of activities within the Department of Public Welfare in Louisville. Cayce was executive director of the Washington Community Association in Hamilton, Ohio, from 1942-1943. He was also a minister and pastored at several churches. Cayce was also editor of the Ohio Baptist News from 1948-1950, authored Negroes and The Cooperative Movement (1940), and wrote a number of articles and editorials. Cayce moved from Ohio to Pittsburgh, PA, where he was the respected pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church from 1950-1971. He was a active member and recruiter of the NAACP and he corresponded with Martin Luther King, Jr. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; "Ebenezer Baptist Church celebrates its rich history," New Pittsburgh Courier, 07/17/2008, p.B2; and The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. by M. L. King, et al.

See photo image of Rev. James B. Cayce at Carnegie Museum of Art website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Hamilton, Ohio / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Cofield, William, Sr.
Birth Year : 1940
In 1991, William Cofield was the first African American appointed to the Franklin County Board of Education; he was then elected to the board three times. Since 1986, he has been president of the Kentucky NAACP Conference, and has also served as president of the Franklin County NAACP Branch. In 2004, Cofield was named president of the National Caucus of Black School Board Members. Cofield was born in LaGrange, GA, and his family moved to Pennsylvania when he was a child, and they returned to Georgia when he was a teen. He is a graduate of Fort Valley State University, Tuskegee University, and worked on his doctorate [ABD] at Ohio State University. Cofield moved to Frankfort, KY in 1973, and was a professor at Kentucky State University. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., edited by M. M. Spradling; and M. Davis, "An ardent advocate for kids, education," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/27/2004, City&Region section, p.C1.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Board of Education
Geographic Region: LaGrange, Georgia / Franklin County, Kentucky

Craft, Rebecca
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1945
A schoolteacher from Versailles, KY, Rebecca Craft graduated from Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]. She and her husband, John, moved to San Diego, California, in 1910. Rebecca Craft led the fight against segregation and discrimination so that African American police and school teachers could be hired in San Diego. She also formed the Women's Civic Organization and was president of the San Diego NAACP. The civic organization served as a social welfare agency that also did fund-raising. Rebecca Craft was the aunt of Cecil H. Steppe. For more see G. Madyun, "In the Midst of things: Rebecca Craft and the Woman's Civic League," The Journal of San Diego History, vol. 34, issue 1 (Winter 1988) [available online].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / San Diego, California

Crumlin, James A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 2004
Reverend James A. Crumlin, Sr. was born in South Carolina. He came to Louisville, KY in 1944. A graduate of Howard University, he earned his law degree from the Robert H. Terrell Law School in Washington, D.C. Crumlin is remembered for a number of successes, including the appeal to the Kentucky Legislature to amend the state law for African American doctors and nurses to be admitted to state hospitals for training. The bill was passed in 1948 while Crumlin was president of the Louisville NAACP. Crumlin was also one of the lawyers for the plaintiff in the lawsuit to integrate the University of Kentucky. He was the lawyer for a number of school integration cases in Kentucky. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and B. Paulastaff, "Rev. James A. Crumlin, Sr. dies," Courier-Journal, 08/28/2004, News section, p. O7B.

Access Interview Read about the James A. Crumlin, Sr. oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Nurses, Court Cases
Geographic Region: South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cunningham, Raoul
Birth Year : 1943
Raoul Cunningham was born in Louisville, KY. He fought to bring down racial barriers in public accommodations and housing. When he was 14 years old, he was a member of the NAACP Youth Chapter, assisting with voter registration and participating in picketing segregated establishments in Louisville. He organized a Young Democrats chapter when he was a student at Howard University. Cunningham was president of the D.C. Federation of College Young Democrats and vice president of the Young Democrats Club of America. He is the state coordinator for the NAACP. In 2006, Cunningham received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Award, given each year in Louisville. For more read the Raoul Cunningham biography and watch his interview at the KET Living the Story website; S. Sheldonstaff, "Activist Raoul Cunningham honored," Courier-Journal, 01/13/2006, News section, p. O3B; and M. Starks, "Raoul Cunningham" in Who's Who in Black Louisville, 3rd. ed., p. 63.

See photo image of Raoul Cunningham at Hall of Fame 2003, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.

 

Access Interview Read about the Raoul Cunningham oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records are in the SPOKE Database.        
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Daniel, Wilbur N.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1999
Wilburn N. Daniel was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Fannie and Nathan Daniel. Reverend Wilbur N. Daniel was the first African American student to be accepted at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, from which he graduated with honors in 1957. The school's African American Cultural Center is named in Daniel's honor. Daniel was a civil rights activist and a pastor of the St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Clarksville, TN. Prior to enrolling in the graduate school at Austin Peay, he had earned an undergraduate degree from American Baptist Theological Seminary [American Baptist College] in Nashville and another from Tennessee State University. Daniel would leave Tennessee for Chicago, where he was pastor of the Antioch Baptist Church and served two years as president of the Chicago NAACP. He sponsored a housing development in Chicago and and in Fort Wayne, IN. He was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for Congress in 1964. For more see Austin Peay State University African American Cultural Center; A. Ritchart, "Supporting heroes," The Leaf-Chronicle, 02/16/2006, Local section, p. 1B; Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers, by E. L. Williams; and the Rev. Wilburn Daniel entry in Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book, edited by E. R. Rather.

See photo and additional information at "Biography of Dr. Wilburn N. Daniel," Austin Peay State University website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Clarksville, Tennessee / Chicago, Illinois

Dawson, Osceola A.
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1963
Osceola Aleese Dawson was a woman of many talents. She was born in Roaring Springs, KY, and after her father died, she and her mother moved in with her grandfather, Peter Dawson, who lived in Christian County, KY. Osceola Dawson started school in the third grade at Little Lafayette in Christian County; she graduated valedictorian of her grade school. After passing the county examination that allowed her to enter high school in Pembroke, KY, Dawson graduated valedictorian of her high school at the age of 16 and became a teacher at the age of 17. In 1929, she was a student and an employee at West Kentucky Vocational School [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] in Paducah. After graduating from college, Dawson remained employed at the school for more than 20 years. She had also completed work at the School of Brief English in New York and studied music to become a noted lyric soprano. Dawson was also the author of Of Human Miseries, a collection of short stories published in 1941, and a number of other works, including the 1959 documentary about Clarence Timberlake, The Timberlake Story. Dawson was also a long-standing, active member of the NAACP, serving as the secretary of both the Kentucky NAACP Conference and the Paducah NAACP Branch. Dawson was recognized for her outstanding service, including her speaking tours in northern states. She was a sister of former Illinois Assistant Attorney General James Cotter. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Papers of the NAACP, Part 21, roll 20, frame 234; and Bill Powell's Notebook, "Osceola Dawson's title has not changed but her role has," Paducah Sun-Democrat, 02/08/1958, p. 6.

Access InterviewListen online to the tribute feature, Osceola Dawson, Renaissance Woman by Jacque E. Day at WKMS-FM, Murray State University.

Access InterviewListen online to the Osceola Dawson interview by Edward R. Murrow on the program This I believe, at thisibelieve.org.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Roaring Springs, Trigg County, Kentucky / Hopkinsville and Pembroke, Christian County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Dotson, William S.
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 1995
William S. Dotson, born in Cave City, KY, later became a civil rights leader in Lexington, KY. Dotson first left Cave City when he was a teen; there was not a high school for African Americans, so he went to Frankfort to attend the high school at what is today Kentucky State University. He also earned a BA at the school in 1936. He was president of the National Alumni Association (1966-1968). Dotson and his wife moved to Lexington in 1938, where he later served as president of the Lexington Chapter of the NAACP, 1946-1951; Dotson wanted to bring leadership to African Americans in the city. He also served as treasurer of the state NAACP for 27 years. He was the first 40 Year Man member of Omega Psi Phi, for which he received an award in 1974. For more see M. Davis, "Martin Luther King: dream lives on struggle for rights continues," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/15/1986, Lifestyle section, p. D1; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-1999; and William S. Dotson in the Obituaries of the Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/28/1995, p. B2.

Access Interview Read about the William S. Dotson oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, items in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Cave City, Barren County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

DuBois School (Mt. Sterling, KY)
Start Year : 1939
End Year : 1964
In August of 1964, as African American parents were preparing to boycott the city schools to protest a change in the school integration plans, the DuBois School was burned down. The fire was the result of arson, as was the fire that destroyed the African American Masonic Hall. The DuBois school, probably built in 1939, was an African American school with grades 1-12. The Mt. Sterling police department was put on alert against any attempt to also burn the three schools for whites. The FBI and the Kentucky State Department of Public Safety investigated the fire; the DuBois School fire had been set while the Mt. Sterling Fire Department was answering a call at one of the white schools on the opposite end of town. The Masonic Hall was owned by W. D. Banks, an undertaker who was also a leader and active member of the Mt. Sterling NAACP Branch. Banks had been meeting with the School Board to discuss the change in plans to integrate two grades rather than the original plan to integrate the entire school system. The change had come about after it was learned that more African American students than were expected had registered to attend the school for whites. With the burning of DuBois School, an emergency School Board meeting was held behind closed doors, and the Mt. Sterling schools' classes were suspended until September 8, 1964. Louisville lawyer James A. Crumlin, Sr. was hired by African American parents in preparation for a lawsuit to force the schools to integrate. The Mt. Sterling school system was one of the last to integrate in Kentucky. For more see "All-Negro school in Mt. Sterling, KY, destroyed by fire," North Adams Transcript, 08/31/1964, p. 1; and "School Desegregation" records at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. See also the entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Geographic Region: Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Duncan, John Bonner
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1994
Duncan was born in Springfield, KY, leaving the state in 1930 to attend Howard University, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree. He was also a 1938 graduate and distinguished alumni of the Robert H.Terrell Law School. A government employee, he served from 1952-1961 in the appointed position of Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia. President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the D.C. governing board in 1961; he was the first African American commissioner of the District of Columbia. In 1964, he was reappointed to the position by President Lyndon B. Johnson and served until 1967. At the end of his second term, Duncan was appointed assistant to the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior for Urban Relations. He retired from government in 1969. Duncan was a community and civic leader in a large number of organizations, including the NAACP and the Washington Urban League, and he served on the board of the United Negro College Fund. The John B. Duncan Papers are available at George Washington University. For more see "John B. Duncan, 84, 1st black commissioner," Obituaries, Washington Times, 06/23/1994, Section C, p. C8.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Urban Leagues, United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky / Washington D. C.

Eilers v Eilers [Anna F. Anderson]
Start Year : 1964
In September 1964, eight months after Anna F. Eilers married Marshall C. Anderson, the courts took her five children away. Anna, who was white, was from New Haven, KY. She had divorced her previous husband and father of the children, George Eilers, in 1963. Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Lyndon R. Schmid awarded custody of the children to Anna. In January 1964, Anna and Marshall C. Anderson, an African American musician and restaurant employee, were married in Chicago, IL. [Marriage between the races was still illegal in Kentucky and 17 other states.] When they returned to Louisville, KY, the couple lost their jobs in retaliation for their marriage. George Eilers sued to have the children taken away from Anna, and Judge Schmid had the children placed in a children's institutional home. Anna and Marshall moved to Indianapolis, IN, in 1964, by which time the two oldest children had been placed in foster homes. Prior to their move, the Andersons had retained Attorney James Crumlin of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. to help regain custody of the children. The custody case took place during the same time period that the Virginia Supreme Court had upheld the state's anti-miscegenation law in the Richard and Mildred Loving case [NY Times article]. The Andersons' custody case went to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 1966, where the Appellate Court upheld the ruling of the Jefferson County Circuit Court. The case was next taken to the federal court where it became national news; it was the first appeal to the federal courts on constitutional grounds for child custody. The Andersons' case was temporarily linked to the Lovings' case, which was pending in the federal courts, and the results were expected to be landmark decisions. The link was broken when District Judge Henry L. Brooks declined to take jurisdiction over the Andersons' case because it was determined that the mother had not exhausted her appeals in the Kentucky courts, and the indirectness of the attack on the Kentucky miscegenation laws was a weakness of the case; therefore, there was no federal question. For a third time, the Anderson case was brought before the Kentucky Court of Appeals. The court reversed the judgment for proceedings consistent with the opinion. "No reason appears which would warrant interference with the custody order from which this appeal was taken. That order shall remain in effect until further order of the trial court or any court of competent jurisdiction." For more see F. Ward, "Mixed couple suffers ordeal," Jet, 04/07/1966, pp. 46-49, and "Mixed couple losses custody bid," Jet, 10/27/1966, p. 15 [both articles available full-text at Google Book Search]; B. A. Franklin's articles in the New York Times: "Kentucky facing race custody suit," 03/25/1966, p. 29, and "Judge bars case of miscegenation," 06/26/1966, p. 30; "N.A.A.C.P. to fight ruling on custody," New York Times, 07/08/1966, p. 12; and Anna Frances Eilers (now Anna Anderson), Appellant, v. George F. Eilers, Appellee, Court of Appeals of Kentucky, 412 S.W.2d 871: 1967 Ky, March 17, 1967.
Subjects: Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Court Cases, Interracial Marriage and State Laws
Geographic Region: New Haven, Nelson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Ellis, Cassius M. C., III
Birth Year : 1936
Death Year : 1997
Cassius M. C. Ellis III was born in Frankfort, KY, the son of Anna Shannon Ellis. He was a surgeon at North Memorial Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN, where he was director of the residency program. He was the first assistant dean for minority students at the University of Minnesota Medical School, where the Cassius Ellis Award is named in his honor. He had been the chief of staff at Mount Sinai Hospital in Minneapolis. Ellis was a member of a number of medical-related organizations, and he also belonged to the NAACP. He served as president of the Minnesota State Board of Medical Examiners in 1990 and was appointed to the board for a four year term by Minnesota Governor Ruby Perpich. Ellis graduated from Mayo-Underwood High School in 1954 and from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] in 1958, both in Frankfort, KY, and from Meharry Medical College in 1962. Ellis was a captain in the U.S. Army. He was the husband of Phyllis Hannah Ellis, with whom he had four children. For more see P. Miller, "Dr. Cassius Ellis, minority mentor, dies at age 60," Star Tribune, 05/18/1997, p. 11B; "Cassius M. C. Ellis III, M.D., F.A.C.S." on pp. 918-919 in A Century of Black Surgeons, by C. H. Organ and M. M. Kosiba; and "Dr. Cassius Ellis" in Jet, 04/01/1985, p. 24.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Military & Veterans, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Minneapolis, Minnesota

Eubanks, Charles Lamont [Eubanks v University of Kentucky]
Birth Year : 1924
In the fall of 1941, Eubanks, a 17-year old from Louisville, KY, was the plaintiff in the first Kentucky case the NAACP brought against a university. Eubanks had volunteered to be the subject in an attempt to integrate the University of Kentucky (UK); Eubanks was an honor student who had graduated from Central High School and applied for admission to the UK College of Engineering. His application was denied because Eubanks was an African American and the Kentucky Day Law did not permit African Americans and whites to attend the same schools. While the Eubanks' case was pending, the Kentucky Board of Education voted to establish a two year engineering course at the HCBU Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] for African American students seeking an engineering degree. Eubanks' counsel, Charles H. Houston and Thurgood Marshall, objected to the two-year makeshift engineering program and an amended complaint was filed with the Federal District Court in Lexington, with a request for $5,000 in damages. As the case dragged on, Eubanks suffered with depression, he was criticized for creating tension between Kentucky African Americans and whites, he was rejected from joining the Army, and his wife divorced him. Eubanks signed an affidavit asking that the case not be continued and the case was dismissed in 1945. Thurgood Marshall was disappointed at the outcome of the case. Charles W. Anderson blamed Kentucky State College President Atwood for weakening the case when he allowed the two-year engineering course to be created at the school. But in spite of all that happened, the Charles Eubanks v University of Kentucky case is still considered a landmark in the struggle for equal rights in higher education. For more see Making Civil Rights Law by M. V. Tushnet; Fifty Years of Segregation by J. Hardin; and A History of Blacks in Kentucky by M. B. Lucas and G. C. Wright. See also Lyman T. Johnson, the case that desegregated the University of Kentucky.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Gamble, Joseph Dunbar
Birth Year : 1926
Death Year : 2005
Gamble, born in Browder, KY, the son of Bessie Breckner Gamble. The family moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, when Joseph was a child. Around 1960, Gamble and his mother, Bessie, were on their way to a church revival in Phoenix, Arizona, when their car broke down in New Mexico. Gamble liked the area so much that he went back to Fort Wayne, packed up his family, and moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1961. He became the first African American licensed contractor in the city, sole owner of Abdullah Construction from 1967-1986, incorporating the company as Gamble, Gamble, Gamble, and Gamble Construction Company in 1986. Joseph Gamble was also president of the Albuquerque branch of the NAACP from 1962-1966, advocating for fair housing legislation. He was founder and director of the Albuquerque Afro-American Cultural Center. In 1999 he was awarded the Carnis Salisbury Humanitarian Award. For more see L. Jojola, "Contractor was Noted Civil Rights Activist," Albuquerque Journal, 06/23/2005, Obituaries section, p. D13.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Construction, Contractors, Builders, Historians, Migration North, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Browder, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky / Fort Wayne, Indiana / Albuquerque, New Mexico

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

Grevious, Audrey L.
Birth Year : 1930
Born in Lexington, KY, Audrey Grevious was principal of Kentucky Village, a state reformatory school for delinquent boys. She later became president of the Lexington Chapter of the NAACP, during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. She was also involved in the Lexington Congress of Racial Equity (CORE). Grevious and Julia Lewis helped bring CORE and the NAACP together as a combined front for protests against segregation. Grevious is a graduate of Kentucky State University and Eastern Kentucky University. For more see Audrey Grevious in Living the Story, Film Interviews at the Kentucky Historical Society.

See photo image and additional information about Audrey Grevious at The HistoryMakers website.

Access Interview Read about the Audrey L. Grevious 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, Education and Educators, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Hale v. Commonwealth of Kentucky (case)
Start Year : 1938
Hale v. Commonwealth of Kentucky was a 1938 U.S. Supreme Court case on discrimination in jury selections and criminal trials. Joe Hale, an African American, had been convicted and sentenced to death in 1936 for the murder of a white man in Paducah, KY. No African Americans had been selected for the grand jury, nor in the past had there ever been an African American on a petit jury or grand jury in McCracken County, KY. After Hale's conviction and death sentence, the NAACP took the case to the Kentucky Court of Appeals and the judgment was confirmed. The NAACP next took the case to the U.S. Supreme Court with Charles H. Houston and Leon A. Ransom for the petitioner, and Mr. A. E. Funk for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. April 11, 1938, the U.S. Supreme Court decision was to overturn Joe Hale's conviction because his civil rights had been violated when the lower court excluded African Americans from the grand jury. For more see Hale v. Kentucky, 303 U.S. 613 (1938) (case summary online at FindLaw).
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Court Cases
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Handy, Elizabeth P.
Birth Year : 1876
Death Year : 1937
Elizabeth Virginia Price Handy was born in Henderson, KY, the daughter of Jim and Betty Price. She wrote poetry but was never published. She was the first wife of blues composer and musician William C. (W. C.) Handy (1873-1958), with whom she had six children: Lucille, William Jr., Katherine, Florence, Elizabeth, and Wyer. Elizabeth Handy died in New York City. Hours before her death, she had been taken by ambulance to the Knickerbocker Hospital on March 11, 1937; she was suffering from a brain hemorrhage. Because she was African American, she had to wait outside in the ambulance for 55 minutes, while her husband W. C. Handy, and her physician, Dr. Farrow R. Allen, tried to get her admitted. The admitting clerk had informed them that Negroes were not admitted to the private ward. W. C. Handy had to pay $63 before Elizabeth was admitted [the usual charge was $6 per day]. Elizabeth Handy died two hours after she was admitted to the hospital. The New York NAACP, led by Roy Wilkins, assistant secretary, requested that New York Mayor LaGuardia investigate the Knickerbocker Hospital policies concerning Negro patients. Walter Mezger, superintendent of the hospital, told the media that the hospital did not discriminate toward Colored patients; the discrimination that had taken place was that of the admitting clerk, a long time employee who had used bad judgment and had since been transferred from the hospital. For more see The Annals and Scandals of Henderson County, by M. Arnett; and "Hospital accused by Negro society," The New York Times, 03/27/1937, p.30.
Subjects: Migration North, Mothers, Poets, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / New York, New York

Harding, Robert E., Jr.
Birth Year : 1927
Death Year : 2004
Robert E. Harding, Jr. graduated first in his class from Bate High School in Danville, where he was born and grew up. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1954 at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. Harding went on to become the second African American to graduate from the University of Kentucky College of Law. In 1958, he was an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board, transferring to the New Mexico office in 1968. Harding was a civil rights leader and an active NAACP member; he was president of the Albuquerque NAACP Branch. The Vincent E. Harding Public Interest Scholarship was established a few years prior to the 2005 Robert E. Harding, Jr. Endowed Professorship, both at the University of Kentucky Law School. [Vincent E. Harding was Robert and Iola Harding's son.] For more see A. Jester, "Distinguished black alumnus honored by UK law school," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/27/05, p. B3.

See photo image and additional information about Robert E. Harding, Jr. at the University of Kentucky College of Law website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Albuquerque, New Mexico

Hayes, Charles Marion, Sr.
Birth Year : 1889
Death Year : 1970
Charles M. Hayes, Sr., from Springfield, KY, was a founder of the Gibraltar Health and Accident Insurance Company in Indianapolis, IN. He was the first president and actuary of the company. Hayes had worked in insurance in Kentucky; in 1917, he was superintendent of the Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company in Hopkinsville, KY [source: Hayes' WWI Draft Registration Card]. He had also served as Dean of West Kentucky Industrial College (now West Kentucky Community and Technical College). Hayes was a WWI veteran, having served with the 92nd Division in France as part of the A. E. F. (American Expeditionary Forces). He had been commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant at the first Officers Training School at Fort Des Moins, IA. After an honorable discharge from the service, Hayes and his wife moved to Cincinnati, OH, and Hayes was employed as an insurance superintendent [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census]. In 1924, the couple had moved to Indianapolis, and Charles M. Hayes, Sr. was president of the Gibraltar Insurance Company when he sailed to France and Great Britain on business [source: Hayes' U.S. Passport Application, July 2, 1924]. By 1930, the Hayes family members were Charles M. Hayes, Sr., his wife, and son, and they lived on Capitol Avenue in Indianapolis [source: U.S. Federal Census]. From 1940 until his retirement in 1957, Hayes was employed as an interviewer in the U.S. Employment Service and Indiana Employment Security Division. The service division was often accused of segregated and discriminatory hiring practices. Charles M. Hayes attempted to explain the agencies hiring procedures in the Indianapolis newspapers. Hayes was also a member of the NAACP Indianapolis Branch. He was a graduate of Lincoln University (PA) and did graduate work at Columbia University and Indiana University. He was the son of William T. Hayes, and the husband of Eunice M. Hayes (1894-1966) from Hopkinsville, KY. Eunice Hayes was a graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and had taught school in Hopkinsville. For more see "Charles M. Hayes, Sr.," Indianapolis Recorder, 08/29/1970, p.6; "Eunice M. Hayes," Indianapolis Recorder, 06/25/1966, p.3; "Charles M. Hayes" in W. A. Chambers' column titled "Some People" Say - - In Our Town," Indianapolis Recorder, 01/04/1958, p.2; C. M. Hayes, "Local hiring technique explained by USES aide," Indianapolis Recorder, 07/07/1945, pp.18 & 19 [photo image of Charles M. Hayes included in article]; and "Segregated U.S. Employment Office plans, generally denied by all officials," Indianapolis Recorder, 08/28/1943, pp.1 &3.
Subjects: Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Education and Educators, Employment Services, Migration North, Military & Veterans, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Springfield, Nelson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Higgins, Chester A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 2000
Higgins was born in Chicago and raised in Lexington, KY. A World War II veteran, he attended Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], Louisville Municipal College for Negroes, and the University of Louisville. He served as a reporter, writer, and editor for a number of publications, including the Louisville Defender, the Pittsburgh Courier, the Detroit Courier, the NAACP magazine Crisis, and Jet. In 1967, the National Newspaper Publishers awarded Higgins first place in the feature news category. Higgins was also involved in a number of organizations, including serving as Executive Secretary of the Louisville National Negro Labor Council, and he was Special Assistant to Benjamin Hooks, the first African American to become the Federal Communications Commissioner. Higgins taught at Malcom X College in Chicago and at Michigan State University. He was the father of Chester Higgins, Jr. For more see L. Estrada, "Chester Higgins Sr., Jet magazine editor," Chicago Sun-times, 05/29/2000, News section, p. 47; and Kentucky HR168.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Chicago, Illinois / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Hodge, W. J.
Birth Year : 1920
Death Year : 2000
W. J. Hodge was born in Texas and came to Louisville, KY, in 1957 to become pastor of the Fifth Street Baptist Church. In 1958 he was elected president of the Louisville Chapter of the NAACP and in 1962 was elected president of the Kentucky Conference of the NAACP. Hodge helped organize the 1964 March on Frankfort in support of the Kentucky Civil Rights Law. In 1977, Hodge became the first African American president of the Louisville Board of Alderman; he resigned from the board in 1982 to become president of Simmons Bible College. For more see "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 20; Y. D. Coleman, "First Black Alderman president recently honored with a resolution," The Louisville Defender, 03/12/1992, p. 4; and T. Shannon, "W. J. Hodge," Courier-Journal, 12/28/2000, NEWS section, p. 01A.

See photo image and additional information about W. J. Hodge at "Geat Black Kentuckians," a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Texas / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Hutton, Henry T. "Hut"
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1994
In 1985, Henry Hutton almost became the fourth African American mayor in Kentucky and the first in eastern Kentucky. Hutton was temporarily named mayor of Fleming-Neon after a court decision in his favor. Hutton had run against Mayor James Seals, who won the primary as a Democrat, he won by 37 votes. Letcher Circuit Judge F. Byrd Hogg voided the win because Seals had filed improperly for the office as an Independent but ran on the ballot as a Democrat. An appeal was filed and the ruling was overturned. The mayor's race was only one of the many noted achievements of Henry T. Hutton, who was born in Stonega, VA. He is listed in the 1940 U.S. Census as the son of Annie Saxton and the stepson of Dane Saxton, who was a coal miner. Henry Hutton came to Letcher County, KY, in 1946 to work in the coal mines. In 1985, Hutton was a retired coal miner and a politician. He had served as a constable, city councilman, and mayor pro tem. He had been the owner of Red Bud Coal Company, an underground mine that hired five African Americans and 16 Whites. Hutton was the first African American coal mine owner in the Letcher County area. He later worked for the Beth-Elkhorn Coal Corp. and retired from the company in 1974. He and his wife Elsie Hutton also owned Hut's Barbeque Restaurant on Back Street in Fleming. Henry Hutton also served as Sargent-At-Arms for the Kentucky General Assembly. He served as an aid to Senator Kelsey Friend, Sr. from Pikeville, KY. He was president of the Letcher County NAACP and a member of the Board of Directors of the Kentucky River Area Development District. Hutton was Grand Chancellor Commander of the Kentucky Knights of Pythias, Chancellor Commander of Hannibal Lodge No.93 Knights of Pythias in Jenkins, KY, and Treasurer of David Temple Lodge No. 110 Free and Accepted Masons in Jenkins. In 1988, he received the Carter G. Woodson Award from Berea College and was also inducted into the Letcher County Mountain Heritage Hall of Fame. Henry Hutton Road in Fleming is named in his honor. For more see "Eastern Kentucky town to get first black mayor," Daily News (Bowling Green, KY), 10/03/1985, p. 7-A; and "Fleming-Neon area leader dies at 76," {from March 16, 1994 issue}, Issue: 1994 in Review, News-Press (Cromona, KY), 12/28/1994, section A, p. 5.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration West, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Mayors
Geographic Region: Stonega, Virginia / Fleming-Neon, Letcher County, Kentucky

Jackson, Thompson
Birth Year : 1882
Jackson was born in Henderson, KY, the son of Lizzy Jackson. He organized the Good Citizenship League in Mansfield, Ohio in 1924, the Y-Indus Club in 1926, and the Boy Scout Troop. Jackson served as president of the Republican Club for Colored Voters, delegate to the National Republican Convention in 1924, and president of the Mansfield NAACP. For more see Who's Who in Colored America 1928-29 and 1950.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Voting Rights, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Mansfield, Ohio

Johnson, John J.
Birth Year : 1945
From Franklin, KY, John J. Johnson became the youngest NAACP chapter president in Kentucky at the age of 17. During his tenure, the Franklin Chapter of the NAACP prevented the town of Franklin from employing the former chief of police from Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers were murdered. Johnson was state president of the NAACP for 14 years, leaving Kentucky to join the national NAACP office. John Johnson Street in Franklin, KY, is named in his honor. Johnson was born in Louisville, KY, grew up in Franklin, and lived in Baltimore, MD. In 2007, Johnson became the executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. For more information, see Hall of Fame 2005 on the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website; the John J. Johnson Biography at the HistoryMakers website; and KET's "Connections with Renee Shaw" - #312: John J. Johnson.

  See John J. Johnson at the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame website

 

Access InterviewRead more about the John J. Johnson recordings available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.      
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky / Baltimore, Maryland

Johnson, Lyman T. [Johnson v. Board of Trustees]
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1997
A teacher and assistant principal at Louisville schools, Lyman T. Johnson was a civil rights activist who fought for equal pay for African American teachers. He was head of the Louisville NAACP. His lawsuit desegregated the University of Kentucky (UK) in 1949. To commemorate the occasion, a historical marker was placed in front of Frazee Hall near the Student Center on the UK campus. Brother-in-law to Thomas F. Blue, Johnson was born in Columbia, TN, moving to Louisville in 1930 at the request of his sister, Cornelia Johnson Blue. He was a graduate of Knoxville Academy, Virginia Union College [now Virginia Union University], and the University of Michigan. The personal papers of Lyman T. Johnson are available at the University of Louisville Library. For more see The Rest of the Dream, by W. Hall; and S. Stevens, Historical Marker to be dedicated for African American Commemoration at the UK Public Relations' website.

See photo image of Lyman T. Johnson at KET Living the Story website.

Access Interview Read about the Lyman T. Johnson 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, Education and Educators, Migration North, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Columbia, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Jones, Alberta O.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 1965
Alberta Odell Jones was born in Louisville, KY, the third child of Sarah (Sadie) Frances Crawford Jones and Odell Jones. She was also a first cousin of Raymond Ponder. During her brief life, Alberta Jones was at the forefront of change in Kentucky and Louisville. She was one of the first African American women to pass the Kentucky Bar (1959) and the first woman prosecutor in Kentucky (1964). [Sally J. Seals White was the first African American woman admitted to the Kentucky Bar.] Jones was prosecutor in the Louisville Domestic Relations Court; her law office was located at 2018 W. Broadway. [James A. Crumlin, Sr. was the assistant prosecutor.] Jones was Cassius Clay's [Muhammad Ali's] first attorney, taking him to California to be trained under Archie Moore. Jones was also a civil rights activist: in addition to participating in the March on Washington and the marches in Louisville, she rented voting machines and held classes to teach African Americans how to vote for the candidate of their choice. She established the Independent Voters Association and was an active member of the Louisville Urban League and the NAACP. Jones also established the James "Bulky" Welch Fund and held a fund-raiser, raffling off a car to pay Welch's medical bills and purchase the prosthetic arms to replace the ones young Welch had lost trying to retrieve his dog from under a train. Alberta Jones was a graduate of Louisville Central High School and attended the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes. When the college was merged with the University of Louisville (U of L) during desegregation, Jones continued her education at U of L and graduated third in her class. She was accepted into the University of Louisville Law School but transferred after the first year to Howard University School of Law, where she graduated fourth in her class. A picture of Alberta O. Jones hangs in the U of L Law School. She was a member of the American Bar Association, the Fall City Bar Association, and the Louisville Bar Association, serving as secretary of the latter. She was also a member of the Eta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta and the Sigma Chapter of Iota Phi Lambda. Alberta O. Jones was murdered in August 1965 -- the case has not been solved. This information was submitted by Alberta Jones's niece, Ms. Nicole M. Martin, and Jones's sister, Ms. Flora Lutisha Shanklin. For more see "Alberta Jones' funeral rites held; unsolved murders alarm West Enders," The Louisville Defender, 08/12/1965, front page and p. 6; and Legacy of Leadership: African American Pioneers in Kentucky Law (video-recording), by the University of Louisville School of Law.

 


   See photo image of Alberta O. Jones and Cassius Clay [Muhammad Ali] in Jet, 08/26/1965, p.5.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Voting Rights, Lawyers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Women's Groups and Organizations, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jones, Charles Edward
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1947
Charles E. Jones was the owner of Jones Funeral Home in Covington, KY, where he was born. He was the son of E. I. and Amanda Jones. He assisted in the push to get Lincoln-Grant High School built; the school auditorium was named in his honor. Jones was also an active church member, a former president of the Covington NAACP Branch. He was a graduate of the Cincinnati College of Embalming. Jones was a 32nd Degree Mason, and served as Deputy Grand Commander of the State of Kentucky Masons, and was the Past Royal Grand Patron of Eastern Star of Kentucky. He was an Oddfellow, belonged to the Knights of Pythias, the Elks, Mosaics and True Reformer, and the United Brothers of Friendship. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; Many tried, few defeated William Grant in '50s, '60s, The Cincinnati Post, 02/23/1998; J. Reis, "Jones led church, social causes," The Kentucky Post, 02/02/2004; and Cincinnati's Colored Citizens by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Jones, Cornell
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 1998
In 1973 Jones became the first African American elected to the Mayfield, KY, City Council and the first African American councilman in Graves County. He was re-elected to a third term in 1977. Jones is also a former president of the Mayfield NAACP Branch. For more see "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 2; and Papers of the NAACP, Selected Branch Files, 1956-1965: Series A: The South, Jones, Cornell 7:0035.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky

Jones, Daisy
Daisy Jones was the first African American nurse in Colorado. She and her family had escaped from slavery in Kentucky and made their way to Canada, where Jones received her nurse training. She moved to Denver, CO, in 1904. Jones was also one of the organizers of the NAACP in Colorado. Her forceps and medicine bag are on display at the Black American West Museum in Denver. For more see "Black Women in Colorado: two early portraits," Frontiers: a Journal of Women Studies," vol. 7, issue 3 -- Women on the Western Frontier (1984), p. 21; and photo image of Daisy Jones on p.18 in African Americans of Denver by R. J. Stephens, L. M. Larson, and The Black American West Museum.


Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Nurses
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Denver, Colorado

Kentucky Sickle Cell Disease Detection Act of 1972 - KRS 402.310-340
Start Year : 1972
In 1972, the National Sickle-Cell Anemia Control Act became law, and millions of dollars were authorized for state research, screening and counseling programs. The Kentucky Sickle Cell Disease Detection Act of 1972 went into effect January 1, 1973. The law required all newborn African American babies and African Americans applying for a marriage license to be tested for Sickle Cell Anemia. The Secretary for Health and Family Services was responsible for adopting the rules and regulations for the administration and enforcement of the law. The testing was to be confidential and the sample was to be sent to the Division of Laboratory Services, State Department of Health, or to an approved laboratory. As with other couples applying for marriage, the sample would also be tested for any other genetically transmitted disease that affected hemoglobin. If both members of the couple tested positive, then they were to receive genetic counseling from a doctor or to be referred to the Department of Health or an approved agency. Applicants could not be denied a marriage license due to the test results. Dr. Maurice Rabb, a member of the National NAACP, and others were opposed to the law. Dr. Rabb was present at the hearing held by the Kentucky Board of Health in January 1973, and he voiced his concern that the new law was targeted to one group of people when all people should be tested. Lyman T. Johnson was also present at the meeting, and he questioned whether the new law was an infringement on the rights of African Americans. In 1974, the testing of African American newborns was repealed. That same year, KRS 402.320, Kentucky Sickle Cell Disease Detection Act of 1972, Revised Statute, Section 1, was amended for the continued testing of African American marriage applicants. Blood tests are no longer required of any marriage applicant in Kentucky. The most recently Revised Sickle Cell Disease Detection Act of 1972 makes testing and counseling available to all marriage applicants. For more see Ky Acts ch. 122, sec. 1; Repealed 1974 Ky Acts ch. 273, sec.3; Ky Acts ch. 273, sec. 1; Kentucky Revised Statutes KRS Chapter 402.00; "Sickle Cell Law draws opposition," Sunday Herald-Leader, 01/28/1973, p. 50; and "Sickle Cell Testing Law now in effect," Lexington Leader, 03/16/1973, p. 10. For more about the nation-wide legislative attention suddenly given to Sickle Cell Anemia in the 1970s, see President Richard Nixon, "155 - Statement on Signing the National Sickle Cell Anemia Control Act," 05/16/1972, available online at presidency.ucsb.edu; Patient in the Womb, by E. P. Volpe; and Backdoor to Eugenics, by T. Duster.
Subjects: NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Sickle Cell Anemia
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Lewis, Julia Etta
Birth Year : 1932
Death Year : 1998
One of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in Lexington, KY, Julia Etta Lewis was a member of the Lexington Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Using non-violent demonstrations and sit-ins, Lewis led the fight against segregation in education, entertainment, shopping, restaurants, and public transportation. She and Audrey Grevious helped to bring Lexington CORE and the NAACP together for protest efforts. For more see 2001 Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame - Inductees from Lexington.

  
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Liggin, Jennie B.
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1977
Liggin, born in Louisville, KY, organized and founded the first AME girl scout troop in Kentucky. The troop was sponsored by the St. John AME Church in Louisville. Jennie Liggin had been a school teacher, she graduated from Louisville Normal School in 1923 and attended Louisville Municipal College 1925-27. She was the wife of Rev. Clyde Absalom Liggin (1902-1980), pastor of Trinity Church in 1947, and principal of the Virginia Avenue School, both in Louisville. Rev. Liggin organized the first boy scout troop at St. John AME Church, which was the second AME troop in Kentucky. The Liggins were active members of the Louisville Branch of the NAACP, they were two of the four persons recognized for their efforts in the successful membership campaign in 1938. Jennie and Clyde Liggin last lived in North Carolina. For more see Mrs. Jennie Liggin and C. A. Liggin in The Crisis, Jan 1938, p.21 [online at Google Book Search]; and Mrs. Jennie B. Liggin in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Scouts (Boys and Girls), Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Livisay, Charles H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1990
Charles Livisay was active in civil rights as both a civic leader and politician, and he is also remembered as an outstanding tennis and basketball player and an outstanding basketball coach at Douglass High School. Livisay, born in Lexington, KY, was a graduate of old Dunbar High School and a 1935 graduate of Kentucky State University. He taught for a year at Dunbar High School in Mayfield, KY, but left teaching due to the low pay and took a job with Mammoth Life Insurance. In 1943 he left that job to serve in the U.S. Army. Livisay returned to Lexington and was head basketball coach for 18 years at Douglass High. The team finished second to Louisville Central in the 1953 National Negro basketball tournament held in Nashville, TN, and the team took the Kentucky High School Athletic League (KHSAL) championship in 1954. Author Louis Stout credits Livisay as one of the first coaches to institute the "transition" game of basketball. The Douglass teams coached by Livisay had a record of 255 wins and 65 losses. His 1956 basketball team came in second in the KHSAL tournament and took second again in the National Negro basketball tournament. Following school integration, Livisay coached and taught at Bryan Station High School from 1966 until his retirement in 1974. Also while coaching basketball, in 1965, Livisay ran for the 54th District seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives; he lost to Foster Pettit. In 1979, he was appoint to the First District council seat in Lexington to complete the term of the late O. M. Travis. When the term ended, Livisay ran for the seat and was defeated by Edgar Wallace. Livisay also served as president of the Lexington Chapter of the NAACP. His tennis career coincided with his many other activities. Livisay was considered a star tennis player and participated in tournaments such as the one held in 1940 between African American tennis players from Louisville and Lexington. Team members were Albert "Happy" Ray, William Madden, Rice Stone, Leonard Mills, and Coach Ages Bryant. The matches took place in Lexington at Douglass Park. In 1975, Charles H. Livisay was inducted into the Kentucky State University Athletic Hall of Fame. In 1993, he was inducted into the Dawahares-Kentucky High School Athletic Association Sports Hall of Fame. For more see "Tennis stars clash," Lexington Leader, 07/12/1940, p. 7, col. 4; 1993 KHSAA Hall of Fame [.pdf]; Shadows of the Past, by Louis Stout; and S. Brown, "Charles Livisay; civic leader, ex-coach, dies; Black leader was role model in community," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/01/1990, City/State section, p. C1.

 

Access InterviewRead about the Charles Livisay 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, Basketball, Civic Leaders, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Tennis, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Lovett, Wilson Stephen
Birth Year : 1885
Wilson S. Lovett was president of the First Standard Bank in Louisville, KY, which was established in 1921 with $50,000. It was the first African American bank in Kentucky. In 1928 the bank had assets of over $600,000. Lovett was also a civil rights activist who was a member of the NAACP and a member of the committee that led to the African American voters' repeal of the first bond effort to expand the University of Louisville. Wilson Lovett was born in New York, the son of Wilson and Annie E. Stevens Lovett, and he grew up in Pennsylvania [sources: 1900 U.S. Federal Census and Ohio Marriages Index]. He was married to Dorothy Payne Lovett (1896-1927), who was born in Kingston, Jamaica; the couple was married in 1924 in Franklin, OH. Wilson Lovett had worked as a stenographer in Alabama, he was employed in the Savings Department of Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) [sources: 1910 U.S. Federal Census and Negro Star, 01/27/1933]. Lovett founded the men's basketball team at Tuskegee Institute and was the first head coach from 1908-1909. The team was undefeated, winning all three of their games [see Golden Tigers website]. Wilson Lovett came to Kentucky from Memphis, TN [sources: Indianapolis Recorder, 04/02/1927]. In 1915, he was director of Standard Life Insurance Company in Louisville [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1915, p.900], which was prior to the establishment of the First Standard Bank. When he left the bank in 1929, Wilson Lovett became treasurer of the Supreme Liberty Life Insurance Company. During that same year, he served as secretary of the National Negro Bankers Association. In 1930, Wilson Lovett was president of the Standard Reality Corporation in Louisville [source: Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1930, p.1256], and president of the Credential Bond and Mortgage Company in Cleveland, OH [source: Cleveland (Ohio) City Directory, 1930, p.1056], all while living in Chicago, IL. According to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Wilson Lovett shared his home in Chicago with Henry McGasock, from Kentucky; they lived at 608 E. Fifty-first Street in Chicago. In the census, Lovett is listed as the treasurer of a life insurance company. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; "Two dead, another injured," Indianapolis Recorder, 04/02/1927, p.1; "Business," Negro Star, 08/02/1929, p.1; "Program of National Negro Bankers Association," Plaindealer, 08/02/1929, p.4; and "Boom Wilson Lovett for Register of the Treasury," Negro Star, 01/27/1933, p.1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Basketball, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Migration North, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: New York / Pennsylvania / Tuskegee, Alabama / Memphis, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Cleveland, Ohio

Lunderman, Charles J., Jr.
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 1973
The following information was submitted by Mrs. Juanita L. White of Louisville, KY:

Charles J. Lunderman, Jr. was an attorney and judge in Louisville, KY. He was one of the three founders of an early Black law firm that included his partners Benjamin Shobe and Haywood Banks. Lunderman, Jr. was the first African American lawyer in the legal department of the City of Louisville. He was also appointed a Jefferson County Quarterly Judge by Louisville Mayor William O. Cowger, serving from 1961-1965. He also served as president of the Louisville Branch of the NAACP and helped integrate the city swimming pools and Jefferson County Schools. Lunderman, Jr. was a member of the Jefferson County Clean Air Committee that was formed by residents of the West End and Shively to fight an industrial plant that was daily pumping 11 tons of dust into the air surrounding the communities. Charles J. Lunderman, Jr. was born in Paducah, KY, the son of Charles, Sr. and Loretta C. Bacon Lunderman Spencer Randolph. He was the husband of Mrs. Belma Lunderman McClaskey. Charles J. Lunderman, Jr. attended Kentucky State University and earned his law degree at Lincoln University in Missouri. He was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Army.

References:


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Judges
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Mason, Melvin T. "Mel"
Birth Year : 1943
Mason, a civil rights activist and an educator, was born and raised in Providence, KY. His family moved to Seaside, CA, where Mason was an outstanding basketball player at Monterey High School. He graduated in 1960 and would go on to play basketball at Monterey Peninsula (Junior) College [now Monterey Peninsula College, a community college], and left the school after his freshman year in 1961 to serve in the military. He was the youngest basketball player to be named All-Air Force. He led all branches of the military in scoring in Europe, and was named Air Force European Command Player of the Year in 1964. Problems that Mason considered racist in the military led to a Bad Conduct Discharge in 1965. With the help of U.S. Senator Thomas Kuchel from California, the discharge was overturned and changed to an Honorable Discharge. Mason returned to Monterey Peninsula College in 1966 and became the only All-America basketball player in the school's history and he is still the school's all-time leading scorer and rebounder. Mason then received over 100 basketball scholarship offers from around the United States. He accepted a scholarship at Oregon State University, but lost his scholarship after taking a solitary stand against what he describes as "the racist treatment of Black students," thus ending his basketball career; he was banned from playing basketball at any college in the U.S. Mason earned his B.A. in social science at Golden Gate University, his M.A. in social work from San Jose State University, and a clinical social worker's license (LCSW) from the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. When he was an employee at Western Electric in Sunnyvale, CA, he helped form the Black Workers Unity Caucus to fight job discrimination and sexual harassment. Based on his work with the caucus, Mason was offered and accepted the invitation to join the Black Panther Party in 1968. In 1970, he organized a Black United Farmworkers Union Support Committee, and the first anti-police brutality campaigns on the Monterey Peninsula. In 1976, Mason was unsuccessful in his run for Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Board. He ran for governor of California in 1982, when he was ruled off the ballot. He was a city council member of Seaside, CA, where his voting record was investigated by the FBI due to his membership in the Socialist Workers Party. Mason ran for President of the United States in 1984 as a candidate of the Socialist Workers Party; he received 24,681 votes. He was a plaintiff in a successful lawsuit against the FBI and their use of the Counterintelligence Program against the Black Panther Party and other groups. Mason lived in New York 1985-1987, where he was part of the Anti-Apartheid Coalition in 1986, and helped form the largest Anti-Apartheid demonstration in the history of the movement, with over 300,000 people. Mason returned to Seaside, CA, in 1987, and in the early 1990s he became co-founder of the Regional Alliance for Progress Policy, and served as spokesperson and chairperson. He has founded and led a number of civil rights organizations and served on a number of boards. He is internationally known and has been the guest of Grenada Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, Sinn Fein in Ireland, the Aborigines in Australia, and the Maori people in New Zealand. Mason retired in 2006 after 10 years at California State University, Monterey Bay, which marked the end of a 40 year career as an educator, counselor, and mental health practitioner and director. He is a former president of the Monterey Peninsula Chapter of the NAACP and vice president of the California NAACP Conference. He is the author of Mel Mason: the making of a revolutionary. Mason has also received many awards including his induction into the Monterey Peninsula College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996. In 2007, Mason received the Civil Rights Legacy Award from the Monterey Peninsula Chapter of the NAACP. March of 2011, Mason was inducted into the California Community College Athletic Hall of Fame [the same hall of fame that Jackie Robinson was inducted into for his athletic accomplishments at Pasadena City College]. Mel Mason is currently an appointee to the Access to Excellence Committee with the California State University System. The program is designed to increase the admission of minority students to CSU campuses. For more see S. Purewal, "A Revolutionary life," The Monterey County Herald, 07/03/2006, Top Story section, p. A1; The Trial of Leonard Peltier, by J. Messerschmidt and W. M. Kunstler; D. Coffin, "Lobos Legacy," The Monterey County Herald, 09/28/2010, p.D1; J. Devine, "Mel Mason named to JC Hall of Fame," The Monterey County Herald, 01/31/2011, p.B1; D. Taylor, "A Lifelong battle for equality," The Monterey County Herald, 03/20/2011, p.A1; and see Mel Mason, Monterey Peninsula, induction 2011, a CCCAA website. Additional information was provided by Melvin T. Mason, contact him for a copy of his biography.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Basketball, Education and Educators, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Geographic Region: Providence, Webster County, Kentucky / Seaside, California

McKinney, James O.
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 2008
McKinney was appointed to the Auburn, KY, City Council in June 1971 and was the first African American elected official in the city. For 43 years he was pastor of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Russellville, KY, retiring in 2007. McKinney was born in Sugar Grove, KY, the son of Eliza Beason McKinney and Benjamin R. McKinney. He served as president of the NAACP and Human Rights in Logan County. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 10; McKinney in "Church News," Daily News (Bowling Green, KY), 03/16/2007, Feature section; and "The Rev. James O. McKinney," Daily News, 04/25/2008 & 04/27/2008, Obituaries section.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Sugar Grove, Warren County, Kentucky / Auburn, Simpson County, Kentucky / Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky

Merchant, Jesse, Sr.
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1959
Born in Winchester, KY, Merchant was employed as a pharmacist at the U. S. Food Laboratory in Chicago in 1909 and later moved to the Department of Agriculture. He was also a civilian postmaster for the 10th U.S. Vol. Infantry in Lexington, KY, and Macon, GA, during the Spanish-American War. He was the son of Alpheus and Georgia A. Williams Merchant, and had attend high school in Lexington, KY. Merchant was a graduate of the Pharmacy College in Louisville, KY. He served as vice president of the Omaha Branch of the NAACP. Merchant was also a poet and is credited with composing "Back to My Old Kentucky Home" in 1906. He was the husband of Gladys Merchant and the couple had four children. The family lived on Wabash Street in Chicago, IL, according to the 1930 U.S. Federeal Census. Jesse Merchant, Sr. retired in 1950 from the federal alcohol tax unit, according to his obituary in the Chicago Daily Tribune, 05/08/1959. For more see the Jesse Merchant entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915 by F. L. Mather [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Poets, Postal Service, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Middlesboro Colored Library (Bell County, KY)
Start Year : 1932
The first colored library in Middlesboro, KY, was located in the Methodist Church in October of 1932. The church was demolished in 1933, followed by a protest for the re-establishing of a colored library since colored citizens paid taxes that supported the public library for whites but were denied access to the public library. In 1940, it was suggested that the colored library be located in a funeral home. The NAACP Office objected. In spite of the objection, the library was placed in the Johnson, Baker, & Mitchell Funeral Home at 415 Nineteenth Street in Middlesboro. The business donated the space, lights, and janitorial services. The City of Middlesboro provided shelving and paid an attendant $35 per month to maintain the collection of 800 books. The NAACP Office continued their protest. There continued to be a colored library in Middlesboro in the 1940s and early 1950s; according to articles in the Middlesboro Daily News, a donation and disbursement of $35 was processed for the colored library by H. H. Hutcheson, Collector [issue July 19, 1943, p.7], and by G. C. Owen, Clerk and Collector [issue June 20, 1949, p.8]; and the Middlesboro Book Club dues were used to buy magazines for the main library and the colored libraries ["The Middlesboro Book Club...," March 7, 1951, p.1]. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; "[Kentucky] Library Annual Report" for 1932 and 1933 submitted to the Kentucky Library Commission from the Middlesboro Public Library; A History of Blacks in Kentucky by M. B. Lucas and G. C. Wright; and Miller's Middlesboro, Ky, City Directory, 1950-1951.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky

Miller, Davie Della Bridges
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1946
Della Miller, a school teacher, insurance agent, civil rights activist, and club woman, was born in Harrodsburg, KY, the daughter of Robert and Fannie Johnson Bridges. She attended Wayman Institute, was a graduate of Central High School and Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. She was president of the Kentucky Conference Branch Women's Missionary Society, and also served as president of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women. She was Grand Royal Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star of Kentucky, and Grand Directress of the Household of Ruth in Kentucky. She was president of the Belle County (KY) NAACP, which was founded in 1940 and was part of the Regional NAACP of Eastern Kentucky. Miller was listed in The Crisis as one of the "First Ladies of Colored America." She and her husband, Dr. I. H. Miller, lived in Middlesboro, KY. Dr. Miller was a supervisor of the Colored Municipal Park in the West End of Middlesboro. The Della Miller African Scholarship Fund was established in honor of Della Miller by the AME Kentucky Conference Branch. The fund aided African students. For more see Mrs. Della Bridges Miller in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright; and Mrs. Della Bridges Miller on p.305 of The Crisis, October 1943 [available online at Google Book Search]. 



Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky / Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky

Miller, William M., Sr. and Anna Mae Stuart
William M. Miller, Sr. (1872-1920), born in Kentucky, was a lawyer. In 1902, he arrived in Madison, Wisconsin, where he had been promised the position of advisor to Governor Robert M. LaFollette, Sr. But Miller could not practice law and his job title was not that of advisor but rather messenger. Anna Mae Stuart (1875-1963), a school teacher from Kentucky, came to Madison in 1902 to marry William Miller. They were among the first African American residents of Madison. The Millers were fairly well off; according to their granddaughter, Betty Banks, the Millers owned their own home as well as a boarding house and a summer home, and they employed a cook, a nanny and a housekeeper. The boarding house was used to lodge African Americans who were new arrivals from the South. The Betty Banks interview in the State of Wisconsin Collection speaks of the Millers as civil rights activists; William Miller was a friend of W. E. B. DuBois, who would often visit the Miller home. William Miller started the Book Lover's Club, a precursor to the Madison NAACP. He helped found the St. Paul AME Church in Madison and was a member of the Niagara Movement. Anna Mae spoke before the Wisconsin Legislature on women's and children's issues. At the age of 86, Anna Mae Miller took part in the sit-in at the Wisconsin Capitol Building in support of the bill that would eliminate housing discrimination in Wisconsin. For more see "Madison sit-in enters 4th day," Corpus Christi Times, 08/03/1961, p. 5.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), 1st African American Families in Town, Grandparents, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Madison, Wisconsin

Morgan, Garrett A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1877
Death Year : 1963
Garrett A. Morgan, who was born in Paris, KY, patented the breathing device - a gas mask - and the traffic signal. He owned sewing equipment and repair shop, and a personal care products company. Morgan invented zig-zag stitching for manual sewing machines. Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. was the son of Sydney and Elizabeth Reed Morgan; he was the seventh of their eleven children. The children attended Branch School, located in the African American community of Claysville, later renamed Garrett Morgan's Place. Morgan quit school when he was in the fifth grade, and when he was a teen took a job in Cincinnati, OH. He would later move on to Cleveland, where he founded the Cleveland Association of Colored Men, which was later merged into the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP. Morgan also founded the Cleveland Call newspaper. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Created Equal, by J. M. Brodie; and Garrett A. Morgan in the Hutchinson Encyclopedia of Biography (2000).

See photo image and additional information on Garrett A. Morgan in Public Roads, Jan/Feb 1998, vol.62, no.4, a Federal Highway Administration website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Inventors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio

Moxley, Frank O.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 2004
Frank O. Moxley was the first African American graduate and the first African American to earn a master's degree in psychology from Western Kentucky University (WKU). He earned his bachelor degree from Wilberforce University in 1926. Moxley created the position of guidance counselor in Kentucky schools and was the first African American guidance counselor in the school system. He was active in the Bowling Green NAACP and helped establish Cumberland Trace Legal Services. He earned a doctorate in psychology at East Coast University/National University in Florida. Frank Otha Moxley was born in Bowling Green, KY, the son of James and Hester Moxley. For more see Bowling Green Daily News, 08/11/2004; WKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni; and Dr. F. O. Moxley: Trailblazer [oral history] by Brendan David Bush (FA421), at Western Kentucky University, Manscripts and Folklife Archives.


See photo image and additional information on Frank O. Moxley at the Great Black Kentuckians website by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.

 

 Access Interview Listen to the audios and read the transcripts to Dr. Frank Moxley oral history interviews in the Kentucky Historical Society, Civil Rights Movement In Kentucky Oral History Project.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Nelson-Johnson, Esther Byrd
Birth Year : 1931
Death Year : 2008
Nelson-Johnson was born in Hickman, KY, one of the six children of Louis and Hestella Holmes Byrd. In 1982, Nelson-Johnson became a part of the history of the female leadership of the Sacramento NAACP: she was the fourth woman elected president of the Branch, serving four terms. For 30 years, she was a counselor at the American River College. She had taught school in Virginia and Missouri before moving to California in 1963. Nelson-Johnson is remembered for her leadership and advocacy for women, young people, and African Americans, and the programs she developed to assist students. She is also remembered for her research and the resulting exhibits she created to show the contributions of African Americans and women. When the NAACP Office in Sacramento was bombed in 1993, the organization's history was safe with Nelson-Johnson. She was a historian and collected resources that documented the history of civil rights in Sacramento. She was the author of A Model Community Counseling Program for Ethnic Minority Low Income Women, Leaving on the Black Star Line and Cotton Patch Cooking. Nelson-Johnson was the first person in her family to attend college, earning a bachelor's degree at Kentucky State University, a master's at Chapman University, and a doctorate at Nova University. For more see R. D. Davila, "Former NAACP chief fought for education and civil rights," Sacramento Bee, 02/13/2008, Metro section, p. B4.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Historians, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Hickman, Fulton County, Kentucky / Sacramento, California

Sample, Prince A., Jr.
Birth Year : 1878
Born in Mt. Sterling, KY, Prince Albert Sample was one of the founders and organizers of the Pullman Porters Benefit Association of America, Inc. and served as its comptroller. He was an investigator and welfare worker for the Pullman Co. in New York City at the Penn Terminal. He had also been president of the Jersey City NAACP Branch and a member of the Odd Fellows. Sample was assistant editor of the Wisconsin Advocate and special correspondent for the Evening Wisconsin. He was business manager and city editor of the Wisconsin Weekly Advocate. He was also a candidate for the New Jersey Legislature, and was a WWI veteran. Prince and his wife Bertha, from North Carolina, lived at 101 Virginia Avenue in Jersey City in 1930, according to the U.S. Federal Census. He was the son of Rev. P. A. Sample, Sr., pastor of the C. M. E. Church in Allensville, KY. Prince Albert Sample, Jr. was a graduate of the University of Michigan. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; K. McCray, "Pullman Porters: the best job in the community, the worst job on the train" [pdf], a James Mason University website; "A Southern Trip," Wisconsin Weekly Advocate, 06/16/1904, p.4.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Pullman Porters, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / New York City, New York / Jersey City, New Jersey / Wisconsin

Shobe, Benjamin F.
Birth Year : 1920
Born in Bowling Green, KY, Benjamine F. Shobe was a civil rights attorney who served as a counselor to Lyman T. Johnson in the lawsuit that forced the University of Kentucky to integrate. Shobe was also hired by the NAACP as an attorney in Sweeny v. The City of Louisville, which was pursued to open public accommodations. He was the first elected city police judge in Louisville, KY, in 1976 and retired from the bench in 1992. He was a graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and the University of Michigan Law School. Shobe was also a recipient of Anderson-Mayer Funds. He is a member of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights' Great Black Kentuckians. He was the son of W. L. Shobe , who was principal of Lynch West Main High School, 1939-1956. For more see The American Bench. Judges of the nation, 2nd ed., ed. by M. Reincke and N. Lichterman; and Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.

  See photo image of Benjamin F. Shobe and additional information at the Great Black Kentuckians website by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Judges, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Shrader, Mildred
Shrader may have been the first White member of the NAACP in Kentucky. (She became a member in the 1960s.) She was also active in the Women's Movement and the Peace Movement. The Shraders lived in Fern Creek, KY, near the African American community of Newburg. They participated in civil rights marches and protests. Mrs. Shrader died of environmentally-induced cancer. For more see the preface of Environmental Justice: creating equality, reclaiming democracy, by K. S. Shrader-Frechette.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Fern Creek, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Stephens, Fred E.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1985
Fred E. Stephens was the first African American Chaplain of the first African American service unit in the Air Corps [today the Air Force] of the U.S. Army. Prior to WWII there were no African Americans in the Air Corps. In 1943, Stephens was one of 22 African American, commissioned, graduates from the 9th class of the Army Chaplain School of Harvard University [more information]. The first class had graduated in August of 1942. Fred E. Stephens was born in Tatesville [Tateville], KY, the son of Sandy and Bertha A. Davis Stephens. According to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Sandy was a farmer, Bertha was a farmhand, and the family lived in Patesville, Hancock County, KY. They later moved to Evansville, IN, were Fred Stephens graduated from high school. He earned his A.B. from Indiana University in 1932, and his LL.D. from Shorter College in 1942. He was pastor of AME churches in Atlanta, GA; Tucson, AZ; and Columbia, MO. He was a member of the NAACP national board and general chairman of the branch in Kansas City, MO. He was a member of the YMCA, the Masons, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and was vice president of the Young Democratic League. He was also the author of newspaper and journal articles, and was a radio announcer in Arizona and Missouri. In the late 1950s, Stephens served as pastor of the Bethel AME Church in Kansas City, MO. In the 1970s, Stephens was pastor of the first AME Church in Los Angeles; in 1975 he married Ralph Russell and Debraca Denise Foxx, daughter of comedian and actor Redd Foxx. Rev. Fred E. Stephens died in Los Angeles, April of 1985. For more see Chaplain Fred E. Stephens in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright; P. D. Davis, "22 receive commission as Chaplain," Plaindealer, 07/09/1943, p.5; and Rev. Fred Stephens in photograph on p.203 in The Crisis, April 1958 [available online at Google Book Search], and p.361 in The Crisis, Jun-Jul 1958 [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Radio, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Tatesville [probably Tateville], Pulaski County, Kentucky / Patesville, Hancock County, Kentucky / Evansville, Indiana / Kansas City, Missouri / Los Angeles, California

Sweeney, Pruitt Owsley, Sr.
Birth Year : 1893
Death Year : 1960
Born in Boyle County, KY, P. O. Sweeney became a dentist and later president of the Louisville, KY, Dental Association. He was also president of the Louisville NAACP branch and the Teachers' Equalization Committee. In 1947 he filed a lawsuit against the city of Louisville for operating a segregated public golf course. The suit was settled in 1952 when the city-owned golf course was opened to all citizens. Sweeney, a Kentucky native who was born in Junction City, KY, was the son of Edgar and Florence Sweeney. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and Who's Who in Colored America 1927. For more general information see African American golfers during the Jim Crow Era by M. P. Dawkins and G. C. Kinloch; and Forbidden Fairways: African Americans and the game of golf, by C. H. Sinnette.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Golf and Golfers, Medical Field, Health Care, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Dentists, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Junction City, Boyle County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Taylor, Gustavus G.
Birth Year : 1904
Taylor was born in Louisville, KY. He worked as a real estate broker in Detroit, Michigan, and as a housing manager of the Public Housing Authority in Ecorse, Michigan, in 1943. Beginning in 1944, he was the housing manager of the Public Housing Administration in Inkster, Michigan. Taylor organized the NAACP at the Elks Baptist Church in Inkster. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Ecorse, and Inkster, Michigan

Turner, Frank M. and Frosty [Wyatt Burghardt Turner]
Frank Turner (1887-1941) was the son of Wyatt and Emma Mitchell Turner. He and his wife, Frosty [or Frostie] Ann Duncan Turner (b. 1891), were from Richmond, KY. They lived in Jamaica, Queens, New York; according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, the family lived on Saratoga Avenue; Frank was recognized in the neighborhood as the father of tennis. The couple had six sons. Frank and Frosty Turner, both 1909 graduates of Wilberforce [now Wilberforce University], were married the summer after their graduation. Frank would become the chief accountant for the NAACP. He had kept the books since the organization opened its first office in the Evening Post building in 1910. He had come to the NAACP with W. E. B. DuBois. Frank had been secretary to DuBois in Atlanta; it was his first job after graduating from college. At the NAACP Office, Frank was also the circulation manager of the Crisis, and he had helped establish the NAACP Branch in Jamaica, New York in 1927, where he served as secretary until his death in 1941. Wyatt Burghardt Turner (1916-2009) was one of Frank and Frosty Turner's sons. He was named after his grandfather; his middle name was in honor of W. E. B. DuBois. Wyatt Turner was born in New York and graduated from high school in Kentucky, where he lived with his grandmother. He would become founder and president of the Brookhaven NAACP, and he served as chairman of the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission. He had also been a history professor at Stony Brook University. Prior to becoming a professor, he was the first African American teacher at Bay Shore. Wyatt Turner was a graduate of Kentucky State University and Columbia University, and he served in the U.S. Army during World War II. For more see "Frank M. Turner," The Crisis, vol. 48, issue 12 (December 1941), pp. 394 & 398; "How the NAACP Began" at the NAACP.org website; H. L. Moon, "History of the Crisis," The Crisis, November 1970; and K. Schuster, "Wyatt Turner dies; pioneer helped found Brookhaven chapter, active in Obama's presidential campaign," Newsday, 01/23/2009, News section, p. A8.

See photo image at the end of the article "Frank M. Turner" on p. 394 of The Crisis.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Mothers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Queens, New York

Underwood, Edward Ellsworth
Birth Year : 1864
Death Year : 1942
A physician, Underwood moved to Kentucky to become Assistant City Physician in Frankfort. He organized and was the first president of the Frankfort NAACP Chapter. He was the first African American to sit on the Board of Trustees at Kentucky State University. In 1898 he formed the State League of Republican Clubs in Kentucky and was its first president. He was also a Kentucky delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1904. Underwood is author of A brief history of the colored churches of Frankfort, Kentucky (1906) [full-text available in the Kentucky Digital Library], as well as several poems; and he was editor of the Blue Grass Bugle for 10 years. He was born in Ohio, the son of Harriet and Reverend Johnson P. Underwood, and the husband of Sarah Walker Underwood, according to his death certificate. For more see Who's Who in Colored America 1927.

  

See photo image of Dr. Edward E. Underwood at Kentucky Historical Society Digital Collections.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Poets, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Ohio / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Utterback, Everett Emory
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1992
Everett Utterback was a social worker, an athlete, and an attorney in Pittsburgh, PA. He prepared legal contracts for Gus Greenlee, owner of the Pittsburgh Crawfords baseball team (Negro League). Utterback prepared contracts with players such as Leroy Satchell Paige, and boxers such as John Henry Lewis, world light heavy weight champion 1935-1939. Everett Utterback was born in Mayfield, KY, the son of Monima and Eldridge Utterback. According to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, the family of five lived on Second Street, and was supported by Eldridge who was brick mason. The family was still in Mayfield, KY in 1930, but without Everette who was attending the University of Pittsburgh on a track scholarship. In 1931, he was the first African American captain of the track team at the University of Pittsburgh. Utterback had competed in a 1929 Decathlon and came in second behind Barney Berlinger. In 1930 and 1931, he won the national championship in broad jump, and the ICA [Intercollegiate Athletics] broad jump championship. Also in 1931, Utterback won the Penn Relays Championship in the hop, skip, and jump. During his career, he won nine championships in the Penn Relays. He was a member of the IC4A indoor championship mile relay team. He set a number of track records. Utterback was also a graduate of Duquesne Law School [now Duquesne University School of Law] and retired as general counsel of the Pittsburgh Housing Authority. He had served as director of management of the housing authority with 5,900 units and 20,000 residents, and he was a social worker. He was a senior partner of Utterback, Brown and Harper, and was one of the lawyers working with the Pittsburgh NAACP to desegregate public facilities. Utterback was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, and was the first African American Lettermen of Distinction at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2006, he was recognized posthumously with a proclamation from the Allegheny County Council, and the Spirit of King Award from the Port Authority. For more see P. Jayes, "Memento recalls a different world," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11/17/1983, p.14; see Everett Utterback in "Barney Berlinger leads Decathlon," The Bismarck Tribune, 04/26/1929, p.9; "Agency board institute is planned here," Altoona Mirror, 02/17/1950, p.1&4; see Everett Utterback in Urban Renewal in Selected Cities, Nov.4-Dec.31, 1957, U.S. GPO; see Everett Utterback in "Pitt to honor Olympic Champion John Woodruff, " The Courier [Pennsylvania], 05/11/1972, p.6; Who's Who Among Black Americans, 1977-1995; and contact the Allegheny County Council for the Proclamation to Everett Utterback dated January 12, 2006, Rich Fitzgerald, President.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Athletes, Athletics, Housing Authority, The Projects, Lawyers, Migration North, Track & Field, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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

Walters, Alexander
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1917
Alexander Walters was born at the Donahoe Hotel in Bardstown, KY, the sixth child of Henry Walters and Harriet Mathews, both of whom were slaves. He was the husband of Katie Knox Walters, and later married Lelia Coleman Walters. In 1877, Alexander Walters was licensed to preach in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion denomination; he was a member of St. John AME Zion Church in Bardstown. He was elected the 24th Bishop of the AME Zion Church and preached at many churches before arriving at Mother Zion of New York Church in 1888. Walters became the first president of the National Afro-American Council in 1898 and was re-elected seven times. He would become a bishop in the AMEZ Church. He was also vice-president of the NAACP in 1911, when the organization was incorporated. Walters was an outspoken civil rights advocate, calling for the formation of the Afro-American League and for African Americans to look beyond the Republican Party for justice. Among his many writings was the co-authored Address to the Nations of the World... For more see My Life and Work, by Bishop Alexander Walters [available full-text at the UNC Documenting the American South website]; The History of the Negro Church, by C. G. Woodson; Dictionary of American Negro Biography, ed. by R. W. Logan and M. R. Winston; and R. E. Clement, "Phylon Profile, VII: Alexander Walters," Phylon, vol. 7, issue 1 (1st Qtr., 1946), pp. 15-19.

See photo image of Bishop Alexander Walters at BlackPast.org.

See photo image of the Donahoe Hotel (renamed Newman House) from My Life and Work by A. Walters, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / New York

Warley, William [Buchanan v. Warley]
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1946
Warley fought for African Americans' right to vote and wrote about African Americans' contributions to history. He was editor of the Louisville News, which he founded in 1913, using the paper to speak out against segregated street cars and school inequality. Warley was also president of the NAACP Louisville, KY, Chapter in 1917 when he and Charles H. Buchanan challenged the legitimacy of the Louisville ordinance that mandated segregated housing. Warley won the U.S. Supreme Court decision giving African Americans the right to acquire, own, and live on property without race discrimination. In 1937, he was co-editor of the The Herald Tribune; the newspaper existed for a brief period, it was published in Louisville with co-editors Charles E. Tucker and Huron Clark [source: The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians by A. A. Dunnigan, p.528].  For more see the Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000; and R. Wigginton, "But he did what he could: William Warley leads Louisville's fight for justice, 1902-1946," Filson History Quarterly, vol. 76, issue 4 (2002), pp. 427-458.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Voting Rights, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Court Cases, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Watkins, Luevenia
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 1998
Watkins was born in Hopkinsville, KY. She was the first African American woman to serve on the Hopkinsville, KY, City Council, beginning in 1987. She has received a great many awards, including the NAACP Magistrate Daniel Massie Award for NAACP Involvement Above and Beyond the Call of Duty. Her community service activity is quite extensive: she has been the Democratic chairperson for Ward 9, a volunteer for the S.S.D.A. Commodities Program, and a member of the Voter Registration Committee. For more see African American Biographies: profiles of 558 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins; and "Hopkinsville has 3 blacks on city council," in the 1988 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Seventh Report by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 17.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

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

Whittaker, Richard Salinthus
Birth Year : 1881
Death Year : 1977
Kentucky native Dr. Richard S. Whittaker, a physician and surgeon, was founder of the Dunbar Hospital in Los Angeles, CA, in 1924. The facility was managed by Dr. Richard S. Whittaker, his brother Dr. J. T. [James Thomas] Whittaker (1876-1934), and Dr. Charles S. Diggs (1875 -1938) who was born in Mississippi. The hospital served the African American community in Los Angeles for 14 years; it was closed after the death of Dr. Diggs in 1938. Dr. Richard S. Whittaker then returned to his private practice and he was on the staff of Angeles Hospital and the Rose-Netta Hospital that was founded by Kentucky native Dr. N. Curtis King. Dr. Whittaker was born in Carrollton, KY, the son of Scott and Cecelia Whittaker. He was the husband of Esther King Whittaker and the father of James Salinthus Whittaker (1912 -1938) who was a mortician. Dr. Whittaker's education began in a colored school in Carroll County, KY, and he was a 1904 graduate of a college in Louisville (probably Simmons University) where he earned an A.D. degree, and he earned his M.D. at the Louisville National Medical College. He completed three months of post-graduate studies at Howard University. His first practice was in Kansas where several members of the Whittaker family had moved. His brother Dr. J. T. Whittaker is listed in the 1905 Kansas State Census for the town of Coffeyville. His parents, Scott and Cecelia Whittaker, and sister Mary, are listed in the 1915 Kansas State Census for Coffeyville. All of the family members were born in Kentucky, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census when the family of seven was living in Owen County, KY, [Richard Whittaker's first name is given as "Robert"]. Dr. Richard S. Whittaker and his wife Esther were living in Coffeyville in 1910, according to the U.S. Federal Census [Dr. Whittaker's first name is again listed as "Robert]. The couple is also listed in the 1915 Kansas State Census along with their 3 year old son (b.1912). Both Esther and the child were born in Kansas. In 1922, Dr. Whittaker moved his practice and family to Pasadena, CA, then on to Los Angeles, CA, in 1923. Dr. Richard S. Whittaker was a member of several organizations including Sigma Pi Phi, Knights of Pythias, National Medical Association, and the NAACP. He died in Los Angeles on February 15, 1977. For more information see Dr. Richard Salinthus Whittaker on p.31 of Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Carrollton, Carroll County, Kentucky / Coffeyville, Kansas / Pasadena and Los Angeles, California

Williams, Frances Harriet
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1992
Williams, a civil rights activist, was born in Danville, KY, and grew up in St. Louis, MO. She was the daughter of Frank and Fannie B. Williams. Frances Williams was valedictorian of her high school class, and graduated from Mt. Holyoke College in 1919, Phi Beta Kappa, having majored in chemistry and economics. She earned her masters in political science from the University of Chicago in 1931. Williams had an active career with the YWCA, and the NAACP. She was on the staff of Senator H. H. Lehman (D-NY), served as Assistant to the Executive Secretary of President Harry S Truman's Committee on Civil Rights, and was a staff member of the Office of Price Administration. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. DunniganWho's Who in Colored America, 1950; "Frances H. Williams" in Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965 edited by D. W. Houck and D. E. Dixon; and a picture of Frances H. Williams on p. 138 of Crisis, vol 18, issue 3, July 1919 [available at Google Books].
Photo image in top lefthand corner of page 138.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Saint Louis, Missouri

Work, Beulah White
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 2008
Beulah Work was a leader and board member of the Detroit NAACP and a union organizer and labor activist for the United Auto Workers (UAW). For 40 years she was employed as a quality control specialist at Ford Motor Company, according to "Beulah Work joins the ancestors," The Michigan Citizen, April 20, 2008, p. 3. The article also mentions that Beulah Work founded and chaired the Women in the NAACP (WIN) Committee and was honored for being the most successful NAACP voter registration recruiter in Detroit. Beulah Work was one of the women interviewed for the documentary, The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter; her interview is part of the collection of outtakes held at Harvard University Library: "Records of the Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter Project, 1974-1980." Beulah Work, born and raised in Madison County, KY, was the daughter of John Andrew White, Sr. and Bertha Ballew White. In 1920, the family of six lived in the community of White Hall, where John White was a farmer. In 1930, the seven member family lived in the community of Foxtown. Beulah White graduated from Richmond High School in 1931 and soon after moved to Detroit, MI. She was the widow of Merrill Work (1905-1981) from Tennessee. See "Beulah White Work, 95," in the Obituary section of the Richmond Register, 04/15/2008.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Migration North, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Women's Groups and Organizations, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

 

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