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Adams, Florence V. "Frankie"
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1979
Florence Adams, born in Danville, KY, was a professor at the Atlanta University School of Social Work, the first social work program accredited for African Americans. Adams was a professor at the school from 1931-1964. She had attended 1st-8th grade at Bate School, and was a high school and college graduate of Knoxville College. Her work with the YWCA started while she was  in Knoxville. With the encouragement of her friend, Frances Williams, Frankie Adams completed her master's degree at the New York School of Social Work in 1927 [source: Black Women Oral History Project, "Interview with Frankie Adams," April 20 and 28, 1977, pp.101-121]. From New York, Adams moved to Chicago to become an industrial secretary at the YWCA. She left Chicago in1931 to join the Atlanta School of Social Work. In 2000, the Atlanta University School of Social Work was renamed the Whitney M. Young, Jr. School of Social Work. Florence Adams and Whitney Young, Jr. were social work comrades and Kentucky natives. They co-authored Some Pioneers in Social Work: brief sketches; student work book (1957). Adams also influenced community organization and group work on the national level. She was author of Women in Industry (1929), Soulcraft: Sketches on Negro-White Relations Designed to Encourage Friendship, (1944) and The Reflections of Florence Victoria Adams, a history of the Atlanta University School of Social Work (published posthumously in 1981). She also wrote many articles and was editor of Black and White Magazine. The Frankie V. Adams Collection is in the Atlanta University Center Archives. Florence "Frankie" Adams is buried in the Hilldale Cemetery in Danville, KY. She was the daughter of James and Minnie Trumbo Adams, the youngest of their eight children. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950 and In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., edited by M. M. Spradling.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Social Workers, Migration South, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia

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, Charles E.
Birth Year : 1931
Allen was born in Cynthiana, KY, to Isham and Mildred Wilson Allen. He is a graduate of Central State University (B.S.) and served in the military before earning his M.S. at the University of Southern California. Allen was a teacher and math specialist in the Los Angeles school system and served as a consultant to the state departments of education in Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, California, Nebraska, Oregon, and North Carolina. He was director of the National Council of Teachers of Math, 1972-1975, and has authored several math books, including Supermath, Adventures in Computing, and Adventures in Computing Book II. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-1997.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

Anderson, Robert B.
Birth Year : 1843
Death Year : 1930
Anderson was born in Green County, KY. His mother and siblings were the property of Colonel Robert Ball, and his father was the property of Alfred Anderson. When he was six, Anderson's mother had a dispute with the mistress and was sold for field work in Louisiana. Robert never saw his mother again. In 1864, Anderson ran away to Lebanon, KY, where he joined the Army. He served in the west and received an honorable discharge, whereupon he returned to Kentucky but eventually moved out west, in 1870 settling in Nebraska. As a farmer, he had both years of prosperity and years of poverty until he finally found security with a farm of 1,120 acres that grew to be 2,000 acres. Anderson married in 1922 at the age of 79; his wife was 21. His wife's family soon moved in and his wife took over his affairs, which resulted in the land being heavily mortgaged. It was around that time, in 1927, that Anderson had his book published by the Hemingford Ledger: From slavery to affluence; memoirs of Robert Anderson, ex-slave. In 1930, he deeded all of his property to his wife. Robert Anderson died after the car he was riding in overturned; his wife, her brother and a friend survived. Ball's wife, Daisy Anderson, who passed away in 1998, had been one of the three surviving Civil War widows in the U.S. For more see D. D. Wax, "Robert Ball Anderson, ex-slave, a pioneer in Western Nebraska, 1884-1930," Nebraska History, vol. 64, issue 2 (1983), pp. 163-192.
Access InterviewListen to the oral history and read the transcript of Daisy Anderson and Alberta Martin, two of the last living Civil War widows, at radiodairies.org.
Subjects: Agriculturalists, Produce, Authors, Freedom, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Green County, Kentucky / Lebanon, Marion County, Kentucky / Box Butt County, Nebraska

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.

Autobiography of a Female Slave, by Mattie Griffith
Start Year : 1856
The Autobiography of a Female Slave was written by Owensboro, KY, native Mattie Griffith. The book was initially thought to be a Kentucky slave narrative, and even today it is still occasionally mistaken as such. Martha "Mattie" Griffith was a white abolitionist who wrote the book in hopes of raising money to emancipate her slaves and resettle them in a free state. A few weeks after the book was published, Griffith admitted writing the story based on real life incidents that she had witnessed. The Louisville Courier denounced the book as abolitionist propaganda. The book did not sell well, but Griffith received money from the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1858 that she used to free and resettle her slaves. Griffith and her sister, Catherine, had inherited their slaves from their deceased parents, Catherine and Thomas Griffith, who died in 1830. The girls were raised by family members in Louisville, KY, and around 1854 they were both living in Philadelphia, PA, where Mattie wrote her book. Beginning in 1859, she wrote a serialized anti-slavery novel with a mulatto heroine from Kentucky: "Madge Vertner," published in the National Anti-Slavery Standard newspaper, July 1859-May 1860. In 1866, Mattie Griffith married Albert Gallatin Browne from Massachusetts. She died in Boston in 1906. This entry was suggested by James Birchfield, Curator of Rare Books at the University of Kentucky Libraries. For more information see the Mattie Griffith Browne entry in the American National Biography Online database; Slippery Characters, by L. Browder; and J. M. Lucas, "Exposed Roots: from pseudo-slave narratives to The Wind Done Gone, the authenticity of representations of black history has always been in question," 02/27/2002, at Indyweek.com (Independent Weekly).
Subjects: Authors, Freedom, Migration North, Inheritance
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Boston, Massachusetts

Baker, Bettye F.
The following information comes from Dr. Bettye F. Baker, a native of Louisville, KY, who lived on South Western Parkway; the family home was built by Samuel Plato. Dr. Baker was a member of the first African American Girl Scout Troop in Louisville, Troop 108. The troop leader, Ms. Sarah Bundy, lived in the 27th Street block of Chestnut Street. Dr. Baker was the first African American to represent Kentucky at the Girl Scout National Encampment in Cody, Wyoming, and the first African American president of the Kentucky State Girl Scout Conference. She won 3rd prize in the Lion's Club essay contest, "Why I love America," in 1951, but was denied entry into the Brown Hotel to receive her prize at the Lion's Club luncheon. The luncheon was moved to the Seelbach Hotel so that Dr. Baker could receive her prize [see Time article online]. Dr. Baker was among the first African Americans to attend the University of Louisville (U of L), where she earned her undergraduate degree. She was the first African American voted into the U of L Home Coming Queen's Court in 1958. She earned her doctorate in educational administration at Columbia University, her dissertation title is The Changes in the Elementary Principals' Role as a Result of Implementing the Plan to Revise Special Education in the State of New Jersey. Dr. Baker is the author of What is Black? and has published a number of articles, poems, and two juvenile novels that are currently in-print. Her most recent book, Hattie's Decision, will be published in 2010. Dr. Baker has been a columnist with Vineyard Gazette since 2005, she writes the Oak Bluffs column, opinion, and book reviews, all under the byline Bettye Foster Baker. Dr. Baker lives in Pennsylvania. See "Kentucky: sweet land of liberty," Time, 04/16/1951. For more information contact Dr. Bettye F. Baker.

See photo image of Dr. Bettye F. Baker by Gettysburg College, a flikr site.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Scouts (Boys and Girls), Homecoming Queens, Pageants, Contests, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Children's Books and Music
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cody, Wyoming / Pennsylvania

Baker, Houston A., Jr.
Birth Year : 1943
Houston Baker, born in Louisville, KY, is a distinguished essayist, poet, and activist-scholar. Baker is a graduate of Howard University and the University of California-Los Angeles. He has received numerous awards, including the 2003 J. B. Hubell Award for lifetime achievement in the study and teaching of American Literature. Author of more than 20 books and many, many more articles, he has been editor of Black Literature in America and editor of the journal American Literature. For more see Houston Baker in the video Roots and First Fruit; The African American Almanac, and Directory of American Scholars.

  See Houston A. Baker, Jr. webpage at Vanderbilt Univeristy.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Poets
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Ballard, William H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1862
Death Year : 1954
William Henry Ballard, born in Franklin County, KY, was one of the first African Americans to open a drug store in the state: Ballard's Pharmacy was established in Lexington, KY, in 1893. Ballard was also a historian; he is the author of History of Prince Hall Freemasonry in Kentucky, published in 1950. He came to Lexington when he was 17 years old, having previously lived in Louisville where he graduated from a public school. He was also a graduate of Roger Williams University [in TN]. Ballard was a school teacher in Tennessee and in Kentucky. He earned his B.S. in Pharm., D. in 1892 in Evanston, IL. In addition to owning his own drug store, Ballard was also director of Domestic Realty Company, and president of Greenwood Cemetery Company, both in Lexington. He served as president of the Emancipation and Civic League, and was a delegate to the National Republican Convention in 1898. He was the son of Matilda Bartlett Ballard and Dowan Ballard, Sr. He was married to Bessie H. Brady Ballard, and the couple had six children. Their oldest son, William H. Ballard, Jr. was a pharmacist in Chicago, and two of their sons were physicians. William H. Ballard is buried in the Cove Haven Cemetery in Lexington, KY [photo]. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; W. H. Ballard, "Drugs and druggists," Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919, 10th Annual Convention, Louisville, KY, August 18-20, 1909, reel 2, frames 186-189; and Dr. William Henry Ballard, Sr. in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Education and Educators, Historians, Medical Field, Health Care, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Fraternal Organizations, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Negro Business League, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Bardo, Stephen "Steve"
Birth Year : 1968
Stephen Bardo, born in Henderson, KY, was a noted shooting guard at Carbondale High School (IL) and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Bardo, at 6'5", scored just over 900 points and had 495 assists during his college career, 1986-1990. His team went to the final four in 1989. He was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 1989. He was the 14th pick by the Atlanta Hawks during the second round of the 1990 NBA Draft. Bardo played for the San Antonio Spurs, the Dallas Mavericks, for the Continental Basketball Association, and the Detroit Pistons. He retired from the NBA in 2000, and is a motivational speaker, a sports broadcaster, and also was a sports analyst with CBS Sports and ESPN. For more see Steve Bardo in Basketball-Reference.com; the podcast with Stephen Bardo on The Will Leitch Experience, Episode 2.64, 11/07/2013, at Sports on Earth (SoE); and The Flyin' Illini by Stephen Bardo and Dick Vitale.

 

  See photo image of Steve Bardo and former team members in L. H. Bardo, "Taking Flight," in the Illinois Alumni Magazine, September-October 2004.
Subjects: Authors, Basketball
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Carbondale, Illinois

Barnett, Peter W.
Birth Year : 1871
Peter W. Barnett was an author, educator, journalist, publisher, veteran, and musician. He was born in Carrsville, Livingston County, KY, the son of Sarah (b. 1840) and Peter Barnett (1830-1898). [Peter Sr. is listed as white in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census.] Peter W. Barnett taught school in Kentucky. He was educated in Kentucky and Indiana, moving in 1891 to Indiana to attend high school. He went on to become a student for two years at Indiana State Normal in Terre Haute [now Indiana State University]. He was employed at Union Publishing Company, the company that published the first labor paper in Indianapolis; the company later moved its headquarters to Chicago. During the winter of 1896, Barnett opened a night school in Indianapolis. Barnett was also a reporter and representative for the African American newspaper, Freeman. Barnett and J. T. V. Hill [James Thomas Vastine Hill] published the Indianapolis Colored Business Chart Directory in 1898, the goal of which was "to promote industry and race patronage and to encourage business enterprise." J. T. V. Hill was an African American lawyer in Indianapolis, opening his office in 1882 [source: Encyclopedia of Black America, by W. A. Low and V. A. Clift]. He was the first African American to be admitted to the Indianapolis Bar. Peter Barnett would become his understudy while in the service. Barnett was 28 years old when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in Indianapolis, IN, on March 13, 1899. He was assigned to the 24th Infantry, Company L. In December of 1899, while stationed at Ft. Wrangle, Alaska, Peter Barnett, who had been studying law under J. T. V. Hill, gave it up because there were no resource facilities available to him in Alaska. He began to study music and organized a group of musicians (soldiers) that he named the Symphony Orchestra of Company L, 24th Infantry. Most of the men could not read music. Barnett was discharged from the Indiana Colored Infantry on March 12, 1900, at Fort Wrangle, Alaska [source: U.S. Army Register of Enlistments]. For more see "Peter Barnett..." in the last paragraph of the article "Camp Capron Notes," Freeman, 10/01/1898, p. 8; "Night School," Freeman, 10/24/1896, p. 8; On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier, by F. N. Schubert; quotation from "Local Notes," Freeman, 12/11/1897, p. 4-Supplement; and "From Alaska," Freeman, 12/30/1899, p. 9.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Carrsville, Livingston County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Benjamin, R. C. O.
Birth Year : 1855
Death Year : 1900
Robert Charles O'Hara Benjamin was shot in the back and died in Lexington, KY, in 1900. He was killed at the Irishtown Precinct by Michael Moynahan, a Democrat precinct worker. The shooting occurred after Benjamin objected to African Americans being harassed while attempting to register to vote. When the case went to court, Moynahan claimed self-defense, and the case was dismissed. Benjamin had become a U.S. citizen in the 1870s; he was born in St. Kitts and had come to New York in 1869. He had lived in a number of locations in the U.S., and he came to be considered wealthy. For a brief period, Benjamin taught school in Kentucky and studied law. He was a journalist, author, lawyer (the first African American lawyer in Los Angeles), educator, civil rights activist, public speaker, and poet, and he had been a postal worker in New York City. In addition to being a journalist, Benjamin also edited and owned some of the newspapers where he was employed. Between 1855-1894, he authored at least six books and a number of other publications, including Benjamin's Pocket History of the American Negro, The Zion Methodist, Poetic Gems, Don't: a Book for Girls; and the public address The Negro Problem, and the Method of its Solution. In 1897, Benjamin returned to Kentucky with his wife, Lula M. Robinson, and their two children. Benjamin was editor of the Lexington Standard newspaper. The first bust that Isaac S. Hathaway sculpted was that of R. C. O. Benjamin. For more information see Robert Charles O'Hara Benjamin, by G. C. Wright in the American National Biography Online (subscription database); and "R. C. O. Benjamin," Negro History Bulletin, vol. 5, issue 4 (January 1942), pp. 92-93.

See sketch of R. C. O. Benjamin in the New York Public LIbrary Digital Gallery online.

See photo image of R. C. O. Benjamin and family in Explore UK.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Voting Rights, Lawyers, Poets, Postal Service
Geographic Region: St. Kitts, West Indies / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Bentley, Daniel S.
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1916
Reverend Daniel S. Bentley was born in Madison County, KY. Bentley attended Berea College and later left Kentucky for Pennsylvania. In Pittsburgh, he founded The Afro-American Spokesman newspaper, owned by the Spokesman Stock Company, of which Bentley was president. During this time, Bentley was also pastor of the Wylie Avenue A.M.E. Church in Pittsburgh. Bentley also authored Brief Religious Reflections in 1900. Rev. D. S. Bentley died suddenly in the pulpit of his church, St. Paul A. M. E. in Mckeesport, PA, on November 12, 1916 [source: "Dr. Bentley Dead," Cleveland Gazette, 12/09/1916, p.2]. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Centennial Encyclopedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church..., by Richard Allen and others (Philadelphia: 1816), p. 38, at Documenting the American South website; and The Afro-American Press and Its Editors, by I. G. Penn (1891) [available full view at Google Book Search].

A brief bio and picture of Rev. Daniel S. Bentley are on pp.186-187 in The Sons of Allen by H. Talbert [available full text at Documenting the American South website].
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / Pittsburgh and Mckeesport, Pennsylvania

Bond, Horace M.
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1972
Horace Mann Bond was born in Nashville, TN. He could read at the age of three and entered high school at the age of nine. His family moved back to Kentucky, where he graduated from Lincoln Institute and went on to college at the age of fourteen. Bond earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1936 with financial assistance from the Rosenwald Fund. He became recognized as an authority on Negro education. Bond authored many publications and articles, including the article "Intelligence Tests and Propaganda" and the book The Education of the Negro in American Social Order. He was the first African American president of Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), the first school in the United States to provide higher education for African Americans. Horace was the son of Jane A. Browne Bond and James M. Bond, and he was the father of Julian Bond, civil rights leader and former Georgia senator and representative. The Horace M. Bond papers are at the University of Massachusett's W.E.B. Du Bois Library Special Collections and University Archives. For more see The Bonds, by R. M. Williams; and the 1955 video Rufus E. Clement and Horace M. Bond recorded as part of the Chronscope Series by Columbia Broadcasting System.

See photo image and additional information on Horace Mann Bond at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Fathers, Mothers, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Nashville, Tennessee / Lincoln Ridge, Shelby County, Kentucky

Bond, J. Max, Jr.
Birth Year : 1935
Death Year : 2009
J. Max Bond, Jr. was born in Louisville, KY. He was an internationally recognized architect and a fellow in the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in architecture at Harvard University. His designs include the Bolgatanga Library in Ghana, Africa, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum in Alabama. Bond established and became director of the Architects Renewal Committee of Harlem and from 1980-1986 was commissioner of the New York Planning Committee. He taught at and was a former dean of the architecture school at the City University of New York (CUNY). Bond was the co-author of New Service Buildings, Harvard University... and was co-author of the newspaper Harlem News. He was the son of J. Max Bond, Sr. and Ruth E. Clement Bond and the grandson of James M. Bond. For more see Who's Who in America, 47th ed. - 52nd ed.; L. Duke, "Blueprint of a life, Architect J. Max Bond Jr. has had to build bridges to reach ground zero," Washington Post, 07/01/2004, p. C01; and D. W. Dunlap, "J. Max Bond Jr., Architect, Dies at 73," New York Times, 02/19/2009, Obituary section,p.20. See also The Directory of African American Architects, sponsored by the City for the Study of Practice at the University of Cincinnati.

Access Interview Read about the J. Max Bond, Jr. oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Architects, Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York

Bond, J. Max, Sr.
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1991
J. Max Bond, Sr. was born in Nashville, TN. His family, who had previously lived in Kentucky, moved back, and Bond attended Lincoln Institute. He later attended what is now Roosevelt University in Chicago, then earned his sociology master's degree at the University of Pittsburgh and his Ph.D in sociology at the University of Southern California. Bond was president of the University of Liberia, 1950-1954 [Liberia, Africa]. He was also dean of the School of Education at Tuskegee University as well as a U.S. representative of the Inter-American Educational Foundation at Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Bond wrote A Survey of Tunisian Education and The Negro in Los Angeles. J. Max Bond, Sr. was the son of James M. Bond, the husband of Ruth E. Clement Bond, and the father of J. Max Bond, Jr. For more see The Bonds, by R. M. Williams; Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines, vol. 17, Sept. 1990-Aug. 1992; and "J. Max Bond, Sr., Educator, Aid Official," The Seattle Times, 12/18/1991, Deaths, Funerals section, p. E8.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Fathers, Sociologists & Social Scientists
Geographic Region: Nashville, Tennessee / Kentucky

Boyd, Francis A.
Birth Year : 1844
Death Year : 1872
Francis A. Boyd was born in Lexington, KY, to Nancy and Samuel Boyd, free African Americans. Reverend Francis Boyd was author of Columbiana: or, The North Star, Complete in One Volume (Chicago: Steam Job and Book Printing House of G. Hand, 1870). His biography and criticism can be found in Early Black American Poets, pp. 76-77. For more see Black American Writers Past and Present: a biographical and bibliographical dictionary, by Rush, Myers, & Arta.
Subjects: Authors, Freedom, Poets
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Bradby, Marie
Bradby was born in Virginia and graduated from Hampton University. A former journalist, she is a children's author who also writes fiction and free-lance material. Her first book, More Than Anything Else, was an ALA Notable Book in 1995. Another of her books, Momma, Where Are You From, illustrated by Chris K. Soentpiet, received the Golden Kite Honor Award. Bradby lives in Louisville, KY, with her family. For more see Marie Bradby's biography, a visitingauthors.com website; the Marie Bradby home page; or contact her at mariebradby@insightbb.com.
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Children's Books and Music
Geographic Region: Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Braden, Anne McCarty and Carl
Anne (1924-2006) and Carl (1914-1975) Braden were white activists with civil rights and labor groups in Louisville, KY. One of their many efforts occurred in 1954 when they assisted in the purchase of a house in Louisville on behalf of the Wade family; the Wades were African Americans, and the house was in a white neighborhood. The house was bombed, and the authorities, rather than arresting the responsible parties, charged the Bradens and five others with sedition - attempting to overthrow the state of Kentucky. Anne Braden was born in Louisville and reared in Alabama. She was a reporter who left Alabama for a job with the Louisville Times newspaper. For more see Subversive Southerner and Once Comes the Moment to Decide (thesis), both by C. Fosl; and The Wall Between, by A. Braden. View Ann Branden's interview in "Living the Story: The Rest of the Story," a Civil Rights in Kentucky Oral History Project. 

Access Interview Listen online to selected audio recordings from the Anne Braden Oral History Project at the Kentucky Digital Library.

Access Interview Read about all the interviews in the Anne Braden Oral History Project available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Bradley, Mollie McFarland [Midway Colored School]
Birth Year : 1933
Mollie M. Bradley is a historian and writer who was born in Jefferson City, TN, the daughter of Leroy and Emma Cunningham McFarland. She is past matron of Cecelia Dunlap Grand Chapter, O.E.S., P.H.A. She is the author of A Bright Star: a biography of Cecelia Dunlap, and she wrote several articles for the Order of Eastern Star publication The Phyllis Magazine. The magazine is the voice of the Phyllis Chapter of the Phylaxis Society, PHA Inc., which was organized in 1983, and Mollie Bradley served as the first executive secretary. The Phyllis Chapter of the Phylaxis Society, PHA Inc. researches and studies the history of the Prince Hall Eastern Stars. Mollie Bradley is also a contributing writer for The Woodford Sun during Black History Month; her husband had been the Black History Month contributing writer, and after he died in 2004, Mollie Bradley took over the writing of the articles. Though born in Tennessee, Mollie Bradley was raised in Bourbon County, KY, by her aunt and uncle, Jennie P. Harris and Reverend James C. Harris, pastor of Zion Baptist Church [previously part of the African Baptist Church] in Paris, KY. Mollie Bradley is a graduate of Western High School in Paris, KY, and Central State University, where she majored in journalism. She was the wife of the late Walter T. Bradley, Jr. from Midway, KY; they owned the first laundrette in that city. Customers could leave laundry to be cleaned and folded, and the laundry would be ready to be picked up later in the day. Customers could also do their own laundry. Three washers and three dryers were available with a cost of 25 cents per wash load and 10 cents per dry cycle. The laundrette was located in the building that the couple owned and lived in, which had been the Midway Colored School, located in Hadensville from 1911-1954. The school had grades 1-8. Prior to being used as a school, the building was home to the Colored Baptist Church [later named Pilgrim Baptist Church], which had 900 members. The church building was constructed in 1872 by the Lehman Brothers, a German Company. The congregation outgrew the building and it was sold to Woodford County in 1911 to be used as the Colored School. In 1936, it was sold to the Midway Board of Education and became the Midway Elementary School for Colored children. In 1954, the school was closed and the children were bused to Simmons School in Versailles, KY. The Bradleys purchased the school building in 1959. They leased space within the building to a number of businesses, including a beauty shop and a shoe shop. There had also been a lodge hall, lodge offices, and apartments. Mollie Bradley also taught piano lessons; her mission was to provide lessons to those who wanted to learn but could not afford piano lessons. Her husband, Walter T. Bradley, Jr., and their sons also played the piano. On June 25, 2011, the Midway Colored School was honored with a Kentucky Historical Society Marker. Mollie M. Bradley is a member of the Midway Women's Club. For more information read the press release, KHS to Dedicate Historical Marker to Honor Midway Colored School, 06/13/ 2011, a Kentucky.gov web page.

Access Interview Read about the Mollie M. Bradley oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.

Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Communities, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Historians, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Kentucky African American Churches, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Jefferson City, Tennessee / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Hadensville in MIdway, Woodford County, Kentucky

Bramwell, Fitzgerald B. "Jerry"
Birth Year : 1945
Fitzgerald Bramwell was born in New York. In 1995 he was a chemistry faculty member and the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Kentucky. In 1996, Bramwell was the highest ranking African American at the University of Kentucky. Bramwell earned his B.A. from Columbia University and his master's and doctorate from the University of Michigan. His research explores how beams of laser light change the structure and reaction of certain carbon-based compounds. Bramwell has written a number of articles and is author of Investigations in general chemistry: quantitative techniques and basic principles and co-author of Basic laboratory principles in general chemistry: with quantitative techniques. For more see Distinguished African American Scientists of the 20th Century (1996), by J. H. Kessler, et al. Of the total chemists and materials scientists in Kentucky, 4% are African Americans, according to Census 2000 data.
Subjects: Authors, Chemists, Education and Educators, Migration South
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New York

Brazley, Michael D.
Birth Year : 1951
Brazley was born in Louisville, KY, to William and Gwendolyn Brazley. He is a graduate of the Howard University School of Architecture, and the University of Louisville School of Urban and Public Affairs (Ph.D.). Brazley is an assistant professor in the School of Architecture at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is author of the article "Moving toward gender and racial inclusion in the design profession," which is part of an ongoing longitudinal study that Brazley presented at the 2006 Diversity Conference in New Orleans. For almost 20 years Brazley has also been the President and CEO of Brazley & Brazley, Inc., located in Louisville, KY. He is a licensed architect in Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. Brazley has received a number of awards, including the Minority Service Firm of the Year. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1994-2006; M. Brazley, "Moving toward gender and racial inclusion in the design profession," The International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations, vol. 6, issue 3, pp. 9-18; and An Evaluation of Residential Satisfaction of HOPE VI: a study of the Park DuValle Revitalization Project (thesis) by M. Brazley.
Subjects: Architects, Authors, Businesses
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Carbondale, Illinois

Brennen, David A.
In 2009, David A. Brennen was named the dean of the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Law, making him the state's first African American law school dean since the desegregation of Kentucky higher education. Brennen will be the 16th dean of the UK College of Law. He has more than 15 years experience in classroom teaching, is the co-founder and co-editor of Nonprofit Law Prof Blog, and is editor of the electronic abstracting journal, Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Abstracts, published by the Social Science Research Network in the Legal Research Network series. He has a number of research publications and is co-author of the 2008 statutory supplement to The Tax Law of Charities and Other Exempt Organizations. David Brennen graduated with a finance degree from Florida Atlantic University and earned his Juris Doctor and Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Florida. He has served as the assistant general counsel in Florida's Department of Revenue and as deputy director of the Association of American Law Schools. Additional information for this entry was provided by Michelle Cosby, librarian at the UK College of Law Library. For more see "College of Law names David A. Brennen as Dean," University of Kentucky News, 04/09/2009. For the earlier history see the NKAA entries Central Law School (Louisville, KY) and Albert S. White.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Brooks, Charles H.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1940
Charles H. Brooks was born in Paducah, KY. A lawyer, businessman, and writer, Brooks wrote the official history of the Odd Fellows Fraternity and was a delegate to the International Conference of Odd Fellows in Europe in 1900. He was educated in the Colored school in Paducah [info NKAA entry], and after finishing his studies in 1876, he became a teacher at the school. He taught for five years, and was then named the school principal. While he was principal of the school, Brooks became a member of the Paducah Odd Fellows Lodge No. 1545. He served as secretary and was influential in the building of the Colored Odd Fellows Lodge in Paducah [info NKAA entry]. Brooks was State Treasurer, he was secretary of the B. M. C. and was Grand Director at Atlanta, GA. On the national level, he was Grand Auditor. Brooks' work with the Odd Fellows was also during the time he was Secretary of the Republican County Committee in Paducah, and Secretary of the First Sunday School Convention and Baptist Association. In 1889, he successfully passed the civil service exam, and Brooks left Kentucky to become a clerk at the Pension Bureau Office in Washington, D.C. While in D.C. he attended Spencerian Business College, completing a course in bookkeeping. Brooks left his job in D.C. and entered law school at Howard University where he completed his LL.B in 1892, which was also the year that he was elected Grand Secretary of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows. As a lawyer, Brooks gained admission to practice before the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. He left D.C. in 1892 to work full time at the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows Office in Philadelphia, PA. He was there for ten years, and led the effort to pay off all debts, sustained a surplus of $50,000, and established a printing press and the publishing of a weekly journal. Brooks traveled extensively throughout the U.S. to visit the various Odd Fellows lodges. He also traveled to England; the Colored Odd Fellows dispensations came from England, and they were the only Colored organization with a regular affiliation to the English fraternity. When Charles Brooks retired from the Odd Fellows Office in Philadelphia, he operated a real estate and insurance office. He continued to be active in organizations such as the National Negro Business League, Gibson's New Standard Theater, Model Storage Company, and he was secretary of the Reliable Mutual Aid and Improvement Society, all in Philadelphia. He is author of The Official History of the First African Baptist Church, Philadelphia, Pa., published in 1922. Charles H. Brooks was the husband of Matilda Mansfield Brooks (1862-1945, born in KY). The couple married on August 24, 1880 in Paducah, KY [source: Kentucky Marriages Index]. Both are buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Paducah, KY [source: Find A Grave website]. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; The Official History and Manual of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows in America, by C. H. Brooks; Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; "Charles H. Brooks," Freeman, 10/10/1896, p.5; and "Out of the depths," The Colored American, 09/19/1903, p.1.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Education and Educators, Historians, Lawyers, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Brooks, Jonathan H.
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1945
Johnathan H. Brooks was born in Lexington, KY. He attended Jackson College [now Jackson State University] in Mississippi, Lincoln University, and Tougaloo College, also in Mississippi. In addition to being a poet, he was also a postal clerk, minister, and teacher. In a local contest, he won first prize for his first short story, "The Bible in the Cornfield." He was author of The Resurrection and Other Poems, published posthumously. His work has appeared in anthologies and other publications. For more see Black American Writers Past and Present: a biographical and bibliographical dictionary, by Rush, Myers, & Arta.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Poets, Postal Service, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

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

Brown, William W.
Birth Year : 1814
Death Year : 1884
William Wells Brown was born in Lexington, KY. His mother, Elizabeth, was a slave; his father, George Higgins, was white. Since his mother was a slave, Brown too was a slave. He eventually escaped and made his way north, where he participated in abolitionist activities. He wrote a play, poems, songs, and books, including Clotel, the first novel published by an African American. Brown was also a historian and practiced medicine. For more see From Slave to Abolitionist by W. W. Brown and L. S. Warner; and Narrative of William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave. Written by Himself [full-text at UNC University Library Documenting the American South].

See image of William Wells Brown from frontispiece of the title Narrative of William W. Brown, a fugitive slave, at Documenting the American South website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Freedom, Historians, Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Broyles, Moses
Birth Year : 1826
Death Year : 1882
Moses Broyles was a slave who was born in Maryland, according to the 1880 U.S. Census. His mother's name was Mary and his father's name was Moses. Moses Jr. was sold at the age of three or four to a slave owner named John Broyles in Kentucky, and he lived in McCracken County, and later worked in Paducah to purchase his freedom for $300. White children he played with had taught him to read, and Moses Broyles also had the gift to recite, sing, and give speeches. While still a slave, he began preaching in Paducah, and helped build the first Colored Baptist meeting house in Paducah. Moses Broyles would become a religion leader and an education leader among African Americans in Indianapolis, IN. Broyles purchased his freedom when he was an adult and left Kentucky, he moved to Lancaster, IN, in 1854. He was a prominent student at Eleutherian Institute in Lancaster, where many of the students were from Kentucky. In addition to his education, Broyles also learned furniture-making. Broyles would become a minister and led the Second Baptist Church in Indianapolis from 1857-1882. He also led in the establishing of several other churches in Indiana, and helped found the Indiana Baptist Association. He also taught school in Indianapolis, teaching at one of the first schools in the city for African Americans. He is author of the 1876 title The History of Second Baptist Church. The church prospered under Broyles leadership, and the congregation increased from 30 to 630. Broyles was a Republican and pushed for African Americans to align themselves with the Republican Party. Moses Broyles was the husband of Francis Broyles, and in 1880 the couple had seven children [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. The family lived on Blake Street in Indianapolis. For more see J. C. Carroll, "The Beginnings of public education for Negroes in Indiana," The Journal of Negro Education, vol.8, no.4, Oct. 1939, pp.649-658; Second Baptist Church Collection, 1912-1985 at the Indiana Historical Society[user info .pdf]; T. Sturgill, "Celebrating Black History Month: Three stories of survival," The Madison Courier, 02/16/2011 [article online at The Madison Courier.com]; and see Moses Broyles in the various entries in The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis by D. J. Bodenhamer and R. G. Barrows.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Maryland / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Lancaster and Indianapolis, Indiana

Burdett, Samuel "Sam" and Carol
Samuel (b. 1849) and his wife Carol (b. 1848) were both Kentucky natives, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. They married in 1872, then left Kentucky and settled in Seattle, WA. Samuel, a Civil War veteran, made his living as a veterinarian surgeon. In 1900, he was elected the King County wreckmaster. He co-founded the Cornerstone Grand Lodge of the York Masons, and helped organize the International Council of the World, an anti-lynching organization. He was author of A Test of Lynch Law, a 100-page book published in 1901 that fictionalized the lynching of Henry Smith in Paris, Texas. Sam Burdett died June 28, 1905 in Kilckitat, WA [source: Register of Deaths in Klickitat County, Washington]. For more see Samuel Burnett at the BlackPast.org website; Seattle's Black Victorians, 1852-1901, by E. H. Mumford; and A Spectacular Secret, by J. D. Goldsby.
Subjects: Authors, Lynchings, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Seattle, Washington

Burley, Daniel G.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1962
Daniel Burley was born in Lexington, KY, and later moved to Chicago. He was a musician and journalist who is still remembered for his column "Everybody Goes When the Wagon Comes." Burley was editor of several newspapers, including the South Side Civic Telegram in 1932. For a while he was employed by the Johnson Publishing Company and in 1960 produced the magazine Salaam, which was similar to Jet. Burley was also a boogie woogie and jazz pianist. In 1946 he had a group called Dan Burley and the Skiffle Boys. He also played with other greats such as Brownie McGhee and Lionel Hampton. Burley can be heard playing piano on the album South Side Shake, 1945-1951. In addition to being a musician, Burley was also a disc jockey at stations WWRL and WLIB. He was also a composer and authored Dan Burley's Original Handbook of Harlem Jive (published in 1945). For more see Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 241: American Sportswriters and Writers on Sport, ed. by R. Orodenker; and Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines. Listen to clips of Dan Burley's performances, MP3 Downloads for sale at Amazon.com.

Access Interview
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Radio
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Burton, Thomas W.
Birth Year : 1860
Death Year : 1930
Born near Tates Creek (Madison County), KY, to slave parents, Burton was the youngest of 15 children. He attended Berea College and later received his medical degree in Indiana in 1892. He and Dr. H. R. Hawkins established the Ohio Mutual Medical Association. For more see Ohio Authors and Their Books. Biographical data and selective bibliographies for Ohio authors, native and resident, 1796-1950, ed. by W. Coyle; and What Experience has taught me: an autobiography of Thomas William Burton, by T. W. Burton [available online at the UNC Library, Documenting the American South website].
Subjects: Authors, Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Tates Creek, Madison County, Kentucky / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky / Indiana

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

Campbell, Madison
Birth Year : 1823
Death Year : 1896
Madison Campbell was born in Madison County, KY, about ten miles south of Richmond, KY. He was the slave of Edly Campbell. Madison Campbell was baptized in 1856 by Jacob Bush of the Richmond Colored Church. He purchased his freedom in 1863 and began preaching at a number of churches in the Richmond/Berea area, baptizing hundreds of African Americans. Campbell was instrumental in the development of churches such as the New Liberty Church, where he preached until 1873; Mt. Pleasant Church, built in 1873; and Otter Creek Baptist Church, built in 1876. Campbell was the first pastor of the First Baptist Church in downtown Richmond and also helped organize the Mt. Pleasant District Association in 1873. He is buried in the Old Soldiers Cemetery in Richmond. For more see Autobiography of Eld. Madison Campbell: pastor of the Untied Colored Baptist Church, Richmond, Kentucky, by M. Campbell.
Subjects: Authors, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Richmond and Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Carter, Leon J., III
Birth Year : 1944
Death Year : 1984
Leon John Carter, III was born in Bowling Green, KY. His poems were published in several magazines, and his first book of poems was titled Black Windsongs. He is the son of Lillie Mae Bland Carter. For more see Who's Who Among Black Americans, 1st-3rd ed.
Subjects: Authors, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Carter, Lillie Mae Bland
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 1982
Lillie Mae Carter was born in Bowling Green, KY, the daughter of John and Maude W. Husky Bland. She was a graduate of Tennessee State university and was employed in the Toledo, Ohio, school system. Carter is the author of a number of books, including a book of poems, Black Thoughts, and the anthology, Doing It Our Way. She is the mother of Leon J. Carter, III. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Toledo, Ohio

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

Chenault, John
Birth Year : 1952
John Chenault is an author, freelance writer, poet, playwright, and musician. He is author of Blue Blackness and The Invisible Man Returns. He has been a member of the New Theater/Free Theater of Cincinnati since its inception in 1967. Chenault's work has appeared in a number of publications, and he has a number of playwright credits, including the television drama, Young Men Grow Older. Chenault's musical credits are also quite extensive, including The Fools of Time, a collaboration by Chenault and composer/bassist Frank Proto that premiered in February 2000. John Chenault was born in Cincinnati, OH, the son of Mary L. Stonom Chenault and John Walter Chenault. He is a reference librarian at the University of Louisville Library. For more see John Chenault, at liben.com; a more extensive biography, John Chenault, at Answers.com; the John Chenault entry in Contemporary Black Biography, vol. 40 (2004); and Who's Who Among African Americans, 2003-2009.

See photo image and additional information about John Chenault at "Medical librarian pens opera about boxing legend Joe Louis," by UofL Today, 11/12/2009.
Subjects: Authors, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Poets, Television, Migration South
Geographic Region: Cincinnati, Ohio / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

Clayton, Edward T.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 1966
Edward T. Clayton was born in Louisville, KY. He was sports editor of The Hawks Cry, a Tuskegee Air Field GI publication, 1944-1945. Clayton was also sports editor of The Louisville Defender, 1945-1948, and an associate editor with Ebony and Negro Digest. He was the first editor of Jet magazine. Clayton won the Wilkie Award in 1947 for revealing illegal taxicab services in Louisville. He was author of three books in 1964: The Negro politician, his success and failure; Martin Luther King: the peaceful warrior; and The SCLC Story. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., edited by M. M. Spradling; and Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Colbert, Jesse B.
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1936
Reverend Jesse B. Colbert was a nationally known leader and minister of the AMEZ Church as well as a lawyer and civil rights leader. He was the first president of the Varick Christian Endeavor Movement [information], and he was author of The Origin and Progress of the Christian Endeavor Movement in the World and in the A. M. E. Zion Church in America [information, p. 9]. Colbert was also a civil rights leader before and after he came to Kentucky. In 1894, he was vice president of the American Liberty Defense League, an anti-lynching organization in Washington, D.C. [source: "The American Liberty Defenc[s]e League," Washington Bee, 10/06/1894, p. 2]. Jesse B. Colbert was born in 1861 in Lancaster, SC, the son of Sarah House Colbert and Tillman Colbert. He was the husband of Margaret A. Davis Colbert; the couple married in North Carolina on July 3, 1888 [source: North Carolina Marriage Collection]. Jesse and Margaret Colbert lived in a number of locations in the United States [information]. In 1910, they were living in Chicago, where Jesse was an [AME] Zion minister, according to the U.S. Federal Census. By 1911, the couple was living in Kentucky, and Jesse was the AMEZ presiding elder over the Louisville District, a position he held until 1917 [sources: "Rev. J. B. Colbert...," Bee, 05/19/1911, p. 4; and Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville]. He was editor of the Louisville Columbian newspaper [source: "It seems that the Louisville Columbian...," Freeman, 06/14/1913, p. 3]. He was a member of the Fraternal Day Movement that sought to bring together all of the groups that were fighting for the rights of the Colored people in Louisville [source: "Kentucky's metropolis. Talking segregation.," Freeman, 07/25/1914, p. 8]. He was a member of the Legal Committee of the Louisville NAACP Branch and co-author of the 1918 publication, "History of Louisville Segregation Case and the decision of the Supreme Court" [source: Papers of the NAACP, Part 5, Campaign against residential segregation, 1914-1955 ;, reel 4, fr. 0752-0813]. Jesse B. Colbert was also editor of the first and second editions of The Historical Hand Book and Illustrated Directory of the General Conference of the A. M. E. Zion Church [source: "New books by leading thinkers," Savannah Tribune, 01/29/1916, p. 1]. In 1918, Jesse B. Colbert was listed in the Louisville city directory as a lawyer with an office at 505 Green Street. From 1928-1936, he was listed as an employee of the National Employment Bureau [source: Caron's Louisville City Directory]. He was also an agent for the National Colored Teachers' Agency, a division of the National Teachers' Agency in Louisville. Jesse B. Colbert died in Louisville, KY, on December 14, 1936 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death, Registered No. 5776]. The day of his funeral, the flag at the Louisville courthouse was flown at half mast as a show of respect [source: "At half mast for colored resident," Capital Plaindealer, 01/03/1937, p. 7].

  See photo image of Rev. J. B. Colbert on p. 257 and additional information in One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, by J. W. Hood.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Lancaster, South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cooper, Priscilla Hancock
Birth Year : 1952
Born in Louisville, KY, Priscilla Cooper became a poet/performer, author, and teacher. As a teenager, she worked for the Louisville Defender newspaper. She is a graduate of Lincoln University of Missouri and American University Washington, D. C. Her first volume of poetry, Call Me Black Woman, was published in 1993. Cooper has numerous publications and productions and has edited three anthologies. She also teaches writing. She and Dhana Bradley-Morton founded the Theater Workshop of Louisville. They have also presented creative collaborations, the first of which was a poetic concert in 1981, I Have Been Hungry All of My Years. This was followed by Four Women and God's Trombones, and they also performed in Amazing Grace in 1993. Both are featured in the KET Production, Words Like Freedom/Sturdy Black Bridges, a poetic concert featuring African-American writing and music. Since 1998, Cooper has been the teacher of the Anti-violence Creative Writing Program, "Writing Our Stories," sponsored by the Alabama Department of Youth Services and the Alabama Writers Forum. In 2005, Cooper was awarded the Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature by the Alabama State Council. In 2006, she received the Coming Up Taller Award by the U.S. President's Committee in the Arts and Humanities. Cooper is the vice president of Institutional Programs at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. For more see B. Brady, "Architecturally Sound," CityBeat, vol. 6, issue no. 33, 2000; and Meet Priscilla Hancock, a Red Mountain Theatre Company website.

See photo image of Priscilla Hancock Cooper at Red Mountain Theatre Company website.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Authors, Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Poets, Migration South, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Birmingham, Alabama

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

Cotter, Joseph S., Jr.
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1919
Joseph S. Cotter, Jr. was born in Louisville, KY, to Maria F. and Joseph S. Cotter, Sr. A graduate of Louisville Central High School, he was enrolled at Fisk University when he became sick and was sent home, where he later died of tuberculosis. His sister, Florence Olivia Cotter, was also enrolled in Fisk when she came down with tuberculosis; she died in 1914. Cotter, Jr. was a gifted poet and playwright; he wrote The Band of Gideon and other Lyrics, published in 1918; a book of one act plays; and a number of unfinished sonnets. For more see Lost Plays of the Harlem Renaissance, 1920-1940, by J. V. Hatch and L. Hamalian; and Negro Poets and Their Poems, by R. T. Kerlin.

See photo image of Joseph S. Cotter, Jr. at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Authors, Poets, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

Cotter, Joseph S., Sr.
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1949
Joseph Seaman Cotter, Sr. was born in Bardstown, KY, the son of Michael Cotter (Scottish Irishman) and Martha Vaughn Cotter. He founded the Paul Laurence Dunbar School in Louisville, KY, and was principal at several Louisville schools. Cotter published five volumes of poetry and a collection of plays, composed music, and was known for his storytelling. He was the father of poet Joseph S. Cotter, Jr. (1895-1919). The Joseph S. Cotter, Sr. Papers are located at Kentucky State University. For more see Southern Black Creative Writers, 1829-1953, by M. B. Foster; Dictionary of American Negro Biography, ed. by R. W. Logan and M. R. Winston; and Early Black American Poets, by W. H. Robinson, Jr.

See photo image and additional information about Joseph S. Cotter, Sr. at the Louisville Free Public Library website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Fathers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Poets, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

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

Cullen, Countee LeRoy
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 1946
Countee L. Cullen was probably born in Louisville, KY, but his birthplace is also given as New York. Cullen was unofficially adopted by Rev. Frederick and Carolyn Cullen; his last name was Porter prior to the adoption. Cullen earned his bachelor's degree from New York University, his master's from Harvard University. During his prime he was the most popular African American poet and literary figure of his time. He won more literary prizes than all other African American poets in the 1920s. Cullen had won his first contest in high school with the poem, "I Have a Rendezvous With Life." His first wife, Yolande DuBois, was the daughter of W. E. B. DuBois. His most famous student (he taught high school) was James Baldwin. For more see the Countee Cullen Papers at Dillard University's Will W. Alexander Archives, and Countee Cullen and the Negro Renaissance, by B. E. Ferguson.

See photo image and additional information about Countee L. Cullen at Poetry Foundation website.
 
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

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

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

Dickinson, Blanch T.
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1972
Born in Franklin, KY, Blanch Taylor Dickinson attended Bowling Green Academy and Simmons University (KY) and was later a school teacher. She was the daughter of Thomas and Laura Dickinson, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. She would become a Harlem Renaissance poet. Her poetry appeared in anthologies and periodicals such as The Crisis, Chicago Defender and Louisville Leader. Her biography appeared in Opportunity, vol. 5 (July 1927), p. 213. Also in 1927, Dickinson won the Buckner Award for ""conspicuous promise"; she was living in Sewickley, PA at that time. Blanch Dickinson was the wife of Verdell Dickinson (1898-1978), he was a truck driver who was born in Trenton, KY. The couple lived on Centennial Avenue in Sewickley, PA in 1930, according to the U.S. Federal Census. By 1940, Blanch Taylor (Dickinson) was listed in the census as a widow and she was back in Simpson County, KY, living with her father Tom Taylor and her widowed aunt Carol Lockhart; Blanch Taylor (Dickinson) is listed in the 1940 Census as a school teacher. For more see Black American Writers Past and Present: a biographical and bibliographical dictionary, by Rush, Myers, & Arta; Harlem Renaissance and Beyond. Literary biographies of 100 black women writers, 1900-1945, by L. E. Roses and R. E. Randolph; and "Negroes get prizes for literary work" in the New York Times, 05/08/1927, p. 19.

Additional information provided by Gayla Coates, Archives Librarian at the Simpson County Kentucky Arhcives: Blanche Taylor Dickinson died in 1972 and is buried at Pleasant View Cemetery in Simpson County, KY.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Sewickley, Pennsylvania / Trenton, Todd County, Kentucky

Dunnigan, Alice A.
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1983
Alice A. Dunnigan was born near Russellville, KY. She is a graduate of Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute [now Kentucky State University] and for a few years after her graduation, she filled her summers by taking classes at West Kentucky Industrial College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] in Paducah, KY. During the first half of her life, Dunnigan was a school teacher; she had been teaching since she was 18 years old. She was also a writer and journalist, writing her first newspaper column at the age of 14. When the school term ended in 1935, she was hired as a reporter in Louisville. Dunnigan left Kentucky in 1942 when the Louisville school where she had been teaching was closed and then continued her career as a reporter in Washington, D. C. She was also a reporter for the Associated Negro Press, serving as chief of the Washington Bureau; she was the first African American female correspondent to receive White House credentials and the first African American member of the Women's National Press Club. In addition to being an educator and journalist, Dunnigan was also a civil rights activist. In her hometown of Russellville, she pushed for African American women to be hired by the WPA, and she used her position as a white house correspondent to forward the issues and concerns of African Americans, she also served as the educational consultant on President Johnson's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity. Dunnigan was the author of The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians and four other books. For more see A Black Woman's Experience, by A. A. Dunnigan; Kentucky Women, by E. K. Potter; Women Who Made a Difference, by C. Crowe-Carraco; and N. J. Dawson, "Alice Allison Dunnigan," The Crisis, July-August, 2007, pp.39-41 [available online at Google Book Search].

See photo image of Alice Dunnigan from Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, via Wikipedia.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D. C.

Durham, John Stephens
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1919
Durham, said to be from Kentucky (his birth place has also been given as San Domingo and Philadelphia), was the United States Minister to Haiti (1891-1892); he had replaced Frederick Douglass, who had resigned. The appointment was made during the Harrison Administration. Durham had been the Consul at San Domingo (1890-1891). He was an 1886 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, one of the first African Americans to graduate from the school. Durham was a civil engineer; a journalist with the Bulletin, a Philadelphia newspaper; and author of at least two books, Diane, Priestess of Haiti and To Teach the Negro History: a suggestion. In 1897, Durham married Constance McKenzie, a white woman who had been the director of the Porter School Kindergarten in Philadelphia. For more see "The West Indies," The Quarterly Register of Current History, vol. 1 (1892), pp. 439-440; "The New Minister to Haiti," New York Times, 09/06/1891, p. 1; and "School teacher weds a Negro," New York Times, 07/02/1897, p. 10.
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Edwards, Sallie Nuby
Birth Year : 1910
Born in Beaumont, KY, Sallie N. Edwards participated in the March on Washington Movement of 1941 and the American Council on Human Rights. She was a social worker. She wrote articles that appeared in Southwestern Christian Advocate and other magazines and taught at Stowe Teachers College in St. Louis, MO. She was educated at Ohio State, St. Louis University, and Fisk. She was the associate executive director of the San Francisco YWCA, and executive secretary of the St. Louis County YWCA [source: "Nothern Leader," Los Angeles Tribune, 01/03/1958, p.11]. Sallie N. Edwards was the widow of Leonard Edwards, who was from Jamaica; he died in a car accident in 1954. For more see Supplement to Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Harris Stowe State College, a St. Louis positive..., an African American Registry website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Social Workers, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Beaumont, Metcalfe County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri / San Francisco, California

Ellison, Fanny McConnell
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 2005
Fanny M. Ellison was born in Louisville, KY, to Ulysses and Willie Mae Brock McConnell; her parents divorced before Fanny was a year old and she and her mother moved to Colorado, then to Chicago. Fanny Ellison was the wife of Ralph Ellison (1913-1994), author of the 1953 National Book Award title, Invisible Man. Both were divorced when they met in 1944; they married in 1946. Fanny Ellison had attended Fisk University and graduated from the University of Iowa; she was involved in the theater, politics, and civil rights. In 1938, she founded the Negro People's Theater in Chicago, and in 1943 she moved to New York, where she was an assistant to George Granger, Director of the National Urban League. She supported her husband, Ralph, while he was writing what would become his only published novel. Fanny Ellison edited and typed the book manuscript that her husband had written in longhand, and she did the same for the second manuscript that he was unable to finish before his death. The second novel, Juneteenth, was published in 1999 with the permission of Fanny Ellison. For more see "Fanny McConnell Ellison dies at 93," an MSNBC website; and D. Martin, "Fanny Ellison, 93; helped husband edit 'Invisible Man'," The New York Times, 12/01/2005, Metropolitan Desk section, p. 9.

See photo image of Fanny M. Ellison and Ralph Ellison at the Library of Congress website.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Authors, Migration North, Migration West, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Colorado / Chicago, Illinois / New York

Elmore, Ronn
Birth Year : 1957
Born in Louisville, KY, Ronn Elmore left Kentucky at the age of 16 and became an actor and dancer in Europe before becoming a minister and marriage counselor. He is a graduate of Antioch University (B.A.), Fuller Theological Seminary (M.A.) in California, and Ryokan College (Ph.D.), also in California. In 1989, Elmore developed the Relationship Center and the Relationship Enrichment Programs in Los Angeles. In the 1990s he also started a radio show and was a guest on television and other media, where he spoke on love, marriage, and family. Elmore has published several books, including How to Love a Black Man in 1996 and How to Love a Black Woman in 1998. Elmore is also the founder of Kingdom Shelter, which provides housing for homeless men. For more see African-American Religious Leaders, by N. Aaseng; and the Dr. Ronn Elmore website.

 
Subjects: Authors, Migration West, Radio, Religion & Church Work, Television, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

Finney, Nikky
Birth Year : 1957
Born in Conway, South Carolina, Nikky Finney is an associate professor of creative writing and a former director of the African American Studies and Research Program at the University of Kentucky. She is a graduate of Talladega College in Alabama. She is a nationally recognized poet and author of books of poetry including On Wings Made of Gauze, Rice, and The World is Round. Her work has also been published in anthologies. She was a screenwriter on the documentary, M & M. Smith: for posterity's sake. In 2011, Nikky Finney received the National Book Award in Poetry. In 2012, Nikky Finney left the University of Kentucky and returned to South Carolina. For more see "BIBR talks to Nikky Finney," Black Issues Book Review, March/April 2003, vol. 5, issue 2, pp. 28-29; K. Hamilton, "You are only as writerly as the last thing you've written," in Monty, a supplement to the print magazine, Montpelier at James Madison University; and D. Shafa, "Stepping up," Kentucky Kernel, 09/27/06, Campus News section. UKnow article, "UK Professor Nikky Finney wins National Book Award for Poetry," available online, a University of Kentucky publication website.



  See photo and additional information about Nikky Finney at "The Beauty and Difficulty of Poet Nikky Finney" by N. Adams, 04/08/2012, 6:39 AM, a NPR website.

Access Interview Read about the Nikky Finney oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.

 

  See the Nikky Finney interview with Renee Shaw, program #843, "Connections with Renee Shaw" at the KET (Kentucky Educational Television) website.

 
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration West, Poets
Geographic Region: Conway, South Carolina / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Fortson, Bettiola Heloise
Birth Year : 1890
Death Year : 1917
Bettiola Fortson was a poet, essayist, and suffragist. She was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the daughter of James Fortson. At the age of nine, she was a boarder with the William Evans family on E. 13th Street in Hopkinsville, KY, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. When she turned 12, she went to live with her aunt, Toreada Mallory, on Armour Avenue in Chicago, IL. When her aunt went abroad, Fortson lived with her mother, Mattie Arnold, in Evansville, IN, where she attended Clark High School. The family of four lived on Oak Street (Mattie, who was a widow, and her children Robert, Bettie, and James Jr.) [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Bettiola Fortson would become a poet and was poet laureate of her high school class, she graduated in 1910, and returned to Chicago where she worked in the feather industry and owned her own millinery business. She was a journalist and president of the University Society Club, 2nd vice president of the Alpha Suffrage Club, and city organizer of the Chicago Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. She was the author of the 1915 title Mental Pearls: original poems and essays. For more see Toward a Tenderer Humanity and a Nobler Womanhood by A. M. Knupfer; Six Poets of Racial Uplift by E. T. Battle et. al.; Black American Writers Past and Present by T. G. Rush; and "Miss Bettiola Fortson," Broad Axe, 08/01/1914, p.2 [picture with article].
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Migration North, Poets, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Evansville, Indiana

Fredric, Francis Parker
Birth Year : 1805
Death Year : 1881
Francis Parker was a house slave born in Faquier County, Virginia, and at about the age of 14 he was brought to Mason County, KY, by his owner. Parker was about 45 years old when he escaped and was recaptured and whipped. About five years later, with the aid of a farmer who was opposed to slavery, Parker again escaped, this time through the Underground Railroad. He made his way to Canada and got rid of the his owner's last name, Parker, and became Francis Fredric. He gave public speeches against slavery. He married an English woman and in 1857 they moved to Liverpool, England. Francis Fredric had learned to read and write after his escape from Kentucky and in 1863 he wrote two versions of his autobiography Slave Life in Virginia and Kentucky, or, Fifty Years of Slavery in the Southern States of America. He returned to the United States in 1865, and Reverend Francis "Frederick" wrote a third version of his autobiography. The Rev. Frederick lived in Baltimore, Maryland, at 11 Lambert Street, and is last listed in the 1881 Wood's Baltimore City Directory.

See the photo image and additional information about Francis Fredric at the African American Registry website.
Subjects: Authors, Freedom
Geographic Region: Faquier County, Virginia / Mason County, Kentucky / Canada / Liverpool, England, Europe / Baltimore, Maryland

Galbreath, Haywood
Birth Year : 1956
Haywood Galbreath was born in Mayfield, KY, oldest of six children. When he was 13 years old, he was adopted by a white family. In 1977 he hosted a weekly affairs radio program in Mayfield. Galbreath would become a photojournalist, an actor, and a stuntman. In 1986 he established the H. G. Star-1 Production Co. and H. G. Star-1 News Photos. In 1997 the H. G. Star Company was the first African American-owned news photo service to record the Emmy awards from inside the auditorium. Galbreath is the author of The O. J. Simpson Murder Trial: the complete photo journal of the trial of the century. For more see O. J. Simpson Facts and Fictions, by D. M. Hunt; Minority Photo - Journalism Institute (MPJI); and Anatomy of a Trial, by J. Hayslett.

See photo image of Haywood Galbreath at the MPJI website.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Photographers, Photographs, Radio
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky

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

Gilliam, Joe W., Sr.
Birth Year : 1930
Born in Steubenville, Ohio, Joe Gilliam, Sr. attended Indiana University, West Virginia State College [now West Virginia State University], and graduate school at the University of Kentucky. Gilliam, a well-respected football coach, began his coaching career at Oliver High School in Winchester, KY, in 1951. He was awarded the Kentucky High School Football Association's Coach of the Year title. Gilliam left Kentucky to coach at Jackson State College [now Jackson State University] in Mississippi, where his team won a national championship. He then was an assistant coach at Tennessee State University, from 1963-1981, before becoming the head coach. Gilliam's career record, spanning 35 years, is 254-93-15, with five undefeated teams and five teams that lost only one game. In 2007, Joe Gilliam, Sr. was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. He was the father of one of the first African American pro football quarterbacks, Joe Gilliam, Jr. (1950-2000), who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1972. For more see Shadows of the past, by L. Stout; "Joe Gilliam Sr. targets TSU with age bias suit - former football head coach for Tennessee State University," Jet, 02/08/1993; and Coaching the empty backfield offense, by J. W. Gilliam, Sr.

See photo image and additional information at "TSU Coaching Legend Gilliam, Sr. Honored in Roast," 05/29/2012, a TSU Tigers website.
Subjects: Authors, Fathers, Football
Geographic Region: Steubenville, Ohio / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Mississippi / Tennessee

Green, Emma Cason
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1983
Green, born in North Middletown, KY, was the daughter of James and Rebecca Cason. Her husband was Charles Green, also from Bourbon County. Emma Cason Green attended Kentucky Classical and Business College in North Middletown and later moved to Indiana. A dressmaker who also wrote poetry, she had some of her poems published in Attempting to Express My Thoughts, compiled by J. Curtis. She also wrote the History of the Second Christian Church, North Middletown, Ky. Emma Cason Green has a headstone in the Prescott Pike Cemetery in North Middletown, KY, that gives her birth year as 1886. The Emma Cason Green Papers are housed at the Indiana Historical Society. For more see "Emma Cason Green" in Guide to African-American History Materials in Manuscript Collections at the Indiana Historical Society.
Subjects: Authors, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: North Middletown, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Indiana

Greenwood Cemetery (Owensboro, KY)
Start Year : 1906
End Year : 1976
In 2006, the Greenwood Cemetery in Owensboro, KY, turned 100 years old. The 16-acre cemetery was established in January 1906 by a group of African American men who purchased the land for $3,000, and in February of that year the group was incorporated as the Greenwood Cemetery Association. The land was paid in full in November 1906, the African American cemetery serving the community for 70 years before burials were ceased in 1976. It contains more than 2,000 graves; the actual number is still being researched. After 1976, the Greenwood Cemetery was abandoned, became overgrown with weeds and was vandalized. Beginning in 1992 the Greenwood Cemetery Restoration Committee, led by Wesley Acton and Emily Holloway, worked to restore the cemetery. Greenwood Cemetery, 1821 Leitchfield Road, Owensboro, KY, by Jerry Long, tells of the history and restoration of the cemetery and includes a list of the gravestones, death certificates, and obituaries from Owensboro newspapers and other sources. The Greenwood Cemetery database of burials, available at the Daviess County Public Library, will continue to be updated; send contributions to Jerry Long in the Kentucky Room of the Daviess County Public Library or to members of the Greenwood Cemetery Restoration Committee. For more information see the following articles in the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: K. Lawrence, "Cemetery more crowded than thought," 03/03/2005; and R. B. Jones, "Cemetery project in the works," 12/28/2005. Copies of Greenwood Cemetery, 1821 Leitchfield Road, Owensboro, KY may be purchased from the Greenwood Cemetery Restoration Committee, 3514 Christie Place, Owensboro, KY 42301.
Subjects: Authors, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Gunner, Mary F.
Birth Year : 1894
Gunner was born in Lexington, KY, and was a graduate of Howard University and Columbia University. A playwright, she was author of The Light of the Women, published by Woman's Press in 1930. Gunner was the first woman to be featured in "Men of the Month" in 1911; the column was run in the Crisis to represent the fitness of the African American race. For more see Southern Black Creative Writers, 1829-1953. Biobibliographies, compiled by M. M. B. Foster; Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; and Creating the Modern Man, by T. Pendergast.
Subjects: Authors
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Guthrie, Robert V.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 2005
A few weeks after Robert V. Guthrie and his twin brother were born, the family moved to Richmond, KY, then to Lexington, KY. His father, P. L. Guthrie, was a former principal of old Dunbar High School. Robert V. Guthrie was a veteran of the Korean War. He earned his undergraduate degree at Florida A&M and then enrolled at the University of Kentucky in 1955, where he received his master's degree in psychology. He earned his doctorate at International University in 1970. He would go on to become one of the most influential African American scholars. Guthrie was the first African American psychologist to place his papers in the National Archives of American Psychology. He is author of numerous books, including Even the Rat Was White; a Historical View of Psychology. Guthrie was the first African American faculty member at San Diego Mesa College. Decades later, he returned to live in San Diego, where he is buried. For more see An 'American psychologist'; and J. Williams, "Robert V. Guthrie, 75; noted psychology educator," San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/12/2005, Obituaries column, p. B6.

See the photo image of Dr. Robert Val Guthrie at the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minorities website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / San Diego, California

Halliburton, Cecil D.
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1956
Halliburton was born in Hickman, KY, the son of George T. and Mattie Halliburton, and he was the husband of Mary Jane Adams Halliburton. A social scientist and journalist, Cecil Halliburton received his A.B. degree from Lincoln University in 1923, attended graduate school at the New York School of Social Work in 1930, and earned an M A. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1933. He was a member of the social science department at St. Augustine's College from 1930-1950. He became President of Voorhees School and Junior College in 1950. He is the author of History of St. Augustine's College (1937) and served as editor and columnist with the Carolinian (NC) and the Philadelphia Tribune. Cecil Halliburton died in Nashville, TN, in 1956. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Migration South
Geographic Region: Hickman, Fulton County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

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

Hamilton, Ed
Birth Year : 1947
Ed Hamilton, who was born in Ohio and grew up in Louisville, KY, has created a number of sculptures throughout the United States, including the Booker T. Washington Memorial at Hampton University, the Amistad Memorial in New Haven, Connecticut, and the Spirit of Freedom: African American Civil War Memorial in Washington D.C. A nationally recognized sculptor, he is the author of The Birth of an Artist: a journey of discovery. Hamilton, a graduate of Shawnee High School in Louisville, 1965, and the Louisville School of Art, 1969. He also attended the University of Louisville and Spalding College [now Spalding University]. He has received Honorary Doctor of Arts degrees from Western Kentucky University and the University of Louisville. For more see the Edward Hamilton website; and the Ed Hamilton interview [#209], "Connections with Renee Shaw," 02/03/2007, at KET (Kentucky Educational Television).

See photo image of Ed Hamilton at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Sculptors
Geographic Region: Ohio / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Hamilton, Jeff
Birth Year : 1840
Death Year : 1941
Jeff Hamilton, a slave, was sold to Texas Senator Sam Houston; he had been placed on the auction block in Huntsville, TX, in 1853. Jeff Hamilton was born on the Gibson Plantation in Kentucky, and the Gibsons had moved to Texas. Mr. Gibson was killed and his widow married James McKell, who had both gambling and drinking habits. McKell had sold Hamilton to pay a debt. Jeff Hamilton remained with the Houston family even after Sam Houston freed all of his slaves in 1862, becoming Sam Houston's personal servant. After Houston died, Hamilton was employed as a janitor at Baylor Female College [now the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor]. During his lifetime, Hamilton was recognized at historical events due to his close association with the historical figures he had met while serving as Houston's personal servant. After his death, Hamilton was honored with two historical markers, one at his grave in East Belton Cemetery and the other at Mary Hardin-Baylor campus. He was the author of My Master: the inside story of Sam Houston and His Time. For more see Jeff Hamilton, by J. C. Davis at The Handbook of Texas Online website.

See photo image with Jeff Hamilton at Walker County Treasures website
Subjects: Authors, Freedom, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Texas

Hardin, John A.
Birth Year : 1948
John A. Hardin is presently Assistant to the Provost for Diversity Enhancement at Western Kentucky University (WKU), where he has served in several capacities, including associate professor of history. He is author of numerous articles and has published two books: Fifty years of Segregation: Black Higher Education in Kentucky, 1904-1954 and Onward and Upward: a Centennial History of Kentucky State University, 1886-1986. His primary research interests are 20th Century African American history, Kentucky history, and the history of higher education. For additional information contact Dr. John A. Hardin on the WKU Department of History.

See photo image and additional information about Dr. John A. Hardin at the Kentucky African American Encyclopedia website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Historians
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren 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

Haskins, Clem S.
Birth Year : 1943
Clem Haskins was born in Campbellsville, KY. The 6'3" Haskins was the first African American student at Taylor County High School and led the school's basketball team to the state tournament. He attended college at Western Kentucky University, where he also played basketball and was named All-American three years running. His team went to the NCAA tournament in 1966. Haskins went on to play in the NBA; he was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the 1966 draft. At the end of his professional basketball career, he returned to Western Kentucky University in 1977 and became the school's first African American head basketball coach in 1980. In 1986 he became the head coach at the University of Minnesota, leaving the school in the wake of academic scandal in 1999. He is author of Clem Haskins: Breaking Barriers. Haskins is the brother of Merion Haskins and the husband of Yevette Haskins. For more see Western Kentucky University 1991 Hall of Fame Inductees; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2006.

See photo image and additional information about Clem Haskins at ESPN website article by D. O'Neil, "Clem Haskins at home away from hoops on his Kentucky farm."


Access Interview Read about the Clem Haskins oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
 
Subjects: Authors, Basketball
Geographic Region: Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Minnesota

Hayden, John Carleton
Birth Year : 1933
Born in Bowling Green, KY, John C. Hayden has been a clergyman, activist, educator, and historian. He is the son of Otis Roosevelt and Gladys Gatewood Hayden. He is a 1955 graduate of Wayne State University (BA); a 1962 graduate of the University of Detroit [at Mercy] (MA); a 1972 graduate of Howard University (PhD); and a 1991 graduate of the College of Emmanuel (MDiv). In the 1970s, he was an activist for African Americans and social issues. Hayden has taught at several schools, including as a history professor at Howard University and a lecturer at Montgomery College. He has written extensively on African American church history and is the author of Struggle, Strife, and Salvation, the Role of Blacks in the Episcopal Church and a co-author of Black American Heritage through United States Postage Stamps. For more see Who's Who in the World (2001); and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2006.

See photo image and additional information about John Carleton Hayden at The Archives of the Episcopal Church website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Historians, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Hayden, Shirley M.
Birth Year : 1960
Shirley M. Hayden was born in Lexington, KY, and grew up in Maddoxtown, KY, one of 13 children of the late Elmo and Joann Buckner Hayden. Shirley is the author of the 1995 novel, I Tell on Stephen Foster, and her most recent novel, The Women of Nelson, which emphasizes the treatment of the families, African American women and children, who accompanied the U.S. Colored soldiers to Camp Nelson, KY, during the Civil War. A screenplay is being written based on the book. Hayden is also a poet with many published works, including It's My Poetry and I'll Cry if I Want To. Hayden is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and has received writing residencies through the Kentucky Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. She spends half her time in Kentucky and half in the hills of North Carolina. For more see M. Davis, "A footnote of history becomes a novel,"Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/05/2008, Health Family section, p. D1.
Subjects: Authors, Poets
Geographic Region: Lexington, Maddoxtown, Fayette County, Kentucky / North Carolina

Henson, Josiah
Birth Year : 1789
Death Year : 1883
Josiah Henson was brought to the Riley Plantation in Owensboro, KY, as a slave, he escaped to Canada and returned many times to lead his family and others to freedom. He spoke at abolition meetings. Henson is believed to have been portrayed as the Uncle Tom character in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. For more see The Life of Josiah Henson, by J. Henson; and American Biographies, by W. Preston.

See photo image of Josiah Henson at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Canada

Higgins, Chester A., Jr.
Birth Year : 1946
Chester Higgins, Jr. was born in Lexington, KY, and grew up in New Brockton, AL. He is a graduate of Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University]. A staff photographer with the New York Times, he also wrote The Black Woman, Drums of Life and a number of other books. He appeared in the documentary film, BrotherMen. His photographs have appeared in Look, Life, Time and numerous other publications. Higgins resides in New York, he is the son of Veridee Young Smith and award winning journalist Chester A. Higgins, Sr. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, and Current Biography (2002).

See photo image and additional information about Chester Higgins, Jr. at the Kentucky Educational Television, BrotherMen website.

See photo image and additional information about Chester Higgins at The HistoryMakers website. [Higgins was born in Lexington, KY according to the Kentucky Birth Index. Original data at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives.]
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Photographers, Photographs, Migration South, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New Brockton, Alabama / New York

Hood, Robert E.
Birth Year : 1936
Death Year : 1994
Hood was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Blanche and George R. Hood. He was a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, where he was the first African American president of the student body. He was also a graduate of General Theological Seminary, the University of Chicago and the Oxford University. In 1984, he was an administrative assistant to Bishop Desmond Tutu: Hood was a historian in the areas of religion and race. He had been a professor at the General Theological Seminary, and prior to his death, was director of the Center for African American Studies at Adelphi University. Hood was also author of Must God Remain Greek?: Afro cultures and God-talk, Begrimed and Black: Christian traditions on Blacks and blackness, and several other books. For more see "Dr. Robert E. Hood, theologian, 58, dies," New York Times, 08/12/1994, p. A21; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1994-1997.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Long Island, New York

hooks, bell [Gloria Jean Watkins]
Birth Year : 1955
She was born Gloria Jean Watkins in Hopkinsville, KY, the daughter of Rosa Bell and Veodis Watkins, but goes by the name bell hooks, which she prefers to spell without capitalization. hooks is a professor, feminist, cultural critic, poet, and author of more than 30 books, including Ain't I a Woman, Breaking Bread, and four children's books that include Happy to be Nappy and Be Boy Buzz. She is considered one of the foremost African American intellectuals. hooks is a graduate of Crispus Attucks High School in Hopkinsville, Stanford University (B.A.), the University of Wisconsin at Madison (M.A.), and the University of Santa Cruz (Ph.D.). After almost 30 years of teaching in California, Connecticut, New York, and Ohio, in 2004 she returned to Kentucky to join the faculty at Berea College as a Distinguished Professor in Residence. For more see Feminist Writers, ed. by P. Kester-Shelton; The African American Almanac, 8th & 9th ed.; Current Biography: World Authors 1900-1995 (updated 1999) [available via Biography Reference Bank]; and bell hooks, feminist scholar, on Connections with Renee Shaw, video #416 [available online].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Migration West, Poets, Children's Books and Music
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / California / Connecticut / New York / Ohio / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Horton, John Benjamin
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1997
Born in Georgia, Colonel J. B. Horton came to Kentucky in 1940 to become an advertising salesman with the Louisville Defender newspaper, then advanced to advertising director. Horton left the newspaper in 1954 and founded J. Benjamin Horton & Assoc., Inc., Advertising and Public Relations Consultants. He also published three magazines: Louisville Buyers Guide, News Digest, and Kentucky Negro Journal. He also published books: Not Without Struggle, Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers in Kentucky, and Old War Horse of Kentucky. For more see Horton's biography, Flights from Doom.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Georgia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Hudson, J. Blaine, III
Birth Year : 1949
Death Year : 2013
Born in Louisville, KY, J. Blaine Hudson, III was an activist for social change and a historian with an extensive knowledge of the history of African Americans in Kentucky. He is the former chair of the Pan-African Studies Department at the University of Louisville and was the appointed Chair of the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission. In 2005, Hudson was named Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Louisville, one of the first African Americans to be named dean at a predominately white college in Kentucky. Hudson authored a number of academic articles and was a contributing author, and he was the sole author of Fugitive Slaves and the Underground Railroad in the Kentucky Borderland and other books. Hudson earned his B.A. and M.A. at the University of Louisville and his doctorate in higher education administration at the University of Kentucky. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2007; Hudson recommended to lead College of Arts and Sciences, a University of Louisville website; Directory of American Scholars, 10th ed., vol. 5: Psychology, Sociology, & Education; Blaine Hudson interview and biography, at KET Living the Story; and "J. Blaine Hudson, ex-U of L dean, dies," Louisville Courier-Journal, 01/06/2013, p.A001.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Historians, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jackson, Andrew
Birth Year : 1814
Jackson was born in Bowling Green, KY. He narrated to a friend the story of the 26 years he spent as a slave. In the published biography that came of this narration, Jackson recounts his failed attempt to escape and the cruelty he suffered and witnessed before his eventual successful escape. For more see Narrative and Writings of Andrew Jackson, of Kentucky: Containing an Account...Written by a Friend [available online at UNC Documenting the American South website].
Subjects: Authors, Freedom
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

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

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

Jackson, John Henry
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1919
Educated at Berea College, John H. Jackson was the last African American professor hired at the school before its 1904 segregation. He was the first president of the State Association of Colored Teachers [later named the Kentucky Negro Educational Association], first president of State Normal School for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University], president of Lincoln High Schools in Kansas City, MO, and author of History of Education: from the Greeks to present time. He was the son of Jordon C. Jackson, Sr., a well-known businessman, and James Ann Jackson, and he was the brother of Jordan C. Jackson, Jr. John H. Jackson was born in Lexington, KY. Limited information about John H. Jackson can be found at Kentucky State University Library and the Office of the President Records, a Kentucky Digital Library webpage. 

 


  See photo image an additional information about John H. Jackson, including his stay in Missouri, at Biographical Sketches: Biographies from the Cole County People, by the Cole County Historical Society.

 

 
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky / Kansas City, Missouri / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

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


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

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

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

Jewell, Terri Lynn
Birth Year : 1954
Death Year : 1995
Terri L. Jewell was born October 4, 1954 in Louisville, KY, and lived in Lansing, MI. She was an African American lesbian, feminist, poet, and writer. Her work appeared in hundreds of publications and she was the editor of The Black Woman's Gumbo Ya-Ya and the author of Our Names Are Many. Terri Lynn Jewell died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on November 26, 1995 in Berlin, MI. For more information see L. Lynch, "A precious Jewell is lost forever," Lesbian News, Mar96, vol.1 issue 8, p.60; and the online article by C. Gage, "Terri Lynn Jewell, 1954-1995," at the Scribd website.
Subjects: Authors, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lansing, Michigan

Johnson, Benjamin, Jr. "Ben"
Start Year : 1950
End Year : 2003
Johnson, a journalist and talk show host, was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Benjamin, Sr. and Alyce E. Johnson. He was a 1975 journalism graduate of Lincoln University in Missouri. His original plan was to attend architecture school at Howard University, where he had been accepted into the program, but instead he became a hawk in the U.S. Marines and served in Vietnam before returning to attend college. His career included being a reporter and photographer at the Louisville Defender, and reporter and city editor at the Courier-Journal in Louisville. He had also been employed at the Post Tribune, Detroit Free Press, St. Petersburg Times, Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, and as a columnist with the Huntsville Times. He was founding president of the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, and vice president of the Society of Professional Journalists, Detroit. Johnson and his wife, Mary E. Bullard-Johnson, were editors of Who’s What and Where: a directory of America’s Black journalists (1st ed., 1985 & 2nd ed., 1988). Johnson had also taught journalism classes at the University of Missouri and helped found the school's Multicultural Management Program. From 1997 until the time of his death, Johnson was the talk-show host of Just Talking at WEUP-AM 1600. For more see "B. Johnson, 53, talk show host, journalist," South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 12/28/2003, National section, p. 6B; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2000.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Military & Veterans, Radio
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan / Huntsville, Alabama

Johnson, Christine Claybourne
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 1999
Johnson was born and raised in Versailles, KY, the daughter of Mattie A. Williams Claybourne and Braxton D. Claybourne. She graduated from the Versailles Colored high school in 1927. She won a gold medal for her poetry. She lived in Detroit in the 1940s, where she worked with the National Youth Administration and established day care centers in churches. Johnson attended nursing school and studied music before earning her undergraduate degree in biology from Loyola University in 1948. She earned a master's degree in education from DePaul University in 1950. Johnson was a member of the Nation of Islam and was principal and director of the University of Islam Primary School in Chicago. She traveled to Africa, Asia, and Europe. Johnson also published plays and poems; her poem, "Cadence," was published in Outlook Magazine. She was the author of Poems of Blackness and three children's textbooks: Muhammad's Children, ABC's of African History and Masks. For more see "Christine C. Johnson" in For Malcolm, by D. Randall and M. G. Burroughs; and A. Beeler, "Longtime teacher Christine Johnson," Chicago Tribune, 03/22/1999, Metro Chicago section, p. 7.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Poets, Children's Books and Music, Nurses, National Youth Administration (NYA)
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan / Chicago, Illinois

Jones, Carridder "Rita"
Carridder Jones was born in South Carolina and lived in Indiana before moving to Kentucky. A playwright and historian, Jones's research has included African American communities in Kentucky, especially the black hamlets in Lexington and Louisville. Her play, "Black Hamlets in the Kentucky Bluegrass," was a finalist in the New York Drama League's New Works Project in 2002. Another of her plays, "The Mark of Cain," was chosen by the University of Louisville's African-American theater program for the Second Annual Juneteenth Festival of New Works. She has presented her research at conferences, programs, workshops, and as productions. She is the co-founder and Director of Women Who Write. In 2006, Jones received the Sallie Bingham Award. She is author of the 2009 book A Backward Glance. For more see "Free Black Hamlets," Courier Journal (Louisville) News, 04/19/04; and "Filmmakers hope to save Bluegrass freetowns," Lexington Herald Leader, 08/10/03.

See photo image and additional information about Carridder Jones at the Oldham County History Center website, 2009.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Historians, Migration West, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: South Carolina / Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jones, Gayl A.
Birth Year : 1949
Born in Lexington, KY, Gayl A. Jones is a noted author. In the 1970s when she published Corregidora, Eva's Man, and White Rat. She is also a poet, short story writer, and novelist. She was a faculty member at the University of Michigan. Jones left the school in 1984 and lived for a while in Europe. She published The Healing in 1998, the year of her husband's suicide, after their return to the U.S.; they had settled in Lexington. Gayl Jones is the daughter of Franklin and Lucille Watson Jones. She is a graduate of Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Connecticut College (B.A.), and Brown University (M.A. & Ph.D.). For more see "The Saddest Story," Time Canada, vol. 151, issue 9, p. 42; The Bloomsbury Guide to Women's Literature, edited by C. Buck; In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., edited by M. M. Spradling; and World Authors 1990-1995, by C. Thompson.

See photo image of Gayl A. Jones at the University of Michigan website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Poets, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Suicide
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Flint, Michigan / Europe

Jones, Silas
Birth Year : 1940
Silas Jones was born in Paris, KY. He is the founder and director of WordPlay and author of books of fiction, short stories and plays, including Waiting For Mongo, Children Of All, and God in Little Pieces. Jones has also written for film, television, and radio. He earned his B.A. in English from Washington State University. Many of Jones' plays have not been published nor made available to the general public. For more see R. Forte, "Back stage with successful playwright Silas Jones," Call & Post [Cleveland, OH], 06/16/1994; National Playwrights Directory, 2nd ed., edited by P. J. Kaye; and Silas Jones at doollee.com, The Playwrights Database. Silas Jones is included in the picture of the children in "Brentsville One-Room School Students" on page 87 of Paris and Bourbon County, by B. Scott and J. Scott.


Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Television
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

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

Kelley, Brent P.
Birth Year : 1941
A life-long resident of Paris, KY, Kelley is a veterinarian and a writer who has done a phenomenal number of interviews with players from the Negro leagues. Kelley is not an African American. He is author of They Too Wore Pinstripes, Voices from the Negro Leagues, The Negro Leagues Revisited, and other titles. He has also written hundreds of articles and has a sizable collection of autographs from former Negro League players. For more see Cool Papas and Double Duties, by W. F. McNeil.
Subjects: Authors, Baseball
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Kennedy, Paul Horace
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1921
Reverend Paul H. Kennedy was born in Elizabethtown, KY, son of John M. and Caroline Kennedy. He was a minister and a musician who authored and published the Baptist Directory and Year Book in Henderson, KY, and he was editor of the Kentucky Missionary Visitor. Rev. Kennedy was also an instructor of the organ, piano, violin, and band instruments. He served as a U.S. Marshall during the administration of President McKinley. For more see Paul H. Kennedy in Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and Rev. Paul H. Kennedy in the Afro-American Encyclopaedia: Or, the Thoughts, Doings..., by James T. Haley, pp. 613-614 [available online at the UNC University Library, Documenting the American South].


Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

Keys, Martha Jayne
Birth Year : 1892
Death Year : 1975
Martha Keys, an evangelist, was the first woman to be ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1948. She had campaigned and introduced a bill to the AME General Conference for the ordaination of women in 1935 (and/or 1936) and again in 1940. In 1951, she was pastor of the Evangelical Rescue Mission at 2113 W. Walnut in Louisville, KY, according to Caron's Louisville (Jefferson County, KY.) City Directory. Keys was born in Mayfield, KY, the daughter of Thomas J. and Lizzie A. Keys. She earned her D.D. at Payne Theological Seminary in 1930. She was president of the West Kentucky Conference Branch for five years. In 1947, she had been pastor of five churches. She lived in Louisville, KY when she authored the one act, gospel drama titled The Comforter, which was copyrighted [D 22176] on April 12, 1933 under the name Evangalist Dr. Martha J. Keys Marshall. For more see Catalog of copyright entries, Part 1, Group 3, v.6, issue1, p.135 [available online at Google Book Search]; see Martha Jayne Keys in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Authors, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky / Louisivlle, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Knight, Etheridge
Birth Year : 1931
Death Year : 1991
Etheridge Knight was born near Corinth, MS and grew up in Paducah, KY. He was the son of Bushie and Belzora Knight, one of their seven children. He mastered the art of toast - a form of poetry that dates back to the 19th century and began writing poetry while serving an eight year sentence in Indiana State Prison, including Poems from Prison and Black Voices From Prison. Knight was a member of the Black Arts Movement. He was also a veteran and had been a medic in the Army during the Korean War. Knight was the husband of Sonia Sanchez, they divorced in 1972 and the following year Knight married Mary Ann McAnally. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed. Supp.; "Etheridge Knight" in Notable African American Writers; and Etheridge Knight, Jr. Papers at the Indiana Historical Society.

See photo and additional information on Etheridge Knight at the Poetry Foundation website.
Subjects: Authors, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Poets, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Corinth, Mississippi / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Laine, Henry Allen
Birth Year : 1869
Death Year : 1955
Henry A. Laine was born near College Hill in Madison County, KY. He wrote many poems using Negro dialect. Laine was one of three poets invited to appear before the 1923 Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA) body; he read Fine Greetings to Colored Educators [full-text]. [The other two invited poets were Joseph C. Cotter, Sr. and Joseph C. Cotter, Jr.] Laine is also the author of Foot Prints (1914) [full-text]. He founded the Madison Colored Teachers Institute and was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2003. He was the father of Beatrice "Tommie" Holland. For more see Black American Writers Past and Present. A biographical and bibliographical dictionary, by T. G. Rush, et al. The Henry Allen Laine Papers, 1874-1988, are at Eastern Kentucky University, Special Collections and Archives.


See photo image of Henry Allen Laine at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, Hall of Fame 2003.


See photo image and additional information about Henry Allen Laine at "Kentucky teacher, poet and early Berea alumnus Henry Allen Laine honored at Berea College Founder’s Day Oct. 8," a Berea College website.
 
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Fathers, Poets
Geographic Region: College Hill, Madison County, Kentucky

Lampton, Edward Wilkinson
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1910
E. W. Lampton was a leader in the AME Church and the community, he was bishop of the AME Church in Greenville, MS. He was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Albert R. Lampton, and the grandson of Anna and Rev. Edward "Ned" Jones. He grew up in Bowling Green, KY, where he first attended school. Lampton earned his D.D. at Shorter College and his LL. D. at Alcorn State College [now Alcorn State University]. He was elected bishop on May 20, 1908 in Norfolk, VA and assigned to the 8th Epicopal District. Lampton was author of two books: Analysis of Baptism and Digest of Rulings and Decision of the Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church from 1847-1907. He was also Grand Master of the Prince Hall Masons of Mississippi. Bishop Lampton was a widower when he died in Michigan on July 16, 1910. He is buried in Mississippi. His daughter Mrs. D. Lampton Bacchus was the executor of his estate, she was one of the African American women reformers of the late 19th Century/early 20th Century. From their father's estate, the four Lampton daughters inherited the family home, a farm, several rental properties, and they constructed a two-story building that housed two stores, an auditorium, and meeting rooms. Bishop Lampton was the husband of Lula M. Lampton (b.1868 in MS), and in 1900, the family of six lived on Theobald Street in Greenville, MS, according to the U.S. Federal Census. In June of 1909, there were several newspaper stories that Lampton and his family were run out of Greenville when one of his daughters insisted on being addressed as Ms. Lampton by white saleswomen in stores and by the telephone operator, and Bishop Lampton attempted to re-enforce her demands. When asked by the African American media about the incident, Bishop Lampton initially denied the story, and would later speak out on keeping the races separate and African Americans always being on good behavior so as not to fuel a mob attack. For more see the Bishop Edward Wilkinson Lampton entry and picture in Centennial Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church... by R. R. Wright [available online at Documenting the American South]; "Would be called Miss," Waterloo Semi Weekly Courier, 06/15/1909, p.6.; "Bishop Lampton's denial," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/10/1909, p.7; "Bishop Lampton's troubles adjusted," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/10/1909, p.1; "Another phase of Lampton affair," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/17/1909, p.1; "Daughters of late Bishop Lampton are doing well," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/22/1911, p.1.

See photo image of Rev. Edward W. Lampton in The Sons of Allen by H. Talbert, p.120.
Subjects: Authors, Fathers, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Telephone Company Employees, Telephone Inventions, Telephones and Race
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Greenville, Mississippi

Little, Charles F., Jr.
Birth Year : 1949
Charles F. Little, Jr. was born in Memphis, TN. He graduated from Kentucky State University with a B.S. in Music Education, then earned his M.S. in Secondary Education at the University of Kentucky. He was a band director in the Fayette County Public Schools for 30 years and taught music to more than 4,500 students from 1971 to 2001. He was the band director/keyboard instructor at the Academy of Lexington, teaching 120 students classroom piano from 2001 to 2005. The Lexington Traditional Magnet School Band Room was named in his honor in 2001. To date, he has also provided private piano lessons to 175 students and organ lessons to five students of all ages in Fayette County and eight surrounding counties. He has been the musical director, pianist, and coordinator, of hundreds of programs, productions, and performances dating back to the 1960s. Most recently Charles Little was the musical director of the off-Broadway production of Crowns, Actors Guild of Lexington, Kentucky, 2005-2006. He has performed on programs with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Rev. James Cleveland, Larnelle Harris, the Rev. Billy Graham (Subsidiary) Crusade, Dr. Bobby Jones and New Life, and Miss Albertina Walker. Charles Little has also received a number of awards, including the Teachers Who Made a Difference Award from the College of Education at the University of Kentucky in 2003. He is the author of Praise Him with the Gospel: Black gospel piano music arrangements, book 1 & 2, with accompanying sound cassettes. He was the developer and editor of Orchestrating the Perfect Meal, a cookbook published in 2000. Charles Little has recorded with the United Voices of Lexington on "Genesis" and the Wesley United Voices on "We've Come to Praise Him"; provided piano accompaniment on the Lexington musical "Madame Belle Brezing"; and performed on many other recordings. For more information see M. Davis, "Teacher's not changing his tune," Lexington Herald Leader, 03/23/03, City/Region section, B, p. 1; S. Dobbins, "Charles F. Little, Jr.: music master of all," Tri-State Defender, 03/10/1999, p.2B; and the Resume of Charles F. Little, Jr.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Memphis, Tennessee / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Magee, Lazarus and Susan [Rev. James H. Magee]
The Magees were born in Kentucky; Lazarus (d. 1870) was free, and Susan (d. 1868) was a slave belonging to Billy Smith of Louisville, KY. Lazarus purchased Susan and her two children, and the family moved to Madison County, Illinois. There would be many more children, and they were sent to Racine, WI, to be educated. One of the children was Reverend James H. Magee (1839-1912), who was president of the Colored Local Historical Society in Springfield, IL; he formed the Black Man's Burden Association in Chicago. J. H. Magee had attended Pastors College [now Spurgeon's College] in London, England, from 1867-1868. He was an ordained minister, a school teacher, and an outspoken advocate for African American voting rights and education. He has been referred to as a leader of the African American people in Springfield, IL. For more see B. Cavanagh, "history talk 04-28-05" a Illinois Times web page that has been removed; and The Night of Affliction and the Morning of Recovery, by Rev. J. H. Magee.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Mothers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Springfield, Illinois

Mahone, Willie Pearl
Birth Year : 1925
Mahone was born in the coal camps of Jenkins, KY. She is the subject of the award winning children's books in the The Willie Pearl Series, written by her daughter, Michelle Y. Green. Green is a graduate of the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins Master's Program in Writing. Green's historical fiction series was written in the early 1990s and is set in a Depression-era coal-mining town in Kentucky. Willie Pearl: Under the Mountain, the second book in the series, received the 1993 Children's Literary Award for Multicultural Publishing. Information on Willie P. Mahone provided by Michelle Y. Green. For more see Michelle Y. Green on the Reading is Fundamental/Reading Planet website.
Subjects: Authors, Mothers, Children's Books and Music
Geographic Region: Jenkins, Letcher County, Kentucky

Majozo, Estelle Conwill
Birth Year : 1949
Majozo was born in Louisville, KY. Early in her career, she produced the play Purgatory. She is a performer and author of several books, including works of poetry (The Middle Passage and Jiva Telling Rites), and she has written several plays. She was a collaborator in the creation of the terrazzo and brass project, Rivers, for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. She is also an English professor and presently teaches creative writing at the University of Louisville. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville (B.A. & M.A.) and the University of Iowa (Ph.D.). Majozo is a sister of Houston Conwill. For more see Come Out the Wilderness, by E. C. Majozo.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Authors, Education and Educators, Poets
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Malone, Robert E.
Birth Year : 1888
Death Year : 1944
Born in Louisville, KY, Malone was the last superintendent of the Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal School at Pine Bluff, Arkansas [now University of Arkansas Pine Bluff], 1922-1928. Following Malone's tenure, the head of the school was referred to as the president. Malone was also president of the Southwestern Life Insurance Company in Pine Bluff. He was author of A Study of 520 Rural Negro Homes in North Carolina, published by the North Carolina State Board of Vocational Education. Robert E. Malone was the son of Cora and Edward Malone. In 1900 the family lived on Nineteenth Street in Louisville, KY, and in 1910 they lived on West Magazine Street, according to the U.S. Federal Census, Edward Malone was a porter at the Post Office and his son Robert was a school teacher. Robert E. Malone was the husband of Mattie H. Malone (1891-1931), born in Virginia. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Pine Bluff, Arkansas / North Carolina

Marrs, Elijah P.
Birth Year : 1840
Death Year : 1910
Elijah P. Marrs wrote an autobiography of his life as a slave in Shelby County - Life and History of the Rev. Elijah P. Marrs [available on the University of North Carolina University Library's Documenting the American South website]. He was the son of Andrew Marrs, who was free, and Frances Marrs, who was a slave, both from Virginia. Marrs, who learned to read and write, left the plantation to become a Union solider. After the war, he was founder of several churches and the first African American school teacher in Simpsonville. Marrs also taught at the school in Lagrange , New Castle, and the school held in a church in Braxton [Bracktown] in Lexington, KY. Elijah and his brother, J. C. Marrs, are credited as co-founders of Simmons University. After four years, Elijah Marrs sold his interest in the development of the school in 1874. While in Lagrange, KY, Elijah Marrs was the first African American to become president of the Republican Club of Oldham County, and he established the first colored agriculture and mechanical fair for the Simpson and Logan Counties  [source: Ante-bellum free Negroes as race leaders in Virginia and Kentucky during Reconstruction (thesis) by C. B. King, p.116 & p.134]. In New Castle, KY, he established the Loyal League for the Protection of Negroes.  For more see Notable Black American Men, by J. C. Smith; and Black Higher Education in Kentucky, 1879-1930, by L. H. Williams.

See photo image of Elijah P. Marrs at Find a Grave.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Simpsonville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Virginia / Bracktown [Braxton], Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

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


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

McCoo, Edward Jordan (the first)
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1930
McCoo was a minister at the AME Church in Newport, KY. He is recognized for writing, publishing, and producing the play Ethiopia at the Bar of Justice. The play was first performed at the General Conference of the AME Church in Louisville, KY, May 1924. It would gain popularity and become a must-see during Negro History Week. The 24 page play was published in Memphis. McCoo was born in Alabama, the son of William and Elizabeth McCoo, and he died of tuberculosis in Newport, KY, and was buried in Cincinnati, OH, according to his death certificate. He was married to Jennie McCoo and the couple lived at 210 W. 7th Street in Newport, KY. McCoo and his first wife, Lillian (b.1884 in IL), and their two children, had lived in Springfield and Chicago, IL, prior to his move to Kentucky some time after 1920. For more see "[Edwin] McCoo" on p. xxxiv in Plays and Pageants from the Life of the Negro, by W. Richardson.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Alabama / Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

McKay, Barney M. [McDougal]
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1925
Barney McKay was born in Nelson County, KY, and according to F. N. Schubert, he was the son of Barney McKay and Mary McDougal. He was a journalist, civil rights activist, veteran, author, and supporter of African American migration. Barney McKay left Kentucky and became a Pullman Porter. He lived in Jeffersonville, IN, where he was employed at the car works of Shickle and Harrison as a iron puddler. In 1881, he joined the U.S. Army in Indianapolis, IN, under the name of Barney McDougal, and served with the 24th Infantry, Company C. He was honorably discharged in 1892. He re-enlisted as Barney McKay and served with the 9th Cavalry, Company C and Company G. In 1893, Sergeant Barney McKay was charged with distributing an incendiary circular among the troops at Fort Robinson, NE. The circular, published by the Progress Publishing Company of Omaha, promised retaliation against the civilians of Crawford, NE, should there continue to be racial violence toward Negro soldiers. There was no proof that Sergeant McKay had distributed the circular, yet Lieutenant Colonel Reuben F. Barnard was convinced of his guilt; Sergeant McKay had received a package of newspapers from the Progress Publishing Company of Omaha, and he had a copy of the circular in his possession. Also, Sergeant McKay and four other soldiers had prevented a Crawford mob from lynching Charles Diggs, a veteran, who had served with the 9th Cavalry. Sergeant McKay's actions and the circular were enough for the Army to charge him with violating Article of War 62 for attempting to cause the Negro soldiers to riot against the citizens of Crawford. Sergeant McKay was confined, subjected to court-martial and found guilty, and on June 21, 1893, he was reduced to the rank of private, given a dishonorable discharge, and was sentenced to two years in prison. When released from prison, Barney McKay was not allowed to re-enlist in the U.S. Army. He settled in Washington, D.C., where he met and married Julia Moore in 1900. The couple lived on 17th Street [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Barney McKay was working as an assistant for the law firm Lambert and Baker. The following year, he was employed by John W. Patterson, Attorney and Counselor at Law [source: ad in Washington Bee, 04/06/1901, p. 8]. He had also been a newspaper man and wrote newspaper articles. He was editor of the Washington Bureau of the Jersey Tribune, 80 Barnes Street, Trenton, NJ. He was also editor of the New England Torch-Light, located in Providence, RI. In 1901, Barney McKay was with the Afro-American Literary Bureau when he pledged that 5,000 of the most industrious Negroes from the South would be willing to leave the prejudice of the United States for freedom in Canada. The pledge was made during the continued migration of southern Negroes to Canada. Author Sara-Jane Mathieu contributes two things to the story of the exodus: One, in 1896 the Supreme Court upheld the Plessy v. Ferguson decision, and two, Canada's homesteading campaign of 1896 provided free farmland in Western Canada. Barney McKay promoted the migration in the newspapers. In July of 1901, Barney McKay was Sergeant-at-Arms of the newly formed Northern, Eastern, and Western Association, also known as the N. E. & W. Club [source: "N. E. and W. Club," The Colored American, 07/13/1901, p. 4]. The organization was established to coordinate the Negro vote for the 1902 Congressional elections. Barney McKay published The Republican Party and the Negro in 1904 and in 1900 he co-authored, with T. H. R. Clarke, Republican Text-Book for Colored Voters. In 1916 he co-authored Hughes' Attitude Towards the Negro, a 7 page book containing the civil rights views of Charles Evans Hughes', taken from his judicial decisions while a member of the U.S. Supreme Court [alternate title: Henry Lincoln Johnson, editor. B. M. McKay, associate editor]. Barney McKay also wrote letters advocating the safety and well being of Negroes in the South and the education of future soldiers. He called for the best representation of the people in government and fought for the welfare of Negro war veterans. He wrote a letter protesting the commander of the Spanish American War Veterans' support of the dismissal of the 25th Infantry in response to the Brownsville Affair [source: p. 191, Barney McKay in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II by I.Schubert and F. N. Schubert]. In 1917, McKay wrote New Mexico Senator A. B. Fall (born in Frankfort, KY), asking that Negroes from the South be allowed to migrate to New Mexico [source: Promised Lands by D. M. Wrobel]. New Mexico had become a state in 1912 and Albert B. Fall [info] was one of the state's first two senators. In 1918, McKay wrote a letter to fellow Kentuckian, Charles Young, asking his support in establishing a military training program for Negro men at Wilberforce College [letter available online at The African-American Experience in Ohio website]. Barney M. McKay died April 30, 1925 and was buried in Harmony Cemetery in Washington, D. C. The cemetery was moved to Landover, Maryland in 1959 and renamed the National Harmony Memorial Park Cemetery [info]. McKay's birth date and birth location information were taken from the U.S. Army Register of Enlistments. For more see the Barney McKay entry in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert; Sergeant Barney McDougal within the article "Chaplain Henry V Plummer, His Ministry and His Court-Martial," by E. F. Stover in Nebraska History, vol. 56 (1975), pp. 20-50 [article available online .pdf]; Voices of the Buffalo Soldier, by F. N. Schubert; North of the Color Line, by Sarah-Jane Mathieu; and Barney McKay in Henry Ossian Flipper, by J. Eppinga.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Pullman Porters, Fraternal Organizations, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Nelson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Crawford, Nebraska /Trenton, New Jersey / Washington, D. C.

Meeks, Kenneth
Birth Year : 1963
Born in Louisville, KY, Kenneth Meeks is a brother to Renelda (Meeks) Higgins Walker, Michael Meeks, and Reginald Meeks. He is the author of Driving While Black, and contributing author to Brotherman. Meeks is managing editor of Black Enterprise magazine. Prior to that, he had been assistant managing editor of the New York Amsterdam News and managing editor of Black Elegance: BE. He is the son of Eloise Kline Meeks and Florian Meeks, Jr. For more see Contemporary Authors, vol. 195; and Who's Who in America, vols. 51-53.
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Merriweather, Claybron W.
Birth Year : 1874
Death Year : 1952
Claybron Merriweather was born in Christian County, KY, the son of John and Mary Gwynn Merriweather, both former slaves. The Merriweathers lived in extreme poverty. Claybron eventually saved enough money to attend school and later became a schoolteacher and founded three newspapers. He was also a painter, using water colors and oils for his paintings. He is author of Light and Shadows, published in 1907, it was his first book. Merriweather was also a poet and went on to publish five additional books. He promoted his poetry by giving readings in various cities; in 1940 he was in Chicago and was on his way to Cleveland to give a dramatic reading before the Mission Convocation of the First Episcopal District. Claybron Merriweather was also a practicing lawyer, and had studied with the Black Stone Institute, which offered a home study course. He began his practice in 1908 and was the first African American attorney in Hopkinsville, KY, and the first to receive a license to practice law in Mayfield, KY [source: "First Colored Attorney," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 05/11/1912, p.4; and "First Colored man ever admitted to the bar at Mayfield, " The Paducah Sun, 11/28/1905, p.1]. Claybron Merriweather was the husband of Rosa Morgan Merriweather (c.1874-1935), born in KY, she was a school teacher in Paducah and in Hopkinsville, KY. The couple last lived at 1103 Coleman Street in Hopkinsville. They are buried in the Cane Spring Cemetery in Christian County, according to their death certificates. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians by A. A. Dunnigan; "C.W. Merriweather to give reading," Kentucky New Era, 08/10/1940, p.6; and The Law Trained Man by W. C. Wermuth [available full text at archive.org].
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Poets
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Merriwether, Jesse [Mount Moriah Lodge No.1]
Birth Year : 1812
Death Year : 1892
Merriwether [also spelled Meriwether and Meriweather] was born a slave and freed in 1847 under the condition that he go to Liberia. Merriwether went to Liberia as a delegate of the Convention of Free Negroes of Kentucky in 1847. He returned to the U.S. in August 1848 and wrote and unfavorable report for emigration to Liberia. He also secretly established the first African American Masonic Lodge in his house on Walnut Street in Louisville, KY. Mount Moriah Lodge No. 1 was initially located in New Albany, IN, for three years. There was fear that there would be prejudice against the lodge in Kentucky, and the meetings were attended in secret. After three years the lodge was moved to Louisville. A core of the lodge remained in New Albany for the members who lived in that city. Jesse Merriwether was also a carpenter, he was the husband of Phoebe Merriwether, b.1828 in KY. He is the author of A brief history of the schools, public and private, for colored youths in Louisville, Ky. for fifty years, from 1827 to 1876, inclusive. In 1889, Merriwether was selected as a possible candidate for the legislature for the 6th District of Kentucky. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; and for more about the beginning of the lodge see p.42 The History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr. See also the paragraph beginning Jesse Meriweather of Louisville... in the article "The Race Doings," Cleveland Gazette, 06/29/1889, p.1.
Subjects: Authors, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Carpenters
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Liberia, Africa / New Albany, Indiana

Mitchell, Robert
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1926
Robert Mitchell was born in Fulton County, KY. He was a minister and president of Simmons Memorial College (was located in Bowling Green, KY). He took 200 African American men before the Kentucky House and Senate Committee to protest against the Separate Coach Bill, which was reported in the Courier Journal of Louisville, KY. Mitchell was author of Biblical Essays on Important Subjects. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; "Dr. Robert Mitchell," Lexington Herald, 10/08/1926, p.16; and see "Robert Mitchell" in S. Brown article, "Lexington Civil Rights leader dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/10/1989, City/State section, p. B1.

See photo image of Rev. Robert Mitchell on p.275 of Sermons, Addresses and Reminiscences and Important Correspondence by E. C. Morris, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Fulton County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Morton, Lena B.
Birth Year : 1901
Death Year : 1981
Lena Beatrice Morton, an educator and a scholar, was born in Flat Creek, KY, the daughter of Susie and William Morton. The family temporarily settled in Winchester, KY, where Morton's maternal grandfather, Reverend H. A. Stewart, was pastor of the CME Church. They later moved to Cincinnati, OH, where Lena Morton graduated from high school and was a two time graduate of the University of Cincinnati (UC). While at UC, she was a founding member of the school's first African American Greek organization, Zeta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Morton earned her Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in 1947. She taught English at the high school level and the university level, where she also held leadership positions such as head of the division of humanities at Texas College. Morton authored a number of works, including several books: Negro Poetry in America, Farewell to the Public Schools, Man Under Stress, Patterns of Language Usage (a study), My First Sixty Years, and The Influence of the Sea Upon English Poetry. For more see A History of Blacks in Kentucky, by M. B. Lucas and G. C. Wright; and "Lena Beatrice Morton" in vol. 6 of African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Flat Creek, Bath County, Kentucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Narratives of Fugitive Slaves (literature influence)
Start Year : 1845
In 1849, The Christian Examiner recognized the narratives of fugitive slaves as a new and marketable addition to American literature; it also provided an early analysis of the potential impact and influence of African American literature. Five authors were noted: Frederick Douglass (pub. 1845), Henry Watson (pub. 1848), and Kentucky authors William W. Brown (pub. 1847), Lewis and Milton Clarke (pub. 1848), and Josiah Henson (pub. 1849). The biographies were expected to have a major effect on public opinion because it was the beginning of an era of more widely-produced book-formatted literature from the voices of those who had been enslaved. The books were translated into European languages and sold overseas. William W. Brown's book had sold more than eight thousand copies in 1848, and Frederick Douglass' went through seven editions before it went out of print. The first slave narratives were written in the latter half of the 1700s and gained wider recognition beginning in the 1840s. The five mentioned narratives, and many others, are available full-text online at the UNC Documenting the American South website. For more see The Christian Examiner and Religious Miscellany, 4th Series, vol. 12 [available online at Google Book Search]; and Slave Narratives and Uncle Tom's Cabin at the PBS website.
Subjects: Authors, Freedom, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Negro wit and humor: also containing folk lore, folk songs, race peculiarities, race history
Start Year : 1914
In 1914, Marion Franklin Harmon published Negro Wit and Humor through his Louisville, KY, press, Harmon Publishing Company. The book was one of the joke books published by whites and distributed throughout the South for the purpose of entertaining other whites. Harmon claimed the book was meant to show the progress of the race, the content based on his observations and the words of friends "who vouch for their accuracy and originality." The book is full of supposed Negro dialect. Harmon gives thanks to Professors A. J. Aven of Mississippi College, Joseph [S.] Cotter, [Sr.] of Louisville Coleridge Taylor Colored School, and Thomas [F.] Blue, [Sr.], head of the Louisville Colored Branch Library. In 1929, Harmon produced The History of Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) in Mississippi, published in Mississippi. For more see R. D. Abrahams, "Folk beliefs in Southern joke books," Western Folklore, vol. 24, issue 4 (Oct. 1964), pp. 259-261; J. Morgan, "Mammy the huckster: selling the Old South for the New Century," American Art, vol. 9, issue 1 (Spring 1995), pp. 86-109; S. A. Brown, "The Negro character as seen by White authors," The Journal of Negro Education, vol. 2, issue 2 (April 1933), pp. 179-203; and Negro Wit and Humor, by M. F. Harmon.
Subjects: Authors, Jim Crow, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Poets
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Nelson, William Stuart
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1977
William S. Nelson was born in Paris, KY, grew up in Paducah, KY, and his final home was in Washington, D.C. He was a 1920 graduate of Howard University and a 1924 divinity graduate of Yale University. He would become the first African American president of Shaw University (1931-1936) in North Carolina, saving the school from closing due to financial hardship during the Great Depression. Nelson was also the first African American president of Dillard University in New Orleans, beginning in 1936. He wrote La Race Noire dans la Democratie Americaine, and Bases of World Understanding (Calcutta University Press, 1949). He worked with Mahatma Gandhi while in India on a special mission for the American Friends Service Committee from 1946-1958. He was a friend of Martin Luther King, Jr. and joined him on the march from Selma to Montgomery, AL, in 1965. The William Stuart Nelson Scholarship Fund was established at Howard University, where he was former dean of the School of Religion and vice president for special projects. Nelson was the son Emma Kersands Nelson and William Henry Nelson. He was married to Blanche Wright Nelson. He was an Army veteran of World War I. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines, vol. 11, Sept. 1976-Aug. 1979; "The Tradition of White Presidents at Black Colleges," The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, no. 16 (Summer 1997), pp. 93-99; J. R. Hailey, "William Nelson, dean at Howard, dies," The Washington Post, 03/30/1977, Metro section, p. C6; and William Stuart Nelson (1895-1977) at the Martin Luther King, Jr and The Global Freedom Struggle website.

 

  See photo image of William S. Nelson, top left hand column, on p.39 in Golden jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky edited by C. H. Parrish.

 

 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / India / Washington D.C.

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

Nwangwa, Shirley A. Bacon
Birth Year : 1944
Death Year : 1996
Born Shirley Bacon in Christian County, KY, she received her B.A. in elementary education from Lane College in 1966 and her M.S. in public health and community organization from the University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill in 1970. She was employed by the Halifax County Health Department and worked in the area of teenage pregnancy. Nwangwa was the executive producer of the film, The Eye Can Story, a 30-minute documentary created to promote the self-esteem of teenagers and to deter early sexual involvement. For more see Contemporary Black American Playwrights and Their Plays, by G. L. Peterson, Jr.
Subjects: Authors, Medical Field, Health Care, Poets, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Christian County, Kentucky / Halifax County, North Carolina

O'Rourke, James Ralph , Sr.
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1999
In 2008, it was discovered that James R. O'Rourke, Sr. was the first African American graduate of the University of Kentucky School of Library and Information Science. He graduated in 1957. Prior to his enrollment, O'Rourke had been named head librarian at Kentucky State University (KSU), a position he held from 1949-1970. Before coming to Kentucky, O'Rourke was a history instructor and served as head librarian of Stillman Junior College [now Stillman College]. O'Rourke was a 1935 graduate of Stillman Junior College, a 1947 sociology and economics graduate of Talladega College, and a 1947 graduate of Atlanta University [now Clark Atlanta University], where he earned a B.S. in Library Science. He had owned a drug store and a shoe repair shop. He had been a singer, an actor, a barber, a Pullman Porter, and shoe shiner. In Kentucky, he was a library leader. O'Rourke was the author of several articles and co-authored the Student Library Assistants of Kentucky (SLAK) Handbook, which was distributed throughout the United States and to some foreign countries. O'Rourke and C. Elizabeth Johnson, Central High School Librarian, had co-organized SLAK in 1952; it was the only state-wide organization of its kind in the United States. The organization was created to spark students' interest in library science and provided scholarship opportunities to seniors who planned to go to college. O'Rourke also led an annual workshop to assist public library employees in getting certification, and he provided library training. He was one of the first African American members of the Kentucky Library Association (KLA). He also held several positions in community organizations. He was a civil rights advocate and served as presiding chairman of the National Conference of Christians and Jews in Lexington, KY, 1966-67. He was a member of the Governor's Planning Committee on Libraries, 1967-68, and co-chairman of the Lexington (KY) Librarians Association. O'Rourke was the last chairman of the Librarian's Conference of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, 1952-1956. He was a member of the American Library Association, the Southeastern Library Association, and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He was a member of the Kentucky Black History Committee of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, and was a co-contributor to the Commission's publication, Kentucky's Black Heritage. He left Kentucky a few years after his retirement from KSU in 1970 and settled in North Carolina. James R. O'Rourke, Sr. was born in Tuscaloosa, AL, the oldest child of Sally Reese and Timothy R. O'Rourke. He was the husband of George M. Wright O'Rourke [also a UK Library School graduate, 1966], and the great-grandson of Evalina Love and Shandy Wesley Jones. Shandy Jones was a slave who was freed in 1820 and later became an Alabama Legislator, 1868-1870 [see Descendants of Shandy Wesley Jones and Evalina Love Jones by Pinkard and Clark]. This information comes from the vita and the memorial tribute to James R. O'Rourke, Sr., provided by Dr. James R. O'Rourke, Jr. In 2009, the University of Kentucky Libraries and the School of Library and Information Science nominated James R. O'Rourke for the Lyman T. Johnson Torch Bearer Award (posthumously) for his work and dedication to librarianship in Kentucky. The award was received by his son, Dr. James R. O'Rourke, Jr.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Actors, Actresses, Authors, Barbers, Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Pullman Porters, Fraternal Organizations, Pharmacists, Pharmacies, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Tuscaloosa, Alabama / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / North Carolina

Packer, Zuwena "ZZ"
Birth Year : 1972
Zuwena Packer was born in Chicago and grew up in Louisville, KY, where she attended Seneca High School. Packer published her first story in Seventeen Magazine. She is the author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, has won a number of awards and recognitions for her writing, and has taught English. She now lives in California with her family. Zuwena Packer is a graduate of Yale University (B.A.), Johns Hopkins University (M.A.), and the University of Iowa (MFA). For more see "The ABC's on ZZ," Courier-Journal (Louisville), Features, 03/03/2003; "Robert Birnbaum talks with the author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere," on identitytheory.com, 04/29 /2003; and "ZZ Packer" in World Authors 2000-2005 (2007).

See photo image of Zuwena Packer at her Facebook page.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration West, Poets
Geographic Region: Chicago, Illinois / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / California

Parker, Johne M.
Johne M. Parker was born in Montgomery, AL. An associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, she has been with the University of Kentucky since 1997. She received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she wrote her dissertation, An analytical and experimental investigation of physically-accurate synthetic images for machine vision design. She co-authored Physically accurate synthetic images for computer vision system design. In 2005, Parker became the first person from Kentucky selected as an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Congressional Fellow, the oldest engineering society fellows program in the nation. The program enables fellow recipients to devote a year working with the federal government, providing engineering and technical advice to policy makers in Congress, federal agencies, and the White House. Parker spent the 2005-2006 academic year in D.C. For more see K. Johnson, "Engineering Professor to Advise Congress," University of Kentucky News, 06/24/05. For more on the ASME Congressional Fellows Program, see the Federal Government Fellowships Programs.
Subjects: Authors, Engineers, Migration North, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering
Geographic Region: Montgomery, Alabama / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

Parks, Suzan-Lori
Birth Year : 1964
Suzan-Lori Parks was born in Fort Knox, KY, but lived in a number of states; her father was in the military. This playwright has received a number of awards, including the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play, Topdog/Underdog. She wrote the screenplay for Girl 6 and is author of a number of books, including Getting Mother's Body: a novel and Venus. Parks is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. For more see Women of Color, Women of Words; Biography Index, vols. 20-26; and Contemporary Black Biography. Profiles from the international black community, vol. 34.

See photo image of Suzan-Lori Parks at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Authors
Geographic Region: Fort Knox, Bullitt, Hardin, and Meade Counties, Kentucky

Pegram, Amelia Blossom
Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Amelia Blossom Pegram is a teacher, writer, performer, and poet. She began teaching in South Africa, then left the country in 1963. She studied acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has acted on stage, radio, and television in England and the United States. Pegram came to the U.S. in 1972. She has won many awards, including the Louisville Board of Alderman Literary Award. She is author of several books, including Our Sun Will Rise: poems from South Africa, and she is included in Conversations with Kentucky Writers II. For more see Biography Index A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines, vol. 20 (Sept. 1991-Aug. 1995); and the Amelia Blossom Pegram at the South African Women for Women Annual Awards website.

See photo image of Amelia Blossom Pegram and additional information at the KET Website.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Education and Educators, Poets
Geographic Region: Cape Town, South Africa / England, Europe / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

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

Perry, Julia A.
Birth Year : 1924
Death Year : 1979
Perry was born in Lexington, KY, one of the five daughters of Dr. Abe Perry and America Lois Heath Perry. The family moved to Akron, Ohio, when Julia was a child. She was a two-time graduate of Westminster Choir College [now Westminster Choir College of Rider University]. She received two Guggenheim fellowships and a number of other awards during her career. Perry composed many works, including two one-act operas and a three-act opera-ballet, The Selfish Giant (published in 1964), for which she won the American Academy of Arts and Letters Prize. She taught in the music department at Hampton Institute [now Hampton University] and at Florida A&M, and she was a visiting lecturer at Atlanta University Center [now Clark Atlanta University]. Perry's career began to decline when she suffered her first stroke at the age of 46. She is buried in the Glendale Cemetery in Akron; the birth date on her tombstone, 1927, is incorrect. For more see "Julia Perry" in From Spirituals to Symphonies: African-American women composers and their music, by H. Walker-Hill; Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Classical Musicians, by N. Slonimsky; and Black Women in America. an historical encyclopedia, ed. by D. C. Hine.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Akron, Ohio

Peyton, Atholene Mary
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1951
The following information was submitted by Dr. John van Willigen, retired Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky.

 

The early 20th Century produced the earliest Kentucky cookbook written by an African American. The author, Miss Atholene Peyton, had deep roots in Louisville, where her Peytonia Cook Book was published in 1906. Her work has attributes consistent with the domestic science movement, which influenced many aspects of the food-related occupations of the pre-World War I era. Most recipes in the Peytonia Cook Book are presented in the format that was introduced by the famous Boston Cooking School cook books. As is typical of domestic science oriented cook books, the recipes are described as thoroughly tested and presented with standard, precise measures. And like other cook books with this orientation, the Peytonia Cook Book had didactic purposes. Peyton includes a teacher’s discussion of waitress service oriented toward employment in upper-class homes or elegant restaurants. It is the work of a culinary expert, not a housewife. She includes some branded products in some recipes including Quaker Oats, Vissman’s bacon and sausage, White Seal ginger ale, Cox’s gelatin, Burnett’s flavoring extracts, and Baker’s Chocolate. In a few cases Miss Peyton expresses advice about the nutritive qualities of some ingredients. The Cookbook itself includes a very warm introduction by Miss Nannie H. Burroughs, Corresponding Secretary, of the Woman’s Convention, auxiliary to the National Baptist Convention. Atholene Peyton, born in Louisville, was a 1898 graduate of Louisville’s segregated Central High School, where she later became domestic science teacher and advisor to the Girl’s Cooking Club. She also taught domestic science at the Neighborhood Home and Training School for Colored Boys and Girls in Louisville and the summer session of the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, D. C. Miss Peyton was listed in the U.S. Census as a teacher, and her father, William T. Peyton, was listed as a physician.

 

*Additional information: Atholene Peyton never married; her mother was Mary Pope Clark Peyton [source: Death Certificate, Register's No. 2065, Atholene Peyton].
Subjects: Authors, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson 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

Poetry Broadside Collection
Start Year : 1945
End Year : 1972
This collection contains limited edition broadsides, many signed, from Black Sun Press, Unicorn Press, Pommegranite, Gehenna, and Kriya Press, among others. Poets represented include Nhat Hanh, Langston Hughes, Jorge Luis Borges, Diane di Prima, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and Fuhara ya Sanifer. Available at the University of Louisville Libraries.
Subjects: Authors, Poets
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Poston, Ephraim
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1951
Poston was born in Clarksville, TN, the son of Ephraim and Louisa Rivers Poston. In Kentucky, he was an educator, poet, author, and journalist. Poston was a graduate of Roger Williams University in Nashville, TN. He taught school in Wickliffe, KY, and was a professor and Dean of Men at Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute [now Kentucky State University] for two years, before leaving to become principal at Pembroke High School. He was the author of Manual on Parliamentary Proceedings (1905), and Pastoral Poems (1906). His "Political Satires," a series, was published in the Hopkinsville newspaper, Kentucky New Era, from 1908-1912. Poston managed his family newspaper, the Hopkinsville Contender, with his children. He was the husband of Mollie Cox Poston and the father of Ted, Robert, and Ulysses Poston. After Mollie Poston's death, Ephraim later married Susie E. Forrest (1880-1966) and the couple lived in Paducah, KY. He taught at West Kentucky Vocational School [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College], and she was a teacher at Lincoln Grade School, according to the 1939 Paducah Kentucky Directory. For more see the Ephraim Poston entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race, by F. L. Mather [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and Dark Side of Hopkinsville, by T. Poston.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Fathers, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: Clarksville, Tennessee / Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Poston, Theodore R. A. M.
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1974
Poston was known as Ted, but his full name was Theodore Roosevelt Augustus Major Poston. He was born in Hopkinsville, KY. The first African American reporter for The New York Post, he covered many of the race disputes in the South. He lost two teeth while covering the Scottsboro case. He wrote The Dark Side of Hopkinsville, which was published posthumously. Poston was a 1928 graduate of Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial College [now Tennessee State University]. He was the brother of journalists Robert and Ulysses S. Poston, the son of Mollie Poston and Ephraim Poston, and the husband of Ersa Hines Poston. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Ted Poston: Pioneer American Journalist, by K. A. Hauke; and Ted Poston at The Library of America website, reportingcivilrights.org.


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kenucky

Powell, Ruth M.
Birth Year : 1912
Powell was born near Madisonville, KY. She published Lights and Shadows, a comprehensive history of the American Baptist Theological Seminary, in 1964. In 1979 she published Ventures in Education with Black Baptists in Tennessee. Powell graduated from J.C. Smith University in 1940 and Tennessee State University in 1953. For more see Who's Who in Religion, 2nd ed.
Subjects: Authors, Historians, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Powell, William Jennifer, Sr.
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1942
William J. Powell, Sr. was born William Jennifer in Henderson, KY; he had a sister named Edna Jennifer. Their father died, and their mother moved to Chicago and married Mr. Powell, who adopted the children. After high school, William Powell enrolled at the University of Illinois at Champaign [now University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign] but left in 1917 to join the U.S. Army. At the end of World War I, he returned to college and earned his electrical engineering degree. In 1928 he left Chicago to enroll in the Warren School of Aeronautics in Los Angeles. Powell learned to fly, and his lifetime goal was to encourage African Americans to become pilots. He saw the field as a way for African Americans to get ahead economically by becoming part of the air age and to help break down the racial barriers in public transportation. Powell was the successful owner of Craftsmen of Black Wings, Inc., an aviation company that offered flying lessons. He also made the documentary film, Unemployment, the Negro, and Aviation (1935); published the trade journal Craftsmen Aero-News (1937-1938); and organized all-black air shows with pilots such as Betsy Coleman and Hubert Fauntleroy Julian. Powell wrote an autobiography, Black Wings (1934). He was the husband of Lucylle Powell and the father of William Jr. and Bernadyne Powell. William Powell, Sr. was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. For more see Black Aviator: the story of William J. Powell, a new edition of William J. Powell's 1934 Black Wings; and see William Jennifer Powell in Encyclopedia of African American Business History, by J. E. K. Walker.

See photo image and additional information about William J. Powell, Sr. at the Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Authors, Aviators, Businesses, Engineers, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Los Angeles, California

Powers, Georgia D.
Birth Year : 1923
Born in Springfield, KY, Georgia Davis Powers was the first African American and woman in the Kentucky Senate (1967-1988); she served five four-year terms. She was also the first African American woman on the Jefferson County Executive Committee, where she pushed for, among other reforms, an Equal Rights Amendment resolution and the Displaced Homemaker's law. Powers is the author of Celia's Land: a historical novel. The Georgia Powers Collection is at the Kentucky State University Library's Special Collections and Archives. For more see Women in World History. A Biographical Encyclopedia and I Shared the Dream, by G. D. Powers. See also the NKAA entry for Celia Mudd.


Access Interview
Read about the Georgia Davis Powers 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 and additional information about Senator Powers at the African American Registry website.

 

View video of Georgia Davis Powers at KET (Kentucky Educational Television) Living the Story website.
Subjects: Authors, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Pryor, Albert Conklin, Jr.
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 2005
Pryor was born in Paducah, KY, the son of Albert C. Pryor, Sr. and Minnie Moreland Pryor. Pryor, Jr. graduated from Le Moyne College in 1942 and taught at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] before earning a master's degree in sociology from the University of Chicago. In 1954 he became the first African American hired to teach high school in the Springfield, MA, school system. Pryor earned his Ph. D. in 1963 from the University of Connecticut, and in 1967 he was hired as a full professor at Western New England College, where he created and developed the school's social work program; he retired from there in 1983. The Al Pryor Award for Social Work was named in his honor. Pryor wrote the thesis, The reactions of Negro veterans to their military experiences, and was co-author of The Negro population of Kentucky at mid-century. For more see "Albert C. Pryor, Jr.," The Republican (newspaper), 02/05/2005, Obits section, p. B04.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Social Workers, Sociologists & Social Scientists
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Springfield, Massachusetts

Quisenberry, Rosetta Lucas
Birth Year : 1951
Rosetta Quisenberry, born in Lexington, KY, was a school teacher for 14 years. She has collected over 1,000 postcards and other memorabilia with depictions of racist acts toward African Americans, many of which are featured in Quisenberry's 4-part series, A Saga of the Black Man, A Saga of the Black Woman, A Saga of the Black Child, and A Saga of the Black Family. From September 2007 - May 2008, items from Quisenberry's extensive collection were included in the exhibit in the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Arkansas. In 2009, Quisenberry appeared on BET [Black Entertainment Television] to talk about her books. She has also appeared on KET. In 2009, Quisenberry was awarded the Lucy Harth Smith-Atwood S. Wilson Award by the Kentucky Education Association, which she will receive April 2010. Quisenberry is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky. For more see Rosetta Lucas Quisenberry Releases Black Saga Series of Books at hostcommunications.com; the Rosetta Quisenberry interview on the second half of the video Juneteenth [#217] "Connections with Renee Shaw," 07/07/2007, at KET (Kentucky Educational Television); the Rosetta Quisenberry website; M. Davis, "Clinton Library checks out collection, likes what it sees," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/28/2007, Free Time section, p. E2; and M. Davis, "BET to highlight Lexington author - Quisenberry self-published four books on the Black experience in U.S.," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/05/2009, City Region section, p. D1.

See photo image of Rosetta Quisenberry at her website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Jim Crow
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Rainey, J. E.
Rainey, who lives in Louisville, KY, returned to writing after 30 years of manufacturing employment. Her first novel was Surviving the Past (2004). For more see the back cover of her novel.
Subjects: Authors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Robinson, James H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1963
James Hathaway Robinson, Sr. was born in Sharpsburg, KY, the son of Nathaniel and Martha Robinson. He moved to Cincinnati in 1915 to teach sixth grade at Douglass School. Robinson was a World War I veteran. He would become the Executive Secretary of the Negro Civic Welfare Association, which sponsored African American social work for the City of Cincinnati. He was also author of a number of publications, including the "Cincinnati Negro Survey" (later called "The Negro in Cincinnati"), published by the National Conference of Social Work in 1919; and "Social Agencies and Race Relations," a printed address in the Proceedings of the National Inter-Racial Conference (1925). Robinson attended Fisk University, earning his A.B. in 1911. He earned a second A.B. degree in 1912, an M.A. degree in 1914, and then pursued his Ph.D. in sociology, all at Yale University. He was the first African American to receive a fellowship at Yale University, the Larned Fellowship in 1913. Robinson also studied sociology and social service at the graduate level at Columbia University from 1914-1915. James H. Robinson, Sr. was a member of several organizations, including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and he was the only African American member of the National Council of the American Association of Social Workers. He was the husband of Neola E. Woodson, who was a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and a member of the newly formed Zeta Chapter in 1920. She was a school teacher in Cincinnati and at Covington High School. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; River Jordan, by J. W. Trotter, Jr.; Race and the city: work, community, and protest in Cincinnati, 1820-1970, by H. L. Taylor; and Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.

See photo image of James Hathaway Robinson, Sr. within the Digital Images Database at Yale University Manuscripts and Archives.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Social Workers, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Sharpsburg, Bath County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Russell, Harvey C., Sr.
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1949
Harvey C. Russell, Sr. was born in Bloomfield, KY. He was Dean of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and president of West Kentucky Industrial College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] in Paducah, KY. He organized the first State Parent-Teachers Association and the first State Inter-High School Athletic Association. In 1930, Russell was appointed the associate investigator in the National Survey of Secondary Education at a salary of $5,000. The Russell Neighborhood in Louisville, KY, was named in his honor; the area has been recognized with a Kentucky Historical Marker [number 2017]. He is author of The Kentucky Negro Education Association, 1877-1946. He was the husband of Julia Jones Russell and the father of Harvey C. Russell, Jr., Bessie Tucker Russell Stone, Dr. Randa D. Russell, Anna Howard Russell Pipes, and George Russell. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and "Kentuckian appointed Commissioner of Education," Wyandotte Echo, 05/16/1930, p.1.

 

  See photo image of Haravey C. Russell, Sr., bottom of left hand column, on p. 100 in Golden jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky.

 
Subjects: Authors, Communities, Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Bloomfield, Nelson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Sandusky, Annie L.
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1976
Born in Louisville, KY, Sandusky was a pioneer in social work. She moved to Illinois and became casework supervisor of the Cook County Bureau of Public Welfare. She also became a probation officer for Cook County and Social Services Consultant for the Illinois Public Aid Commission. In 1954 she became consultant to the Children's Bureau of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in Washington, D.C. Sandusky published many articles and reports on child welfare. For more see Contemporary Authors. A bio-bibliographical guide to current writers in fiction, general nonfiction, poetry, journalism, drama, motion pictures, television, and other fields, vols. 69-72.
Subjects: Authors, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Social Workers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Scott, Isaiah B.
Birth Year : 1854
Death Year : 1931
Born in Woodford County, KY, Bishop Isaiah B. Scott was the first African American president of Wiley College in Marshall, TX (1893-1896). In 1907 the school received the first Carnegie library west of the Mississippi River. In 1887, Scott had also been the first "Negro Missionary" in Hannibal, MO; Scott Chapel was named in his honor. He was also editor of the Southwestern Christian Advocate in New Orleans (1896-1904). He was elected Bishop for Africa in 1904 and moved to Liberia. He wrote Four Years in Liberia, published in 1908. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; L. Richardson, "Scott Chapel United Methodist Church," a Hannibal Free Public Library (MO) website; and Religion and the Rise of Jim Crow in New Orleans, by J. B. Bennett.

See photo image of Bishop Isaiah B. Scott at the Liberia United Methodist Church website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Woodford County, Kentucky / Marshall, Texas / Hannibal, Missouri / New Orleans, Louisiana / Liberia, Africa

Shipp, Ellen
Birth Year : 1830
Ellen Shipp was born around 1830 in Kentucky and is listed in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census as a free mulatto who was living in Cincinnati, OH. She was the wife of Thomas Shipp, born around 1821 in South Carolina, who is also listed as free. They were the parents of two boys, Thomas Shipp and Jesse A. Shipp Sr. (1863-1934). Jesse wrote the book for In Dahomey, one of the first successful Negro musicals on Broadway. (His name is sometimes spelled Jessie.) He was a playwright, vaudeville performer, manager, director, and lyricist. His son, Jesse A. (or Jessie) Shipp, Jr., founded Shipp Association, a booking agency in Harlem, NY. For more on Jesse Shipp, Sr., see his entry in the Internet Broadway Database.

[Dahomey was a country located in West Africa that is today southern Benin. The history of Dahomey dates between 1600 and 1900. See Dahomey in Encyclopaedia Britannica online.]
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Authors, Mothers, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / New York

Shockley, Ann A.
Birth Year : 1927
Shockley was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Bessie Lucas and Henry Allen, the first African American social workers in Louisville. Shockley was a librarian at Fisk University and made major contributions to library reference sources by authoring works such as Living Black American Authors and Afro-American Women Writers, 1746-1933. She was editor of the ALA Black Caucus Newsletter and author of a collection of short stories and two novels, one of which, Loving Her, was one of the first novels with an interracial lesbian couple. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2008; The Writers Directory, 3rd ed.-present; and Who's Who in Library and Information Services, ed. by J. M. Lee.
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

Simmons, George W., Jr.
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 2004
Simmons was born 1911 in Tehula, MS, to George Simmons, Sr. and Corrie Cade Smith Simmons. He came to Frankfort, KY, in 1937 to attend Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. Simmons had very little and worked tirelessly to afford his education; he flunked out of school and was inducted into the Army in 1942. He was honorably discharged in 1945; he had received 5 Battle Stars and a Good Conduct Medal. Simmons completed his college degree at Kentucky State in 1950 and taught high school in Scott County until 1956 when the school system was integrated; Simmons, who did not have tenure, was let go. He was hired in a special position in adoptions with the Kentucky Department of Economic Security; the state was attempting "to stimulate the Negro phase of the adoption program." In 1993, Simmons was recognized along with other African American teachers from Scott County's segregated schools. Learn more about George W. Simmons, Jr. in his book A Determined Man: an autobiography; see also J. Lucke, "Scott teachers honored for giving lessons of life," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/15/19993, City/State section, p. B1.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Social Workers
Geographic Region: Tehula, Mississippi / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Scott County, Kentucky

Simmons, William J.
Birth Year : 1849
Death Year : 1890
William J. Simmons was the second president of Kentucky Normal and Theological Institute (later Simmons University). He was an education advocate who fought for better education for African American children. He was editor of the American Baptist newspaper and established Eckstein Norton Institute in Cain Springs, KY. Simmons was the author of Men of Mark (1887), the forerunner to the irregular serial publication, Who's Who of the Colored Race. Simmons was also an activist; while serving as chair of the executive committee of the Convention of Colored Men of Kentucky, he was the first African American to speak before the Kentucky Legislature on the injustices put upon African Americans in Kentucky. For more see Black Higher Education in Kentucky, 1879-1930, by L. H. Williams; and Life Behind a Veil, by G. C. Wright.

See photo image of William J. Simmons at the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC).
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cain Springs, Kentucky

Simms, James N.
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1932
James N. Simms was born in 1871 in Port Royal, KY. He was the first African American graduate of the Indiana Law School [source: "No color line," Freeman, 05/29/1897, p.8]. A lawyer, he compiled Simms' Blue Book of National Negro Business and Professional Directory, published in Chicago in 1923. A photo of Simms can be viewed at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.


Subjects: Authors, Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Port Royal, Henry County, Kentucky

Sleet, Moneta J., Jr.
Birth Year : 1926
Death Year : 1996
Born in Owensboro, KY, Moneta J. Sleet, Jr. was the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize in photography; he was given the award for a photo of Mrs. Martin L. King and her daughter, Bernice, at Dr. King's funeral. A photographer for Ebony Magazine, he covered African nations gaining independence. He also co-authored Special Moments in African American History: 1955-1996. Sleet was the son of Moneta Sr. and Ozetta L. Allensworth Sleet. For more see Notable Black American Men, by J. C. Smith; and Who's Who of Pulitzer Prize Winners, by E. A. Brennan and E. C. Clarage. See also the Sleettown entry.

See photo image and additional information about Moneta J. Sleet in "Great Black Kentuckians" at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Authors, Photographers, Photographs
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Sloan, John Steward
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 2001
John Steward Sloan was a decorated Tuskegee Airman, a private pilot, an author, a journalist, and the first African American personnel counselor at Inland Steel Company in Chicago. Sloan was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Abram and Patsie Sloan. He was a history and sociology graduate of Kentucky State University. He was a journalist with the Kentucky Reporter newspaper. During WWII, Sloan was a pilot with the 32nd Fighter Group of the 99th Fighter Squadron, the first Black fighter squadron in the U.S. His plane was shot down over Monte Cassino, Italy in 1944; Sloan suffered a fractured thigh when he was hit by shrapnel. He managed to bail out of the plane and survived. Sloan received a Purple Heart and an Honorable Discharge. He returned to Kentucky for a brief period before he and his wife, Wilhelmina Carson Sloan, moved to Chicago, IL, where John Sloan was employed at the Inland Steel Company. Prior to his retirement from the company in 1978, Sloan had advanced to become a corporate finance manager. He was also a private pilot and had worked as a radio DJ. Sloan was a member of the Chicago Urban League. He is the author of two books: The Game Plan for Handicapping Harness Races (1975) and Survival! a Purple Heart Tuskegee Airman (2000). John Steward Sloan died December 28, 2001 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. For more see John Steward Sloan in "Interesting People," Chicago Metro News, 08/04/1979, p.9; E. Smith, "Lt. John S. Sloan shot down over Italy," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/26/2009; and R. E. Igoe, "John Sloan, Sr., Inland Exec, Tuskegee Airman," Chicago Tribune, 01/05/2001, Obituaries section, p.8.
Subjects: Authors, Aviators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Radio
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Smith, Edwin M.
Birth Year : 1950
Edwin M. Smith was born in Lexington, KY, then his family moved to Louisville, KY, when he was 3 years old. He entered the first grade just as the Louisville school system was being integrated in 1956. He left Louisville to attend Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1972. Smith graduated from the Harvard Law School in 1976. He was appointed by President Clinton to the Scientific and Policy Advisory Committee of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Smith is presently the Leon Benwell Professor of Law and International Relations at the University of Southern California Law School. He is co-author of The United Nations in a New World Order and has contributed to at least 12 other books and written a host of articles and other works. Edwin M. Smith is the son of Edwin M. and Carrie C. Smith of Louisville and the grandson of Lucy Hart Smith. For more see Who's Who in American Law, 1994-1995; and Who's Who in the West, 1992-1995.

See photo image and additional information on Edwin M. Smith at the USC Experts Directory website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Lawyers, Migration West, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Harvard, Massachusetts / Los Angeles, California

Smith, Effie Waller
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1960
Effie Waller Smith was born in Pike County, KY, the daughter of Sibbie and Frank Waller, a blacksmith. Smith earned her teaching certificate at Kentucky Normal School for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]. She was a school teacher in Pike County and was certified by Superintendent Perry A. Cline in the early 1890s. Effie W. Smith was well-read in classical literature, she published three books of poetry, and her poems also appeared in literary magazines. She stopped publishing her work in 1917 at the age of 38. Her husband, Deputy Sheriff Charles Smith, had been killed in 1911 while serving a warrant, they were married two years. Effie W. Smith left Kentucky for Wisconsin in 1918 and is buried in the city of Neenah. A Kentucky Historical Marker [#1959] was placed at the police department in Pikeville in honor of Effie Waller Smith. For more see The Collected Works of Effie Waller Smith; Effie W. Smith in Kentucky Women, by E. K. Potter; Effie W. Smith in the Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000; "State honors Black poet...," Lexington Herald Leader, 12/11/01, p. B3; "Effie Waller Smith: An Echo Within the Hills," The Kentucky Review, Vol. 8, issue 3 (Autumn 1988), pp. 26-46; and W. R. Cummings, "History of the Perry A. Cline High School," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, vol. 9, no. 1-2 (Oct.-Nov. 1938), p. 49. See photo image and bio of Effie Waller Smith on pp. 131-132 in The Negro in Revelation, in History, and in Citizenship, by J. J. Pipkin.

See photo image of Effie Waller Smith at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration West, Poets, Corrections and Police, Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Pike County, Kentucky / Neenah, Wisconsin

Smith, Ella Cowan and Josephus [Joseph] William
Birth Year : 1873
Both Ella and Joseph Smith were born in 1873 in Lexington, KY, where their parents had been slaves. In 1878, when both were five years old and their families were free, the families moved to Atchison, Kansas; they were members of the Exodusters leaving Lexington for Kansas. Their families later moved on to Oklahoma during the Land Rush. For more about the Smith Family see Echoes of Yesterday, by Josephus (Joseph Smith) [available online .pdf an iwitnesstohistory.org website].
Subjects: Authors, Freedom, Migration West, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Atchison, Kansas / Oklahoma

Smith, Gerald L.
Birth Year : 1959
Born in Lexington, KY, Gerald L. Smith is a history professor and fomer director of the African American Studies and Research Program at the University of Kentucky (UK). Smith is a three time graduate from UK, having earned bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. He has had more than 30 items published in history journals and reference books. Smith is the author of a number of books, including A Black educator in the segregated South: Kentucky's Rufus B. Atwood and the Black America series title, Lexington, Kentucky. Smith is also an ordained minister. For more see Gerald L. Smith, Ph.D.


Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Historians, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Smith, Leslie S.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1997
Smith was born in Pleasant Ridge, KY. A schoolteacher in Kentucky and West Virginia, she published short stories, poems, and her book, Around Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, A Black History (1979), which covers 1795 to 1979. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Historians, Poets
Geographic Region: Pleasant Ridge, Lewis County, Kentucky

Smith, Lucy H.
Birth Year : 1888
Death Year : 1955
Lucy H. Smith was born in Virginia, then came to Kentucky in 1910 as an assistant school principal. She pushed for the study of Black history in schools. She was the second woman president of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association and served as principal of the Booker T. Washington School in Lexington, KY. [Maude S. Brown was the first woman president of KNEA.] Smith compiled the Pictorial Directory of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women [full-text available at the Kentucky Digital Library]. She earned her master's degree in education at the University of Cincinnati. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones; Notable Black American Women, Book II; and "Mrs. Lucy Smith pioneered in Ky. education," Baltimore Afro-American, 05/11/1946, p. 13.

 
See photo image of Lucy H. Smith on [p. 5] of Pictorial Directory of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration West, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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


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

Smith, Thomas J.
Birth Year : 1871
Smith was born in Ballard County, KY. He was principal at the Colored high school in Versailles, KY (1896-1917) while serving as a pastor in Dayton, OH. He was also pastor at Zion Baptist Church in Paris, KY (1912-1917). Smith served as historian for the Kentucky State Teachers Association (1900-1917). He wrote The Boy Problem in Church, School, and Home, published by State Normal Press in 1903. African American men within the Baptist denomination made it their mission to better guide African American boys and young men for the sake of the race as a whole. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; and A. M. Hornsby, "The Boy problem: North Carolina race men groom the next generation: 1900-1930," The Journal of Negro History, vol.86, issue 3 (Summer, 2001), pp.276-304.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Ballard County, Kentucky / Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Smith-Hyatt, Mary E.
Born in Estill County, KY, Smith-Hyatt practiced medicine in Indianapolis, IN, specializing in women's and children's diseases. She was also a dressmaker and milliner as well as a voice and piano teacher. She wrote medical articles published in newspapers and journals and published a book of poetry and a book on health. Smith-Hyatt composed the words and music of My Little Hoosier Song and Consecration. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Medical Field, Health Care, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Poets
Geographic Region: Estill County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Spencer, Onah Lee
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1972
Onah L. Spencer was a music composer, music and entertainment journalist, folklorist, and a historian. He was a member of Chicago's Black Renaissance. Onah L. Spencer was born in Kentucky, the son of Clara F. Bueler Spencer (1879-1961) and Lee Spencer [source: Onah L. Spencer in the Ohio County Marriages Index; and the Ohio Deaths Index]. Onah L. Spencer was described as a "light Negro" on his WWI Draft Registration Card, and he and his family are listed as white in the 1920 Census. They are listed as black, mulatto, or Negro in the 1910 and subsequent census records after 1920. It is not known when the family left Kentucky, but Onah's two younger sisters, Bessie and Elsie, were born in Ohio around 1902 and 1904, according to census records. The children were living in Cincinnati with only their mother when she, Clara Spencer, was listed as the widow of Lee Spencer on p.1713 in William's Cincinnati Business Directory for 1907. His mother was a laundrywoman and Onah L. Spencer started working at an early age. In the 1910 census his occupation was listed as a houseboy, and in 1920, he was a butcher at the Meat Emporium in Cincinnati. November 30, 1928, Onah L. Spencer married Cora B. Gray, and in 1930, Onah was employed as a printer [sources: Ohio County Marriages Index; and 1930 U.S. Federal Census]. By 1940, Onah L. Spencer was divorced and living in Chicago in a boarding house on Oakwood Boulevard, he was employed as a writer with the WPA Writers' Project [source: 1940 U.S. Federal Census]. His work includes a major contribution of articles and essays on Negro Music and Musicians, all of which can be found in the Illinois Writers' Project Papers in the Vivian Harsh Research Collection at the Chicago Public Library [finding aid to collection]. More information on the WPA work by Onah L. Spencer and others can be found in The Negro In Illinois by Brian Dolinar, who credits Spencer as the author of the 1934 pageant "O, Sing a New Song" (p.xxxix). In addition to his literary and news writing, Onah L. Spencer was also a composer, and in 1937 one of his works was premiered June 2 on Station WSAI in Cincinnati; the orchestra played "The Oriental Swing," a piece that Spencer collaborated on with Nobel Sissle while producing the 1934 pageant [source: "Spencer writes new swing tune," The Afro-American, 06/19/1937, p.10]. The song "Oriental Swing" was recorded by Lil Hardin Armstrong in 1938. Onah L. Spencer was also a composer on "Stack O'Lee Blues: melancholy" that was recorded by Johnny Dodds prior to Dodds' death to 1940.  At the close of his time with the WPA, Onah L. Spencer continued writing as a correspondent for the publication Down Beat, covering jazz on the south side of Chicago, and also traveling to other cities for interviews and reviews, as well as writing for other publications. He also continued his work as a composer on a number of records, such as the 1949 title "Mercenary Papa: you got to pay those dues," recorded by Cootie Williams around 1949. In December of 1951, he was composer of the Chess record "Leo the Louse" played by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats [image]. The record was released in January of 1952. By 1958, Onah L. Spencer had returned to Cincinnati where he died February 1, 1972 [sources: p.1262 in William's Cincinnati (Hamilton County, Ohio) City Directory, 1958; and Ohio Deaths Index].

 

  Listen to Cootie Williams and His Orchestra - Mercenary Papa (Mercury 8168) on YouTube. 

 

  Listen to Lil Hardin Armstrong & Her Swing Orchestra - Oriental Swing on YouTube.

 

  Listen to Johnny Dodds - Stack O'Lee Blues at Internet Archive.

 

 
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Chicago, Illinois

Spradling, Mary E. Mace
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 2009
Spradling was born in Winchester, KY. She was the librarian at Lynch Colored School in the 1930s and teacher-librarian in Shelbyville in the 1940s. She chaired the Library Conference of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association in 1950, and was a librarian at the Louisville Free Public Library. Spradling left Kentucky in 1950 and would become the first African American professional librarian with the Kalamazoo Public Library. She also established the Alma Powell Branch Library in Kalamazoo. She retired in 1976, and in 1998 donated her personal library of 28,000 volumes to the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Library. Spradling was the author of "Black Librarians in Kentucky" [in The Black Librarian in the Southeast, ed. A. L. Phinazee], and of the reference volumes, In Black and White. Mary Spradling was the wife of Lewis Spradling (1905-1964). For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2006; A Biographical Directory of Librarians in the United States and Canada, 5th ed.; and "Many lives enriched by Mary Spradling," Kalamazoo Gazette, 01/30/2009, Editorials section.
See photo, and article by Stephanie Esters, "Memorial service for Kalamazoo's first black librarian set for Saturday" in Kalamazoo Gazette, 04/22/2009, General News section.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Kalamazoo, Michigan

Spurgeon, James Robert
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1942
Spurgeon, a Kentuckian who is said to be a Yale graduate, was appointed by President McKinley as Secretary Minister of the American Legation in Monrovia, Liberia. Spurgeon wrote The Lost Word; or The Search for Truth, a speech delivered before the Free Masons in Monrovia in 1899. Two years later, President McKinley was shot and killed, and Vice President Theodore Roosevelt became President of the United States. By the end of December 1902, Spurgeon had lost his post when President Roosevelt appointed his replacement, 25 year old George Washington Ellis. There had been trouble in Monrovia, and it escalated when Spurgeon forwarded a report to the State Department stating that Liberian Minister J. R. A. Crossland, an African American from Missouri, was mentally unbalanced. Crossland had just shot another Negro, Thomas J. R. Faulkner, an electrical engineer from Brooklyn, who allegedly had tried to cut Crossland with a razor. After the incident, Spurgeon's and Crossland's working relationship continued to deteriorate and both men kept loaded weapons in their desk drawers. The United States was embarrassed by the entire matter and Spurgeon was dismissed. Spurgeon remained in Liberia, and in November 1904, he was speaking to a crowd in Monrovia on behalf of Franklin Leonard, Jr., Democratic candidate for Congress, when a riot broke out. The crowd was made up of about 1,000 Negroes from the United States who were supporters of Roosevelt. Spurgeon was booed and hissed at, and someone set fire to the banners decorating the wagon on which he was standing. The police arrived, the fire was put out, and there were scuffles between the crowd and the police. A white janitor at a nearby building began pushing members of the crowd off the building steps, and a woman who was shoved away returned with her husband, who was carrying a loaded gun. There was a fight over the gun, and while no one was shot, the woman and her husband were arrested. Order was finally restored. Spurgeon returned to the United States, and in 1907 he was named Prince Hall Past Master by Affiliation of Carthaginian no. 47 (Brooklyn, NY). For more see "Razors fly through air of Liberia," The Atlanta Constitution, 12/26/1902, p. 5; "Row at Negro meeting,"The New York Times, 11/08/1904, p. 2; and photo of Spurgeon as Past Master at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.


Subjects: Authors, Migration North, Fraternal Organizations, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Monrovia, Liberia, Africa / Brooklyn, New York

Stout, Louis
Birth Year : 1939
Death Year : 2012
Louis Stout was born in Cynthiana, KY and was a graduate of Cynthiana High School. He played basketball under Joe B. Hall at Regis College [now Regis University] in Denver, CO. In 1994 he became the first African American to serve as the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Commissioner, making him the first African American in the nation to head a state athletic association. He had been with the association since 1971 and retired in 2002. Prior to that he was a basketball coach at the old Dunbar High School in Lexington, KY (1965-1967), and after school integration, he became head basketball coach at Tates Creek High School in Lexington. Stout is the author of Shadows of the Past. In 2011, he was named president of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). He was honored with inductions into the National Federation of High Schools' Hall of Fame, the Kentucky Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, the AAU Hall of Fame, and the AAU Softball Umpire Hall of Fame. He also was inducted into the Dawahares/KHSAA Hall of Fame, an organization where he had championed the induction of many, many athletes. Louis Stout was the son of Elizabeth Wilson Ford and John Stout, Sr. He was the brother of Fielding "Toke" Coleman. For more see Louis Stout in the Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project, 1900-1989 at Special Collections, University of Kentucky; and M. Fields, "Former KHSAA commissioner Louis Stout dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/09/2012.

  See photo image of Louis Stout at KET Basketball Gallery.

Access Interview Read about the Louis Stout oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Authors, Basketball
Geographic Region: Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Stowers, Walter H.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1932
Said to be born in Owensboro, KY, Walter H. Stowers became a lawyer and author. Michigan and Canada are also given as his birth locations in the U.S. Federal Census. Stowers was a deputy sheriff and deputy county clerk in Detroit, MI. He established two newspapers, Venture and Plaindealer (Detroit). He led the fight against restrictive covenants in Detroit. Because of the controversial content of his book, the pen name Sanda was used when he co-authored Appointed: an American Novel, published by the Detroit Law Printing Co. For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings; and Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.

  See image of Walter H. Stowers at The American Literary Blog.
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Talbert, Horace
Birth Year : 1853
Death Year : 1910
Horace Talbert, an AME minister, was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Jane E. Dory Talbert and William Talbert. He was the husband of Sarah F. Black, born 1859 in Washington, D. C., and they had 14 children. Talbert was assigned to a number of churches in Kentucky and in other states. He edited and managed the African Watchman; served as secretary and financial officer of Wilberforce University, beginning in 1897; and was part owner of Talbert Specialty Company, a mail order house. He was the author of The Sons of Allen [available online at Documenting the American South]. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915The Autobiography of William Sanders Scarborough: an American journey from slavery to scholarship by W. S. Scarborough, p. 361; and Rev. Horace Talbert in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.

  See photo image of Horace Talbert at the "Documenting the American South" website.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Wilberforce, Ohio

Talbott, Emma M.
Birth Year : 1943
Emma M. Talbott is a writer and poet. She taught school in Jefferson County, KY, for 26 years and writes editorials and book reviews for the Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY). She is author of The Joy and Challenge of Raising African American Children. For more see The Masthead, vol. 47, issue 2 (Summer 1995), pp. 9-12.

  See photo image of Emma M. Talbott at owl.library website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Taylor, Kimberly Hayes
Birth Year : 1962
Kimberly Hayes Taylor, born in Louisville, KY, is the daughter of Loraine S. and James E. Hayes. She is a 1984 communications graduate of Morehead State University and was the health and features writer with the Detroit News. In 1991 she received the Top Well Done Award for the series "Street Under Siege." In addition to being a journalist, Taylor is also a professional speaker and author of Black Civil Rights Champions and Black Abolitionists and Freedom Fighters. Her books and articles have been referenced in teacher guides as well as books on history and immigration. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2006; and Kimberly Hayes Taylor, a USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism website.


Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Children's Books and Music
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Taylor, Marshall W. (Boyd)
Birth Year : 1846
Death Year : 1887
Born in Lexington, KY, Marshall W. Boyd was educated by private teachers and at private schools. (He later changed his last name to Taylor.) He organized the first school for African Americans in Hardinsburg, KY, in 1866, and armed himself in an effort to keep the school open; the school was bombed on Christmas Day, December 25, 1867. The following year, Taylor was elected president of the Negro Educational Convention, which was held in Owensboro, KY. He was licensed to preach in 1869 and was also a lawyer with the Kirkland and Barr law firm in Louisville, KY. Taylor edited the Southwestern Christian Advocate. He is most remembered for compiling the early African American hymnal, Collection of Revival Hymns and Plantation Melodies (1882). He was also author of Handbook for Schools and The Negro in Methodism. According to his entry in Herringshaw's National Library of American Biography, volume 4, Taylor died September 11, 1887 in Louisville, KY. Taylor was the grandfather of jazz saxophonist Sam Rivers (1923-2011). For more see History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880, by G. W. Williams [available full view at Google Book Search]; Out of Sight: the Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895, by L. Abbott and D. Seroff; and Forty Years in the Lap of Methodism: history of Lexington Conference of Methodist Episcopal Church, by W. H. Riley.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Hardinsburg, Breckinridge County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Timberlake, Clarence L.
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1979
Timberlake was born in Elizaville, KY. Known as the "Father of Vocational Education," he was the author of Household Ethics and Industrial Training in Colored Schools, and the pamphlet, Politics and the Schools. Timberlake was the owner of the weekly newspaper Frankfort Clarion. He established the first trade school in Kentucky and developed a school in Pembroke (Christian County) into the first Teacher Training School for Negroes in Kentucky. He taught and was principal at other Kentucky schools, and from 1948 until his retirement in1957, was president of West Kentucky Vocational School [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] in Paducah. Timberlake was a 1904 graduate of Kentucky Normal Industrial Institute for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Kentucky's Black Heritage, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; J. A. Hardin, "Green Pickney Russell of Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons," Journal of Black Studies, vol. 25, issue 5 (May 1995), p. 614; and The Timberlake Story, by O. A. Dawson. The Clarence L. Timberlake Papers and the Clarence L. Timberlake Oral History are located at Murray State University Library.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Elizaville, Fleming County, Kentucky / Pembroke, Christian County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

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

  

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

Van Leer, Darryl
Birth Year : 1961
Darryl Van Leer is an actor, vocalist, writer, and photographer. He was born in Madisonville, KY, and is a graduate of Western Kentucky University. He began his career on BET's "Bobby Jones Gospel Show." Van Leer has appeared in First Time, a Nickelodeon movie, and HBO's The Second Civil War and Up Against the Wall. He was nominated for a 1996 NAACP Theatre Award and was recognized by the National Association of Campus Activities. His one-man plays, which he wrote and produced, represent African Americans such as Malcolm X, Nat Turner, and Marcus Garvey. His more recent work is Rubycat Lawson’s Roadhouse Lounge. There are several videos of Van Leer's performances on YouTube. Darryl Van Leer is also a public speaker, a musician, and he has done stand-up comedy. For more see the Darryl Van Leer website.

See Darryl Van Leer in the YouTube video Roadhouse Lounge.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Authors, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Photographers, Photographs, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Walker, Frank X
Birth Year : 1961
Frank X Walker was born in Danville, KY. He is a visual artist, poet, author, educator, and motivator. Walker is a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, editor of Eclipsing a Nappy New Millennium, and author of Affrilachia and Buffalo Dance: the Journey of York. He has given over 250 poetry readings, including readings at the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry, Northern Ireland, and in Santiago, Cuba. He has received many awards, appeared on television and been heard on the radio; he was the first writer from Kentucky to be featured on NPR's This I Believe. Walker was director of the Kentucky Governor's School for the ARTS, 1998-2004, leaving that position to become an English professor at Eastern Kentucky University. He has also been a visiting professor at Transylvania University. His teaching experience includes writing workshops at various locations and writing classes at the university level, including the University of Louisville and the University of Minnesota. Walker is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and Spalding University, and he received an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from the University of Kentucky and an honorary Doctor of Letters from Transylvania University. In 2010, Frank X. Walker joined the University of Kentucky Department of English, and in 2011 he was named director of both the African American Studies & Research and the Africana Studies Programs at UK. In 2013, Frank X Walker was named Kentucky's poet laureate [source: M. Meehan,"Lexington writer Frank X Walker named Kentucky poet laureate," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/15/2013, p.A3]. At the age of 51, he is the youngest to be named the state's poet laureate and he is also the first African American to receive the honor. For more see Frank X. Walker website; Affrilachian Poets; and The Columbia Granger's Index to African-American Poetry, by N. Frankovich and D. Larzelere.


  See photo images of Frank X Walker by Rachel Eliza Griffiths at the Frank X Walker website.

  View Kentucky Muse: (#503) Frank X Walker "I Dedicate This Ride" at KET Video (Kentucky Educational Television).

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

 

   View video at Vimeo: "Accpetance Speech: The Induction of Frank X Walker, Kentucky Poet Laureate, 2013-2014 - April 24, 2013, Capitol Rotunda, Frankfort, Kentucky." Video footage courtesy of the Kentucky Arts Council. Edited by Nyoka Hawkins for Old Cove Press.

 

 
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Education and Educators, Poets
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle 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

Weeden, Henry Clay
Birth Year : 1862
Death Year : 1937
Born a slave in LaGrange, KY, Weeden was educated at the public school that was managed by E. P. Marrs, and continued his education in Louisville. He became editor of the Christian Index, and later edited Zion's Banner, and was a special correspondent to city dailies. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention for ten years. In 1892, he was the first African American elected secretary of the Fifth District Republican Convention. Weeden was a Knight Templar and a Thirty-second Degree Mason. He wrote Weeden's History of the Colored People of Louisville, and brief biography is given of Weeden's life under the heading "Our Compiler." For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: LaGrange, Oldham County, Kentucky

Wells, William "Dicky"
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 1985
Born in Centerville, TN, Wells grew up in Louisville, KY. He was a trombonist who played in a speech-like style and who invented his pepperpot mute. Throughout his career he played with Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Ray Charles, and a number of others. Wells co-authored The Night People with S. Dance. For more see Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music, ed. by D. Clark; and American National Biography, ed. J. A. Garraty and M. C. Carnes. View Born to Swing - pt.5 - Dicky Wells on YouTube.

Subjects: Authors, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Centerville, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Wesley, Charles H.
Birth Year : 1891
Death Year : 1987
Charles H. Wesley was born in Louisville, KY. He was the son of Matilda Harris Wesley, who was mistakenly listed as a widow in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census when she and her son Charles lived on 9th Street with Matilda's father, Douglas Harris, and other family members. Matilda Harris Wesley was not a widow in 1900; her husband (or ex-husband) Charles Snowden Wesley is listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census as a single man; he was living with his parents, Mary H. and J. H. Taylor, on 9th Street in Louisville and was employed at an undertakers' business. Charles S. Wesley died in April of 1902 [according to information provided to Ms. C. P. Uzelac of the Dorothy Porter Wesley Center, Inc.] His death date is given as April 28, 1904 in the Kentucky Death Index for Jefferson County, KY. His son, Charles H. Wesley, received his B.A. from Fisk University in 1911, his M.A. from Yale in 1913, and a Ph.D in history from Harvard. Wesley was the third African American to receive a doctorate in history from Harvard. As a professor, he taught history and modern language at Howard University. He later became president of Wilberforce University and Central State College [now Central State University] in Ohio. Wesley was president of the Study of Negro Life and History, 1950-1965, and executive director up to 1972. He was an AME Church minister and elder. Wesley wrote a number of articles on the problems of Negro education in the United States. In 1927 he published Negro Labor in the United States, 1850-1925, and, in 1935, Richard Allen, Apostle of Freedom. Wesley wrote the history of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity for seven decades. His last book was The History of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs. For more see Who's Who Among Black Americans, 6th ed.; Notable Black American Men, by J. C. Smith; and Current Biography. Additional information provided by C. P. Uzelac, Executive Director of the Dorothy Porter Wesley Center, Inc.

See photo image of Charles H. Wesley and additional information at BlackPast.org.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Historians, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee / New Haven, Connecticut / Cambridge, Massachusetts / Washington, D.C. / Wilberforce, Ohio

White, James L.
Born in Mt. Sterling, KY, James L. White served in the Navy and later attended the University of Massachusetts. He later moved to California, where he lived for a while before he and Taylor Hackford became the screenwriters for the 2004 film Ray (about Ray Charles). The movie received six Oscar nominations, and Jamie Foxx, playing the role of Ray Charles, won an Oscar in 2005 for Actor, Leading Role in the film. For more see R. Copley, "'Ray' writer dared to dream: Kentuckian bucked odds, hit big with biopic," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/27/05.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / Amherst, Massachusetts / California

Whitman, Albery A.
Birth Year : 1851
Death Year : 1901
Albery Allson Whitman was born into slavery in Hart County, KY, on the Green River Plantation. Albery was the husband of Caddie Whitman (1857-1909), who was also from Kentucky. Albery was a poet and a Bishop of the Methodist Church. He was a graduate of Wilberforce College [now Wilberforce University] and served as Dean of Morris Brown College in Atlanta. His published works include "Leelah Misled" in 1873, "Not a Man and Yet a Man" in 1877, and "The Rape of Florida" in 1884. His last work was published in 1901: "An Idyll of the South." His talent as a Negro poet has been described as between Phillis Wheatley and Paul L. Dunbar. Albery A. Whitman was also the father of musician Caswell W. Whitman (1875-1936) and the Whitman Sisters, one of the most successful vaudeville troupes in the U.S. Albery taught his older daughters to dance when they were children, and for a brief period they were manged by their mother, Caddie. The Whitman troupe first toured Kentucky in 1904. The Whitman Sisters were Mabel (1880-1962), Essie B. (1882-1963), Alberta (1887-1964), and Alice (1900-1969). Mabel directed the shows, Essie was a comic singer, Alberta was a flash dancer and did male drag, and Alice was an exceptional tap dancer. For more on Albery A. Whitman see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan and M. R. Winston; and Albery Allson Whitman (1851-1901), epic poet of African American and Native American self-determination (thesis), by J. R. Hays. For more about the Whitman Sisters see The Royalty of Negro Vaudeville by N. George-Graves; and Jazz Dance, by M. W. Stearns and J. Stearns. For more on Caswell Woodfin Whitman see the following Chicago Defender articles - "The Whitman Sister's kin passes away," 04/04/1936, pp.1 & 10; "Allen Bowers Entertains," 03/06/1932, p.7; and "The Whitmans arrive," 03/16/1918, p.6 - [article citations provided by the Curator of the Chicago Jazz Archive at the University of Chicago].
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Authors, Education and Educators, Fathers, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Poets, Religion & Church Work, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Cross Dressing, Dress in Drag
Geographic Region: Hart County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Wiggins, Bobbie Reeves
Birth Year : 1949
Wiggins, born in Paducah, KY, is an educator, performer, author and writer. In the 1970s, she performed in movies and other productions, including Abby, Sheba Baby, and Combat Cops / Zebra Killer, which were all produced by Louisville, KY, native William B. Girdler, Sr. Wiggins was also a features writer with West Kentucky News, Kentucky Voice, The Paducah Sun, and Paducah Parenting and Family Magazine, a free publication. Wiggins was a school teacher for 13 yeas in Dallas, TX, and in 1995 she received the Junior Women's League Award for Innovative Teaching. Using the education grant she received in 1995, Wiggins wrote and recorded Rap N Learn in 2000 and It's a Rap in 2002. Both CDs contain curriculum-based songs geared to help young learners who have difficulty grasping language rules and fundamentals. Wiggins is the author of The Legacy of Woodland. She is a graduate of Lone Oak High School and Murray State University, where she received a B.A. in speech and English and an M.A. in speech and theater. Wiggins is a sister to Loretta Reeves Stewart. This information is presented, with permission, from Bobbie R. Wiggins biography.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Children's Books and Music, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Wilkinson, Crystal
Birth Year : 1962
Crystal Wilkinson was born in Ohio and reared in Indian Creek, KY. She chaired the Creative Writing Department for the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts, taught creative writing at the University of Kentucky, served as a writer-in-residence at Eastern Kentucky University, and was a member of the faculty of Spalding University's MFA Program. In 2007, she was a writer in residence at Morehead State University. Wilkinson is author of Blackberries, Blackberries; Water Street; and a host of works in anthologies and serial publications. Her works have received a number of awards and recognitions, including the 2002 Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature. Crystal Wilkinson and her husband are owners of the Wild Fig Book Store in Lexington, KY. For more see Crystal Wilkinson, Poet, on Connections with Renee Shaw, video #422 [available online]. 

  See photo image of Crystal Wilkinson and additional information at the Baggot Asher Bode blog site.

Access Interview Read about the Crystal Wilkinson oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records are in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Education and Educators, Poets
Geographic Region: Ohio / Indian Creek, Whitley County, Kentucky

Wilkinson, Doris Y.
Birth Year : 1936
Doris Y. Wilkinson was born in Lexington, KY, the daughter of Regina L. and Howard T. Wilkinson. She is director of the Project on the African American Heritage, Department of Sociology, at the University of Kentucky. Her interests include organizations and professions, medical sociology, and race and ethnic relations. Dr. Wilkinson was a member of the first class of African American students at the University of Kentucky in 1954, and she earned her Ph.D. at Case Western in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1967, she became the first African American female appointed to a full-time faculty position at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Wilkinson has received a number of awards and is author of numerous articles and eight books, including anthologies and co-authored works. A more recent recognition was the dedication of the Doris Y. Wilkinson Conference Room in Breckinridge Hall at the University of Kentucky on October 18, 2007. For more see "Sociologist inspired by cultural resilience," Lexington Herald-Leader, p. A14, 03/02/02; Who's who Among African Americans 1992-1995; and Who's Who in America 1998-2008.

 

   See "Doris Wilkinson, University of Kentucky Sociologist" on Connections with Renee Shaw, video #423 at KET (Kentucky Educational Television) website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Sociologists & Social Scientists
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

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

Williams, Jamye Coleman
Birth Year : 1918
Jamye Williams was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Jamye Harris Coleman and Frederick Douglass Coleman, Sr. and the sister of Frederick Douglass Coleman, Jr. She served as an English and speech professor at a number of institutions after earning her B.A. from Wilberforce University in 1938, her M.A. from Fisk University in 1939, and her Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1959. She was teacher of the year in 1968 at Tennessee State University and was co-editor of the journal, Negro Speaks, in 1970. Three years later she became a full professor in communications and took over as head of the department until her retirement in 1987. Williams was the first woman elected general officer of the A.M.E. Church in 1984 and played a leading role in the church naming the first woman bishop in 2000. For more see Jamye Coleman Williams' biography in The History Makers; Living Black American Authors: a biographical directory, by A. A. Shockley and S. P. Chandler; Who's Who Among African Americans 1975-2007; and B. Karkabi, "Octogenarian at crossroads of church's past and future - Jamye Coleman Williams reflects on her legacy in the AME Church," Houston Chronicle, 08/27/2005, Religion section, p. 1. For more about the Coleman family and the AME Church see The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.

  See video with Jayme Coleman Williams and her husband, McDonald Williams, at the National Visionary Leadership Project website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Migration South
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

Williams, Orena Vaught
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1988
The poet Orena Williams was born in Berea, KY, the daughter of Eliza and Dock Vaught [also spelled Vaughn]. The family is listed in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census showing Eliza Vaught (b. 1878 in KY) as a widow with seven children; the family was living on Georgia Avenue in Connersville, IN. Orena was one of the younger children. She attended Lewis Business College in Indianapolis in 1932, and was later employed as a secretary and teacher. She also wrote plays and poetry, including two books of poetry, Grains of Sand in 1974 and From My Garden in 1980. Orena Williams was the wife of Roy L. Williams of Louisville, KY. For more see The Black Women in the Middle West Project, by D. C. Hine, et al.; and the Indiana Historical Society website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: Berea, Madison County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Connersville, Indiana

Williams, Sheila J.
Sheila J. Williams is the author of Dancing on the edge of the roof, The shade of my own tree, Girls most likely, and On the right side of a dream. She was born in Columbus, OH, attended Ohio Wesleyan University, and graduated from the University of Louisville. She has been a legal secretary, corporate paralegal and mutual fund product manager; and worked in law firms, a Fortune 500 corporation and two banks. For more about Williams, see Sheila Williams; and Sheila Williams, Author, on Connections with Renee Shaw, video #424 [available online].

  See photo image of Sheila J. Williams at her website.
Subjects: Authors
Geographic Region: Columbus, Ohio / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Wilson, George D.
Birth Year : 1898
Death Year : 1992
George D. Wilson served as dean of the West Kentucky Industrial College in 1930 and was professor of education at the Louisville Municipal College from 1934 until its closing in 1951. Wilson then became professor and head of the department of education at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State Uniersity]. For more see A Century of Negro Education in Louisville [full-text available in the Kentucky Digital Library E-texts]; and the George D. Wilson papers at the University of Louisville's Libraries's Special Collections and Archives.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Wolfe, George C.
Birth Year : 1954
George C. Wolfe was born in Frankfort, KY. A director, writer, and producer, he has received numerous awards, including the Obie Award in 1990 and the Tony Award for best director in 1993, for the first part of Angels in America, Millennium Approaches; Wolfe was the first person of color to win the award for directing a "white" play. He also produced Paradise (his first professionally produced play), and The Colored Museum and Jelly's Last Jam, both of which are also books authored by Wolfe, and he has completed many other works. Beginning in 1993, he was the producer and artistic director of the New York Shakespeare Festival and the Joseph Papp Public Theater. In 2004, Wolfe moved from theater to film and produced Lakawanna Blues, a play written by Ruben Santiago-Hudson that debuted off broadway in 2001, and Wolfe directed the 2005 award winning motion picture with the same title. George C. Wolfe is the son of Costello and Anna M. Lindsey Wolfe. For more see The African American Almanac, 9th ed.; and Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television. A biographical guide featuring performers... in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and the world, vol. 38. See photo images of George C. Wolfe on his facebook page.

    See George Wolfe with other children in photo image at Kentucky Historical Society Digital Collections.

    See video 1 - The Colored Museum - Dir. George C. Wolfe on YouTube.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Woolfolk, George Ruble
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1996
Woolfolk was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Theodosia and Lucien Woolfolk. He was a graduate of Louisville Municipal College for Negroes, Ohio State University, and the University of Wisconsin. Woolfolk was head of the history department at Prairie View A&M and was the first African American elected as a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association. The Political Building at Prairie View was renamed the George Ruble Woolfolk Building in his honor, and the Woolfolk Lecture Series is in recognition of his contributions to public higher education in Texas. Woolfolk was a scholar, an educator, and a historian. He was the author of numerous articles and several books, including The Cotton Regency; the northern merchants and reconstruction, 1865-1880 and The Free Negro in Texas, 1800-1860: a study in cultural compromise. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1980-1999; and Directory of American Scholars, 1974-1982.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Historians, Migration West
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Prairie View, Texas

Wright, George C.
Dr. George C. Wright was born in Lexington, KY. He received the Governors Award from the Kentucky Historical Society for his book, Racial violence in Kentucky, 1865-1940. According to his research, at least 353 lynchings took place in Kentucky up to 1940. Though Wright states that it is impossible to accurately count the number of African Americans lynched, his research shows that the majority of the lynching victims were African American men. More than one-third of the lynchings occurred between 1865 and 1874. Wright is the seventh president of Prairie View A & M University in Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky (B.A & M.A.) and Duke University (Ph.D.). For more see Racial violence in Kentucky, 1865-1940; lynchings, mob rule, and "legal lynchings," by G. C. Wright; and Dr. George C. Wright a Prairie View website. 

Access Interview Read about the George C. Wright interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Historians, Lynchings
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Wright, Zara
Nothing is known of Zara Wright's background; she has been added to this site because of her controversial novel, Black and White Tangled Threads (1920) and its sequel Kenneth (1920), which are both set in Louisville, KY. Wright was living in Chicago when the fictional works were published. Both titles went out of print shortly afterwards, and AMS Press reprinted them in 1975. Zoleeta, the main character, discovers that she is the daughter of a mulatto woman and must confront her new identity and her planned marriage to a white southern planter, Paul Andrews. The author does not explain why her novel was set in Louisville. For more see Wright's novel and book reviews in the Chicago Defender, 12/25/1920; and A. A. Shockley, "The Little Orphan," Afro-American Women Writers, 1746-1933.
Subjects: Authors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Yokley, Raytha L.
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 2001
Yokley, born in East Bernstadt, KY, was the son of Edd and Emma Yokley. The family lived in Russellville, KY. Yokley, a recognized sociologist, was one of the first African American professors at Western Kentucky University. He was also a retired sociology professor from Kentucky State University, and had taught at Fisk University and Meharry Medical College. Yokley published a number of articles and papers and collaborated with others on books such as The Black Church in America. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and was a member of Alpha Kappa Delta and the Masons. Yokley was a two time graduate of Indiana University, where he earned his M.A. in 1941 and his Ph.D. in 1952. His dissertation is titled The Development of Racial Concepts in Negro Children. Yokley was living in Buffalo, NY, prior to his death. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and "Raytha L. Yokley," Daily News, 07/07/2001, Obituaries section.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: East Bernstadt, Laurel County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Buffalo, New York

Young, Herman A.
Birth Year : 1929
Young was born in Memphis, TN. He was a professor of natural sciences at the University of Louisville. Prior to that, Young had been head of the science department at Lincoln Institute. He had also been the first African American owner and president of an electronic manufacturing plant in Kentucky, Tubetek, Inc. He had been a chemical engineer with Dumont Labs and Thomas Electronics, Inc. Young and his wife, Barbara, co-authored Scientists in the Black Perspective. For more see Who's Who Among Black Americans, 1st-10th ed.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Education and Educators, Engineers
Geographic Region: Memphis, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Young, Margaret B.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2009
Margaret Buckner Young, from Campbellsville, KY, is the author of children's books on African American history, civil rights, and civil rights leaders, including First Book of American Negroes and Picture Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. She is a graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and the University of Minnesota. Margaret was the wife of the late Whitney Young, Jr. and the daughter of Eva and Frank Buckner. For more see Black Authors and Illustrators of Books for Children and Young Adults. A biographical dictionary, 2nd and 3rd eds., by B. Rollock; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2005; and M. Fox, "Margaret B. Young, writer of children's books on Blacks, dies at 88," The New York Times, 12/18/2009, Obituary section, p. 7.
Subjects: Authors, Children's Books and Music
Geographic Region: Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky

Young, Whitney M., Jr.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 1971
Whitney M. Young, Jr. was born in Lincoln Ridge, KY. He was the executive director of the National Urban League, and through this organization he pushed for equal opportunity, housing, education, and economic well being for African Americans. Young was a graduate of Lincoln Institute, Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and the University of Minnesota. He was dean of social work at Atlanta University [now Clark-Atlanta]; the Whitney M. Young Jr. School of Social Work was named in his honor. He and Florence V. Adams co-authored Some Pioneers in Social Work: brief sketches; student work book (1957). In 1969, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award for civilians, by President Johnson. He was an adviser to Presidents Johnson, Kennedy, and Nixon. Young was married to Margaret B. Young and was the son of Whitney Young, Sr. and Laura Young. For more see Militant Mediator, by D. C. Dickerson.

See also "Whitney M. Young Jr.: Little Known Civil Rights Pioneer," a website by the U.S. Department of Defense.
See and download photo image at end of the article.

See photo image of Whitney M. Young, Jr. in UK Explore.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Urban Leagues, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Lincoln Ridge, Shelby County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia

 

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