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Birth Year : 1802
Death Year : 1873
Henry Adams was a Baptist leader in Louisville, KY, where he established the first African American Church. He also set up a school for African American children; the school survived while other schools established for African Americans by white ministers were being destroyed. Rev. Adams was born in Franklin County, KY. He was the father of John Quincy "J. Q." Adams. For more see Life Behind a Veil, by G. C. Wright; "Rev. Henry Adams" on pp.196-197 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky; and A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas.
See photo image of Rev. Henry Adams in the Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Fathers, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Franklin County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Birth Year : 1802
Henry Alexander was a slave from Mayslick, KY, who purchased his freedom when he was 21 years old. He was a merchant and is listed in the 1840 U.S. Federal Census as a free man. Henry and his wife, Lucy Alexander, had a daughter, Maria Ann Alexander, who graduated from Oberlin College with a Literary Degree in 1854 and taught for a while in Covington, KY. Maria married Mifflin W. Gibbs, and the couple moved to Vancouver Island, Canada. Mifflin Gibbs would become the first African American judge in the United States. Harriet A. Gibbs was one of the couple's five children. For more see F. Fowler, "Some undistinguished Negroes," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 5, issue 4 (Oct. 1920), p. 485.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Mayslick, Mason County, Kentucky / Vancouver Island, Canada
Allen, Bessie Miller and Henry
The Allens were the first African American social workers in Louisville, KY, they managed the Kentucky Home Society for Colored Children. In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Henry (b.1877 in KY) is listed as the janitor of the home, and Bessie is listed as the matron and probation officer. The Allens were the parents of author and librarian Ann Allen Shockley. Bessie Allen was a graduate of State University [Simmons University in Louisville]. She started a nonsectarian Sunday School in 1902. She was also head of the Colored Department of Probation Work and opened the Booker T. Washington Community Center, which offered domestic classes for boys and girls. She also organized a marching band for African American children. Bessie Allen (1881-1944) was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Anna and John D. Miller. For more see "Ann A. Shockley" in A Biographical Profile of Distinguished Black Pioneer Female Librarians (selected), by L. G. Rhodes; and Life Behind a Veil, by G. Wright.
Subjects: Fathers, Mothers, Social Workers, Sunday School, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Anderson, John James [AKA James S. Anderson] [Anderson's Administrator v. Darland]
Birth Year : 1872
Death Year : 1919
Known as James S. Anderson in Kentucky, Dr. Anderson was a doctor of herbal medicine. He was described by his daughter, Irene Anderson Elder, as part black and part Choctaw Indian. Dr. Anderson came to Somerset, KY, from Kingston, TN; he had also had a practice in Chattanooga, where he met Irene's mother, a nurse named Mary Bowman, who was white. Mary gave birth to Irene in 1914 in a home for unwed mothers in Chattanooga. Irene was reared by her maternal grandmother in Lenoir City, TN; she was Irene's protector. Several years later her grandmother died, and Irene went to live with a foster family. Her father, James Anderson, had moved to Somerset, KY, not too long after Irene was born. In Kentucky, he was sometimes regarded as a Negro and at other times as a Choctaw Indian. Anderson established a tuberculosis treatment clinic, Unity Hill Sanatorium, a three story structure with over 100 beds, 65 rooms, a parlor with a piano, and a grocery store in the basement. He came to be considered a wealthy man with $100,000 in the Somerset bank. When Mary Bowman came down with tuberculosis, she came to Somerset to be a patient at Unity Hill for six months. She was still alive when Dr. James S. Anderson died of hypostatic pneumonia or was murdered November 19, 1919; it is still unclear exactly how he died, though pneumonia is given as the cause on his death certificate. After his death, M. L. Jarvis was appointed curator of Anderson's estate. Unity Hill Sanatorium was sold to a group of businessmen who changed the operation to Watnon (or Watson) Sanatorium, a cancer treatment clinic with separate buildings for Negro patients. In 1924, the clinic had closed and the campus became the new location for the Somerset School of Business. Irene Anderson Elder never benefited from her father's wealth. This entry was submitted by Yvonne Giles. For more information see L. A. Kochtik, "Irene's journey: a good life and a bad life," Appalachian Life Magazine, issue 51 (February), pp. 6-8; "Cancer Sanatorium opened at Somerset, Ky.," The Somerset Journal, 01/30/1920, p. 8; and Anderson's Administrator v. Darland, Court of Appeals of Kentucky, 192 Ky. 624; 234 S.W. 205; 1921 Ky.
Additional information: James S. Anderson's birth name was John James Anderson, he was born in Reidville, SC, February 12, 1872 [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census; and Kentucky Death Certificate Registered #142]. He was the son of Henry and Dorcas Drummond Anderson. Dr. Anderson was the husband of Ann Mary Crumly; the couple married in 1897, filed for divorce in 1915, and the divorce was final in 1918 [source: Hart and Dudek Family Tree; and Kentucky Death Certificate Registered #142]. Dr. Anderson is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in Harrodsburg, KY.
Subjects: Fathers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Court Cases, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Reidville, South Carolina / Kingston, Lenoir, and Chattanooga, Tennessee / Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky / Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky
Bibb, Charles Leon
Birth Year : 1921
Leon Bibb was born in Louisville, KY. A World War II veteran, Bibb became a classically-trained singer who performed folk music in Greenwich Village in the 1950s and 1960s. He relocated to Vancouver, Canada, where he continued to perform. Bibb appeared in three films with Sidney Portier and was an opening act for Bill Cosby in the 1960s. He was blacklisted for playing in Russia. Bibb had a successful Broadway career, including his performance in the production Lost in the Stars. He also toured with Finian's Rainbow. In 2006 he headlined a concert in Port Coquitlam, Canada. Leon Bibb is the father of Eric Bibb, a blues singer and songwriter. He lives in Vancouver, Canada. For more see Directory of Blacks in the Performing Arts, 2nd ed., by E. Mapp; 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 J. Warren, "Bibb performs with Coastal Sound," The Tri-City News (Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada), 11/15/2006, Arts section, p. 31.
See video "Leon Bibb: Songs of Freedom: Vancouver legend helps kick off Black History Month," 02/01/2013, on YouTube.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Fathers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Greenwich Village, New York City, New York / Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Blanton, John Oliver, Jr.
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1962
J. O. Blanton, Jr. was born in Versailles, KY, on Christmas Day in 1885, according to his WWI Draft Registration Card. He was the son of John, Sr. and Eliza Blanton [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. He was president of the American Mutual Savings Bank in Louisville, KY. The building was built by Samuel Plato in 1922, the same year that William H. Wright launched the business. Blanton was also director of the Mammoth Building and Loan Association and a professor of mathematics at Central High School in Louisville for 12 years. Blanton was also involved with the Louisville Urban League, which was founded in 1959. His wife was Carolyn Steward Blanton; they were the parents of John W. Blanton. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Education and Educators, Fathers, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
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, 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
Bond, James M.
Birth Year : 1863
Death Year : 1929
James M. Bond was born in Lawrenceburg, KY. He was a slave the first two years of his life. When he was 16 years old, Bond walked to Berea College, where he was a student in the primary grades and continued up to the time he graduated from college in 1892. He was also a graduate from Oberlin College, where he earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree. He returned to Kentucky and led the fund-raising for Lincoln Institute, the school provided for African Americans after the segregation of Berea College. He was in charge of the YMCA work with the soldiers at Camp Taylor. Bond was also the first director of the Kentucky Commission on Interracial Cooperation, and in that position he spoke out against segregation. James M. Bond was the brother of Henry Bond; they were the sons of Jane Arthur, a slave, and Reverend Preston Bond. James Bond was the husband of Jane A. Browne Bond, the father of J. Max Bond, Sr., Thomas Bond, and Horace Bond, and the grandfather of Julian Bond, civil rights leader and former Georgia senator and representative. For more see The Bonds, by R. M. Williams; and the article and picture of James M. Bond and his three sons on p. 228 of The Crisis, vol. 27, issue 5 (March 1924) [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Fathers, Freedom, Grandparents, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Lawrenceburg, Anderson County, Kentucky / Lincoln Ridge, Shelby County, Kentucky / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky
Bond, Leslie Fee, Sr.
Birth Year : 1928
Leslie Fee Bond, Sr., born in Louisville, KY, moved with his family to Galesburg, IL, when he was 10-years-old. Like his father, Leslie F. Bond, Sr. is a family practitioner and also a surgeon. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana and Meharry Medical College. After finishing medical school, Bond opened his practice in St. Louis, MO, where he is also an outspoken community leader. He served on the Physicians-Pharmacists Advisory Committee to Medicaid for 20 years. He was selected by Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan to serve on the St. Louis Police Board. In 2007, Bond received the Salute to Excellence in Health Care Award from the St. Louis American Foundation. His son, Leslie F. Bond, Jr., was the first African American chairman of the St. Louis Election Board in 1993. For more see Lift Every Voice and Sing: St. Louis African Americans in the Twentieth Century, by D. Wesley, W. Price, and A. Morris; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1996/97; and M. Schlinkmann, "First Black will head election board," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 02/23/1993, News section, p. 4A.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Fathers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Galesburg, Illinois / Saint Louis, Missouri
Britton, Arthur Eugene and Lillian Smith
Arthur Britton (b.1875 in Kentucky), was African American, Crow, and Cherokee. He grew up near Maysville and had attended college in Louisville (probably Simmons) before moving to Chicago, where he worked as a clerk in a manufacturing company. He was there during the "Red Summer" of 1919. He and his wife, Lillian Smith (b.1882 in Kentucky), were the parents of four children, the youngest being Irene Britton Smith (1907-1999), a noted composer and school teacher in Chicago. Arthur and Lillian Britton separated in 1917. For more see H. Walker-Hill, "Black women composers in Chicago: then and now," Black Music Research Journal, vol. 12, issue 1, (Spring, 1992), pp. 13-14; Funeral program for Irene Britton Smith, Chicago: Griffin Funeral Home, 02/18/1999, vertical file at the Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College Chicago; Black Women in America, 2nd ed., by D. C. Hine; and From Spirituals to Symphonies: African-American women composers and their music, by H. Walker-Hill.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois
The Brooks Sisters were a singing group with members Naomi, Ophelia, Carrie, and Susie Brooks, all from Zion Hill, Kentucky. These sisters were the daughters of Hannah Brown of Fermantown in Versailles, Kentucky (also spelled Firmatown) and Minister John Brooks. The Brooks Sisters were a gospel group that was invited to sing at Kentucky churches, and they also made a record. Susie Brooks, the group's piano player, also played for the Zion Hill Church; she taught herself to play the piano. She was the mother of the Raglin Brothers, also a gospel singing group. Information submitted by Ponice Raglin Cruse and her father, the Reverend Floyd B. Raglin. Contact Ms. Cruse for additional information about the Brooks Sisters.
Subjects: Fathers, Kentucky African American Churches, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Zion Hill, Scott County, Kentucky / Firmatown (Fermantown), Woodford County, Kentucky
Campbell, Alexander, Sr. (former slave)
Birth Year : 1818
Death Year : 1870
Not to be confused with the Second Great Awakening leader, Alexander Campbell, this Alexander Campbell had been a slave in Woodford County, KY. He took the name of Alexander Campbell after being purchased by the White Christian Church in Midway, KY, in the 1830s. Campbell was owned by the Fleming Family and by Abraham Buford. He was purchased for $1000 and became the first preacher of the newly formed Colored Christian Church. Both Campbell and Samuel Buckner are considered the fathers of the Colored Christian Church Movement in Kentucky. They were the founders of more Colored Christian churches than any other two persons. Alexander Campbell was a minister in Lexington, KY, in 1870, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and he had purchased his wife's freedom for $1000. Alexander Campbell and Rosa VanMeter Campbell (b.1829 in Fayette Co., KY) were the parents of several children, and one of the youngest boys was named John Stafford Campbell, born in 1869 and died in 1942, according to Stafford's death certificate. Stafford was pastor of the Colored Christian Church in Midway and in Paris, KY. He was the twin brother of Burbridge Campbell who left Kentucky for Boston, MA in the 1880s, according to an article in the "Colored Notes" of the Lexington Leader, 08/28/1911, p.5. The article mentioned that Burbridge was returning home to visit his mother who lived at 410 Campbell Street in Lexington. Rosa and her sons are listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Rosa was a widow and worked as a "cloths renovator". Alexander Campbell Sr. died in 1870, and Rosa Campbell died in 1916, according to information provided by Brenda Jackson of Versailles, KY: "Death of A. Campbell," Apostolic Times, 12/18/1870, pp.297-298, and the Kentucky Certificate of Death for Rosa Campbell - File No. 7316. Rev. Alexander Campbell, Jr. died in 1896 in Indianapolis, IN, and is buried in African Cemetery #2, Lexington, KY [source: Yvonne Giles - Certificate of Death #1406]. For more see Negro Disciples in Kentucky, 1840-1925 (thesis), by C. Walker; "Old slave church remembered," Lexington Leader, 12/27/1976, p.A9; and Two Races in One Fellowship by R. L. Jordan.
Subjects: Fathers, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1990
Hortenius Chenault was born in Richmond, KY, his family later moved to Ohio. He was a graduate of Morehouse College in Georgia and a 1939 graduate from Howard University Dental School. Dr. Chenault passed the New York State dental exam with the highest score to date. From 1939-1987, his dental practice was located in Hempstead, Long Island, in New York. He was the husband of Anne Quick and the father of four, including Kenneth I. Chenault, who was named president and chief operating officer of the American Express Company in 1997. For more see the Kenneth Chenault entry in Current Biography (1988); "Hortenius Chenault, Dentist, 80" in The New York Times, 12/20/1990; and A. Bianco, "Ken Chenault: the rise of a star" (Cover Story), BusinessWeek, 12/21/1998.
Subjects: Fathers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Dentists
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Ohio / Hempstead, Long Island, New York
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
Cox, Johnson Duncan
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1952
Johnson D. Cox, born in Kentucky, was a teacher at Governor Street School in Evansville, Indiana. He was the husband of Eugenia D. Talbott Cox (b.1879 in Indiana) and the father of Alvalon C. Cox, and Elbert Frank Cox (1895-1969), the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics. Johnson D. Cox would later marry school teacher Ethel Cox (b.1893 in Indiana), they are listed in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census, where it is also noted that Johnson D. Cox attended one year of college and his wife had completed four years of college. Johnson D. Cox was a teacher and school principal in Evansville for 40 years. He was the son of Calvin and Annie Cox, and in 1880, the family lived in Allensville, KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. By 1900, Johnson D. Cox was a school teacher in Pigeon, IN, and he and Eugenia had been married for five years and had two sons. The family was living in Evansville when the 1910 Census was taken, and Johnson D. Cox was employed as a school teacher. His son, Elbert Cox, began his teaching career at the Colored high school in Henderson, KY in 1917. He taught mathematics and physics for a year before leaving to join the Army during World War I. Elbert would go on to become a great educator. He was married to Beulah Kaufman, whose father, Lewis Kaufman (b.1853 in Indiana), had been a slave in Kentucky. Once freed, Lewis Kaufman left Kentucky for Princeton, Indiana, where he owned a blacksmith shop. For more see J. A. Donaldson and R. J. Fleming, "Elbert F. Cox: an early pioneer," The American Mathematical Monthly, vol.107, issue 2, (Feb., 2000), pp. 105-128; and "Evansville Honors the first Black Ph.D. in mathematics and his family, by T. M. Washington in Notices of the AMS, v.55, no.5, pp.588-589.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North, Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky / Pigeon, Evansville, and Princeton, Indiana
Birth Year : 1817
Death Year : 1885
An escaped slave from Shelby County, KY, Dunbar served with two Massachusetts Colored Regiments during the Civil War. He separated from his wife, Matilda Dunbar, in 1874. He was the father of Paul L. Dunbar. Johshua Dunbar was born in Garrard County, KY. He was a slave who last lived in Shelby County, prior to joining the Union Army. He received an honorable discharge in October 1865, and was employed as a plasterer. Dunbar was admitted to a U.S. National Home for Disabled Veterans in Dayton, OH, in 1882. According to the Home's records, Joshua Dunbar died August 16, 1885. He is buried on the grounds of the Veterans Affairs Center on West Third Street in Dayton, Ohio. For more see L. Dempsey, "Dunbar's dad may rest with dignity," Dayton Daily News, 01/25/04, Local section, p. B1.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Garrard County, Kentucky / Shelby County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio
Evans, William L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1886
Born in Louisville, KY, Evans received an A.B. from Fisk University in 1909, took advanced study at Columbia University, from 1910 to 1911, and earned his M.A. from the University of Buffalo in 1930. He was Industrial Secretary of the Chicago Urban League, 1919-1923, worked with Plato and Evans Architectural Firm, 1923-1927, and was executive secretary of the Buffalo Urban League, beginning in 1927. Evans had also been a teacher before moving to Buffalo. He was a member of the Buffalo Commission in the New York State Commission Against Discrimination. Evans was the author of three articles: "Federal Housing Brings Racial Segregation to Buffalo," "Race, Fear and Housing," and "The Negro Community in 1948." He was the father of W. Leonard Evans, Jr. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37 & 1950; and Strangers in the Land of Paradise, by L. S. Williams.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Architects, Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Urban Leagues, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Buffalo, New York
Gay, Marvin P., Sr.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 1998
Born in Jessamine County, KY, Gay was the father of Marvin P. Gaye, Jr., singer, songwriter, and producer. Gay, Sr. was charged with the shooting death of his son on April 1, 1984. Bishop S. P. Rawlings of Lexington led the funeral tribute. Gay, Sr. had left Kentucky in 1935 and became a pastor at the House of God Church in Washington, D.C. He later moved to Los Angeles, CA, where he died. For more see "Marvin Gaye's Father Placed on Probation in Son's Death," 11/03/84, Main News section, p. A3, and "Lexington Pastor Leads Marvin Gaye's Funeral Tribute," 14/06/84, Obituaries, p. B11, both in the Lexington Herald-Leader. [Marvin P. Gaye, Jr. added an "e" to his last name.]
Subjects: Fathers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Jessamine County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / Los Angeles, California
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
Givens, Reuben, and Ruth Newby Givens Roper
Givens and Roper are the parents of actress Robin Givens, former wife of heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson, and Stephanie Givens, former professional tennis player. Both Reuben Givens and Ruth Newby Givens Roper are Lexington natives. Reuben was a star baseball and basketball player at Douglass and Lafayette High Schools. He was coached by Charles H. Livisay at Douglass. In 1962, Givens averaged 24.7 points in basketball, winning the Fayette County scoring title, but he did not receive the trophy after the sponsor backed out. He was the first African American basketball player at Lafayette; Douglass High was closed as part of the school system's integration plan. Givens graduated from Lafayette in 1964, the same year he married Ruth Newby. The family lived in New York, where Reuben Givens was tending his options as a professional basketball and baseball player. Ruth had been living in New York with her mother since her parents had divorced when she was a small child; she met Reuben while visiting family in Lexington. Reuben and Ruth Givens divorced in 1969. Reuben Givens, who still resides in New York, is the son of Betty and Dave Givens, the nephew of professional baseball player Lou Johnson, and a brother of University of Kentucky basketball player Jack Givens. For more see the Lexington Herald-Leader articles: B. Reed, "Robin Givens' dad a former Douglass High star," 10/20/1988, Sports section, p. C1, and "Robin Givens' parents are Lexington natives," 10/15/1988, Sports section, p. D17.
Subjects: Baseball, Basketball, Fathers, Migration North, Mothers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New York
Gordon, Mary Ann Goodlow
Birth Year : 1853
Death Year : 1924
Gordon was born on the Poindexter Plantation in Bourbon County, KY, during slavery. As a free person, Mary Ann Goodlow Gordon and her husband, John Francis Gordon, eventually settled in White Sulphur Springs, Montana. They were the only African American family in the town. John Gordon died in a train wreck around 1895 while on his way to work in the gold fields in Alaska. He died shortly before their sixth and last child was born. The child, [Emmanuel] Taylor Gordon (1893-1971), would become a well-known Negro spiritual singer. Taylor Gordon began his career in vaudeville and later performed with J. Rosamond Johnson in the 1920s and 1930s. For more information see Born to Be, by T. Gordon; and the Emmanuel Taylor Gordon Papers at the Montana Historical Society Research Center.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration West, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, 1st African American Families in Town, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Bourbon County, Kentucky / White Sulphur Springs, Montana
Birth Year : 1816
Death Year : 1906
Gough had been a slave in Graves County, KY; he moved to Illinois and married Kentucky native Louisa Smith. One of their children, Belle Gough Micheaux (1856-1918), was the mother of Oscar D. Micheaux (1884-1951); Oscar was an author and later established the Micheaux Film and Book Company. He became a producer of films, the first of which was The Homesteader (a silent film). For more on Oscar D. Micheaux see African-Americans in Motion Pictures, the Past and the Present, by Long Island University Library; and The Life and Work of Oscar Micheaux: Pioneer Black Author and Filmmaker, 1884-1951, by E. J. Young.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Grandparents, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Graves County, Kentucky / Illinois
Griffin, William, Sr.
Birth Year : 1879
From Paris, KY, Griffin was a railroad dining car waiter. He was the husband of Lorena Griffin and the father of James S. "Jimmy" Griffin (1917-2002), who became the first African American sergeant of the St. Paul, Minnesota, police force in 1955; captain in 1970; and after a discrimination lawsuit, deputy chief in 1972. For more see Jimmy Griffin, one of St. Paul's finest!; and Jimmy Griffin, a son of Rondo: a memoir, by J. S. Griffin and K. J. C. McDonald.
Subjects: Fathers, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / St. Paul, Minnesota
Birth Year : 1858
Byron Gunner, a minister, was husband to Cicely S. Gunner and the father of Francis Gunner Van Dunk, who was born in Lexington, KY. Rev. Gunner was born in Alabama and lived in New York. He issued a call in the Cleveland Advocate (08/12/1916) to all African Americans for the formation of a National Race Congress. He had also addressed the American Missionary Association in 1891 on men of color in the Southern pulpit. Gunner was a pastor in Lexington, KY around 1895. For more see The American Missionary, vol. 45, issue 12, pp. 460-461 [available online by Cornell University Library].
See photo image of Rev. Byron Gunner from Pastor Henry N. Jeter's twenty-five years experience with the Shiloh Baptist Church and her history by Henry N. Jeter, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Fathers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Alabama / New York / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Born a slave in Kentucky, Harrison escaped to Ohio around 1854 after his two brothers were sold downriver. Harrison ended up in London, Ontario, Canada, where he met and married his wife. After seeing a play with Edwin Booth playing the role of Richard III, the couple named their son Richard Booth Harrison (1864-1935); he became a famous actor playing in Negro shows, including Shuffle Along and Carmen Jones, and played the role of 'De Lawd' in the film Green Pastures. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and The Papers of Winston Coleman.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Ohio / London, Ontario, Canada
Houston, Allan W., Sr.
Birth Year : 1944
Known as Wade Houston, he was one of the first African American basketball players at the University of Louisville. He graduated in 1966 and was inducted into the Louisville Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999. Head coach of the Louisville Male High School men's basketball team in 1975, Houston compiled a 90-12 record while guiding the team to a state championship. He returned to the University of Louisville in 1976 to become the first African American assistant men's basketball coach. In 1989 he became head coach at the University of Tennessee, the first African American head coach in the Southeastern Conference. Houston compiled a 65-90 record over the five years at Tennessee. Houston, born in Alcoa, TN, is the husband of Alice Kean Houston, and the father of Allan Houston. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, vols. 7-17; and Wade and Alice Kean Houston in Who's Who of Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, pp.80-81.
Subjects: Basketball, Fathers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Alcoa, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Knoxville, Tennessee
Hughes, James Nathaniel
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1934
Hughes was born in Charlestown, Indiana. He was the father of Langston Hughes and the son of Emily Cushenberry and James H. Hughes. James H. was a former slave whose mother was a slave; her father was Silas Cushenberry, a Jewish slave trader from Clark County, KY. James H. Hughes' father was also a slave. He was the son of Sam Clay, a distiller from Henry County, KY. It is not known exactly when the Hughes family left Kentucky, where their four oldest children were born, but it is believed the family left prior to the Civil War. Their son, James Nathaniel Hughes, lived in Louisville for a brief period, where he passed the postal civil service exam but was not hired by the post office. He eventually moved on to Oklahoma, where he married Carrie Langston in the late 1890s. After their first child died in 1900 and Langston Hughes was born in 1902, James left his family. He settled in Mexico, never to return to the United States; he remarried, practiced law, and was a land owner. For more about the Hughes Family see Langston: My Cousin, by the Hughes Family Interest, Inc.; F. Berry, Langston Hughes, pp. 1-2; Langston Hughes of Kansas, by M. Scott [excerpt from Kansas History, vol. 3, issue 1 (Spring 1980), pp. 3-25]; The big sea: an autobiography, by L. Hughes; and The Life of Langston Hughes, vol. I: 1902-1941, by A. Rampersad. Additional information for this entry was provided by Marjol Collet, Director of the Langston Hughes Family Museum in Gary, Indiana.
Subjects: Fathers, Lawyers, Mothers, Postal Service, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Charlestown, Indiana / Clark County, Kentucky / Henry County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Oklahoma / Mexico
Jackson, Reid E., Sr.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1991
Reid E. Jackson, Sr. was born in Paducah, KY, and raised in Louisville, KY. He was the son of Julia Reid and George Washington Jackson. Reid Jackson was a graduate of Central High School, Wilberforce University (B.A.) and Ohio State University (M.A. & Ph.D.). He held a number of posts at a number of schools before becoming the administrative dean at Wilberforce University in 1949. He was secretary of the Southern Negro Conference for Equalization of Education Opportunities, 1944-1946; editor of the Sphinx, Alpha Phi Alpha, in 1945; and author of a number of articles, including "Educating Jacksonville's Tenth Child," Opportunity (July 1935). Jackson retired from Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha. He was the father of Annette Dawson and Dr. Reid Jackson, II (1940-2001), and brother to Dr. Blyden Jackson. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and "Reid Jackson, Sr., 83, was MSU professor," The Sun (Baltimore, MD).
See photo image of Reid E. Jackson in the KNEA Journal, vol. 18, no. 2 (March/April 1947), p. 13. [.pdf].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Wilberforce, Ohio / Baltimore, Maryland
Johnson, Beverly [James Williams, Sr.]
Birth Year : 1840
In 1858, Beverly Johnson escaped from slavery in Kentucky and made his way north to York, MI. Johnson changed his name to James Williams, Sr. and was a cigar maker; he is listed in the 1860 census. He later established a cigar factory in Saline, MI, and became a farmer. He was the husband of Mary Williams who was born in Ohio, and her mother was from Kentucky [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. The couple had three sons, James Jr., Henry, and Charles. James Williams, Sr. was a widower in 1900, according the census. This was about the same time that his son Charles E. Williams graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and started practicing law in Detroit with Michigan's renowned Negro lawyer, **Robert J. Willis. Under the new civil service law, Charles Williams was appointed a life tenure of office as a general clerk in the Detroit Assessor's Office. For more see "Charles E. Williams" in the Michigan Manual of Freedmen's Progress, compiled by F. H. Warren [available full text online as a .pdf at the Western Michigan University website].
**The mother of Robert Jones Willis was an escape slave from Kentucky, for more see "Michigan gives lawyer a birthday" in Day by Day column by Wm. N. Jones in the Baltimore Afro-American, 05/25/1929, p.6.
Subjects: Businesses, Fathers, Freedom, Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / York and Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan / Detroit, Michigan
Johnson, Robert: Family and Relatives
Robert Johnson, one of the first Kentucky senators, was a white settler from Virginia. He came to Kentucky in 1783 and built Big Crossings Station, a fort near North Elkhorn Creek in Scott County. Johnson, one of the largest land owners in the state, owned slaves, some of whom were also his relatives. Today there are Johnson family members who are African American and those who are white. A biennial family reunion was held in Georgetown, KY, in July 2005. One of Robert Johnson's sons (by his wife Jemima) was Richard M. Johnson, a U. S. Representative and Senator and the ninth Vice President of the United States. Richard Johnson developed a relationship with Julia Chinn, described as a mulatto, whom he acquired from his father's estate. Julia and Richard had two daughters, Imogene and Adaline. Richard publicly acknowledged his relationship and his children and tried to introduce his daughters into white society, all of which cost him his Senate seat in 1836. For more see S. Lannen, "Unearthing their roots-sharing uncommon ancestors a diverse Kentucky family reunites," Lexington Herald-Leader, July 23, 2005; and Life and Times of Colonel Richard M. Johnson of Kentucky, by L. W. Meyer.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Fathers, Mothers, Inheritance
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky
Jones, Abel Bedford and Albert Thomas
Birth Year : 1810
The following information on the Jones brothers comes from Dr. Michael F. Murphy, Historian of Education at the University of Western Ontario; Dr. Murphy is working on a book about the schooling of colored and mulatto children in London, Ontario, Canada between 1826 and 1865. The Jones brothers played a major role in the schooling of these children. The brothers had been slaves in Madison County, KY. Abel was a field-hand and Albert worked for a millwright who owned a large merchant mill. Albert earned enough money to buy his freedom in 1833; he was 23 years old. He also purchased the freedom of Abel and a younger brother. The brothers immigrated to London, Upper Canada (now Ontario). Albert became a barber and merchant, and Abel was a barber and an herbal dentist. The brothers did quite well with their businesses. Abel may have been involved with the African American resettlement program. The brothers were interviewed by Samuel Ringgold Ward, S.G. Howe, and Benjamin Drew when these commentators reported on the condition of fugitive slaves in Canada. Abel's whereabouts are unknown after the mid 1850s. In 1866, Albert, often referred to as Dr. Jones, and his large family left London. Perhaps they returned to Kentucky. The Jones children were Betsy, Paul, Elizabeth, George B., A.O., Frances A., Victoria S?, Torreza O?, Albion, and Princess A. If you have more information or would like more information about Abel and Albert Jones, please contact Dr. Michael F. Murphy at email@example.com.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Education and Educators, Fathers, Freedom, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Dentists
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / London, (Upper Canada) Ontario, Canada
Jones, Henry Wise, Sr.
Birth Year : 1873
Death Year : 1954
Rev. Henry Wise Jones, born in Knoxville, TN, was co-founder of Simmons Bible College in Louisville . He also served as pastor of the Green Street Baptist Church in Louisville and the Pleasant Green Baptist Church in Lexington. Rev. Jones was an advocate for African Americans' voting and education rights. He was a marble polisher who became an ordained minister on September 4,1892. Rev. Jones had attended Knoxville College and State University [Simmons College] in Louisville. He was the father of Rev. William A. Jones, Sr. and the grandfather of Rev. William A. Jones, Jr. and Louis Clayton Jones. In 2007, Rev. Henry Wise Jones was inducted into the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Hall of Fame. For more see Rev. Henry Wise Jones in the 2007 Hall of Fame at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights' website; and "Rev. Henry Wise Jones" on pp.238-239 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Fathers, Voting Rights, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Knoxville, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Birth Year : 1842
Giles (or Jiles) Joplin was a slave who may have passed through Kentucky on the way to Texas with his master. They had come from North Carolina, where it is speculated that Giles was born around 1842. Giles Joplin, a fiddler, was the father of composer Scott Joplin. Giles left his wife, Florence, and their six children, in 1880 for another woman. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., supp., ed. by M. M. Spradling; and Ragging it: getting Ragtime into history (and some history into Ragtime), by H. L. White.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Texas
Kentucky State Collegians
Start Year : 1938
End Year : 1976
The collegians were college dance bands, one of which was located at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. The Kentucky group, first called the Danny Williams Band of Chicago, had performed in 1938 for the Kentucky State Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, thanks to Mrs. Clarice J. Michaels, head of the school's music department. Michaels, a pianist and soprano, had been a member of the World Famous Williams Jubilee Singers, formed in 1904 by Charles P. Williams from Holly Springs, MS. C. P. Williams, who had migrated to Chicago, was the father of Danny Williams. Kentucky State Dean John T. Williams (no relation) persuaded President Rufus Atwood to enroll the Danny Williams Band members and allow them to become the school band for student and faculty dances. The contract stipulated performance payments for the band members from which school fees would be paid. Harvey C. Russell, Jr. president of the student council, became the group’s business manager. They performed on campus and throughout the state, including at white fraternity parties and dances at the University of Kentucky and at functions given by then Governor Happy Chandler. After a year, Kentucky State was no longer able to honor the contract because funding was tight, and Danny Williams and several band members left school. New student members were added to the group that then became known as the Kentucky State College Collegians. The band grew to include 16 members and continued performing until 1946, when John T. Williams was president of Maryland State College [now University of Maryland Eastern Shore] and the band members left to join him; they became the Maryland State Collegians. [Mrs. Clarice J. Michaels would also eventually move on to Maryland State.] One of the band members, Newman Terrell, returned to Kentucky to complete his studies, and he organized and led the new Kentucky State College Collegians. Both the group and the music department prospered; in 1962, the group was the third ranked jazz ensemble among small colleges, and President Carl M. Hill is credited with developing the school’s music department into an accredited program with 14 full-time music specialists. In 1976, several members of the Collegians left to form the group Midnight Star. For more see W. C. Swindell, "The Kentucky State Collegians," The Black Perspective in Music, vol. 15, issue 1 (Spring 1987), pp. 3-23; and Kentucky State University Archives.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Chicago, Illinois / Holly Springs, Mississippi / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Princess Anne, Maryland
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
Lewis, Meade Lux
Birth Year : 1905
Death Year : 1964
Lewis was a pianist and composer. He was born in Louisville, KY, and raised in Chicago. Meade was the son of Hattie and George Lewis. George was employed as a postal clerk and was also a Pullman Porter. Hattie and George were Kentucky natives, and according to the U.S. Federal Census, in 1920 the family was living in apartment 29, a rear unit on LaSalle Street in Chicago. Meade Lewis's first instrument was the violin, which he learned to play when he was 16 years old. He taught himself to play the piano and developed a boogie-woogie style. His best known work is Honky Tonk Train Blues, recorded in 1927. Boogie-woogie was still a new sound. To supplement his income, Lewis worked washing cars and driving a taxi. He played the piano at house parties, clubs, and after-hours joints. His fame is said to have begun in 1938 when Lewis performed in John Hammond's concert at Carnegie Hall. He is regarded as one of the three noted musicians of boogie-woogie. For more see the Meade Lux Lewis entry in the Afro-American Encyclopedia; and "Meade Lux Lewis pianist, is killed," New York Times, 06/08/1964, p. 18. A picture of Lewis and additional information are available in Men of Popular Music, by D. Ewen. View film with Meade Lux Lewis playing boogie woogie on YouTube.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Postal Service, Pullman Porters, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois
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" at itonline (Illinois Times); 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
Magowan, John Wesley [Brooks]
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1895
John W. Brooks was a slave born on the Magowan Farm in Montgomery County, KY. In 1864, Brooks and seven other African Americans left the Magowan farm and headed to Louisville to join up with the 109th Regiment, Company A of the United States Colored Infantry. After the Civil War, Sergeant Brooks returned to Montgomery County and took the last name Magowan. He married Amanda Trimble, supporting his wife and children through his trade as a carpenter. John W. Magowan was one of the more prosperous African Americans in Montgomery County. The family lived in Smithville, and four of the children attended Berea Academy. John and Amanda's sons, Noah and John D. Magowan, were the first African Americans to establish a newspaper in Mt. Sterling, KY: The Reporter. Another son, James E. Magowan, was a successful businessman and community leader in Mt. Sterling. John Wesley Magowan died of consumption [tuberculosis] on February 3, 1895. This entry was submitted by Holly Hawkins of the Montgomery County Historical Society, and comes from her work included in the Civil War display at the Montgomery County Historical Society Museum in 2011. See the death notice for John Wesley Magowan in the Mt. Sterling Advocate, 02/05/1895, p. 1, col. 3. There are several Magowan families listed in the U.S. Federal Census noted as Black and living in Montgomery County, KY.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Military & Veterans, Carpenters, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling and Smithville, Montgomery County, Kentucky
McCoy, George and Mildred
George and his wife, Mildred Goins McCoy, were escaped slaves from Louisville, KY. They settled first in Canada, then in 1852 moved with their 12 children to Ypsilanti, Michigan, six miles east of Ann Arbor and 29 miles west of Detroit. Ypsilanti was a significant link in the Underground Railroad and a major stop for slaves fleeing from Kentucky en route to Detroit and Canada. George was a conductor who aided many of the escapees by hiding them under the boxes of cigars that he delivered to Detroit. As George's cigar business thrived, more slaves were carried to freedom, so many that a second wagon was purchased and driven by his son, William McCoy. George and Mildred McCoy are the parents of inventor Elijah McCoy. For more see M. Chandler, "Ypsilanti's rich in Black history," Detroit Free Press, 02/09/1984, p. 7A.
Subjects: Businesses, Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Mothers, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Ypsilanti, Michigan / Canada
Meaux, Fredrick C. and Bertha [Edythe Meaux Smith]
Fred Meaux was born around 1883 in Kentucky, and according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was living with his uncle, James Sausbury [or Sansbury], in Lebanon, KY. When he was 20 years old, he married Bertha, and the following year Fred visited the World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, enjoying the area so much that he and Bertha moved to St. Louis. In 1920, the family consisted of Fred, Bertha, and their five children. Fred Meaux was a postal carrier, one of the first African Americans to deliver mail in St. Louis. He was also an active member of the National Association of Letter Carriers and was a delegate at the 33rd Convention held in St. Louis. The Meaux's daughter, Edythe Meaux Smith (1917-2007), and her husband, Wayman Flynn Smith, Jr., were civil rights activists. Edythe, who was also a journalist and an educator, served as Deputy Director of the St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement Agency, which handled discrimination complaints. For more see "Fred C. Meaux" and "F. C. Meaux" in The Postal Record, vol. 33, issue 1 (January 1920) [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and "Edythe Smith educator, civil rights activist," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 04/21/2007, News section, p. A16.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Fathers, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Lebanon, Marion County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri
Micheaux was a slave in Calloway County, KY, who was later sold to an buyer in Texas. His wife was Melvina Micheaux. David was the father of Calvin Swan Micheaux, Sr. (1847-1932), who was the father of Oscar D. Micheaux (1884-1951). Oscar was an author and later established the Micheaux Film and Book Company. He became a producer of films, the first of which was The Homesteader (a 1919 silent film). For more on Oscar D. Micheaux, see The Life and Work of Oscar Micheaux: Pioneer Black Author and Filmmaker, 1884-1951, by E. J. Young. For more on David Micheaux, see The Conquest, by O. D. Micheaux. David Micheaux was the father of Andrew Jackson Micheaux, who was the great, great grandfather of pro football player Austin Wheatly. See an Andrew Jackson Micheaux photo.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration West, Grandparents, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Calloway County, Kentucky / Texas
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 2006
Robert Mullins was born in Hall's Gap in Stanford, KY, the son of Florence Dunn. He was the father of six children, including the first African American woman elected to the Covington City Commission, Pamela Mullins. Robert Mullins was a former construction worker and also a tenor in the all male a cappella group the Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers. The group specializes in singing Negro spirituals and old gospel songs. Mullins was often referred to as the "old man" of the group. The group formed around 1988 and sang at a variety of events in the U.S. and abroad. Their popularity continued to grow: they opened for Ray Charles at the Ottawa Blues Festival in front of an audience of 10,000. Mullins had moved to Covington in 1951. For more see R. Goodman, "Robert Mullins sang spirituals in U.S., Europe," The Cincinnati Enquirer, 01/21/2006, Metro section, p. 7B; and listen to the Northern Kentucky Brotherhood oral history recording by Dale W. Johnson, at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives.
Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers website
Subjects: Fathers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky
Paris, William H., Jr. "Bubba"
Birth Year : 1960
William H. Paris,Jr. was born in Louisville, KY, and played football at DeSales High School, where he was team captain and an MVP. At 6'6", 300 pounds, Paris went on to play offensive tackle at the University of Michigan, where he was All-Big Ten, All-American, and All-Academic. He was taken in the second round of the NFL draft and played all but one season of his professional career with the San Francisco 49ers, 1983-1990. In 1991, Paris played for the Indianapolis Colts. During his time with the 49ers, the team won three Super Bowls. He is the father of the former University of Oklahoma basketball players Courtney and Ashley Paris. Bubba Paris, an ordained minister and motivational speaker, lives in California. For more see Bubba Paris, at databaseFootball.com; bubbaparis.org; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2006.
See photo image of William "Bubba" Paris at the University of Michigan Library website.
Subjects: Businesses, Fathers, Football, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / California
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
Roye, John Edward and Nancy [Edward James Roye]
John Roye (d.1829) told others that he had been born a slave in Kentucky. He and his wife Nancy (d. 1840) moved to Newark, OH, where Roye became a prosperous land owner. He was also part owner in a river ferry, and left all that he owned to his son Edward J. Roye, b 1815 in Newark, OH. Edward Roye was a barber and he owned a bathhouse in Terre Haute, IN. He was educated and had been a student at the University of Athens (OH). He left the U.S. for Liberia in 1845 and was a merchant. Roye became one of the richest men in Liberia. He became the Chief Justice and Speaker of the House. He founded the newspaper Liberia Sentinel in 1845, a short-lived venture that lasted about a year. In January 1870 , Edward Roye became the fifth President of Liberia. During his presidency, he was accused of embezzlement and jailed in October 1871. He escaped, and it is believed he drowned sometime in 1872 while swimming to a ship in the Monrovia harbor. For more see "Edward Jenkins Roye," Newark Advocate, 04/22/1984; C. Garcia, "TH barber Edward James Roye became 5th president of Liberia," Tribune Star, 02/24/2007, pp.1&5; and Edward James Roye in The Political and Legislative History of Liberia by C. H. Huberich.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Fathers, Freedom, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration North, Mothers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Newark, Ohio / Liberia, Africa
Rudder, John E. [John Rudder and Doris Rudder v United States of America]
Birth Year : 1925
Rudder, born in Paducah, KY, was the first African American to receive a regular commission in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a graduate of the Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps. Rudder had enlisted in 1943 and served with the 51st Defense Battalion. He was discharged in 1946 and enrolled in Purdue University, where he was awarded an NROTC midshipman contract. He received his commission in 1948, was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant, then sent to Marine Corps Basic School in Quantico, Virginia. Rudder resigned his commission in 1949; the resignation was handled quietly by the press and the Marine Corps. Rudder's commission had come at a time when the Marine Corps was being challenged about its segregation policies. Rudder, his wife Doris, and their children settled in Washington, D.C., and in 1952 lived in a two bedroom apartment in the Lincoln Heights Dwellings. John became a cab driver; he would have a hard time keeping a job and eventually was expelled from Howard University Law School. In 1953, the Rudders were one of more than a million tenants of the federal housing projects required to sign the Certificate of Non-membership in Subversive Organizations. Families who refused to sign the certificate and refused to leave the premises were served with an eviction notice and a suit for possession. The Rudders filed suit against the action. The lower courts decided in favor of the National Capital Housing Authority [manager of the property owned by the United States]. The Rudders filed an appeal; in 1955 the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington affirmed a judgment for the Rudders, and the eviction notice was withdrawn. By 1967, the FBI had accumulated eight volumes of surveillance materials on the Rudders. John was labeled a Communist. The Rudders had participated in anti-discrimination and anti-war rallies and marches and picket lines in front of downtown D.C. stores and restaurants. John Rudder said that he had refused the FBI's offer to become a government informant. Rudder was a Quaker and his wife Doris was white and Jewish; they had five children. Their sons Eugene and Karl grew up to become activists. In 1977, their daughter Miriam was denied clearance by the FBI for a research aide position with the congressional committee investigating the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King Jr. The clearance was denied because of her parents' protest activities. In 1978, their daughter Beatrice became the first female firefighter in Washington, D.C. John and Doris had become teachers and actors. John had appeared in the plays "Black Like Me" and "The Great White Hope." In 1981, two weeks before John and Doris were to appear in the play "Getting Out," they appeared on the television show 60 Minutes with their daughter Miriam to discuss what they saw as government harassment, including Miriam's employment denial. For more see African Americans and ROTC, by C. Johnson; "The Postwar Marine Corps," chapter 10 of Integration of the Armed Forces 1940-1965, by M. J. MacGregor, Jr. [available online at Project Gutenberg]; John Rudder and Doris Rudder, Appellants v. United States of America, Appellee , No. 12313, 226 F.2d 51, 96 U.S.App.D.C. 329 [online at bulk.resource.org]; T. Morgan, "Family of 'Subversives' pays a high price," Washington Post, 04/06/1981, First section, p. A1; J. Lardner, "John and Doris Rudder," Washington Post, 03/15/1981, Style, Show, Limelight section, p. K3; and J. Stevens, "First woman dons uniform of District Fire Department," Washington Post, 04/06/1978, District Weekly D section, p. C5.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Actors, Actresses, Education and Educators, Fathers, Firefighters, Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.
Short, Rodman J. and Myrtle Render
Born in Rockport, KY, Rodman Short (1883-1936) was the son of Kate E. and John Waltrip Short, the owner of a bit of farmland in Muhlenberg County, KY. Rodman, who left Kentucky for Danville, IL, was a brother of Nancy Short, who settled in Detroit, and John Will Short, who remained in Kentucky after his siblings left, and two younger brothers. Rodman was a coal miner in Danville, IL, and he later returned to Lynch, KY, without his family to find work in the mines during the Depression. He became ill from the mine work and died in Kentucky. His wife, Myrtle Render Short (1888-1971), also a Kentucky native, took his body to Danville, IL, to be buried. Myrtle and Rodman were the parents of cabaret singer and pianist Robert Waltrip "Bobby" Short (1924-2005), the ninth of their ten children. For more see the Bobby Short entry in Current Biography; Music legend Bobby Short's jazzy legacy, an NPR.org website; and Black and White Baby, by B. Short.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Rockport, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky / Danville, Illinois / Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky
Sissle, George A. and Martha A.
George A. Sissle (1852-1913), born in Lexington, KY, was a prominent minister in Indianapolis at the Simpson M. E. Chapel and in Cleveland at the Cory United Methodist Church, one of the oldest Black churches in the city. He was also an organist and choirmaster. He was the husband of Martha Angeline Sissle (1869-1916), and she too was from Kentucky. She was a school teacher and probation officer. The couple was married in 1888, and were the parents of several children, including composer and jazz musician, Noble Lee Sissle (1889-1975). Martha Sissle was raised by her mother's close friend; her mother had been a slave and could not afford to raise her child. George Sissle's father had been a slave on the Cecil Plantation; he disliked the name Cecil and changed the spelling to Sissle. For more see Slave and Freeman: the autobiography of George L. Knox, by G. L. Knox; The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History [online], sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and the Western Reserve Historical Society; A Life in Ragtime by R. Badger; and The Theater of Black Americans, v.1, edited by E. Hill. *The last name is sometimes spelled "Sisle" in the U.S. Federal Census.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Corrections and Police, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Cleveland, Ohio
Stradford, Julius Caesar "J. C."
A slave from Versailles, KY, Stradford was taught to read by his owner's daughter. He forged a travel permission slip, signing his owner's name, and escaped to Stratford, Ontario. While there he changed the spelling of his last name and earned enough money to return to Kentucky and purchase his freedom. He is the father of John the Baptist Stradford, better known as J. B. Stradford, the wealthiest African American in Tulsa, OK; J.B. was accused of inciting the 1921 race riot in Tulsa. For more see Riot and Remembrance, The Tulsa Race War and Its Legacy, by J. S. Hirsch.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Ontario, Canada
Tandy, Henry A.
Birth Year : 1853
Death Year : 1918
Tandy was a contractor and builder from Lexington, KY. Along with his business partner, Albert Byrd, he did the brick work on the Lexington courthouse in 1898. At that time the courthouse was one of the largest in the U.S. At the turn of the century, Tandy was thought to have been the richest African American in Kentucky. He was the father of Vertner Tandy and the husband of Emma Brice Tandy, born 1855 in KY. The Tandy family lived at 190 West Main Street, next door to the Maj. B. G. Thomas/Margaret Pryor home. Henry Tandy was born in Estill County, KY. The names of his parents were listed as unknown at the time of his death. He was buried in Greenwood Cemetry in Lexington, KY, according to his death certificate. For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings, at the Documenting the American South website; Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; "Henry Tandy," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/16/2005, p. C1; Tandy displays in the Isaac Scott Hathaway Museum; and N.[H.] A. Tandy, "Contracting and building," Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919, 3rd Annual Convention, Richmond, Virginia, August 25-27, 1902, reel 1, frames 256-257.
Subjects: Businesses, Construction, Contractors, Builders, Fathers, Negro Business League
Geographic Region: Estill County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Taylor, Gilbert and Saphronia Kelter
The Taylors, Gilbert and Saphronia (d. 1897), from Louisville, KY, were the parents of Marshall Walter Taylor, "The Colored Cyclone." Marshall Taylor (1878-1932) was a champion cyclist; he won the annual one mile track cycling championship in 1899, 1900, and 1901. Marshall was nicknamed "Major." He was born outside Indianapolis, IN, where his parents had migrated from Kentucky. Gilbert Taylor served in the Union Army. For more see Major Taylor: the extraordinary career of a champion bicycle racer, by A. Ritchie; and Major Taylor Association, Inc. website.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Mothers, Bicycles, Cyclist, Cycling, Wheelmen
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana
Taylor, Melvin W., Sr.
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1997
Born in Iowa, Melvin W. Taylor, Sr. was the director of West Kentucky State Vocational Technical School [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] in Paducah, KY, from 1972-1985. He was a member of a host of organizations, including the National U.S. Olympic Club. He had been an outstanding athlete in high school and college, lettering in basketball, baseball, football, track, and tennis; he also played one year of semi-pro football. He was the father of Springfield, IL, painter E. Vern Taylor. The Taylor family came to Paducah in 1954. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton; and T. Brown, "Artists share their journeys," State Journal Register, 06/21/2007.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration East
Geographic Region: Iowa / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky
Tubman, William Shadrach
One of the 69 slaves freed by Emily Tubman, William was sent to live in Liberia, Africa after he was freed. Emily Tubman grew up in Frankfort, KY, and after her marriage she spent part of the year in Frankfort and part in Georgia. William S. Tubman was the husband of Sylvia A. E. Tubman, the father of Alexander Tubman, and the grandfather of William V. S. Tubman, the 18th president of Liberia. For more see A study of the life and contributions of Emily H. Tubman, by J. R. Bennett.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Grandparents, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Georgia / Liberia, Africa
Turner, Frank M. and Frosty [Wyatt Burghardt Turner]
Frank Turner (1887-1941) was the son of Wyatt and Emma Mitchell Turner. He and his wife, Frosty [or Frostie] Ann Duncan Turner (b. 1891), were from Richmond, KY. They lived in Jamaica, Queens, New York; according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, the family lived on Saratoga Avenue; Frank was recognized in the neighborhood as the father of tennis. The couple had six sons. Frank and Frosty Turner, both 1909 graduates of Wilberforce [now Wilberforce University], were married the summer after their graduation. Frank would become the chief accountant for the NAACP. He had kept the books since the organization opened its first office in the Evening Post building in 1910. He had come to the NAACP with W. E. B. DuBois. Frank had been secretary to DuBois in Atlanta; it was his first job after graduating from college. At the NAACP Office, Frank was also the circulation manager of the Crisis, and he had helped establish the NAACP Branch in Jamaica, New York in 1927, where he served as secretary until his death in 1941. Wyatt Burghardt Turner (1916-2009) was one of Frank and Frosty Turner's sons. He was named after his grandfather; his middle name was in honor of W. E. B. DuBois. Wyatt Turner was born in New York and graduated from high school in Kentucky, where he lived with his grandmother. He would become founder and president of the Brookhaven NAACP, and he served as chairman of the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission. He had also been a history professor at Stony Brook University. Prior to becoming a professor, he was the first African American teacher at Bay Shore. Wyatt Turner was a graduate of Kentucky State University and Columbia University, and he served in the U.S. Army during World War II. For more see "Frank M. Turner," The Crisis, vol. 48, issue 12 (December 1941), pp. 394 & 398; "How the NAACP Began" at the NAACP.org website; H. L. Moon, "History of the Crisis," The Crisis, November 1970; and K. Schuster, "Wyatt Turner dies; pioneer helped found Brookhaven chapter, active in Obama's presidential campaign," Newsday, 01/23/2009, News section, p. A8.
See photo image at the end of the article "Frank M. Turner" on p. 394 of The Crisis.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Mothers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Queens, New York
Birth Year : 1832
Death Year : 1903
Isam [or Isom or Isham] Washington was born in North Carolina and brought to Lovelaceville, KY, as a slave. He was a Civil War veteran who served with the 8th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery, Company "L" from Paducah, KY; he was honorably discharged in 1866. He returned to Ballard County, where he later acquired 55 acres of farmland to produce tobacco. Washington later lost his land, then in 1900 moved his family to Massac County, Illinois, where he died in 1903. He had also been a minister. Isam Washington was the father of Isam Mack Washington, the grandfather of Roy L. Washington, Sr., and the great-grandfather of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. For more see The Ancestry of Mayor Harold Washington (1922-1987) by C. G. Brasfield.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Grandparents
Geographic Region: North Carolina / Lovelaceville, Ballard County, Kentucky / Massac County, Illinois / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky
Washington, Isam McDaniel "Mack"
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1957
Isam [or Isom] M. Washington was born in Lovelaceville, KY. He was the youngest son of Rebecca Neal Washington and Isam Washington. Isam M. Washington married Arbella Weeks from Massac County, Illinois; they were the parents of Roy L. Washington and the grandparents of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. Isam M. Washington was a minister at several churches in Illinois; he helped raise funds for the building of the St. James Church in Lawrenceville and the St. Peter A.M.E. Church in Decatur. For more see The Ancestry of Mayor Harold Washington (1922-1987) by C. G. Brasfield.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Lovelaceville, Ballard County, Kentucky / Massac County, Illinois / Lawrenceville and Decatur, Illinois
Washington, Roy L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1897
Death Year : 1953
Roy L. Washington was born in Lovelaceville, KY, the son of Isam M. Washington and Arbella Weeks. When he was a teenager, Roy Washington left Kentucky for southern Illinois, where he married Bertha Spence Jones (1898-1980). The couple later moved to Chicago, two of the more than 50,000 African Americans who had left the South by 1920 to settle in Chicago. The couple had four children, 2-6 years old, when Bertha separated from Roy. He retained custody of the children while earning $15 per week at the stockyard and attending Chicago-Kent College of Law at nights. Bertha lived nearby and assisted with the raising of the children. She would later marry Ernest Price, and they would have six children. Roy Washington received his law license in 1923, and he too remarried. Washington developed his law practice and was also a minister who preached at various churches in Chicago. He would become the Democratic Party precinct captain in the Third Ward and was also a police court prosecutor. When Roy Washington died in 1953, his youngest child, Harold Washington (1922-1987), took over his precinct position. Harold Washington also served as the Democratic representative to the Illinois State Legislature, 1965-1976; state senator, 1976-1980; and house member, beginning in 1980. He was the first African American mayor of Chicago, 1983-1987 (he died during his second term). Harold Washington was the brother of Ramon Price (1930-2000), Chief Curator of Du Sable Museum of African American History in Chicago. For more see J. Camper, et al., "The road to city hall, a half-century of black political evolution set the stage for the Harold Washington revolution," Chicago Tribune, 11/16/1986; Pinderhughes, D., "Washington, Harold." Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History, pp. 2267-2268; and The Ancestry of Mayor Harold Washington (1922-1987) by C.G. Brasfield.
Subjects: Fathers, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Legislators (Outside Kentucky), Mayors
Geographic Region: Lovelaceville, Ballard County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois
Webster, Benjamin Sweeney, Sr.
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 1987
Webster was a Kentucky native, the son of James and Marie L. Webster. A mortician and salesman, Benjamin was the father of poet Toi Derricotte (b. 1941 in Detroit, MI) and the husband of Antonia Baquet (Webster) Cyrus until they divorced in 1953. The Webster Family owned the Webster Funeral Home in Detroit, MI. For more see M. Salij, "The poetry of black and white Detroit native Toi Derricotte reaches inside herself to write about race," 04/27/2001, and "Antonia Cyrus: family historian, animal lover," 10/20/2001, both articles in the Detroit Free Press. For more on Derricotte see the Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Poets, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan
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
Young, Eddie L.
Birth Year : 1923
Born in the coal camps of Jenkins, KY, Young is the father of Michelle Y. Green, author of the Willie Pearl Series. Eddie Young was a Tuskeegee Airman and one of the first African American pilots to fly in Korea and Vietnam. Green's book in progress, High Flight, is based on her father's life. This entry was submitted by Michelle Y. Green.
Subjects: Aviators, Fathers, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Jenkins, Letcher County, Kentucky
Young, Whitney M., Sr.
Birth Year : 1897
Death Year : 1975
Young was born in Paynes Depot, KY, the son of Anne and Taylor Young. He became the first African American director of Lincoln Institute and kept the school from being closed with his Faith Plan. Young had attended grade school in Zion Hill and was a graduate of Lincoln Institute, Louisville Municipal College, and Fisk University. He was also two time President of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association and received committee appointments from U.S. presidents. Whitney Young, Sr., was the husband of Laura R. Young and the father of Eleanor Young, Arnita Young Boswell, and Whitney Young, Jr. Whitney Young, Sr.'s papers are at Kentucky State University. For more see the Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000; The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians by A. A. Dunnigan; and "Whitney M. Young Sr.dies in Louisville at 77," Jet, 09/04/1975, p.46 [article and photo available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Fathers, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Paynes Depot, Scott County, Kentucky / Lincoln Ridge, Shelby County, Kentucky