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Abercrumbie, P. Eric
Born in Falmouth, KY, Abercrumbie developed the Black Man Think Tank and is the national president of the John D. O'Bryant Think Tank for Black Professionals in Higher Education on Predominantly White Campuses (JDOTT). A professor at the University of Cincinnati (UC), his focus academically and professionally is black males in America. Abercrumbie is also Director of Ethnic Programs and Services at UC. He was voted one of the Outstanding Community Leaders of the World by the U. S. Jaycees. For more see African American Biographies: profiles of 558 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration North
Geographic Region: Falmouth, Pendleton County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Adams, Henry
Birth Year : 1802
Death Year : 1873
Henry Adams was a Baptist leader in Louisville, KY, where he established the first African American Church. He also set up a school for African American children; the school survived while other schools established for African Americans by white ministers were being destroyed. Rev. Adams was born in Franklin County, KY. He was the father of John Quincy "J. Q." Adams. For more see Life Behind a Veil, by G. C. Wright; "Rev. Henry Adams" on pp.196-197 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky; and A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas.

See photo image of Rev. Henry Adams in the Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Fathers, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Franklin County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

Allen, Elmer Lucille
Birth Year : 1931
Mrs. Elmer Lucille Allen was born in Louisville, KY. She is a 1953 chemistry graduate of Nazareth College [now Spalding University], and in 1966 she became the first African American chemist at the Brown-Forman Company in Louisville. Allen was one of three women employed at the company, where she held the title of senior analytical chemist. She retired from the company in 1997 and returned to college to earn a MA in creative arts in ceramics from the University of Louisville in 2002. Allen's art work has been displayed at various galleries in Louisville, Indiana, Kansas, and many other locations. She was the first recipient of the Community Arts Lifetime Local Achievement Award in 2004, and that same year was also recognized as a Woman of Distinction. In 2007 she was one of the "Women of Spunk" honorees. Allen is also actively involved as a community volunteer with organizations such as the Louisville Western Branch Library Support Group, Inc. For more see J. Egerton, "Actors Theatre will honor Women of Spunk," The Courier-Journal, 12/02/2007, Arts & Travel section, p. 1I; and "Black Achievements in the Arts Recognized by Governor's Awards" a kyarts.org press release on 01/31/2005.
See "U of L: Elmer Lucille Allen" at YouTube.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Chemists, Civic Leaders, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Ashford, Mary B.
Birth Year : 1898
Death Year : 1997
Ashford, born in Kentucky, was a poet, teacher, and advocate for equality. The Mary B. Ashford Senior Citizens Daycare Center in New Haven, CT, was named in recognition of Ashford's more than 40 years of community service and volunteerism. Ashford also compiled a scrapbook containing the history of her family; the book was donated to a Kentucky archive. The Mary B. Ashford Outreach Support Project was established at the Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church. For more see S. A. Zavadsky, "Community remembers Mary B. Ashford," New Haven Register, 05/14/1997, Local News section, p. a3.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Poets, Care of the Elderly
Geographic Region: Kentucky / New Haven, Connecticut

Austin, Bobby W.
Birth Year : 1944
He was born in Jonesville, an African American community in Bowling Green, KY. Austin earned a B.A. in Economics and Sociology from Western Kentucky University in 1966; a Master's in Sociology from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee in 1968; and a Ph. D. from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in 1972. Austin relocated to Washington, D.C. He is the founder and editor of the Urban League Review and a partner with Austin Ford Associates. Austin founded the Village Foundation, which focuses on reconnecting African American males with society. He is co-author of Repairing the Breach and Wake Up and Start to Live, both of which focus on African American males. For more see the Bobby Austin entry at The HistoryMakers website.
Subjects: Authors, Civic Leaders, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Jonesville, Warren County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Washington, D. C.

Austin, Helen C.
Birth Year : 1925
Helen Cloud Austin, from Harlan, KY, was the second African American student to attend the University of Louisville School of Social Work, from which she graduated in 1953. With the help of Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez, she became the first African American professional hired at the San Antonio State Hospital, a mental health facility in Texas. In 1983, Austin was the San Antonio Social Worker of the Year and the Texas State Social Worker of the Year. She was inducted into the San Antonio Hall of Fame in 1985. Austin retired from the hospital in 1987. Two years later, she was included in the booklet titled Salute to Black Women Who Make Things Happen by the National Council of Negro Women. After her retirement, Austin continued to be active with several organizations, including serving as president of the Board of Directors for the San Antonio Halfway House, Inc., she started the Senior Citizen Ministry at St. Paul United Methodist Church, and she continued her work with Crosspoint, a nonprofit that provides reentry residential services for ex-offenders, an organization that Austin co-founded in 1963. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta. The Helen Cloud Austin Papers are at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Information about Crosspoint and other updates were provided by Joan Cheever.

See photo image and additional information about Helen C. Austin at the NASW Foundation website.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Medical Field, Health Care, Corrections and Police, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers, Women's Groups and Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Care of the Elderly
Geographic Region: Harlan, Harlan County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / San Antonio, Texas

Banks, Wendell
Birth Year : 1929
Death Year : 2003
Wendell Banks was born in Ashland, KY, the son of Lawrence and Flora Johnson Banks. In 1984 he was the first African American elected to the Ashland City Commission and thereafter was continuously re-elected until 1991. Banks had been employed as a manager at Armco Steel Corp. He later became president of Ashland Community College. For more see "49 blacks serve on city councils," in 1988 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Seventh Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 19; "Two Ex-Mayors Win," Lexington Herald Leader, 11/09/1983, p. A1; and "Wendell Banks, 74, Ashland Civic Leader," Lexington Herald Leader, 06/30/2003, Obituaries, p. 4.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Ashland, Boyd County, Kentucky

Barnes, Margaret Elizabeth Sallee
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1947
Margaret E. S. Barnes, born in Monticello, KY, later moved to Oberlin, OH. She was editor of the Girl's Guide and of the Queens' Gardens, official publication of the Ohio Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. The organization was developed in the early 1930s by Barnes, who also served as the president. Barnes also was in charge of a million dollar drive for funds at Wilberforce University; in 1939 she had been appointed a trustee at Wilberforce by Ohio Governor John Bricker. A building on the campus was named in her honor and Barnes received an honorary doctor of humanties degree. She was a leader among African American women in the Republican Party and was a delegate-at-large for the Republican State Convention in 1940. The Margaret Barnes Welfare Club, established in 1930, was named in her honor. The club belonged to both the national and the Ohio Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. One of the organization's efforts was to provided college scholarships for the outstanding African American student in the graduating class at Elyria [Ohio] High School. The Margaret Barnes Welfare Club was the oldest African American women's club in Elyria and was still functioning in the 1990s. Margaret E. Barnes was a 1900 graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], and taught school for four years in Harrodsburg, KY, before marrying James D. Barnes and moving to Oberlin, OH, in 1904. She was the mother of five children, one of whom was Margaret E. Barnes Jones. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1941-44; Records of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, 1895-1992, part 1, ed. by L. S. Williams (.pdf); and C. Davis, "Barnes club helps black youngsters achieve goals," Chronicle Telegram, 06/05/1990, p.9.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Mothers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Monticello, Wayne County, Kentucky / Oberlin, Ohio

Bather, Paul C.
Birth Year : 1947
Death Year : 2009
Bather was a community and civic leader and an extremely capable manager in various capacities, including his role as treasurer of the Jefferson County, KY, government. His policies earned the county $10 million in investment income. He was also U. S. representative in an American-Soviet leadership exchange program. From 1986-2000, Bather was a member of the Louisville, KY, Board of Aldermen. In 2000, he was elected to the 43rd District House Seat of the Kentucky Legislature, completing the term of Porter Hatcher who had resigned. Bather was re-elected in 2002; he retired after one term in office. Bather was born in New York. He was a graduate of Fairfield University, City University of New York, and the University of Louisville. For more see African American Biographies: profiles of 558 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins; HR291; and P. Burba and S. S. Shafer, "Paul Bather dies in Houston," Louisville Courier-Journal, 02/12/2009, News section, p.1B.
Subjects: Businesses, Civic Leaders, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: New York / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Berryman, John Leroy
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1940
Dr. J. L. Berryman was a dentist in Lexington, KY, and was prominent in the African American community. He and Dr. W. T. Dinwiddie were two of the earliest African American dentists in Lexington. Dr. Berryman was born in Jessamine County, KY, attended school in Lexington, and was a graduate of Meharry Medical and Dental School [now Meharry Medical College, School of Dentistry]. He was a member of the Bluegrass Medical Association. Dr. Berryman opened his dental office in Lexington in 1906 and continued his practice until his death in 1940. He was the husband of Edith Berryman, and the father of Grace, Elanor, and Carolyn Berryman, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. Dr. Berryman was a Sunday School teacher at St. Paul A.M.E. Church, a member of the Progressive Club and the IBPOE of W, and treasurer of Lexington Lodge #27. For more see "Dr. Berryman passes; veteran Negro dentist," Lexington Leader, 04/04/1940, p. 20.

**[IBPOE of W = Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the World]

**[Progressive Club = social organization that assisted in addressing community problems and needs.]
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Medical Field, Health Care, Fraternal Organizations, Sunday School, Dentists
Geographic Region: Jessamine County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Blue, Thomas F., Sr.
Birth Year : 1866
Death Year : 1935
Thomas Fountain Blue was born in Farmville, Virginia. Blue was a minister, an educator, and a civic leader. He was a graduate of Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (now Hampton University) and Richmond Theological Seminary (which was merged with Wayland Seminary to become Virginia Union University). In 1905, Blue became the first formally-trained African American librarian in Kentucky and also managed the country's first library training program for African Americans in the Louisville Colored Western Branch Library. In 2003, at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Toronto, Canada, Blue was recognized with a resolution of appreciation. Thomas Fountain Blue was the brother-in-law of Lyman T. Johnson. For more see Thomas Fountain Blue: pioneer librarian, 1866-1935, by L. T. Wright; Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones; Thomas Fountain Blue, a Louisville Free Public Library website; and R. F. Jones, "Spotlight: Reverend Thomas Fountain Blue," Kentucky Libraries, vol. 67, issue 4 (Fall 2003), pp. 6-7. See Biographical Entry on Thomas F. Blue [available online at Kentucky Digital Library - Manuscripts]; and Resolution on death of Thomas Fountain Blue, Library Board of Trustees, November 20, 1935 [available online at Kentucky Digital Library - Manuscripts].


See photo image of Thomas Fountain Blue and the library staff at Western Branch Library 1908, about midway down the page titled "A Separate Flame."

Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Farmville, Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Bond, Howard H.
Birth Year : 1938
Howard H. Bond, a consulting firm executive, was born in Stanford, KY, to Frederick D. and Edna G. Coleman Bond. He is a 1965 graduate of Eastern Michigan University (BA) and a 1974 graduate of Pace University (MBA). He has worked with a number of companies, including Ford Motor Company, where he was a labor supervisor; Xerox Corp., as a personnel manager; and Playboy Enterprises, Inc., as a vice president. He was also a council member candidate for the city of Cincinnati in 2003. Today he is managing director of the Phoenix Executech Group, having founded the company in 1977. And he is chairman and CEO of Bond Promotions and Apparel Co. in the Over-the-Rhine area of Cincinnati. Bond is also a community activist and educator. He has taught leadership and social responsibility classes at Northern Kentucky University and is a former elected member of the Cincinnati Board of Education. He has also served as president of the African American Political Caucus of Cincinnati and is a founding member of the Cincinnati Chapter of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. Bond is also a 33rd degree Mason, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and a number of other organizations. He has received a number of awards. Bond is a U.S. Army veteran. For more see "Five receive Lions awards from Urban League," The Cincinnati Enquirer, 02/12/2006, Metro section, p. 5B; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1990-2006.

See photo image and additional information about Howard H. Bond at the 2003 smartvoter.org website.
Subjects: Businesses, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Bond, Leslie Fee, Sr.
Birth Year : 1928
Leslie Fee Bond, Sr., born in Louisville, KY, moved with his family to Galesburg, IL, when he was 10-years-old. Like his father, Leslie F. Bond, Sr. is a family practitioner and also a surgeon. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana and Meharry Medical College. After finishing medical school, Bond opened his practice in St. Louis, MO, where he is also an outspoken community leader. He served on the Physicians-Pharmacists Advisory Committee to Medicaid for 20 years. He was selected by Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan to serve on the St. Louis Police Board. In 2007, Bond received the Salute to Excellence in Health Care Award from the St. Louis American Foundation. His son, Leslie F. Bond, Jr., was the first African American chairman of the St. Louis Election Board in 1993. For more see Lift Every Voice and Sing: St. Louis African Americans in the Twentieth Century, by D. Wesley, W. Price, and A. Morris; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1996/97; and M. Schlinkmann, "First Black will head election board," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 02/23/1993, News section, p. 4A.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Fathers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Galesburg, Illinois / Saint Louis, Missouri

Bond, Ruth E. Clement
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 2005
Ruth E. Clement Bond was born in Louisville, KY, four years after her brother Rufus E. Clement. They were the children of George Clement, Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and Emma C. Williams Clement, the first African American woman to be named Mother of the Year. Ruth Bond's husband was J. Max Bond, Sr., and she was the mother of J. Max Bond, Jr. From 1934-1938, J. Max Bond, Sr. supervised the training of the African American construction workers at the TVA Wheeler Dam Project in northern Alabama. Mrs. Bond established a home beautification program for the wives of the workers and began designing quilt patterns (though Mrs. Bond initially did not know how to quilt, but the women she was working with were experts). The first quilt was call Black Power; it symbolized the TVA's promise for electricity. The quilts became known as the TVA Quilts and have been documented and displayed in a number of sources and venues such as the 2004 Art Quilts From the Collection of the Museum of Arts and Design. Ruth Bond was a graduate of Northwestern University in Illinois. At one point in her career, she taught English Literature and French at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. For more see Y. S. Lamb, "Ruth Clement Bond; Quilter, Civic Activist," Washington Post, 11/08/2005, p. B05; and M. Fox, "Ruth C. Bond dies at 101; Her Quilts Had a Message," The New York Times, 11/13/2005, p. 43.

See photo image of Ruth Clement Bond at the Northwestern University website.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Mothers, Quilters, Women's Groups and Organizations, Collectibles
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Boswell, Arnita Y.
Birth Year : 1920
Death Year : 2002
Arnita Young Boswell was born in Lincoln Ridge, KY. She was a graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and Atlanta University [now Clark Atlanta University], and earned her advanced social work certification at Columbia University and advanced education at Colorado State University. She was a professor of social work at the University of Chicago (1961-1980) and Director of the Family Resources Center at the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago. She was also the first national director for Project Head Start, the first director of the social workers of the Chicago Public Schools, and founder of Chicago's League of Black Women. Boswell was the daughter of Whitney Young, Sr. and Laura R. Young. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2002.

See photo image and additional information about Arnita Y. Boswell at African American Registry.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Social Workers, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Lincoln Ridge, Shelby County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Brooks, Corrinne Mudd
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 2008
Brooks organized the first African American girl scout troop in Fort Wayne, IN. The history of African American girl scout units has not been thoroughly researched, and it is not known how many units existed in the U.S. Up to the 1950s, girl scouts were segregated by race. In the state of Indiana, the first girl scouts were formed in New Albany in 1919; the organization became a council in 1923. Brooks was an active member of the Limberlost Girl Scout Council as well as the Urban League, the Commission on the Status of Women for the State of Indiana, and the YWCA. She was also the comptroller at the YWCA. Corrinne Brooks was the wife of James W. Brooks. She was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Loretta Douglas Mudd (1897-1928), who was born in Fort Wayne, and James Mudd (1881-1968), who was born in Springfield, KY. The family moved from Kentucky to Fort Wayne in 1915 and lived on Wallace Street, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. When Loretta Mudd died, Corrinne became the mother of the household; she was the oldest of her six siblings. She was also an athlete, the first girl in her high school to receive a sweater for her participation in basketball and soccer. She graduated from Central High School in 1933. She won the Civic Men's Scholarship, which was used for her courses at Indiana University Extension, located in downtown Fort Wayne. Brooks took a turn at politics: an unsuccessful candidate for the Indiana House of Representative in 1954 and 1956, she went on to become a coordinator for the Indiana voter registration drive in preparation for the 1960 presidential election, helping to register over 43,000 voters; Senator John F. Kennedy invited her to a National Conference on Constitutional Rights and American Freedom in New York. She was also founder of the Martin Luther King Living Memorial. For more on Corrinne Brooks, see her entry in The Black Women in the Middle West Project, by D. C. Hine, et al.; and "Corrinne Brooks always active in helping others," The Journal Gazette, 02/06/1996, People section. A picture of Corrine Brooks is on p. 120 in Ebony, 09/1983 [available in Google Book Search]. For more on the girl scouts see the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana website; and for a more detailed accounting of African American girl scout history, see the "Josephine Groves Holloway" entry in Notable Black American Women, by J. C. Smith.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Athletes, Athletics, Civic Leaders, Scouts (Boys and Girls), Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Fort Wayne, Indiana / Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Carpenter, Charles William
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1971
Charles W. Carpenter, born in Stanford, KY, was the son of Amanda and James Carpenter. In 1901, the family moved to Indianapolis, IN, a year after the death of James Carpenter. William worked at various jobs during the day and attend public school at night. He was the valedictorian of his 1909 graduating class at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute [now Tuskegee University]. He studied chemistry with Dr. G. W. Carver and was associated with Dr. B. T. Washington and his wife; during the summer of 1908, Carpenter worked at the Washington's summer home on Long Island. He studied theology at Wilberforce and at Garrett Biblical Institute [now Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary], completing his studies in 1912. Carpenter was a minister first in Detroit, and later served at churches in Minnesota, Indiana, and Illinois, before settling in Ann Arbor, MI, as pastor of the Second Baptist Church for 37 years. He retired on his 80th birthday in 1966. Carpenter was recognized for his leadership in the community; the Common Council of Ann Arbor passed a resolution commending him for his outstanding community service. He had helped integrate the Ann Arbor Kiwanis and served on the board of directors. He was elected vice president, and later president, of the Ann Arbor Ministerial Association. The Charles W. Carpenter Papers, 1909-1970, are at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan. For more see Second Baptist Church Centennial, 1865-1965 by the Second Street Baptist Church (Ann Arbor, MI); and Charles W. Carpenter at Bentley Historical Library website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Ann Arbor, Michigan

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

Clark, John T.
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1949
John T. Clark was born in Louisville, KY, the son of John R. and Sallie Clark. He graduated in 1906 from Ohio State University with a focus in sociology and economics. Clark returned to Louisville, where he was an instructor at Central High School (1907-1913). He left Louisville to become housing secretary in New York City (1913-1916). He was a contributing author to the 1915 collection, "Housing and Living Conditions among Negroes in Harlem." Clark held a number of posts with the National Urban League and its state chapters from 1916 to1949, including bringing the National Urban League to Pittsburgh in 1917 and becoming executive secretary of the St. Louis Urban League, beginning in 1926. Also a member of the American Social Workers Association, Clark was elected the third vice president of the National Conference of Social Work in 1940. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; and Who's Who in Colored America, 1950. The John T. Clark files of the Urban League of St. Louis are available at the Washington University of St. Louis Library.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Migration West, Social Workers, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Urban Leagues, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York City, New York / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania / St. Louis, Missouri

Coleman, John A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1869
Death Year : 1936
John A. Coleman, a community leader born in Centerville, KY, was the son of George and Ann Sharp Coleman. He was a builder, a school teacher, and a musician. According to author and musician Bill Coleman, his uncle John built his own house and many of the homes in what was then an all African American community known as Centerville. John Coleman was first in the community to have electricity in his home. Though he is listed in the Census as a laborer, John Coleman also served as a teacher in the Centerville Colored School, which was a one room structure that served students in grades 1-8. The school was mentioned in a 50 year survey that was completed and published by Dr. C. H. Parrish in 1926. The Centerville School held classes about five months out of the year, the same as many of the common schools founded after the Civil War in small African American communities in Kentucky. In addition to being a school teacher, John Coleman was a musician; he and two of his brothers were members of a local music group. John Coleman played the cornet, Ernest Coleman played the tuba, and Robert Henry Coleman (Bill Coleman's father) played the snare drum. According to the U.S. Federal Census, the Coleman family had been in Centerville at least since the end of slavery (and probably before that). John Coleman and his wife, Kitty [or Kittie] Bachelor Coleman, were still living in Centerville in 1930; they were the parents of four children: Mattie Coleman Hersey, Ida B. Coleman, John A. Coleman Jr., and Cora M. Coleman. For more see Dr. C. H. Parrish, "A fifty year survey," Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 21-24, 1926, pp. 23-24 [available full-text in the Kentucky Digital Library]; and Trumpet Story, by Bill Coleman.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Construction, Contractors, Builders, Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Centerville, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Coleman, Louis, Jr.
Birth Year : 1943
Death Year : 2008
Reverend Louis Coleman, Jr., from Louisville, KY, was one of Kentucky's most recognized civil rights activist and an outspoken advocate. He was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2000. Coleman was a graduate of Central High School, Kentucky State University, and Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He was an athlete, having played baseball and football at K-State, and he later signed to play professional baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He helped lead the lawsuit that challenged the lack of African American coaches in Kentucky high schools. He called for the boycott of Pepsi products from the Winchester, KY, plant due the complaints concerning the plants' lack of hiring and retention of African American employees. Rev. Coleman advocated fairness and equality throughout the state of Kentucky. He was head of the Justice Resource Center in Louisville. For more see A. Clark, "Rev. Louis Coleman dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/06/2008; and K. Cengal, "Civil rights activist Louis Coleman is dead," Louisville Courier-Journal, 07/05/2008.

See photo image and additional information of Rev. Louis Coleman, Jr. at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Baseball, Civic Leaders, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Colston, Lugusta Tyler
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 2008
Lugusta T. Colston, born in Lexington, KY, was a graduate of Wiley College and received her undergraduate library degree from Wayne State University. She was the librarian at Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, FL, for more than 30 years, and had also taught at the Booker T. Washington High School in Columbia, SC. In 1940, she was one of the seven founding members of the the Miami Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She was also a founding member of the Greater Miami Chapter of Links, an international women's civic organization, and was involved in several community organizations that included her leading role with the Minority Involvement Committee of the Miami-Dade County Division of the American Cancer Society. Lugusta T. Colston was the daughter of Mattie Mason Tyler and Charles W. Tyler. Lugusta T. Colston was a sister to Jimmie Tyler Brashear. Since the 1999 death of her husband, Nathaniel Colston, Lugusta T. Colston had been living in Southfield, MI. She is buried in Lexington, KY. For more see E. J. Brecher, "Veteran librarian at Booker T. Washington," Miami Herald, 03/09/2008, Metro and State section, p.5B.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Columbia, South Carolina / Miami, Florida / Southfield, Michigan

Cosby, Kevin Wayne
Birth Year : 1958
Born in Louisville, KY, Kevin W. Cosby is the son of the late Clora E. and Laken Cosby, Jr. Since 1979, Rev. Kevin W. Cosby has served as senior pastor of the St. Stephen Church in Louisville, the largest African American church in Kentucky and one of the largest churches in the United States. Cosby is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and United Theological Seminary. He is the 13th president of Simmons College in Louisville, serving in that position without a salary. Cosby is author of several books, including the co-authored Get Off Your Butt! messages, musings, and ministries to empower the African American Church. Rev. Cosby has received a number of awards, including his recognition in 1992 by the U.S. Senate for his dedication to community and race relations, and in 2007 he was one of the two recipients of the Louisvillian of the Year Award. For more see the Congressional Record, "Rev. Kevin Wayne Cosby," 05/13/1992, 102nd Cong. 2nd. Sess., 138 Cong Rec S 6615; "AdFed names Cosby, Kelly its Louisvillians of the year," at bizjournals.com, 07/17/2007; and Connections with Renee Shaw, program #303 - Rev. Dr. Kevin W. Cosby [available online], 10/06/2007, at KET (Kentucky Educational Television).

See photo and additional information about Rev. Dr. Kevin Wayne Cosby, at speakers section of the 34th Annual Alexander/Pegues Minister's Conference at shawuniversity.edu.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson 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

Crawley, Elizabeth Gore Curtis "Lizzie Jane"
Birth Year : 1868
Elizabeth Crawley was a leader in the Colored Women's Movement in Chicago, IL, and was also an active member of social work and welfare efforts. She was chair of the executive board of the District Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, and had chaired the organization's social improvement department. She was chair of the Ideal Women's Club, and was a board of directors member of the Phillis Wheatly Home. She was a chartered member of the Imperial Art Club, and chaired the East Side Woman's Club. Crawley was born Elizabeth Gore in Nelson County, KY, the daughter of James and Miranda Gore. The family moved to Louisville where Elizabeth attended school. Her first husband, William Curtis, died in 1899; the couple had a daughter and a son. Elizabeth and her children lived with her parents on Rose Lane in Louisville, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, and Elizabeth was a laundry woman. She and her son moved to Chicago in 1903. She married Walter Crawley, from Virginia, in 1906 and her occupation is given as a dressmaker in the 1910 Census. By 1920, the household on E. 36th Street included Lizzie and her husband Walter, her son William Curtis and his wife Alma, their daughter Elizabeth, and Lizzie's widowed mother, Miranda Gore. The Crawleys are listed in the 1940 Census where it is noted that Elizabeth completed one year of high school and Walter completed four years. For more see the Lizzie Jane Crawley entry in chapter six of The Story of the Illinois Federation of Colored Women's Clubs by E. L. Davis; and Toward a Tenderer Humanity and a Nobler Womanhood by A. M. Knupfer.

See photo image of Lizzie Jane Crawley at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Nelson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Cross, Oscar
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1999
Born in Fulton, KY, Oscar Cross was the first African American juvenile officer in Paducah, founding the Boys Club of Paducah in 1949 for African American boys. He served as director for 50 years and is credited as a leader in bringing about the first interracial board of directors of the Boys Club in Paducah, Inc. In 1980, the club was renamed the Oscar Cross Boys Club of Paducah. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.

See photo image and additional information about Oscar Cross at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Fulton, Fulton County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Cummings, James L.
Birth Year : 1926
James L. Cummings was born in Allensville, KY, the son of Andrew and Fannie Robbie Cummings. He is a graduate of Lane College, 1948, and Butler University School of Religion, 1959. Cummings was pastor of Trinity Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, IN. He was one of the three founders of the Indianapolis Citizen's Group in 1964. The organization would become known as Citizens Forum with the goal to create block clubs to help improve city neighborhoods with community support. The model was expanded to other cities in Illinois and throughout the United States, and received many awards for its effectiveness. Cummings also served as president of the Indianapolis Ministerial Association, and was chosen as the Alpha's Man of the Year in 1960. He was a member of the masons, and was awarded a Hall of Fame citation from the Crispus Attucks High School for his community service. For more see "James L. Cummings" in Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers by E. L. Williams; and "Citizens Forum" in The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis by D. Bodenhamer et al.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Darnes, Rebecca and William
The Darneses were activists and community leaders in Cincinnati, OH. William Darnes, a barber, was born in 1809 in Pennsylvania. Rebecca, his wife, described as a mulatto, was born in 1811 in Kentucky. Both she and her husband were free, according to the 1850 Census. Her mother was born in Maryland. The Darneses were fairly well-off real estate owners in Cincinnati. William had been a Master Mason at the St. Cyprian Lodge in Pittsburgh, PA. When he arrived in Cincinnati, he had applied for admission to the white lodge and was denied. William Darnes would become a founding member of the St. Cyprian Lodge in Cincinnati, which was approved in 1847. In 1849, it would become the first African American grand lodge in Ohio. Rebecca was a member of the Daughters of Samaria and a member of the Society of Friends. Around 1844, she and her husband had joined others, including Salmon P. Chase, to assist in Lydia P. Mott's efforts to establish a home for orphaned and homeless Colored children in Cincinnati. The Darneses also helped raise Alexander G. Clark (1826-1891), who was William Darnes's nephew and would become a civil rights leader in the West. For more see Frontiers of Freedom, by N. M. Taylor; History of the Negro Race in America, 1619-1880, vol. 2, by G. W. Williams [available full text at Project Gutenberg and Google Book Search]; African American Fraternities and Sororities, by T. L. Brown, G. Parks and C. M. Phillips; and "Alexander G. Clark" in the Encyclopedia of African American Business, by J. C. Smith, M. L. Jackson and L. T. Wynn. [*Rebecca Darnes was an aunt, by marriage, to Alexander G. Clark. His mother, Rebecca Darnes Clark, has been described as African.]
Subjects: Barbers, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Pennsylvania / Cincinnati, Ohio

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.

Durham, John G.
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1999
Durham had been the oldest African American veteran in Illinois. He was born in Kentucky, the son of Thomas F. and Mary L. Durham. The family lived in Ireland, KY, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. John Durham was a cook in the U.S. Army during World War I. In 1936, Durham had settled in Aurora, IL, where he co-founded the American Legion Post 798, the first for African Americans in Aurora. The post had been closed for a few years when Durham died, but it was scheduled to re-open with a Buffalo Soldier museum. Durham was also commander of the Kane County Council of the American Legion and later commander of the 11th District Council. He was the first African American Santa Claus in Aurora and was a member of the Aurora Police Auxiliary and Chamber of Commerce. For more see M. Hogarth, "Taps calls vet home," Beacon News, 08/18/1999, News section, p. A1.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Ireland, Taylor County, Kentucky / Aurora, Illinois

DuValle, Lucie N.
Birth Year : 1868
Death Year : 1928
Lucie [sometimes spelled Lucy] DuValle was the first female principal in Louisville public schools, the highest paid African American in the city. She also held the first parents meeting (later known as PTA). The Lucie N. DuValle Junior High School was named in her honor; the school opened in 1952 in the old Central High School building at 9th and Chestnut Streets. Four years later, the school moved to 3500 Bohne Avenue, and shared a building with the Joseph S. Cotter Elementary School. Thirty years later, the building was home to the Carter DuValle Education Center. The Park DuValle neighborhood is located on the west end of Louisville. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, p.260, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Ector, Patricia E.
Birth Year : 1948
Death Year : 2008
Ector had been the Alameda County Deputy District Attorney since 1996. She was born in Hardin County, KY, and grew up in Germany and Seaside, CA; her father was in the Army. Ector spent much of her career specializing in prosecuting sexual assault cases in the juvenile division. She was the assistant district attorney in San Francisco from 1982-1996. She was a founding member of the National Black Prosecutors Association. In 1992 she received the Hon. Justice Clinton W. White Advocacy Award from the Charles Houston Bar Association. Ector was a graduate of San Jose State University and earned her law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkley. Prior to her law career, she was a singer who performed in the U.S. and abroad with the group Up With People; she also performed with the group Sing Out. Her performances are included on the album Up With People! III. For more see H. Harris, "Respected Alameda County prosecutor Patricia Ector dies," in Contra Costa Times, 06/21/2008, My Town section.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Lawyers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Hardin County, Kentucky / Germany / California

Ewing, Thomas H.
Birth Year : 1856
Death Year : 1930
Reverend Ewing was born in Kentucky just prior to the Civil War. He left Paducah, KY, and walked to Kansas City, MO, then moved on to Nebraska, where he earned his medical degree, graduating with honors. Ewing had a private medical practice and later returned to Kansas City in 1887 to become pastor of the Vine Street Baptist Church. The church had a small, poor, divided congregation, and the church property was indebted. Ewing helped get the church back in good standing and built a larger building. He directed his congregation toward savings plans; he organized an economics club and financial clubs to help members get their own homes and to invest in real estate. Vine Street Baptist Church became one of the largest African American Baptist churches in Kansas City, and more than 100 members owned their own homes. Ewing had also followed his own advice: he owned farms and other properties in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. He was the husband of Fannie Ewing, born 1857 in Kentucky, according to the 1855 Kansas State Census Collection, when the couple was living in Leavenworth with their 3 year old son. T. H. Ewing was referred to as the wealthiest Colored Baptist minister in the entire West. For more see Take Up the Black Man's Burden, by C. E. Coulter; and "T. H. Ewing" in Who's Who Among the Colored Baptists of the United States by S. W. Bacote.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Kansas City, Missouri

Fox, Robert and Samuel
The Fox brothers owned a grocery store and one of the three leading undertaking businesses in Louisville, KY. Their undertaking business would eventually be merge with that of J. H. Taylor. In 1870, the Fox brothers and Horace Pearce went against the public streetcar policies when they boarded the Central Passenger's car at Tenth and Walnut Streets. All three men were removed from the car and jailed and their case would be resolved in U.S. District Court. Robert Fox (b.1846) and Samuel Fox (b.1849 ), both born in Kentucky, were the sons of Albert and Margaret Fox. For more see History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.; and the entry Streetcar Demonstrations.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Jim Crow, Corrections and Police, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Gaunt, Wheeling [or Whelan]
Birth Year : 1812
Death Year : 1894
Wheeling Gaunt was a slave born in Carrollton, KY, the son of a white merchant and a slave mother who was sold down South when Gaunt was a small child. Gaunt bought his freedom from lawyer John F. Gaunt in 1845 for $900, and he also bought his wife, Amanda Smith Knight (b.1821), and his brother, Nick. Wheeling Gaunt and his family moved to Yellow Springs, OH, where he became a wealthy man. Prior to his death, he donated nine acres of land to the city with the stipulation that the income from the land be used to distribute 25 pounds of flour to Yellow Springs' widows at Christmas. In the 1950s the amount of flour was decreased and the widows receive 10 pounds of flour and 10 pounds of sugar. The tradition has continued for more than a century. For more see S. Deal, "Wheeling Gaunt: our remarkable patron. What we know. What we think" [.pdf], 03/17/2005; "Widows the benefactors of century-old tradition," by CNN interactive, December 1996; and "Ex-slave honors widows from grave," The Cincinnati Post, 12/17/1996, News section, p. 45A.

See photo image of Wheeling Gaunt in the Ohio Memory Collection online.
 
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Carrollton, Carroll County, Kentucky / Yellow Springs, Ohio

Gibbons, Harriet
Birth Year : 1924
Death Year : 1992
Harriet Gibbons was born in Louisville, KY. A graduate of Kentucky State University and the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, she taught black history at Albany High School, and in 1974 was named principal of the alternative high school, Street Academy, both in Albany, NY. Gibbons was selected to fill a vacancy on the city school board and in 1979 became the first African American woman elected to the post, remaining on the board for ten years. Also in 1979, Gibbons was named director of the Office of Equal Opportunity for the city of Albany, staying with the job till 1985. She next became director of the Affirmative Action Office at the New York Department of Health, retiring from the position in 1989. She had also been a caseworker with the Albany County Department of Social Services and was the first African American woman to head a city agency, the Albany (NY) YWCA. After her death in 1992, the Street Academy was renamed Harriet Gibbons High School. The school closed in 2010. In 2012, Harriet Gibbons was posthumously inducted into the Albany City School District Hall of Fame. For more see R. Wexler, "Harriet Gibbons, 68, Former Director of Albany Agency," The Times Union, 04/21/1992, Local section, p. B7.

See photo image and additional information about Harriet Gibbons in the article by C. Miller, "Keeping my promise...and then some," 06/28/2012, at timesunion.com.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Board of Education, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Albany, New York

Gibson, William H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1829
Death Year : 1906
Gibson, the son of Amelia and Philip Gibson, was born free in Baltimore, MD, and moved to Louisville, KY, in 1847. He was a schoolteacher who helped found the United Brothers of Friendship and the Colored Orphan's Home. He was also president of the Colored Musical Association. Gibson wrote History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, published in 1897; the book contains a career sketch of Gibson. For eight months, Gibson served as an appointed mail agent under the administration of President Grant. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; and L. M. Gibson, "William Henry Gibson," Negro History Bulletin, vol. 11, issue 9 (June 1948), p. 199.
See photo image of William H. Gibson, Sr. on p. 102 in The Sons of Allen by H. Talbert.
Subjects: Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Postal Service, Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Baltimore, Maryland / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Glass, Ora H. Kennedy
Birth Year : 1893
Death Year : 1971
Born in Henderson, KY, Ora H. K. Glass was president of the Henderson P.T.A. for ten years, leading the drive for funds for a high school building. She was founder and president of the Kentucky State P.T.A., vice president of the National Congress of Colored P.T.A.s, and president of the Blue Grass Auxiliary. She was the wife of Dr. James Glass of Hopkinsville, KY. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.

See photo image of Ora Kennedy Glass and additional information on p.17 of The Crisis, January 1943.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

Godfrey, Linda R.
Birth Year : 1947
Linda R. Godfrey, born in Lexington, KY, has been a leader on several fronts since graduating in 1965 from old Henry Clay High School [on Main Street], where she was a member of the second integrated class to graduate from the school. Godfrey, a nurse, has worked at several locations in Lexington and is presently a case manager and diabetes nurse specialist at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital off Cooper Drive, providing outreach and care coordination for returning combat veterans. She is a retired Army Nurse, having served (1985-2000) with the 475th MASH hospital unit out of Frankfort, KY. Godfrey also taught health education classes at multiple military hospitals throughout the U.S. and in Japan, Ecuador, and Barbados. She also served as an Army nurse in Saudi Arabia and Iraq during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. She received an Army commendation medal and has received a number of awards for her work with veterans, including the Federal Woman of the Year in 2000. In Lexington, Godfrey was a board member of Hospice when the program was being developed in 1977, coordinating the volunteers. For 13 years she taught pediatric nursing and basic medical surgical nursing at Kentucky State University and today is a part-time lecturer for the clinical labs and nursing programs. Godfrey also teaches health education and diabetes classes throughout the year at local churches. She has served two terms as president of the Northside Neighborhood Association, one of the oldest and largest neighborhood associations in Lexington. Godfrey, one of the original members, is past chairperson of the Historic Preservation Commission of the Fayette-Urban County Government and is completing her second term as vice-chair of the Fayette-Urban County Planning Commission. Linda Godfrey is a graduate of Appalachian School of Practical Nursing [which was on Warren Court in Lexington, KY], where she earned her LPN degree in 1968. In 1972, she earned her RN degree from Lexington Community College [now Bluegrass Community and Technical College] and in 1980 graduated with honors from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. She is a charter member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Delta Psi Chapter. Godfrey, who grew up in Kinkeadtown, attends the Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Pricetown, founded by her great grandfather, Matthew Garner. Pricetown is one of the Negro hamlets founded at the end of slavery. This entry was submitted by William Anthony Goatley with detailed information from Linda Godfrey.

 

Access InterviewLisen to the online interview with Lind R. Godfrey (Part 1 and Part 2), interviewed by Mike Jones, 07/27/2002, at the Kentucky Historical Society website.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Communities, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations, Nurses, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Kinkeadtown, Pricetown, Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Iraq / Japan / Ecuador / Barbados

Green, Elisha W. [Green v. Gould]
Birth Year : 1815
Death Year : 1893
Elisha W. Green was born in Bourbon County, KY. He was a slave of John P. Dobbyns as well as a pastor in Maysville, KY, and Paris, KY. He was allowed regular travel between the two cities, traveling by train and stage, sometimes passing without incident but at other times denied admittance or attacked. After gaining his freedom, Green later had a whitewashing business and learned a number of skills in order to earn income for his family. He led in the building of an all African American community, Claysville, in Paris, KY. For more see A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas; Life of the Rev. Elisha W. Green..., by E. W. Green [available online at UNC Documenting the American South]; and C. L. Davis, "Green v. Gould (1884) and the Construction of Postbellum Race Relations in a Central Kentucky Community," The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, vol. 105, issue 3 (Summer 2007), pp. 383-416.

See image of Elisha W. Green on frontispiece page of Life of the Rev. Elisha W. Green... by E. W. Green, at Documenting the American South.
Subjects: Businesses, Civic Leaders, Freedom, Religion & Church Work, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

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

Grundy, Chester
Birth Year : 1947
Chester Grundy was born in 1947 in Louisville, KY. He is a 1969 graduate of the University of Kentucky (UK), where, as a student, he helped establish the school's Black Student Union. Grundy had been an administrator with UK for more than 30 years, serving as the director of the Office of African American Student Affairs  and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Cultural Center. He was the Director of Multicultural Student Programming. Over the years, Chester has been a mentor, counselor, role model, and friend, one who clearly recognizes factors outside the classroom that can impact a student's goal to graduate from the University of Kentucky. Chester Grundy also helped establish the nationally recognized UK "Spotlight Jazz Series" and arranged for a number of nationally and internationally renowned speakers to visit the University of Kentucky campus. In the Lexington community, Chester Grundy co-founded the annual Roots and Heritage Festival and the Martin Luther King annual celebration. For more see Chester Grundy on the HistoryMakers website; the Chester Grundy entry in the 1997 Leaders Awards, by the Lane Report; and many articles in local newspapers. Listen to the Chester Grundy sound recording interview in the Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project, 1900-1989 at Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries. There is also a sound recording of his interview online at the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky Oral History Project at the Kentucky Historical Society. See L. B. Blackford, "UK lays off Chester Grundy, long-time director of MLK Cultural Center," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/11/2012, [article online].

Access Interview Read about the Chester Grundy oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
Access Interview  Listen to recordings and read transcripts online at Kentucky Historical Society

  See photo image and additional information about Chester Grundy at HistoryMakers


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Harris, Everett G.
Birth Year : 1867
Death Year : 1936
Harris was sent to Louisville, KY, by the American Missionary Association to develop an African American church. He also established the Plymouth Settlement House, which included an employment bureau for African American women. He was also a member of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation. He was the husband of librarian Rachel Davis Harris. Everett Harris was born in Virginia. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Harrison-Pace, Yolantha
Yolantha Harrison-Pace, who lives in Danville, KY, is a performing arts specialist. For 30 years she has designed and facilitated academic programs in dance and the performing arts, most recently in the Danville/Boyle County area. She also conducts storytelling and poetry writing workshops, is the founder and facilitator of V.O.I.C.E. (Voices of Influence Creating Encouragement) and S.P.E.A.K.!!! (Stop, Please End Abuse to Kids!!!), and is the author of a book of poetry, Wing-Plucked Butterfly (Neshee Publication, 2004). Harrison-Pace has received a number of awards and honors, including the 2004 YOUnity Guild Humanitarian of the Year Award and the 2004 Urban Spectrum Poetry Book of the Year Award. For more see Yolantha Harrison-Pace on the Kentucky Educational Television website.

  See The Wells Are Dry by Yolantha Harrison-Pace aka Mama Haiti on YouTube
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Poets
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Hillman, Alice Louise
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1986
Hillman was born in Tennessee, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. She was a school teacher who began teaching when she was 15 years old. She taught in the Bourbon County, KY, schools for 21 years in addition to teaching in Fayette and Madison Counties, KY, and Columbia, TN. Hillman had also been active as a member of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women's Clubs, having served as president, vice president, and secretary-treasurer of the scholarship fund. She had also served as president of the Phillis Wheatley Charity Club, located in Paris, KY. Hillman's birth year is given as 1896 in the Social Security Death Index. She was the wife of grocery store owner Robert Hillman (1882-1967), who was born in KY. The couple lived on Mt. Sterling Road in Little Rock, KY. For more see J. Hewlett, "Teacher, civic leader Alice Hillman dies, Lexington Herald-Leader, Obituaries section, p. D11.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Little Rock and Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Holland, Beatrice "Tommie"
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 2003
Holland, born in Madison County, KY, and raised in Cleveland, OH, was the first African American teacher in Richmond, Indiana. She was the daughter of Florence and Henry Allen Laine. Holland was a graduate of Wilberforce University and Ball State University. She was a teacher in Columbia, SC in the 1940s, then she and her family moved to Richmond in 1950. In addition to teaching, Holland was head of the Wayne County Community Action Program and was the first African American woman to head the Indiana Civil Rights Commission (1973-1977). For more see "Richmond schools hired first Black teacher in 1960," Palladium-Item, 02/19/2008, Region section, p. 3A; and Tommie Beatrice Holland in "Obituaries," Columbus Dispatch, 01/17/2003, News section, p. 07C.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio / Richmond, Indiana

Holland, George W.
Birth Year : 1874
Death Year : 1929
George W. Holland was born in Ruddles Mills, KY. He taught school in Kentucky, then in 1895 moved to Springfield, OH, where he was employed as a postal clerk. George W. Holland later became head of the postal division of Crowell Publishing Company. [The Crowell Publishing Company, located in Springfield, OH, was owned by Lexington, KY, native John Stephen Crowell (1850-1921). In 1934, the company merged to become Crowell-Collier Publishing Company.] In addition to being an employee at the publishing company, George W. Holland was also president of the Colored Men's Council and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of 1924. Maude Holland was the wife of George W. Holland, and she was deceased when George W. Holland was injured in a car accident on September 15, 1929 and died five days later [source: State of Ohio, Certificate of Death File #56683]. He is buried in the Ferncliff Cemetery in Springfield, OH. For more about George Holland see Chapter 9 of The History of Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Ohio, by C. H. Wesley. For more about the Crowell-Collier Publishing Company see the company records, 1931-1955 at New York Public Library.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Postal Service, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Ruddles Mills, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Springfield, Ohio

Hueston, William C., Sr.
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1961
Hueston was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Bettie H. Treacy; his family later moved to Kansas City, Kansas. He was a graduate of the University of Kansas and an active community leader in Kansas City. He also lived part-time in Gary, Indiana. He served as president of the National Negro Baseball League, beginning in 1927, after Rube Foster was committed to the Kankakee Asylum in Illinois. In Gary, Indiana, Hueston served as magistrate judge and helped establish the African American-owned Central State Bank. He was appointed by President Hoover to the National Memorial Commission for the building of the National Museum of African American History and Culture that was to have been built in 1929. He left Indiana in 1930 for Washington, D.C. to become Assistant Solicitor with the U.S. Post Office. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; The Josh Gibson Foundation website; Take up the Black Man's Burden: Kansas City's African American Communities, 1865-1939, by C. E. Coulter; M. Strimbu, "Library exhibit depicts Gary's rich, varied history," Post-Tribune, 07/24/1997, Gary Neighbors section, p. NB4; and "William C. Hueston, 81, Government Attorney," Washington Post, 11/27/1961, City Life section.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Baseball, Civic Leaders, Lawyers, Migration North, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Postal Service, Judges, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Kansas City, Kansas / Gary, Indiana / Kankakee, Illinois / Washington, D.C.

Hummons, Henry L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1873
Death Year : 1956
Henry Lytle Hummons was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Mary Ellen and Thomas Hummons. He graduated from the Indianapolis Medical School in 1902 and opened his practice the following year. He founded and was a clinical physician at the Tuberculosis Clinic, Flanner House, in Indianapolis from 1919-1931. It was the first free tuberculosis clinic in the city. Hummons also founded the Senate Avenue Y.M.C.A. in Indianapolis. He was among the first African American professionals to buy homes on California Street in Indianapolis in the 1920s. The area was excavated by the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Archaeology Field School. For more see H. L. (Henry Lytle) Hummons Papers at the Indiana Historical Society; Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and IUPUI Archaeology Field School.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

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

Jacobson, Harriet P.
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1961
Harriet Price Jacobson was born in Lexington, KY, the daughter of Nannie Price and Robert Johnson. A teacher and poet, she taught in Oklahoma rural schools from 1893 to 1896 and in Kansas and Oklahoma city schools from 1897 to 1935. She was an advisory teacher from 1935 to 1947. Jacobson organized the East Side Culture Club in Oklahoma City in 1907 and assisted in the organization of the State Training School for Negro Boys in Boley and the Training School for Girls in Taft. She was the founder and first president of the Oklahoma Federation of Negro Women's Clubs, 1910-1915. She received an award for her 42 years of teaching. Jacobson was author of a number of published poems in publications such as Anthology of Poetry by Oklahoma Writers (1938) and The Poetry Digest Annual (1939), and in 1947 her book of poems was published, Songs in the Night. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Black American Writers Past and Present. A biographical and bibliographical dictionary, by T. G. Rush, et al. See also Harriet Price Jacobson at the Uncrowned Community Builders website, and Harriet Price Jacobson at the Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration West, Poets, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Oklahoma City, Oklahoma / Kansas

James, Cheryl E.
James is the first African American president of the Junior League of Lexington (elected in September 2004). An attorney who works for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, she has been a member of the Junior League for 11 years. For more see J. Hewlett, "A fresh face for the Junior League, lawyer is the first black woman to head Lexington organization," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/02/05.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Lawyers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Jett, Alta M. and Richard E. Jett
Alta Margaret Boatright Jett (1920-2004) was born in Lancaster, KY; her family later moved to Indiana. She held a number of jobs, including domestic servant, credit officer at Montgomery Wards, and janitor. She was also president of the Mary B. Talbert Club and Vice Precinct Committee person for the Democratic Party, as well as a worker with the Girl Scouts, YMCA, and a mother's study group. Jett wrote obituaries and spoke on African American history. She was the daughter of Charles and Annie Farley Boatright, and the wife of Richard Ezekiel Jett (1917-2006), a carpenter and musician from Booneville, KY. Richard was the son of James and Mattie Jett. The Alta M. Jett Collection is housed at the Indiana Historical Society. For more see "Alta M. Jett in Guide to African-American History Materials in the Manuscript Collections at the Indiana Historical Society; "Obituaries," Palladium-Item, 05/23/2004, p. 3B; and Richard E. Jett in the Obituary section of the Palladium-Item, 07/23/2006, p. 3C.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Historians, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Carpenters, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Lancaster, Garrard County, Kentucky / Booneville, Owsley County, Kentucky / Richmond, Indiana

Johnson, Harlan C.
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 1992
Harlan C. Johnson was born in Eminence, KY, to Elizabeth H. Cowherd Johnson and Joseph S. Johnson. He had an outstanding career in the military: two bronze metals from the Asian Pacific theater; a bronze star from the Philippines Liberation; a Good Conduct Medal; and a World War II Victory Medal. After his career in the service, Johnson was a business teacher at New York University and Southern University at Baton Rouge. He taught in the New York City school system, served on the Board of Education, and was a drug counselor with the Community Services Committee. He received the Humanitarian Service Plaque for his work with the pre-release program of rehabilitation at Green Haven Prison. Harlan C. Johnson graduated from New York University in 1950 with a B.A. and in 1952 with an M.A. He died March 5, 1992 in Bronx, New York [source: Social Security Death Index]. For more see Harlan C. Johnson in Who's Who Among African Americans, 1994-2004.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Eminence, Henry County, Kentucky / New York City, New York

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, William (Bill) A., Jr.
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 2006
Born in Louisville, KY, Jones was ordained a minister in Kentucky and served as pastor of Bethany Baptist Church for 43 years. The church, located in Brooklyn, New York, has about 5,000 members. Jones' message was also delivered on the Bethany Hour, which was broadcast on television and radio to 400 cities. He also led the campaign to integrate New York trade unions and organized a boycott of grocery stores, such as A & P, because they did not hire African Americans. He helped to establish and lead the National Black Pastors Conference in 1979. He was the first chairman of the New York chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He had preached in Toronto and Scotland and completed special studies in Nigeria and Ghana. Jones grew up in Lexington and was a graduate of the (Old) Dunbar High School and the University of Kentucky, where he earned a degree in sociology. He was also a graduate of Crozer Theological Seminary and earned his doctorate from a school that is now part of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. He was the son of William A. Jones, Sr. and the grandson of Henry Wise Jones, Sr. who co-founded Simmons Bible College in Louisville, KY. William A. Jones, Jr.'s memorial service was held at the Historic Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church in Lexington, KY. For more see D. Martin, "Rev. William A. Jones, Civil Rights Activist, Dies at 71," The New York Times, 02/08/2006, Sec. C, p.16; and J. Hewlett, "Renowned preacher, civil-rights leader," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/07/2006, City&Region section, p. B1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Radio, Religion & Church Work, Television
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Brooklyn, New York

Jordan, Artishia Garcia Wilkerson
Birth Year : 1901
Death Year : 1974
Artishia G. W. Jordon was a teacher, civic leader, a leader in the AME Church, and supported civil rights. She was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of attorney Bernard O. and Dr. Artishia Gilbert Wilkerson. She was a graduate of Central High School, attended Howard University, graduated from the University of Chicago in 1923, and earned her master's degree in mathematics at the University of California in 1924. She was the wife of Frederick D. Jordan who was a bishop in the AME Church. Artishia Jordan served as president of the Southern California Conference Branch, and was vice-president of the Chicago Conference Branch and the Southwest Missouri Conference Branch. She organized the AME Minister's Wives Alliance of the Los Angeles vicinity. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Order of Eastern Star, and was elected to the executive council of Southern California Council of Church Women. She also served as president of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Council of Negro Women, and was a member of the Committee of Management of the Woodlawn YWCA. She was affiliated with the Sojourner Truth Home and the NAACP. Jordan was the first African American director of the Los Angeles Chapter of American Mission to Lepers. She was a contributing editor of the Afro-American Woman's Journal and was editor of the Women's Missionary Recorder from 1940 to 1944. She taught math at Central High School in Louisville and also taught at Western University. Artishia Jordan and her husband, Bishop F. D. Jordan, made several trips during the 1950s visiting AME Churches in South Africa. Artishia Jordan was author of The African Methodist Episcopal Church in Africa. Jordan Hall at Morris Brown College was named for Rev. and Mrs. Jordan. In 1976, the AME Church founded the Artishia Jordan Scholarship Fund, and after Bishop Jordan's death in 1976, the name of the fund was changed to the Artishia and Frederick Jordan Scholarship Fund. More than 1,000 students have benefited from the fund. For more see Mrs. Artishia Wilkerson Jordan in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright; J. Jordan, "Thirtieth Anniversary of the Artishia and Frederick Jordan Fund," in the Christian Recorder Online (English Edition), 11/09/2006; and see Artishia Gilbert Wilkerson Jordan in Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition, by H. M. J. Williams.

See photo image of Artishia and Frederick Jordan at the Jordan Scholarship Fund webpage, a Howard University website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Migration West, Women's Groups and Organizations, National Council of Negro Women
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

Knight, Mattye Breckinridge Guy
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 1986
Knight, a teacher, civic and community leader, and musician, is remembered for leading the drive to get new homes to replace those lost in the mudslide at Sanctified Hill in Cumberland, KY. Knight had also lost her home in the slide. She received a number of awards for her leadership, including a HUD award in 1979. Knight taught for more than 30 years in Franklin County, Lebanon, and Harlan County. She taught English, history and music in the public schools and was the minister of music, director of education, and a Sunday school teacher at her church. Knight also founded the Greater Harlan County Community Center. She was a graduate of Mayo-Underwood High School and Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], both in Frankfort, and Hampton Institute [now Hampton University] in Virginia. For more see J. Hewlett, "Mattye Knight Dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/28/1986, Obituaries, p. B15. Also see the entry Sanctified Hill, Cumberland, KY.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Communities, Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Sunday School, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Cumberland, Harlan County, Kentucky

Knights of Pythias Temple (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1893
Two African American Knights of Pythias lodges are listed in the 1893 Louisville City Directory. The Temple at 928-932 West Chestnut Street, built in 1914-1915 at a cost of $130,000, served as the Knights' headquarters and housed a drugstore, movie theater, offices, a restaurant, and hotel rooms for men. The ballroom on the sixth floor and the garden on the roof were used for parties and dances. In 1925, 25,000  attendees came to Louisville for the National Pythian Convention. In 1953, the building was sold to the Chestnut Street YMCA. The building, still in use today, is located across the street from the Western Branch Library. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The building also has a Kentucky Historical Marker (#1662). For more see marker #1662 in the Kentucky Historical Marker Database; and Black Heritage Sites: an African American Odyssey and Finder's Guide, by N. C. Curtis.
Subjects: Businesses, Civic Leaders, Fraternal Organizations, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association), Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Little, Chester H.
Birth Year : 1907
Little was born in Paducah, KY, and received an honorary degree in 1971 from Indiana Christian University. Little was a community and civic leader who held a number of positions in various organizations, including first vice president of the Malleable Foundry Employee Credit Union in Indianapolis and president of the Marion County Council on Aging. In 1956, Little was president of the Progressive Community Club in Indianapolis and led the organization when it became a member of the Federation of Associated Clubs (FAC). Little was the first vice president of FAC from 1956-1978. He was also on the board of directors of the Indianapolis Urban League, and captain of the auxiliary police. For more see the Progressive Community Club Collection, 1940-1982 at the Indiana Historical Society; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1980-2004.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

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

Magowan, James E.
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1933
The following information comes from the James E. Magowan archival file at the Montgomery County Historical Society and Museum in Mt. Sterling, KY. James E. Magowan was a successful businessman and a community leader. He was born in Montgomery County, the son of Amanda and John Wesley Magowan, and a brother of John, Noah, Susan, and Emily Magowan. The family lived in Smithville, KY. James Magowan, his brothers, and sister, Susan, all attended the Academy at Berea. As an adult, James Magowan was a real estate agent, loans and collecting agent, notary public, carpenter, contractor, and owner of the Magowan Theater and the colored skating rink in Mt. Sterling. James Magowan developed the Lincoln View Cemetery next to Olive Hill Cemetery in Smithville. The Lincoln View Cemetery opened on April 1, 1929, with James Magowan as president, his son, Jesse E., 1st vice president, and his wife, Lizzie, his daughter, Sarah, and his son-in-law and daughter, Watson D. Banks and Estella Magowan Banks, board members. James Magowan established a subdivision for African Americans next to the cemetery, and he owned and managed the waterline to the homes, charging a monthly fee for the service. He established the Mt. Sterling Colored Fair Association in 1909. He was owner of the James E. Magowan Grocery Store, which was located within the J. E. Magowan Hall (built in 1914) at the corner of East Locust and Fox Streets. James Magowan leased-out the grocery store and other space within the building. Additional information about James E. Magowan comes from "Achievements of the late James E. Magowan" on pp. 23-24 in Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial, 1774-1974, by S. A. Harris. James E. Magowan was a school teacher for six years. He led the effort to extend the gas line into Smithville, and in 1915 he was president of the organization that had a sidewalk completed from the city limits of Mt. Sterling to the entrance of Olive Hill Cemetery. James Avenue in Mt. Sterling was named in his honor. James E. Magowan is buried in the Lincoln View Cemetery in Mt. Sterling, KY.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Communities, Construction, Contractors, Builders, Education and Educators, Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Carpenters, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Notary Public, Skating Rinks, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling and Smithville, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Martin, William
Birth Year : 1931
Death Year : 1997
Martin was born in Covington, KY. He was Northern Kentucky's best-known advocate for the rights of African-Americans. Martin appeared before the Covington City Commission to argue for better housing and youth programs. In 1975, he became the executive director of the city's community center. He had been a pianist and a high school music teacher at Lincoln-Grant and Holmes Hall. The community center, which would become the Martin Community Center, was moved into the Lincoln-Grant building; the school closed following integration. For more see J. C. K. Fisher and P. Kreimer, "Civil Rights advocate Martin dies," Cincinnati Post, 04/14/97.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Mason, Jesse Edward
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 2002
Born in Nicholasville, KY, Mason attended Kentucky State University and was a World War II veteran. He was the first African American licensed to sell used cars in Kentucky, operating his own business for 32 years. In 1965, Mason also organized the first American Little League Baseball Club, the Slugger Dodgers of Jessamine County. That same year, Mason was a leader in the integration of the Jessamine County public schools. In the 1990s, he led the movement to have the newly built middle school named Rosenwald-Dunbar, in honor of the African American high school that had closed following integration. For more see "February is Black History Month," The Jessamine Journal, 02/23/2006, pp. A1 & A8.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Automobile Dealerships and Factories, Baseball, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Military & Veterans, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky

Mason, William
Birth Year : 1918
Mason was born in Eminence, KY, where a street, Mason Avenue, was named in his honor for his civic and civil rights activities in the city. He fought for Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday to be a paid holiday for city employees and was an active member of the push to integrate the public schools during his tenure as city council member from 1963-1971. William Mason is also thought to be the first African American student at the University of Louisville. For more see B. Schanding, "Mr. Mason," Henry County Local, vol. 131, issue 10 (02/06/08), Main section, pp. 1A & 4A.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders
Geographic Region: Eminence, Henry County, Kentucky

Meeks, Reginald K.
Birth Year : 1954
Born in Louisville, KY, Reginald K. Meeks is a brother to Renelda (Meeks) Higgins Walker, Michael Meeks, and Kenneth Meeks. In 1983 he was chosen by Ebony Magazine as one of the 50 Young Leaders of the Future. In 1991 he was profiled in Southern Living for his work in helping to turn his neighborhood library branch into the Kentucky African-American Museum of History and Culture. He is a founding member of the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission. Meeks served as the 11th Ward Alderman in Louisville, KY, from 1982-2000. Since 2001 he has served as the elected Kentucky House Member of Legislative District 42 (Louisville). Meeks earned his B.A. at Wabash College in 1976 and his J.D. at the University of Iowa College of Law in 1979. He was the primary sponsor of the legislation to reduce violence and gun use. He is the son of Eloise Kline Meeks and Florian Meeks, Jr. For more see HR254 (Word doc.); Who's Who in American Politics, vols. 11-17; Who's Who Among African Americans, vols. 4-14; Ebony, Sept. 1983, p. 70; and Southern Living, 1991, vol. 26, issue 2, pp. 74-76.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Militant Church Movement (Louisville, KY)
The Militant Church Movement or MCM was a post-WWII Civil Rights organization established by Rev. J. C. Olden, father of Sylvia Olden Lee. MCM began in Louisville as a small but vocal church-based organization, and became a coalition of African American churches in Kentucky. In 1951, the group led in the boycott of a baseball game that was to have taken place in Louisville between white major league players led by Gill Hodges, and an African American team lead by Roy Campanella. The protest was in response to the plans to segregate the audience. The game was cancelled. In 1953, MCM, led by Rev. Olden and Rev. M. M. D. Perdue, was successful in leading the Interracial Hospital Movement campaign that brought the beginning of the end to racial restrictions in all Kentucky hospitals. That same year, MCM launched a mass petition drive to urge the lawmakers of Kentucky to integrated the state's schools. The group also launched protests against GE for it hiring practices. What is know about the MCM exists because of those who remember the group's efforts; MCM did not have a formal membership list and they did not keep records. For more see "All-Star ball game dropped: Jim Crow protest effective," Honolulu Record, 11/01/1951, p.6; Subversive Southerner by C. Fosl and A. Y. Davis; and Civil Rights in the Gateway to the South by T. E. K'Meyer.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Baseball, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Miller, Herbert T.
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1977
Miller was born in Ford, KY, and grew up in Cincinnati, OH. He was the son of Cyrus D. and Georgie C. Miller. Herbert Miller gained a national reputation as a successful organizer of Y.M.C.A. fund raising campaigns. Miller is remembered as the executive secretary of the Carlton Y.M.C.A. in Bedford-Stuyvesant. He was also named by Judge S. S. Leibowitz as foreman of the King County Grand Jury of New York State in 1944, the first African American in the U.S. to ever hold the post. He was voted Brooklyn's Most Valuable Citizen in New York Amsterdam News Poll in 1948. Miller also received several other awards for promoting understanding between racial and ethnic groups. He had served as executive secretary of YMCA branches in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Toledo, and Brooklyn. Miller was the husband of Belle Harper Miller and the brother of Bertha M. Anderson. He had attended the University of Cincinnati, Springfield College, and Boston University. Herbert T. Miller died in Cincinnati, OH, where he had settled after retiring from the Manhattan Division of the Protestant Council of the City of New York. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; "Herbert T. Miller chosen boro inter-faith leader," Baltimore Afro-American, 04/03/1948, p.17; and "Herbert T. Miller, retired executive of Y.M.C.A., dies in Cincinnati," New York Times, 01/27/1977, p. 81.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Ford, Clark County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York City, New York

Miller, Lizzie Gilliam
Miller was born in Mississippi and grew up in Louisville, KY. She graduated from Louisville Central High School, received her B.A. from Louisville Municipal College for Negroes, and attended Simmons Bible College. She was a cartographic supervisor with the Mapping Agency, U. S. Department of Defense, beginning in 1931 and continuing through the early 1980s. Miller was also the first Kentucky state director for Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She was a former Stark Nest director, traveling throughout the U.S. establishing centers. Miller established the first mobile Nest in Opa Locke, Florida. Stark Nest was an agency that provided services for low-income families. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Cartographers, Civic Leaders, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Mississippi / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Mitchell, Fred D.
Birth Year : 1944
Born in Lexington, KY, Mitchell has been an activist, social worker, and community development leader in Lexington, Louisville and Cincinnati. As a teen in Lexington, he legally challenged the breach of peace laws and segregation of public accommodations and led protests against school segregation. He was treasurer of the Lexington Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and led the Young African Americans for Progress. In the 1970s, Mitchell moved to Louisville and became the city's first paid alderman assistant (to Lois Morris). As a social work student, he was instrumental in establishing the University of Louisville chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers. Mitchell was also the first African American director of the Wesley Community House [founded in 1903 by the United Methodist Church to provide social welfare and other services in the Butchertown, Phoenix Hill and Clarksdale areas]. The Courier-Journal in Louisville named him one of the city's "Bridge Builders." Mitchell is presently employed by Community Action of Southern Indiana. For more see The Lexington Herald-Leader, August 17-18, 1967 and Sept. 5 & 7, 1967; and the Courier-Journal, Jan. 29, 1992, July 28, 1993, Jan. 1, 1997 and April 11, 2004.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Social Workers, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indiana

Morris, Horace
Birth Year : 1835
Born a freeman in Louisville, KY, Morris assisted slaves in the underground railroad. He was the only African American cashier in the Freeman's Savings and Trust Bank of Louisville. Morris was the first African American steward at Louisville's Marine Hospital and an early newspaper publisher. He was editor of the Kentuckian; was one of the editors of the Colored Citizen (Louisville, KY) newspaper beginning in 1866; and was editor of the Bulletin newspaper that was established by J. Q. Adams in 1879. Morris was a daguerreotype artist in Cincinnati, OH, during the 1850s when he was employed at the gallery of James P. and Thomas C. Ball. He also lived in Xenia, OH, before returning to Kentucky. Horace Morris was the son of Shelton Morris. In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, his birth date is given as about 1832, and his race is given as white. His exact death date is not known, but occurred between 1880, when he was last listed in the U.S. Census, and 1900, when his wife Wilhelmina was listed as a widow. For more see Life Behind a Veil, by G. C. Wright; see the Horace Morris entry in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; and Horace Morris in Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900 by M. S. Haverstock et. al.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Civic Leaders, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Medical Field, Health Care, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cincinnati and Xenia, Ohio

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

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

Norman, Florence K. Morton
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1944
Norman was born Florence K. Morton in Mason County, KY. Her mother, Sallie Morton, was a widow and the mother of three girls: Mary, Florence, and Susan. In 1900 the family lived at 570 E. Fifth Street in Maysville, KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Florence would become the wife of musician and music arranger Fred Norman (1910-1993). The couple lived in New York. Florence Norman was the past president of the National Council of Negro Women. She had attended Howard University and the Jenifer Business College and managed the Washington Business Institute in D.C. She had also been employed as secretary to Carter G. Woodson at the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. For more see "Mrs. Fred Norman," New York Times, 02/11/1944, p. 19.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations, National Council of Negro Women
Geographic Region: Mason County, Kentucky / New York

Olden, James Clarence "J.C."
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1967
James C. Olden was a Baptist minister and a civil rights leader in Louisville, KY. He was born in Murfreesboro, TN, the son of George Olden who had been a slave in Oldham County, KY, before running away to join the Union Army during the Civil War. Rev. J. C. Olden came to Kentucky around 1949 and developed the Militant Church Movement (MCM) in Louisville. MCM was a civil rights organization that led in many protest campaigns, including the Interracial Hospital Movement that initiated the desegregation of Kentucky hospitals in 1953. Rev. Olden also led in the 1953 effort to bring Everett Lee, Jr. [Sylvia Olden Lee's husband] to Louisville, where he become the first African American to direct a white orchestra, and the first orchestra director to perform before an integrated audience in Louisville. Rev. Olden had been a civil rights activist prior to coming to Kentucky; in 1948, while a visiting minister at Salem Methodist Church in Harlem, NY, he led a national campaign against segregation in transportation. J. C. Olden was a graduate of Fisk University, where he sung in a quartet with Roland Hayes, Lem Foster, and Charles Wesley. He was a second tenor in Hayes' Apollo Quartet in 1910. In 1913, Olden married Sylvia Alice Ward (b.1889 in New Orleans, LA), a pianist and vocalist; they had met while students at Fisk. Sylvia Ward had turned down a singing position with the Metropolitan Opera in 1913, because the job came with the stipulation that she not tell anyone that she was Colored. Many years later, the first African American with the New York Metropolitan Opera would be Sylvia Olden Lee (1917-2004), musician, vocalist, and vocalist coach; the daughter of Sylvia and Rev. J. C. Olden. Sylvia O. Lee grew up in Washington, D.C. where her father was pastor of the Plymouth Colored Congregational Church. The Oldens were also international travelers. In 1926, Rev. Olden and his wife returned to the U.S. from Southampton, England, aboard the ship Majestic, according to the New York Passenger Lists. For more see To Stand and Fight by M. Biondi; and "Schiller Institute Dialogue with Sylvia Olden Lee, Pianist and Vocal Coach" 02/07/1998, [reprinted from Fidelio Magazine, vol. 7, issue 1 (Spring 1998)].

See photo image of James C. Olden and his then son-in-law, Everett Lee, at the Courier-Journal.com "Black History Month | 1953 Everett Lee," 02/01/2010.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Murfreesboro, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Oldham County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Parker, William C.
Birth Year : 1925
Death Year : 2008
William C. Parker, from Cairo, Illinois, was the Vice Chancellor of Minority Affairs at the University of Kentucky, from 1984-1990. His responsibilities included the recruitment and retention of minority students; he was also a diversity adviser to the university. He led the development of the Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education. Dr. Parker, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, had taught at a number of schools and had been employed at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) before coming to Kentucky. After his retirement, he established Parker & Parker, a human resources consulting firm that worked with hundreds of schools throughout the United States. Dr. Parker was also an adjunct professor at the Bluegrass Community and Technical College. He was a professional speaker and had received many awards for his leadership. He wrote a number of articles, books and other publications such as the video, Formula for Success. Dr. Parker was a two-time graduate of Illinois State University and earned his Ph.D. at Columbia Pacific University. He was the son of Magdelene Reynolds Parker, a Cairo school teacher, and Clarence H. Parker. For more see "William C. Parker" in Pulaski County, Illinois, 1987, by the Pulaski County History Book Committee; and B. Musgrave, "Longtime educator dies," Lexington Herald Leader, 06/02/2008.

 

Access Interview Read about the William C. Parker oral history interviews available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records are in the SPOKE Database. 

 

  See photo image of William C. Parker at UKnowledge website.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Migration South
Geographic Region: Cairo, Illinois / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

Plymouth Congregational Church (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1877
The Plymouth Congregational Church was established in 1877; members initially met in a home in Louisville until an older Jewish synagogue was purchased on Jefferson Street. In 1891, Rev. Everett G. Harris became pastor, and the American Missionary Association purchased land at the corner of Seventeenth and West Chestnut Streets, where a church was constructed in 1902. In addition, the Plymouth Settlement House was completed in 1917; it was a social welfare agency that served children, had a dormitory for young women new to the city in search of work, and provided services to the community. The Plymouth Congregational Church was a meeting place for African Americans of the middle and upper classes. A new church was constructed in 1930, referred to as the "New Plymouth." It has been said that the church was the most exclusive Negro church in Louisville. For more see B. D. Berry, Jr., "The Plymouth Congregational Church of Louisville, Kentucky," Phylon, vol. 42, issue 3, pp. 224-232.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Settlement House Movement in Kentucky, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Presbyterian Community Center Records
Start Year : 1898
Founded in 1898 by seminarians as Hope Mission Station, a summer Sunday school for African American children, the center evolved into a settlement house for the Smoketown neighborhood of Louisville, KY, and was joined by Grace Mission. The collection pertaining to the mission includes a biographical sketch of the Rev. John Little (1874-1948), founder and director of the center for 50 years, and documentation of the center's activities and its role as an outpost in the federal government's war on poverty. The records are available at the University of Louisville Libraries' Special Collections and Archives.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Settlement House Movement in Kentucky, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Price-Cordery, Barbara
Birth Year : 1948
Death Year : 2002
Born in Louisville, KY, Price-Cordery was the first African American woman elected to chair the Kentucky Derby Festival. She passed away, however, before serving as chair of the festival. Price-Cordery was honored posthumously with the Distinguished Service Award. She was also founder of the First African Heritage Weekend Series and was the first African American employee of The Voice newspaper in Louisville. For more see HR 247 (BR 2886) - R. Meeks (Word doc.).
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

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

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

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

Ricketts, Matthew Oliver
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1917
Matthew O. Ricketts was born in Henry County, KY, to slave parents. The family moved to Missouri when Ricketts was a small child. He grew up to become the first African American Senator in the Nebraska Legislature in 1892 and was elected again in 1894. He was an advocate for the stronger civil rights laws in Nebraska. Ricketts was also a leader of the Prince Hall Masons. He was a graduate of Lincoln Institute in Missouri [now Lincoln University of Missouri] and Omaha Medical College, the first African American to graduate from a college or university in Nebraska. He was the husband of Alice Ricketts, and the family of four lived in St. Joseph Ward, Buchanan County, MO, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. For more see Matthew Oliver Ricketts at BlackPast.org; Biographical Sketches of the Nebraska Legislature, by W. A. Howard; and Impertinences: selected writings of Elia Peattie, a journalist in the Giided Age, by E. W. Peattie.



Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Freedom, Migration West, Fraternal Organizations, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Henry County, Kentucky / Missouri / Nebraska

Semmes, LaVaughn "Bonnie" Taylor
Birth Year : 1929
Death Year : 2006
Semmes was born in Carrollton, KY, the daughter of Paul B. and Lucille Jackson Taylor. She grew up in Lafayette, IN. In 2000 she was named the Woman of the Year by the Fort Quiaterion Chapter of the American Business Women's Association. She was named a Sagamore of the Wabash by then Governor Joe Kernan; it is the highest award given by an Indiana governor. Semmes was also awarded the Marquis De Lafayette Award for Community Service. For more than 50 years she served as director of the Hanna Community Center, the Southside Community Center, and the Lincoln Community Center. She was also a board member of the Lafayette Housing Authority. Semmes was treasurer of Church Women United and was awarded the organization's Valiant Woman Award. She was an officer of the Dorcas Chapter No. 14, Order of Eastern Star and a former president and treasurer of the Mary L. Federated Colored Women's Club. For more see Journal and Courier articles, "Woman of the Year," 01/19/2000, Communities section, p. 3B; and "LaVaughn Bonnie Taylor Semmes," 12/21/2006, Obit section, p. 2B.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Carrollton, Carroll County, Kentucky / Lafayette, Indiana

Shanklin, Barbara
Shanklin, of Louisville, KY, was awarded the Anderson Laureate Award in 2006. She was elected to serve on the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Council in 2002 and was the first woman and the first African American to serve as president. Shanklin, who is a teacher and dedicated activist and civic leader, had previously served as Majority Caucus Chair of the Council. She is a graduate of Central High School, Waterson College (associate degree), McKendree College (B.A.), Webster University (M.A.), and Spalding University (Ed. D.). For more see "Anderson Laureate Award Winner Announced - During the 2006 Governor's EEO Conference," [pdf] 10/20/2006, by the Kentucky Commission on WomenDr. Barbara Shanklin biography, on the LouisvilleKy.gov website; and The Honorable Dr. Barbara Shanklin on p.127 in Who's Who in Black Louisville.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Snowden, Leanna C. Holland and John B.
Leanna Snowden, born Leanna C. Holland in 1880 in Lexington, KY, was married to John B. Snowden, Jr. (1875-1944), one of the very few African American U.S. mail carriers in Kentucky. John Jr., also born in Lexington, KY, was the son of John Sr. and Ellen Buckner Snowden. He and Leanna were married in 1889. She was a teacher in the Lexington public schools for Negro children and also a community leader. Leanna was president of the Allen C. E. League and was an active member of several organizations connected to the St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Lexington. She was the first president of the City Federation of Women's Clubs in Lexington and the first vice-president of the State Clubs. John and Leanna had a daughter, Leland Weldon Snowden (1900-1921), who attended Kentucky Negro Industrial Institute [now Kentucky State University]. For more see Centennial Encyclopedia of the American Methodist Episcopal Church..., by Richard Allen and others, Philadelphia, PA (1816), at the Documenting the American South website. Birth and death dates for the Snowdens were found in the Kentucky Death Records and the U.S. Federal Census (1900-1930).

See photo image of Leanna C. Snowden on p.211 in the Centennial Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church by R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Kentucky African American Churches, Postal Service, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Stepp, Marcellus "Marc"
Birth Year : 1923
Marcellus Stepp was born in Versailles, KY, then his family moved to Evansville, IN, when he was a child. He is an Army veteran and holds an accounting degree from the University of Detroit. He was employed at the Chrysler Highland Park plant for 19 years and served as vice president of Local 490 to the Chrysler-UAW National Negotiating Committee. He was appointed International Representative with Region 1B in 1967 and was elected International Vice President in 1974. He also served as executive director of the Institute for Urban & Community Affairs at the University of Detroit. He ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Detroit Common Council in 1965. For more see African American Biographies: profiles of 558 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins; Marc Stepp Collection Papers, 1940-2000, at Wayne State University Reuther Library; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1977-2006.

See photo image of Marcellus Stepp, about mid-page, at the 2011 Hall of Honor Inductees, a University of Detroit Mercy website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Evansville, Indiana / Detroit, Michigan

Stone, Lee Owen
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 1977
Stone was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Walter and Lillace Peasons Stone. He was a 1936 graduate of Bishop Payne Divinity [merged with Virginia Theological Seminary in 1949], and a 1944 graduate of Lewis and Clark College. Stone taught at the Kentucky House of Reform before leaving Kentucky for Portland, OR, where he spent the rest of his career as Vicar of St. Philips Episcopal Church. Stone was a leader of the Portland African American community; in 1942 he called for Union Reform during WWII. He was a board member of the Portland Urban League, the Portland Council of Social Agencies, and the Portland U.S.O. The Lee Owen Stone Cooperative Preschool was named in his honor. Lee Owen Stone is buried in the Rose City Cemetery in Portland Oregon. For more see "Lee Owen Stone" in Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers by E. L. Williams; "Biography-Rev. Lee Owen Stone," Vertical File, Oregon Historical Society Research Library; "Church-Episcopal-Portland-St. Phillip the Deacon," Vertical File, Oregon Historical Society Research Library; and Lee Owen Stone's obituary in The Oregonian, 03/11/1977, p.A13.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Portland, Oregon

Summers, Jane R.
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1992
Summers, an Alabama native, was the first woman to manage Jacob Price public housing in Covington, KY. She also assisted in organizing Meals on Wheels in Covington. Summers became a paralegal at the age of 77 to assist senior citizens with simple legal problems. For more see "Jane Summers" at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, Great Black Kentuckians; and ;"Jane Summers, 97, mentor to many in Covington," The Kentucky Post, 07/01/1992, News section, p. 10A.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Care of the Elderly
Geographic Region: Alabama / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Thompson, Malachi Richard
Birth Year : 1949
Death Year : 2006
Thompson was born in Princeton, KY, and grew up in Chicago. He played the piano and trumpet and was a music activist and leader. Thompson graduated from Governor's State University with a B.A in composition. He played with a number of bands before becoming a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in 1968 [founded in Chicago, IL]. Thompson was also a member of Operation Breadbasket Big Band [Chicago], a division of the Southern Christian Leadership Council that played at rallies and marches. In 1974 he moved to New York, where he continued to perform with various groups, including that of Sam Rivers, the grandson of Kentucky native Marshall W. (Boyd) Taylor. Thompson also toured and recorded in Europe with Archie Shepp's band. He was a founding member of Bowie's Hot Trumpet Repertory Company [later named Brass Fantasy], and he founded the Freebop Band in 1978. He continued traveling and playing until 1989 when he was diagnosed with t-cell lymphoma (cancer) and returned to Chicago. He returned to music in 1991 to lead the Africa Brass band. He organized the Hyde Park/Kenwood Jazz Festival and founded the Sutherland Community Arts Initiative. Thompson's recordings include Buddy Bolden's Rag, Lift Every Voice, and Talking Horns. For more see "Malachi Thompson, trumpeter, 56," New York Times, 07/20/2006, The Arts/Cultural Desk section, p. 7; and "Malachi Thompson" in the Oxford Music Online Database. View images and listen to Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing - Malachi Thompson and Africa Brass on YouTube.

Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Tinsley, Seretha S.
Birth Year : 1949
Seretha S. Tinsley, a Louisville, KY, native, was operations manager of WLOU and station manager at WAOK in Atlanta in the late 1970s. She and her husband, George T. Tinsley, own the KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) franchise in Tampa Bay, Florida. In appreciation of her civic and community work, Seretha Tinsley received the 2000 Bankers Cup Award for Outstanding Woman of the Year. She is a 1971 graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan College, and was a teacher in Louisville School system. For more see Black Enterprise, vol. 32, issue 2 (2001), p. 137; and the TFC Family website.

See the photo image of Seretha Tinsley and bio at TFC Family website.
Subjects: Businesses, Civic Leaders
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia / Tampa Bay, Florida

Tolley, Florence B. W.
Birth Year : 1897
Death Year : 1969
Tolley was one of 18 children born to Fannie and Will Jackson of Avon, KY. She was married to Edd Brown and they lived in his home town of Clintonville, KY, prior to moving to Lexington, where Tolley later owned The Try Me Beauty Shop (opened in 1944) and the Williams Nursing Home (opened in 1950), both on Greenwood Avenue. Tolley was a graduate of the segregated Lexington Beauty College; she had been hired as a maid at the school and was allowed to study for her diploma in beauty culture, which she received in 1944. She was also instrumental in helping to bring gas to homes on the west side of Lexington by offering to sell the Central Kentucky Natural Gas Company a piece of her land for the regulation station; at that time, west side was outside the city limits. For a while, Tolley raised her family alone, having divorced her first husband, Edd Brown, and later married Rev. Jesse Williams, who passed away. She then married Rev. Robert Tolley. She continued her nursing home businesses and in 1965 built a new facility at 465 Greenwood Avenue. Williams Nursing Home was the first such facility for African Americans in Lexington. Tolley also helped raise funds for the Colored Orphan Home in Lexington. She wrote poetry, plays, and songs. Several of her songs were recorded: If I Had My Way and I am Packing Up to Move, sung by Ben Tate; Lord I Wonder, sung by LaVern Lattimore; and I Can Trust Him and My Savior, sung by Helen Williams. For more see Only Believe: biography of Florence Jackson Brown Williams Tolley, by E. B. S. Bosley.
Subjects: Businesses, Civic Leaders, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Avon, Fayette County, Kentucky / Clintonville, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

Vaughn, George L.
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1950
George L. Vaughn was born in Kentucky, where he attend both elementary and high school. He was a graduate of Lane College and Walden University Law School [located in Tennessee, closed in 1925], and was later a 1st Lieutenant in the Artillery during World War I. Vaughn moved to St. Louis, where he practiced law and in 1916 became the first president of the Mound City Bar Association, a bar association for African American lawyers; the St. Louis Bar Association did not admit African Americans. In 1919, Vaughn helped found the Citizen Liberty League to help identify and elect more African Americans to public office. In 1936, Vaughn was appointed Justice of the Peace for the 4th District of St. Louis. Vaughn is most remembered for taking on the Shelley Restrictive Covenant Case, a landmark civil rights case involving J. D. Shelley, an African American who had purchased a home in a white neighborhood in 1945. The neighborhood association served Shelley with an eviction notice, and the St. Louis African American real estate brokers association hired Vaughn to fight the notice. Vaughn won the trial, but the case was then taken to the Missouri Supreme Court, which upheld the eviction. With the support of the real estate brokers association, Vaughn appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, and in 1948 the Supreme Court ruled in Shelley's favor. In 1957 the 660-unit George L. Vaughn Public Housing Project was named in Vaughn's honor. For more see "George Vaughn," in The Journal of Negro History, vol. 34, issue 4, (Oct., 1949), pp. 490-491; Lift Every Voice and Sing, by D. A. Wesley, W. Price and A. Morris; and "George L. Vaughn," in West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edited by S. Phelps and J. Lehman, vol. 10, 2nd edition. See the U.S. Supreme Court, Shelley V. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948), at the FindLaw website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Housing Authority, The Projects, Lawyers, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Judges, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Court Cases, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Kentucky / St. Louis, Missiouri

Vertrees, Peter
Birth Year : 1849
Death Year : 1926
Peter Vertrees was born in Edmonson County, KY, his mother Mary E. Skaggs, was white, and his father, Rev. Booker Harding was the mulatto son of Jacob Vertrees. Peter Vertrees was raised by his grandfather Jacob Vertrees and his wife Catherine. Peter Vertrees served with the Confederate Army in the 6th Kentucky Calvary during the Civil War; he was a servant to his uncle, J. L. Vertrees, an enlistee who was white and a physician. Peter Vertrees left Kentucky to live with his uncle Judge J. C. Vertrees in Tennessee. He would become one of the first students to attend Roger Williams University. He would become a teacher and a preacher, and a respected community leader in Sumner County, TN. In 1880, he was a 31 year old widower living in Gallatin, according to the U.S. Federal Census; his wife, Amanda L. Dowell, had died in 1872. He had next married Sarah Head and the couple had three sons. In 1901 he married Diora Wylie (b.1875 in TN), according to their Marriage Bond, and the couple had three children, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. They would later have two more children. Peter Vertrees was principal of the South Gallatin School, and for 60 years he served as pastor of the First Baptist Church. He was actually pastor of more than one church, and was president of two benevolent societies that helped pay for medical assistance and burials. He opened schools for African Americans within the churches where he was pastor. He founded the East Fork Missionary Baptist Association with 28 churches in Tennessee. A historical maker honoring Peter Vertrees was placed at the corner of South Water and Bledsoe Streets in Sumner County, TN. For more see the Negro Baptist History, 1750-1930 by L. G. Jordan; and Peter Vertrees, by Dessislava Yankova at the rootsweb.ancestry.com website.


Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Edmonson County, Kentucky / Gallatin, Sumner County, Tennessee

Walker, Thomas Vaughn
Birth Year : 1950
Walker, born in Heathsville, Virginia, is the oldest son of the late Thomas and Mary Walker. He is a minister, an educator at the college and secondary school levels, and a community leader. He was the first African American appointed to a regular professorship in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1986 when Walker became a faculty member at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Now a tenured professor, Walker oversees both the Doctor of Ministry program in Black Church Leadership and the Ph.D. program in Black Church Studies. Since 1984, he has also been the Senior Pastor of the First Gethsemane Baptist Church in Louisville. The church, founded in 1910, has grown in membership, missions outreach, and vision; it was chosen as one of the 13 congregations included in Dr. Thom Rainer's research and the resulting 2005 book titled Breakout Churches. Walker has been an active member of a number of community organizations and overseas missions in countries such as South Africa, Zambia, Israel, Jordan, Germany, and the Bahamas. Walker has written a number of journal articles and his book chapters include the co-authored work "Minorities and Spirituality" in the title Becoming Christian by B. Leonard. Walker is a 1972 graduate of Hampton University; he earned a M.S. from Eastern Illinois University and a M.Div/C.E. at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; and he earned his Ph.D. from Oregon State University. Vaughn Walker Way, a street in Louisville, was named in his honor. In 2000, he received both the Community Service Reconciliation Award, and the Heritage Award, Black Church Development Divisions. In 2006, Walker was recognized by the Kentucky Senate [SR 209]. This entry was submitted by Cheryl Walker, wife of Dr. T. Vaughn Walker. Additional information is used with permission from the vita of Dr. T. Vaughn Walker.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Heathsville, Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

Walters, Katie Knox
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1896
Katie Knox Walters was a Christian advocate on behalf of her husband's work in the AMEZ Church, and she was an activist in the Colored YWCA in New York City where she chaired the library committee. She had served as vice president of the Women's Home and Missionary Society in California. According to authors Franklin and Savage, Walters raised the largest amount of money in the New Jersey AME Zion Annual Conference in 1898. [Katie Walters' death year is given as 1896 in Bishop Walters' biography.] Katie Knox Walters was the first wife of Bishop Alexander Walters. They met in Indianapolis, IN, and married in 1877, and would become the parents of five children. The family was living in Jersey City, NY, when Katie Walters died. She was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Louis and Kittie Knox. For more see African American Women and Christian Activism by J. Wisenfeld; My Life and Work by A. Walters [available full text at Documenting the American South]; and p.98 of Cultural Capital and Black Education by V. P. Franklin and C. J. Savage.

  See the image of Katie Knox Walters at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Jersey City, New York

Waring, Mary R. Fitzbutler
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1958
Mary R. Fitzbutler Waring was said to have been born in Louisville, KY, but according to the 1880 U.S. Census, she was born in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of doctors Henry and Sarah Fitzbutler. The family moved to the U.S. in 1875, and was living in Louisville in 1880. Waring would become a teacher at the Western Colored School, according to the 1890 Louisville City Directory. She was a 1894 graduate of the Louisville National Medical College. She married Frank B. Waring, her second husband, in 1901. According to the 1930 U.S. Census, the Warings were living in Chicago, where Mary was a physician, having graduated from the Chicago Medical College, and she was also a school teacher. She was the 1915 commissioner of the Chicago Exposition, showing progress of Colored People in Chicago, and she was the appointed representative of the National Council of Women of America. She served as president of the National Association of Colored Women, and she attended the International Council of Women in Norway in 1920. For more seeWho's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; Blacks in Science and Medicine by V. O. Sammons; and Notable Black American Women,Book II by J. C. Smith.

See photo image of Mary Fitzbutler Waring at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.

See 1898 graduation photo image of Mary Fitzbutler at Explore UK.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada / Chicago, Illinois / Norway

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

Wigginton, Ellen O.
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 1989
Wigginton was born in Lexington, KY. She attended Florida Memorial College, Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], Crutcher's Beauty School, and Mary Miller's College of Beauty Culture. Wigginton was owner and operator of Wigginton's Beauty Shop in Lexington. She was the first chair, and later director, of the Kentucky Poor People's Coalition, and she was the vice-president of Community Action of Lexington-Fayette County. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Williams, Lucille L. Brown
Birth Year : 1897
Death Year : 1982
Born in Ghent, KY, Williams moved to Indiana, where she worked as a day nursery director, owned a grocery store, and was a social services director. She was also very active in social organizations, including being the founding member of the Lucille Lucas Williams Federated Club in 1952. The Lucille L. Williams Collection is housed at the Indiana Historical Society. For more see the "Lucille L. Williams" entry in the Guide to African-American History Materials in Manuscript Collections at the Indiana Historical Society.
Subjects: Businesses, Civic Leaders, Social Workers, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Ghent, Carroll County, Kentucky / Indiana

Williams, Pauline L.
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 2005
Pauline L. Williams was born in Trenton, KY. She moved to Chicago in 1927 and later became the first African American woman to serve on the Evanston Plan Commission. Williams was also president of the Woman's Auxiliary at the Community Hospital and later became president of the board of directors at the hospital. She was also president of the board of directors of the Evanston Historical Society and creator of the African American exhibits, "The Sick Can't Wait" and "Your Presence is Requested." For more see J. Bourke, "Pauline Williams," Evanston Review, 09/08/2005, News section, p. 151.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Historians, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North
Geographic Region: Trenton, Todd County, Kentucky / Chicago and Evanston, Illinois

Wilson, Atwood S.
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1967
Atwood S. Wilson was a chemist, educator, civil rights leader and community leader in Louisville, KY. He was born in the California neighborhood of Louisville to Allen and Mary Wilson. A 1910 graduate of Central High School in Louisville, he graduated magna cum laude from Fisk University in 1915 with a major in science and mathematics. He went on to earn a B.S. in chemistry (in 1920) and a M.S. in education (in 1934) from the University of Chicago. He first taught at State Street High School, located in the Shake Rag District of Bowling Green, KY, beginning in 1915, then left the school in 1917 to serve as a chemistry researcher at the American University Experiment Station during World War I. After the war, Wilson returned to Louisville and served as secretary-treasurer of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA) from 1922-1942. He also chaired the organization's Merger Committee, which led in the integration of Kentucky's education organizations, the KNEA and KEA. In 1928, Wilson was named the first principal of Madison Junior High [the school was later named Russell Junior High]. In 1934, Wilson became principal of Central High School and led the planning and building of the new Central High School, which opened in 1952; it was the first comprehensive high school in Kentucky. Wilson was also principal of the Central High Adult Night School, grades 1-12, from which he retired in 1963. During his tenure, he also held a number of appointments, including membership on the executive committee of the National Youth Administration in Kentucky. In 1944, Wilson was appointed a trustee on the Board of the Louisville Free Public Library, and in 1948 he presented the resolution that abolished segregation at the main library building. Wilson was the first African American in the South to be recognized with a citation for his service on a library board. He received many other awards, including the Silver Beaver Award for his distinguished service to the Boy Scouts of America, presented to him in person by President Hoover in 1933. Wilson also received an honorary Doctor of Humanities from Simmons University [Kentucky] in 1954. In recognition of his contributions, in 1974 the Kentucky Education Association co-named an award in his honor: "The Lucy Harth Smith-Atwood S. Wilson Award for Civil and Human Rights in Education." Atwood S. Wilson is mentioned in several biographies on the life of Muhammad Ali; Wilson encourage Ali [then known as Cassius Clay] to finish high school, though he was at the bottom of his class. Wilson was impressed by Ali's dedication and work ethic toward becoming a world boxing champion. In 2000, Wilson was inducted into the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights' Hall of Fame, and, in 2005, was among the first inductees to the Central High School Distinguished Hall of Fame. Atwood S. Wilson was the grandfather of Kentucky Appeals Court Judge Denise Clayton. Information for this entry was submitted by Mrs. Susie M. Guess, daughter of Atwood S. Wilson. See also pp. 20-21 in Muhammad Ali. by A. O. Edmonds.

See photo image of Atwood S. Wilson at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Chemists, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Grandparents, National Youth Administration (NYA)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

YWCA (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1915
End Year : 1998
Founded in 1912, the Louisville YWCA hosted the first interracial YWCA conference in the South, October 14-16, 1915. Four years later, it was noted in the title Child Welfare in Kentucky that the Louisville Association of the YWCA was the only one in the United States that provided a summer camp for colored girls. The Phillis Wheatley Branch of the YWCA for African Americans was established in the early 1920s and closed in the 1970s. The first Spouse Abuse Shelter in Kentucky was opened in the Louisville YWCA in 1977, and in 1981 six shelters in the state formed a statewide coalition, the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association. In 1998, the Louisville YWCA was no longer affiliated with the national YWCA and became the Center For Women and Families. For more see U.S. Women's Interest Groups: Institutional Profiles, by S. Slavin; Our History at the YWCA.org website; YWCA entry in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, edited by J. E. Kleber; and the Young Women's Christian Association of Louisville Records at the University of Louisville Libraries.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Women's Groups and Organizations, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

 

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