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Abernathy, Ronald L.
Birth Year : 1950
Abernathy was born in Louisville, KY, to Ben W. and Juanita Abernathy. He is a graduate of Morehead State University (BA) and Louisiana State University (MA). Abernathy was a teacher at Shawnee High School in Louisville when he received the Teacher of the Year Award and was second in the state for Kentucky High School Coach of the Year, both in 1976. From 1972-1976, he was head basketball coach at the school. He left Kentucky to become an assistant basketball coach at LSU, 1976-1989, the first African American basketball coach hired full-time at the school. For more see Dale Brown's Memoirs from LSU Basketball, by D. Brown; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1980-2006.
Subjects: Basketball, Education and Educators, Migration South
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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
Bardstown Slaves: Amputation and Louisiana Sugar Plantations
Start Year : 1806
Dr. Walter Brashear, from Kentucky by way of Maryland, was owner of four sugar plantations in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. Brashear was a Kentucky slave owner who had grown up in Bullitt County, KY, practiced medicine in Nelson County, KY, and served one term in the Kentucky Legislature in 1808. He performed the world's first successful amputation at the hip joint in 1806. The procedure was done on a 17 year old mulatto slave of the St. Joseph monks in Bardstown, KY; the boy had a badly fractured leg. In spite of the medical notoriety Brashear received, he found that practicing medicine did not generate the profit he wanted. By 1822, Brashear had left medicine and moved his wife, Margaret Barr, their family, and most of their slaves to Louisiana, where Brashear developed sugar plantations. Eli, a brickmaker and distiller, was one of the 25 or so slaves who had arrived in advance of the Brashear family. Three of the slaves were sold shortly after they arrived in Louisiana; Brashear was short of money. The youngest and most skilled of his slaves in Nelson County had been taken to Louisiana, and added to the group were slaves he bought or bartered from family members and his Nelson County neighbors. The first group of slaves were transported by steamboat, and the remainder arrived by flatboat. Brashear would eventually become a wealthy man, but not before the death of his wife, most of his children, and some of the slaves, who died of fevers and cholera. For more see Sweet Chariot, by A. P. Malone; Brashear and Florence Family Papers at the Library of UNC at Chapel Hill; and a discussion of the hip joint surgery on page 646 of The Medical News, vol. LXIII (July-December 1893) [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South
Geographic Region: Bullitt County, Kentucky / Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / St. Mary Parish, Louisiana
Bond, James Arthur, Sr.
Birth Year : 1892
Death Year : 1957
In 1929, James A. Bond was the interim president of the Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute [now Kentucky State University]. Bond had been a dean at the school, replacing President Green P. Russell when he resigned in 1929. Russell was indicted on three counts of defrauding the state: he had hired his wife and daughter as librarians for the school. The charges were later dismissed. James A. Bond served as the interim president until the end of the year when Rufus B. Atwood was named president. James A. Bond left the Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, when he was named a Specialist in Education with the Bureau of Education in the U.S. Department of the Interior. His first duty was to assist in the survey of secondary education. While in Cincinnati, Bond completed his master's degree in 1930 at the University of Cincinnati. His thesis is entitled Negro Education in Kentucky. Bond would become a dean at Bethune-Cookman College in Florida, where he worked from 1935-1941. He temporarily left the school in 1935 to complete a semester of work on his doctorate at the University of Chicago; Bond specialized in junior college curriculum. He was author of "Bethune-Cookman College: community service station," The Crisis, vol. 48, no. 3 (March 1941), pp. 81 & 94 [available online at Google Books]. While in Florida, the family lived at 625 Second Avenue in Daytona Beach, according to the 1941 Polk's Daytona Beach (Volusia County, Fla.) City Directory. While in Florida, Bond also wrote "Freshman reading program in junior college," Community and Junior College Journal, vol. 11 (1941), p. 22. James Arthur Bond, Sr. was born in Greenwood, TN, and grew up in Williamsburg, KY. He was the son of Henry Bond and Anna Gibson Bond. In 1910 he was a teacher in Williamsburg, KY [source: U.S. Federal Census], and in 1918 he was principal of the Colored High School in Middlesboro, KY [source: Bond's World War I draft registration card]. Bond was a government clerk in Chicago in 1920 [source: U.S. Federal Census]; the family of five lived on South Wabash Avenue. James Arthur Bond was the husband of Rosabelle [or Rosa Belle] Cleckley Bond, who was born in South Carolina. For more see 50 Years of Segregation by J. A. Hardin; "James A. Bond of Kentucky...," The Crisis, vol. 37, no. 2 (Feb. 1930), p. 60 [available online at Google Books]; and "Bethune-Cookman College dean leaves for Chicago," The Negro Star, 03/29/1935, p. 3.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration South
Geographic Region: Greenwood, Tennessee / Williamsburg, Whitley County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Daytona Beach, Florida
Bowles, Eva Del Vakia
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1943
Bowles was born in Albany, OH, the daughter of John H. and Mary J. Porter Bowles. Her first employment was teacher at the Chandler Normal School in Lexington, KY; Bowles was the first African American teacher at the school. She was secretary of the YWCA Subcommittee on Colored Work when the first Conference on Colored Work was held in Louisville, KY, in 1915. Bowles was a leader in the YWCA. For more see the Eva Del Vakia Bowles entry in Black Women in America [database].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration South, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Albany, Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson 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
Brashear, Jimmie Tyler
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1999
Jimmie Tyler Brashear, born in Lexington, KY, was the daughter of a Lexington schoolteacher Mattie Mason Tyler and barber Charles W. Tyler. She would later live with an aunt in Madison, WI. According to the Dallas Morning News, Brashear was the only African American in the 1924 graduating class at the University of Wisconsin. In 1929, she joined the Dallas School District with the responsibility of training African American grade school teachers. Brasher would advance to become the first African American school administrator in Dallas. She retired in 1967, after 43 years as an educator, and began teaching at what is now Paul Quinn College. She had taught at Tuskegee and Prairie View earlier in her career. The J. T. Brashear Early Childhood Center was named in her honor, and in 1997, she was recognized as an Outstanding Citizen by the Black Caucus of the Texas Legislature. Brashear was a sister to Lugusta Tyler Colston. For more see J. Simnacher, "Dallas educator Jimmie Tyler Brashear dies - she was first African American hired as schools administrator," The Dallas Morning News, 02/16/1999, News section, p.13A; and N. Adams-Wade, "Venerated educator broke ground in Dallas schools," The Dallas Morning News, 02/16/1997, News section, p.39A.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration West, Migration South
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Madison, Wisconsin / Dallas, Texas
Brown, John Michael
Birth Year : 1950
J. Michael Brown is the first African American to be appointed Secretary of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet; he was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear in 2007. Brown was born in New York, the son of John Sylvester Brown and Cora Lewis Brown. He is a graduate of City College of New York, where he earned his undergraduate degree in political science. He was a paratrooper and infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division, where he piloted helicopters, and was later stationed at Fort Campbell, KY, with the 101st Airborne. Brown remained in Kentucky, graduating in 1979 from the University of Louisville School of Law. He has served as a Louisville District Court Judge and as Law Director for the City of Louisville. For more on Brown's career, see L. Lamb, "J. Michael Brown tapped as new Justice Cabinet Secretary," Inside Corrections, vol. 1, issue 4 (January 2008), pp. 1 & 6-7 [available online]; and J. Michael Brown, a Kentucky.gov website.
Subjects: Aviators, Lawyers, Military & Veterans, Migration South, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: New York / Fort Campbell, Christian County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Brown, Phil H.
Birth Year : 1872
Death Year : 1923
Phil H. Brown was the appointed Commissioner of Conciliation in the U.S. Department of Labor, Division of Negro Economics. News of his appointment was listed under the heading of "Politics" in M. G. Allison's article "The Horizon" in The Crisis, June 1921, vol.22, issue 2, whole number 128, p.80 [available online at Google Book Search]. The Division of Negro Economics was established in 1918 to mobilize Negro workers and address their issues during WWI. The program came about after much pressure from Negro leaders. It was the first program to assist Negro workers and acted as an informal employment agency. George Haynes, of the Urban League, was named director and continued at the post until the program was discontinued in 1921, when Haynes left the office. Phil H. Brown replaced Haynes in 1921 with the new title of Commissioner of Conciliation. He was assigned the task of making a special study of Negro migration to the North and the cause of the migration. Brown delivered an address on his findings at the International Labor Conference in Toronto, Canada. Brown continued to serve as the Commissioner of Conciliation until his sudden death in November 1923. He died of a heart attack at his home, 1326 Riggs St. N.W in Washington, D.C. Funeral services were conducted at Brown's home by Rev. J. C. Olden and Rev. T. J. Brown. Phil H. Brown's body was sent to Hopkinsville, KY, for burial; he considered the city to be his home town. Brown was born in Ironton, OH, and he had previously lived in Washington, D. C. while working at the Government Printing Office (GPO). He then moved to Hopkinsville, KY, where he was a Republican leader. He was employed by the Republican National Committee during the presidential elections from 1908-1920. Brown was also an associate of W. C. Handy; he wrote a commentary that accompanied Handy's 1922 published sheet music "John Henry Blues." [Handy's first wife, Elizabeth, was a Kentucky native.] Phil H. Brown was also a recognized journalist and publisher in Kentucky; Brown had owned a printing company located at Tenth and Chestnut Streets in Hopkinsville. He was editor of the newspaper Major in 1902 and the Morning News in 1903. He also published the Saturday News. Brown had an association with the Chicago Daily News, The New York Journal, and the New York Sun. He also wrote articles for many other publications. In 1916, Brown's printing company published the book The Awakening of Hezekiah Jones by J. E. Bruce. Phil H. Brown was married to Dorothea "Dolly" R. Brown, b.1872 in Pennsylvania, and died in 1924. Prior to their second move to Washington, D.C., the couple had lived on North Liberty Street in Hopkinsville, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. For more see A History of Christian County Kentucky from Oxcart to Airplane by C. M. Meacham; Colored Girls and Boys Inspiring United States History and a Heart to Heart Talk About White Folks by W. H. Harrison, Jr.; "Phil H. Brown dies suddenly in Washington," The Afro American, 12/07/1923, p.1; and U.S. Department of Labor Historian, J. MacLaury, "The Federal Government and Negro Workers Under President Woodrow Wilson," paper delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Society for History in the Federal Government, 03/16/2000, Washington, D.C. [available online].
Subjects: Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Ironton, Ohio / Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.
Birth Year : 1831
Death Year : 1875
Caldwell, a blacksmith, was born in Kentucky and later became an elected state senator in Mississippi. He was the husband of Margaret Ann Caldwell. In 1868, Charles Caldwell and the son of a judge were involved in a shootout that left the judge's son dead. Caldwell was tried by an all-white jury and found not guilty; he was the first African American in Mississippi to kill a white man and be found not guilty by the courts. Caldwell continued as a state senator and helped write the state constitution. He would later command an African American militia troop in Clinton, MS, and try unsuccessfully to prevent a race riot. The riot lasted for four days, and on Christmas Day, 1875, Caldwell was gunned down by a gang of whites. For more see A People's History of the United States: 1942-present (2003), by H. Zinn; and "Charles Caldwell, State Senator," in Great Black Men of Masonry, 1723-1982 (2002), by J. M. A. Cox.
Subjects: Blacksmiths, Migration South, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Clinton, Mississippi
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1932
Horseman Sam Carson was born in Williamsburg, KY, the son of Simon and Dison Carson [source: Alabama, Deaths and Burials Index]. Sam Carson died in Mobile, AL, April 7, 1932, and is buried in the M. C. Public Grounds.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration South
Geographic Region: Williamsburg, Whitley County, Kentucky / Mobile, Alabama
Cato (former slave/then again slave)
It was reported in the New York Times that in 1850 a widow named Shaw sold a slave named Cato to Dr. Benjamin Beall and B. Tucker. The article stated that Cato received his freedom in 1856, as had been stipulated by Shaw prior to the sale. Once free, Cato went to Cincinnati but was unable to find work, so he returned to Alexandria, KY, to work again for Beall. Cato accompanied Beall to Lexington, KY, to sell his cattle. After selling the cattle, Beall sold Cato for $900, and he was then shipped down South. In 1857, Beall sued the Cincinnati Enquirer for libel when it ran an article insinuating that he had enticed Cato back to Alexandria from Cincinnati in order to sell him into slavery. Beall won his case. For more see article 5 in the New York Times, 08/02/1865, p. 6 and the untitled article in the New York Times, 03/12/1857, p. 2.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration South
Geographic Region: Alexandria, Campbell County, Kentucky
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
Childers, Lulu V.
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1946
Lulu Vere Childers was born in Dry Ridge, KY. She studied voice at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she earned her B. Mus. degree. Childers was a teacher at Knoxville College in 1896. She continued to perform, singing contralto in a 1908 concert organized by E. Azalia Hackley at the Philadelphia Academy of Music. She went on to become founder and director of the Howard University School of Music [now Department of Music], 1909-1942. She accomplished major successes with the Howard Orchestra, Band, Choral Society, Women's Glee Club and Men's Glee Club. Lulu Vere Childers Hall is located in the Arts Building at Howard University. For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston; Catalogue of Officers and Graduates, by Oberlin College (1905) [full view available via Google Book Search]; and A History of Three African-American Women Who Made Important Contributions to Music Education Between 1903-1960 (thesis) by D. R. Patterson.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Dry Ridge, Grant County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1967
Herman Chittison was born in Flemingsburg, KY, then left Kentucky to attend school in Tennessee when he was 13 years old. He was the son of Charles and Sarah Chittison. After completing high school, Herman Chittison enrolled at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] in 1925, but he soon left school to pursue his music career. Chittison was a self-taught jazz pianist who had studied chemistry in college. Once his music career took off, he traveled to New York, then played in Europe and Egypt and toured with Louis Armstrong. Chittison returned to the U.S. during World War II. For seven years he played on the weekly CBS radio series, Casey, Crime Photographer. For more see Biographical Dictionary of Jazz, by C. E. Claghorn; Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 9th ed., ed. by L. Kuhn; and F. E. Lockwood, "Flemingsburg Jazz pianist lives on in ebony and ivory, musician's artistry reached across racial divide," Lexington Herald Leader, 02/26/2000, Main News section, p. A1.
See photo image of Herman Chittison at the Library of Congress Digital Collections.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Radio, Migration South, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Flemingsburg, Fleming County, Kentucky / New York / Europe / Egypt
Clark, Charles H.
Birth Year : 1855
Rev. Charles H. Clark was born in 1855 in Christian County, KY, to unmarried slave parents. His father escaped from slavery, leaving Charles and his mother behind. His mother later married a man named Clark, and Charles took his stepfather's last name. Charles Clark taught school at the Mount Zion Baptist Church near Hopkinsville, KY. He was pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Chicago, IL. He served as director of both the Binga State Bank in Chicago and the Citizens Bank and Trust Co. in Nashville. The Binga Bank was the first African American bank in Chicago. Clark also organized and chaired the Board of Directors of the National Baptist Publishing Board in Nashville. He was president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention and the National Baptist Sunday School Congress, and was appointed by the Tennessee governor to the Educational Convention of Negro Leaders. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1941-44; "Charles Henry Clark" in vol. 2 of the African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham; and "Charles Henry Clark, LL.D" in Who's Who Among the Colored Baptists of the United States, by S. W. Bacote.
See photo image and additional information about Rev. Charles Henry Clark in Simms' Blue Book and National Negro Business and Professional Directory by J. N. Simms, at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Christian County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Nashville, Tennessee
Clement, Emma C. Williams
Birth Year : 1874
Death Year : 1952
Emma Clarissa Williams Clement lived in Louisville, KY. At the age of 71, she became the first African American to be named Mother of the Year. The recognition was made on Mothers Day, May 12, 1941, after Clement was select for the honor by the Golden Rule Foundation. Clement, born in Providence, RI, was the wife of George Clement, Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Louisville, and the mother of Rufus E. Clement and Ruth E. Clement Bond. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and "News from our file: fifty years ago," Marysville Journal-Tribune, 05/02/1996, p. 4.
See photo image of Emma C. W. Clement at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Mothers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Providence, Rhode Island / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Clement, Rufus E.
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1967
Rufus E. Clement was born in Salisbury, NC; his family moved to Louisville, KY, when he was a small child. Clement would become the first dean of the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes (1931-1937) [subsumed by the University of Louisville], and later the longest serving president of Atlanta University (1937-1957 & 1966-1967). Clement was the author of many articles on Negro education, history, and politics as well as a published reviewer of current issues publications. In 1953, Clement was elected to the Atlanta Board of Education, making him the first African American to be elected to public office in Atlanta since Reconstruction, and the first on the city's education board. He was the son of Emma Clement and George Clement, Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Louisville. He was the brother of Ruth E. Clement Bond. Rufus E. Clement's records and papers are at the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center. The Louisville Municipal College archives are at the University of Louisville Archives and Record Center. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; [Dr. Rufus E. Clement] in the Statesville Daily Record newspaper, 05/15/1953; Worldwide Interesting People: 162 History Makers of African Decent, by G. L. Lee; and the video Rufus E. Clement and Horace M. Bond recorded in 1955 as part of the Chronscope Series by Columbia Broadcasting System.
See photo images and additional information about Rufus E. Clement at the University of Louisivlle website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Migration South, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Salisbury, North Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia
Coleman, Frederick Douglass, Jr.
Birth Year : 1921
Coleman was one of the early African American surgeons in the U.S. Army. He was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Frederick Douglass Coleman, Sr. and Jamye Harris Coleman, and the brother of Jamye Coleman Williams. Coleman, Jr., a physician and a minister, graduated from Fisk University and earned his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in 1944 and his D. D. from Monrovia College (Liberia) in 1955. He served as captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1953-1955 and was Commanding Officer of the 765th Medical Detachment. He was Chief Physical Examiner with the U.S. Army Hospital in Fort Campbell, KY and Battalion Surgeon of the 47th Armored Medical Bn 1st Armored Division. Coleman was a member of the integrated Montgomery County Medical Society in Clarksville, TN, and in addition to serving as pastor of a number of churches, he was a representative on the A.M.E. Church Medical Missions Board National Council of Churches. He was licensed to preach in 1939. For more see "Frederick Douglass Coleman, Jr." in Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers by E. L. Williams. 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.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Clarksville, Tennessee
Colston, Lugusta Tyler
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 2008
Lugusta T. Colston, born in Lexington, KY, was a graduate of Wiley College and received her undergraduate library degree from Wayne State University. She was the librarian at Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, FL, for more than 30 years, and had also taught at the Booker T. Washington High School in Columbia, SC. In 1940, she was one of the seven founding members of the the Miami Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She was also a founding member of the Greater Miami Chapter of Links, an international women's civic organization, and was involved in several community organizations that included her leading role with the Minority Involvement Committee of the Miami-Dade County Division of the American Cancer Society. Lugusta T. Colston was the daughter of Mattie Mason Tyler and Charles W. Tyler. Lugusta T. Colston was a sister to Jimmie Tyler Brashear. Since the 1999 death of her husband, Nathaniel Colston, Lugusta T. Colston had been living in Southfield, MI. She is buried in Lexington, KY. For more see E. J. Brecher, "Veteran librarian at Booker T. Washington," Miami Herald, 03/09/2008, Metro and State section, p.5B.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Columbia, South Carolina / Miami, Florida / Southfield, Michigan
Cook, Isabel and John Hartwell
It has been mistakenly assumed that the Cooks were Kentucky natives. John Cook was born around 1838 in Washington, D.C., his family was free. Isabel Marion Cook was born in 1843 in Tennessee. Both were graduates of Oberlin College. The couple came to Kentucky in 1864 when John was hired as a school teacher in Louisville. In 1867, they moved to Washington, D. C. where John Cook had accepted the position of chief clerk with the Freedmen's Bureau. The family, which included extended family members, lived east of 7th Street, according to the 1870 U.S Federal Census. John Cook worked during the day and attended college at night. He was a member of the first class of ten graduates from Howard University Law School in 1871. He would become a professor and dean of the school for two years prior to his death from tuberculosis in 1878. John and Isabel Cook were the parents of musician Will [William] Marion Cook. For more see A Life in Ragtime by R. Badger; and Swing Along by M. G. Carter. See the Will Marion Cook - Biography at The E. Azalia Hackley Colleciton [online], a Detroit Public Library website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Lawyers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Washington, D.C / Tennessee / 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
Cox, Fannie M.
Birth Year : 1959
In 2007/2008, Fannie Cox became the third* African American president of the Kentucky Library Association (KLA). It was during her tenure that Louisville, KY, was the host city for the state's second national library conference (the first being the 1917 American Library Association Conference). The 2008 meeting was a combined event with the KLA Conference, Kentucky School Media Association, the National Diversity in Libraries Conference, and the Southeastern Library Association Conference. In 2005, she coordinated with the Western Branch Library Support Association for the successful joint banquet for the recognition of the centennial anniversary of KLA and the Western Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library. In addition to having been president of KLA, Fannie Cox has served in several leadership positions, including chair of the Special Library Section. She initiated the Conference Proceedings, the online Advocacy Clearinghouse, and the Poster Sessions, which she also chaired. She has received appointments to various ALA committees, including ALCTS Leadership Development, Collection Development and Electronic Resources, and the Advocacy Training Subcommittee. She was the recipient of the Association of College and Research Libraries Fellowship in 2000 and the National Science Foundation Fellowship in 1999. Fannie Cox is an associate professor and serves as Outreach and Reference Librarian at the University of Louisville. She earned her B.A. in 1982 and her MLS in 1998, both from Indiana University. She earned a MPA in 1992 from Kentucky State University. Fannie Cox, the daughter of the late James and Rosa Cox, was born in Indianapolis, IN. This information was taken with permission from the vita of Fannie M. Cox. For more information contact Fannie Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The first African American to become president of KLA was Rebecca T. Bingham from Indianapolis, IN, and the second was Barbara S. Miller from Louisville, KY.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration South
Geographic Region: Indianapolis, Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Coxe, Gloucester C.
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 1999
Gloucester Coxe resided in Louisville; he was a native of Carlisle, PA. His parents were accomplished watercolorists. He was a display artist for the Lyric and Grand (Colored) Theaters and an illustrator at the Fort Knox Training Aid Center, from which he retired after 20 years. He continued to paint and produced a series of creative works, including the Ebony, Gemini, and Mandela series. For more see interviews and other materials in the University of Louisville Art Library; and "Gloucester Coxe, 92," Lexington Herald-Leader, Obituaries section, p. B2.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Migration South, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Carlisle, Pennsylvania / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Daniel, Wilbur N.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1999
Wilburn N. Daniel was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Fannie and Nathan Daniel. Reverend Wilbur N. Daniel was the first African American student to be accepted at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, from which he graduated with honors in 1957. The school's African American Cultural Center is named in Daniel's honor. Daniel was a civil rights activist and a pastor of the St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Clarksville, TN. Prior to enrolling in the graduate school at Austin Peay, he had earned an undergraduate degree from American Baptist Theological Seminary [American Baptist College] in Nashville and another from Tennessee State University. Daniel would leave Tennessee for Chicago, where he was pastor of the Antioch Baptist Church and served two years as president of the Chicago NAACP. He sponsored a housing development in Chicago and and in Fort Wayne, IN. He was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for Congress in 1964. For more see Austin Peay State University African American Cultural Center; A. Ritchart, "Supporting heroes," The Leaf-Chronicle, 02/16/2006, Local section, p. 1B; Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers, by E. L. Williams; and the Rev. Wilburn Daniel entry in Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book, edited by E. R. Rather.
See photo and additional information at "Biography of Dr. Wilburn N. Daniel," Austin Peay State University website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Clarksville, Tennessee / Chicago, Illinois
Darden, George Harry
Birth Year : 1934
George H. Darden was born in Cadiz, KY, to Sammie and Belknap Darden. He is a 1955 graduate of Kentucky State University and a 1964 graduate of Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. He has served in many capacities, including that of chairman of the Legal Commission in Hopkinsville, KY; assistant county attorney in Hamilton County, OH; chief judge of the Cincinnati Municipal Court; and regional attorney of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Atlanta, GA. He is the husband of Gwen M. Darden, who was president of the National Association of Bench and Bar Spouses, Inc. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2000.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration South, Judges
Geographic Region: Cadiz, Trigg County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia
Davis, DeWayne Frank
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1969
Born in Covington, KY, DeWayne F. Davis became the assistant health commissioner in Charleston, West Virginia, and a physician at West Virginia State College [now West Virginia State University], where he had received his undergraduate degree. Davis received his M.D. from Meharry Medical College. He was the son of Ella May Holmes Davis and Henry Davis, according to the State of Texas Certificate of Death #03158 for DeWayne F. Davis, who died in Houston on January 20, 1969. Dr. Davis had been in Houston for six years. He was a veteran of WWI, and was buried in the Paradise South Cemetery in Houston. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Migration East, Migration South
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Charleston, West Virginia / Houston, Texas
Dinwiddie, William Thomas
Birth Year : 1865
William T. Dinwiddie was born in Lincoln County, KY and he grew up in Danville, KY. After his graduation from the Danville Colored school, he completed a two year course at Knoxville College and later graduated from Meharry Medical and Dental School [now Meharry Medical College, School of Dentistry] in Nashville. Following his graduation, Dr. Dinwiddie became Chair of Prosthetic Dentistry at Meharry. He left Meharry to become a dentist in Lexington, KY. Dr. Dinwiddie had a large practice located in the medical building at 118 North Broadway. He was one of the first African American dentist in Kentucky. Dr. Dinwiddie was also a carpenter and master mechanic. In 1898 he married Addie B. Dinwiddie (b.1871 in Kentucky), his first wife, and in 1905 married Georgia McLaughin Dinwiddie (born 1875 in Danville, KY). For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings at the Documenting the American South website; and Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South, Carpenters, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering, Dentists
Geographic Region: Lincoln County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Ellis, Betty Marie
Birth Year : 1925
In June of 1948, the student admission application for Betty Marie Ellis, who was white, was rejected by Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] because the Day Law forbid black and white students from attending the same school in Kentucky. Ellis was furious about the law. "Had I the financial and legal backing, I would like very much to contest the law as it stands." Betty Marie Ellis was a civil rights activist who was not working with any particular organization. She was the first white student to apply for admission to Kentucky State College. Ellis was a 25 year old college graduate from Peru, IN, and was studying for a master's degree in religious education at the College of the Bible [now Lexington Theological Seminary] in Lexington, KY. She was also the director of religious education at the First Christian Church in Shelbyville, KY. She had attended school with Negro children in Peru, IN, where the schools were integrated and so was Manchester College in North Manchester, IN, where Ellis earned her bachelor's degree. In response to being denied admission to Kentucky State College, Ellis wrote letters of protest to Dr. Atwood, President of Kentucky State College; Kentucky Governor Earl Clements; and Boswell B. Hodgkin, Superintendent of Public Instruction in Kentucky. Betty Marie Ellis was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. F. Ellis. For more see the document "Kentucky State College rejects white girl; she blasts governor, Jim Crow laws," Monday, June 14, 1948, p.44 [second page missing] within the file Kentucky State College (Frankfort), Louisville Municipal College, & West KY Vocational Training School (Paducah), part of The Claude A. Burnett Papers: The Associated Negro Press, 1918-1967, Part 3: Subject Files on Black Americans, 1918-1967, Series A, Agriculture, 1923-1966 -- Proquest History Vault; and see Betty Marie Ellis on p.65 in Tracks: Chesapeake & Ohio, Nickel Plate, Pere Marquette, vol. 29, issue 7. See also the NKAA entry for Mrs. Geraldine Cox Ogden, the first white student admitted to Kentucky State College. See also Barry Coleman Moore, the first white football player at Kentucky State College.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Migration South, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Peru, Indiana / Manchester, Indiana / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1988
William Exum, born in Illinois, was the first African American varsity football player at the University of Wisconsin. He was both an outstanding track star and student at Wisconsin, completing his bachelor's, master's, and doctorate. His father's family had originally come from Mississippi and Tennessee, and his maternal grandmother was from Kentucky, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. William Exum's family settled in Gary, Indiana; after he graduated from high school, he left Indiana to attend school in Wisconsin. In 1949 Exum was hired as head of the Kentucky State University (KSU) Physical Education Department and later was made head of the Athletics Department, sometimes coaching various sports teams. In 1964 he coached the KSU men's cross country team to an NCAA Division II championship. He was the manager of the United States Track and Field teams at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics. In 1978 the National Association of College Directors of Athletics inducted him into the Hall of Fame. Exum retired from KSU in 1980. The William Exum Athletic Center at KSU was named in his honor in 1994. William Exum was the son of William (b.1868 in MS) and Ruth Exum (b.1876 in IL). For more see N. C. Bates, "Exum a great athlete and coach," Post-Tribune (IN), 02/06/2003, Neighbors section, p. B2.
See photo images and additional information at the UWBadgers.com website.
Read about the William Exum oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Education and Educators, Migration North, Track & Field, Migration East, Migration South
Geographic Region: Illinois / Mississippi / Tennessee / Gary, Indiana / Wisconsin / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky
Birth Year : 1845
Samuel Farris was born in Barren County, KY. At a young age, he was taken to Mississippi to work on a cotton plantation. After his master died, Farris attempted to make his way back to Kentucky but ended up in Alabama, then later made his way to Memphis. He worked on steamboats for 13 years, then changed his occupation to undertaking. His business was located at 104 DeSoto Street in Memphis, according to the Memphis, TN, City Directory for 1890 and for 1891. In the 1890s Samuel Farris was a member of the A.M.E. Church and considered a wealthy businessman -- worth $15,000. For more see the Samuel Farris entry in Afro-American Encyclopaedia: Or, the Thoughts, Doings... by James T. Haley, pp. 207-208 [UNC University Library, Documenting the American South].
See photo image of Samuel Farris on p.208 of the Afro-American Encyclopaedia by J. T. Haley.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Migration South
Geographic Region: Barren County, Kentucky / Memphis, Tennessee
Fite, Samuel "Sam"
Birth Year : 1864
Owner of Fite's Studio in Owensboro, KY, he was considered the best photographer in the city. Fite, who was thought to be from Kentucky, was born in Canada. His wife was Georgia Fite, she was born in 1868 in Tennessee, and the couple lived on Elm Street in Owensboro, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, p. 511, by G. F. Richings at the Documenting the American South website.
Subjects: Photographers, Photographs, Migration South
Geographic Region: Canada / Tennessee / Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky
Birth Year : 1837
Death Year : 1901
Henry Fitzbutler, born in Maiden, Ontario, Canada, attended medical school in Detroit, enrolling in the Detroit Medical School in 1871 at the age of 29. He practiced medicine with his wife, Sarah, in Louisville, KY, where he pushed for a medical school for African Americans: the Louisville National Medical College opened without race restrictions. Fitzbutler also published the African American newspaper, Ohio Falls Express. Only the July 11, 1891 issue is still available, on microfilm, at the University of Louisville Archives and Record Center. Henry Fitzbutler was the father of Mary Fitzbutler Waring. For more see Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000; see Henry Fitzbutler at Find a Grave; and the Henry Fitzbutler entry in The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography by J. T. White [available full-text at Google Book Search].
See photo image of Henry Fitzbutler at Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South
Geographic Region: Maiden, Ontario, Canada / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan
Fitzbutler, Sarah Helen M.
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1923
Dr. Fitzbutler graduated from the Louisville National Medical College in 1892. She was the first woman of color to earn a medical degree in Kentucky; she went on to practice medicine in Louisville with her husband, Dr. Henry Fitzbutler. Sarah was born in Pennsylvania, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, and after marrying Henry, the Fitzbutler family lived in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada before moving to the U.S. Sarah died in Chicago in 1923, according to her death certificate. She was the mother of Dr. Mary Fitzbutler Waring and several other children. For more see "Henry Fitzbutler: Detroit's First Black Medical Student," by L. L. Hanawalt, Detroit in Perspective: a Journal of Regional History (Winter 1973), pp. 126-140; 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: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Mothers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Pennsylvania / Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois
Foster, James A.
Birth Year : 1837
Death Year : 1891
Reverend Foster, a Kentucky native who had a limited education, was involved in establishing higher education for African Americans in Alabama. He gained his prominence via the church, serving as the first recording secretary of the Colored Baptist of Alabama State Convention and later as convention president. He had left Kentucky for Alabama when he was a young man, and it is not known if he was ever enslaved. Foster was ordained in Montgomery in 1867 and served as pastor at Mt. Meigs Church and Columbus Street Church. He was a trustee of the Alabama State Normal School and Swayne School. Alabama State Normal was originally Lincoln School in Marion, AL, and later became Lincoln Normal. In 1887, the school was moved to Montgomery and renamed Alabama State Normal School [now Alabama State University]. Swayne School opened in 1867 and was renamed Talladega College in 1869 [now Talladega University]. Reverend Foster was also one of the original incorporators of Selma University in 1881; the school was founded in 1878 as Alabama Baptist Normal and Theological School for the training of ministers and teachers. For more see "Reverend James A. Foster" in The Cyclopedia of the Colored Baptists of Alabama, by C. O. Boothe, pp. 141-142 [available full-text at UNC Documenting the American South].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Migration South
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Montgomery, Alabama
Freeman, Maggie L.
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1917
Maggie L. Freeman was an educator and an early African American woman school principal in Bourbon County, KY. She was born in Bourbon County, the daughter of Mary and Willis Freeman. According to the U.S. Federal Census, in 1910, she was a high school teacher at the Colored School in Paris, living with her father. Freeman had been a teacher at the school since 1903 when she was elected as one of the six teachers under principal J. C. Stone. She became the principal of the Bourbon County Training School around 1911. The school was located in Little Rock and was still in operation in 1933. Maggie L. Freeman left Kentucky and was a teacher in Florida. She died in West Palm Beach, FL, on December 19, 1917 and was buried three days later in Paris, KY [source: Florida Deaths Index]. For more see "Teachers Elected," The Bourbon News, 05/15/1903, p. 5; and "Bourbon County Training School" on pp. 264-265 in Negro Education by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Education, Bulletin 1916, NO. 39, Volume II [available full-text in Google Book Search].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration South
Geographic Region: Paris and Little Rock, Bourbon County, Kentucky / West Palm Beach, Florida
Gaines, Wallace A.
Birth Year : 1858
Gaines moved to Covington, KY, from Dayton, OH. In 1882 he was appointed a U.S. Storekeeper by Secretary of the Treasury John Sherman. In 1892 he was elected a state delegate-at-large to represent the Republican State League at Buffalo, NY. In an 1898 letter from Sam J. Roberts to President McKinley, Gaines was referred to as "the most trusted Lieutenant among the Negroes in the campaigning for delegates and electoral votes and is the recognized Negro Leader of Kentucky..." Sam J. Roberts was editor of the Lexington Leader and a Republican political operative. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson. Quote from p.303 of The Racial Attitudes of American Presidents, from Abraham Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt by G. Sinkler.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South
Geographic Region: Dayton, Ohio / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / New York
Givens, Mrs. Fanny Rosalind Hicks and James Edward Givens
Mrs. Fanny R. Hicks Givens was an artist, songwriter, educator, and police matron. She was born in 1872 in Chicago, IL; her parents were Kentucky natives who had migrated North. In the early 1890s, Givens was living in Louisville, KY, she was head of the art department at State University [later known as Simmons University, KY]. The art department had 23 students and their works were exhibited at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. She painted a portrait of John R. Walter, Minister of Madagascar and presented it to President Harrison. The portrait was hung in the White House. In 1895, Fanny R. Hicks married James Edward Givens. James Givens was born in 1861 in Greenwood, VA, the son of Jefferson and Mary Ann Dickerson Givens. James Givens was a graduate of Harvard College. He arrived in Louisville in 1892 to become a Latin and Greek instructor at State University. He was later a Latin and English professor at Louisville Colored High School [later known as Louisville Central High School]. He was founder of New South, a weekly newspaper published in Louisville beginning in 1894. From 1898-1900, James E. Givens was the second president of the State Normal School for Colored Persons [later known as Kentucky State University]. He was a storekeeper when he died of typhoid fever in 1910 at his home, 507 Jacob Street, in Louisville, KY, according to the Kentucky Death Records. James Givens was buried in the Eastern Cemetery in Louisville. Prior to his death, he was attended by Dr. Ellis D. Whedbee, husband to Bertha Whedbee, the first African American woman to be employed by the Louisville Police Department. In 1920, the Givens family was living on Finzer Street in Louisville, KY: Mrs. Givens, her daughter Fanny, niece Evaline Williams, and nephew James E. Givens. Mrs. Fanny R. Givens was a portrait artist, and in 1915 she attempted to raise $100,000 to build an Art Institute for the development of Negro artists. She was also a songwriter, on March 23, 1908, she had received a copyright for the words and the song titled "Hallelujah! Christ is Risen," [C 177237]. She was also chair of the Ways and Means Committee in Louisville. She sailed to Liberia, Africa, leaving from the Baltimore port aboard the ship Byron, December 10, 1921, according to her passport application. In 1923, Mrs. Givens and her daughter Fanny were missionaries for the National Baptist Convention, and were to sail to Sweden, the British Isles, France, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, and Germany, according to their U.S. Passport. They were to leave the Port of New York on June 30, 1923, sail to their destinations aboard the Olympic, and return to the U.S. within one year. In 1930, Mrs. Givens would become one of the first African American women to be hired by the Louisville Police Department. Fanny R. Hicks Givens died of breast cancer in Louisville in 1947, according to her death certificate, she was buried in Eastern Cemetery. For more see Mrs. Fanny R. Givens on p.202 in The Crisis, v.18, no.4, August 1919, [available at Google Book Search]; p.366 in Catalog of Copyright Entries, new series volume 3, nos 1-5, January 1908, by Library of Congress Copyright Office [available at Google Book Search]; Black Higher Education in Kentucky, 1879-1930 by L. H. Williams; "Mrs. Fannie R. Givens" on pp.252-253 of the Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky; and the Louisville Division of Police by M. O. Childress, Sr. See the James Edward Givens entry in Harvard College, Class of 1892-1896, Secretary's Report, No.11 by Harvard College [available at Google Book Search]; see "James Edward Givens" entry in Harvard College Class of 1892, Twenty-fifth Anniversary Report, 1892-1917 by Harvard College; and "Prominent Colored Educator" in The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 03/23/1910, p.1. See photo image of Fanny R. Givens at Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Great Lakes Region website.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Corrections and Police, Religion & Church Work, Migration South
Geographic Region: Chicago, Illinois / Greenwood, Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky
Grear, William A. "Bill"
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 2006
Grear was born in Russellville, KY, the son of Oretha Williams Grear and Charles C. Grear. He was the first African American-elected official in Florida: in 1968 Grear was elected city commissioner of the City of Belle Glade. He was elected vice mayor in 1974 and mayor in 1975. Grear was also owner of B and E Rubber Stamps and Trophies. He was a barber and a director of a child development center. He was the husband of Effie Carter Grear, a school teacher and principal of Glades Central High School. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2006 ; M. Malek, "Bill Grear, Belle Blade's first Black commissioner, dies at 82," The Palm Beach Post, 08/18/2006, Local section, p.2B; and African American Sites in Florida by K. M. McCarthy.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South, Mayors
Geographic Region: Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Belle Glade, Florida
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 1982
Griffey, the son of an Irishman, came to Kentucky from Pennsylvania seeking work in the coal mines. International Harvesters hired him and his two brothers because they could play baseball; all the major coal companies had baseball teams. In 1945, Griffey became the first and only African American foreman in the coal camps around Benham, KY. In 2005, his wife, Lacey Griffey, still lived in the camp-house the couple had purchased from International Harvesters when the mines were closed. For more see the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet press release, "Wolford and Jackie: A tale of two African-American Pioneers: Griffey Was First and Only Black Foreman in Benham Mines," by S. Ramsey, Kentucky Coal Council; and W. Tompkins, "Deep in our soul: coal," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 12/31/1999, Extra section, p. O8M.
Subjects: Baseball, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Migration South
Geographic Region: Pennsylvania / Benham, Harlan County, Kentucky
Hall, Leula Wallace
Birth Year : 1939
Leula Wallace Hall is an educator, administrator, minister, former high school basketball coach, and former jazz singer. She was born in the coal camp town of Valles Creek [now Hartwell] in McDowell County, WV. She is the oldest child of the late Bonnie Goddard Wallace and Theodore Wallace Sr. The family moved from West Virginia to Cincinnati, OH, then on to Lexington, KY, where Leula Hall attended old Dunbar High School. She learned to sing in church, and was a professional jazz singer. Her stage name was Toni Wallace. She sang with the local group known as The House Rockers. She also sang with the Eugene Barr Trio, and she was an Ikette, singing with Ike and Tina Turner. She was one of the backup singers on the 1963 single release of Tina's Dilemma. Leula Hall came back to Lexington, KY, when her singing career ended. She went back to Dunbar High School and graduated in 1965, nine years after her classmates. She enrolled at Transylvania University and graduated with a B.A. in Sociology in 1973, and began teaching social studies at Lafayette High School. She was also the basketball coach for the girls' team. She coached the team a year before Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972 went into effect in Lexington schools. Leula Hall had also coached a girls' community basketball team, the team members were her daughter and her daughter's friends. The team did not have a name. Opponents were teams such as the Transylvania women's team, the Sayre School team, and a girls team from Ashland, KY. Leula Hall had played basketball in Alabama when she stayed with her grandmother. In Lexington, she was a player/coach once; she dressed out with her community team during a game against Sayre School when foul trouble left her with only four players on the floor. In addition to coaching and teaching at Lafayette High School, Leula Hall continued her education and earned her master's degree from Eastern Kentucky University. In 1975, she moved with her husband to Detroit, MI, and earned her Ph.D. in educational sociology at Wayne State University. She earned a second doctorate in pastoral counseling. While in Detroit, Leula Hall was director of an after school leadership program for high school students in the Region One Student Resource Center, it was a federally funded program. All of her students graduated from high school. Hall was next a school community agent with the city school system, she was a liaison between the school and the community, and would become an assistant director, then a director of Area E (formerly Region 6) in 1984. The area included 42 schools with students from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. Hall's duties included fund raising and helping to convince the community to pass property taxes (millage elections) to pay for the schools. In 1991, Leula Hall became director of Adult Education in the Detroit City School System. She was the lead researcher, and later director, of the African Heritage Cultural Center's exhibit and display. The event drew up to 80,000 visitors. Leula Hall also established the Christ Church Christian Disciples Ministry at 18336 Woodward Avenue in Detroit, MI. In 2001, she retired, closed her church, and returned to Lexington. She has taught part-time at Kentucky State University. Leula Hall is the mother of three children, Ronald, Daryl, and Candyce. Her daughter Candyce Edwards was also a professional singer with the group "Al Hudson and One Way." The group had five top ten hits, and the biggest hit was the song Cutie Pie, which reached #4 on the R&B Charts in 1982. Information for this entry comes from the Leula Wallace interviews that are housed in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries. The interviews are restricted. Leula Wallace Hall is the sister of Theodore C. Wallace, Jr. and Thomas C. Wallace. See also An analysis of the local school principals and local school-community relations committee members' perceptions of the influence of community-relations members in decision-making policies at the local school level in Region Five, Detroit Public Schools by Leula Wallace Clark; and "Praise revival for women starts tonight," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/07/1997, p.15.
Read about the Leula Wallace Hall oral history interviews at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
See image and listen to recording of Tina's Dilemma.
See image and listen to recording of Cutie Pie.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Migration South
Geographic Region: [Valles Creek] Hartwell, McDowell County, West Virginia / Cincinnati, Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan
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
Harper, Nathaniel R.
Birth Year : 1846
Death Year : 1921
One of the first two African Americans to practice law in the Louisville courts, Nathaniel R. Harper was the first African American judge in Kentucky. He established the Harper Law School in his office. Nathaniel R. Harper was born in Indiana, the son of Hezekiah and Susan Harper who was born in 1828 in Kentucky. The family lived in Centre Township in Indianapolis, IN, and according to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, they were free and the family was supported by Hezekiah who was a blacksmith. Nathaniel was married to Maria [or Mariah] Harper, born 1851 in Pennsylvania. Kentucky Governor W. O. Bradley appointed Nathaniel Harper a member of the State Industrial Bureau. He was to investigate, organize, and encourage members of his race toward industrial ventures. Harper traveled the state assisting in the establishment of industrial societies. In 1872, Harper was co-founder of the newspaper Louisville Weekly Planet. Harper was owner of the Tallaboo Dramatic Company, and in 1912 the company was touring central Kentucky. For more see Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000 [electronic version available on UK campus and off campus via the proxy]; The Owl: The Newsletter for Employees of the University of Louisville, vol. 17, issue 1 (February 2002), p. 2; "Kentucky's Negro Lawyers," New York Times, 11/28/1871, p. 5; The Commercial history of the Southern States by Lipscomb and Johnston; and see the paragraph "Lawyer N. R. Harper's "Tallaboo"..., within the column "At Kentucky's Capital" in Freeman, 06/01/1912, p.4.
See photo image of Nathaniel R. Harper at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Blacksmiths, Migration South, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Hatchett, Hilary R., Jr.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1985
Hilary Rice Hatchett was born in Lexington, KY. His mother had died by 1930, and his father, Hilary Sr., was raising his three sons and worked as a porter at a transfer station in Lexington. Hilary Jr., the oldest of the three boys, would go on to study at the Julliard School of Music [now The Julliard School], then was the director of the Negro soldier chorus, a concert band, and an opera theater during World War II in Sicily (1943). Hatchett earned his master's degree, for which he wrote his thesis, A Study of Current Attitudes Toward the Negro Spiritual with a Classification of 500 Spirituals Based on Their Religious Content, in 1946 at Ohio State University. Hatchett was next the superintendent of music for the Colored schools in Greenville, SC, 1946-1948, and acting chair of the Department of Fine Arts at Savannah State College [now Savannah State University] beginning in 1948. He co-authored the Savannah State College Hymn. Hilary R. Hatchett died July 5, 1985, and is buried in Long Island National Cemetery in New York, according to the U.S. Veterans Gravesites listing. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Savannah State College Hymn.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Greenville, South Carolina / Savannah, Georgia / Long Island, New York
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
Higgins, Chester A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 2000
Higgins was born in Chicago and raised in Lexington, KY. A World War II veteran, he attended Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], Louisville Municipal College for Negroes, and the University of Louisville. He served as a reporter, writer, and editor for a number of publications, including the Louisville Defender, the Pittsburgh Courier, the Detroit Courier, the NAACP magazine Crisis, and Jet. In 1967, the National Newspaper Publishers awarded Higgins first place in the feature news category. Higgins was also involved in a number of organizations, including serving as Executive Secretary of the Louisville National Negro Labor Council, and he was Special Assistant to Benjamin Hooks, the first African American to become the Federal Communications Commissioner. Higgins taught at Malcom X College in Chicago and at Michigan State University. He was the father of Chester Higgins, Jr. For more see L. Estrada, "Chester Higgins Sr., Jet magazine editor," Chicago Sun-times, 05/29/2000, News section, p. 47; and Kentucky HR168.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Chicago, Illinois / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Birth Year : 1863
Hokins was a horse trainer at a race track in Puerto Rico. He is one of the unknown number of African American horsemen who lived and worked outside the U.S. mainland. Born in Kentucky, Hokins lived in Hato Rey, Río Piedras Municipality, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. [His last name may have been Hawkins.] [Río Piedras is a former municipality that is now part of San Juan.]
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration South
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Hato Rey, Rio Piedras [now San Juan], Puerto Rico
Hooks, Julia Britton
Birth Year : 1852
Death Year : 1942
Julia B. Hooks was born in Frankfort, KY. A musician, social worker, educator, and juvenile court officer, she and her husband managed a juvenile detention home that was opened next to their house in Memphis. One of the wards killed her husband. Hooks went on to help found the Old Folks and Orphans Home. Julia Hooks was the daughter of Henry and Laura Marshall Britton. She was mother of photographers Henry and Robert Hooks, grandmother to Benjamin Hooks, and sister to Dr. Mary E. Britton. For more see Notable Black American Women, ed. by J. C. Smith; Julia Hooks entry in the Afro-American Encyclopaedia: Or, the Thoughts, Doings..., by James T. Haley, pp. 563-565 [from the UNC Library's Documenting the American South website]; and the Julia Britton Hooks entry by S. Lewis in The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture [online version].
See photo image and additional information on Julia Hooks at the African American Registry website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Corrections and Police, Social Workers, Migration South, Grandparents, Care of the Elderly
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Memphis, Tennessee
Hooper, Ernest Jackson [Oliver School (Winchester, KY)]
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1983
Ernest J. Hooper was a teacher and the sports coach for boys at Oliver School in Winchester, KY. Oliver, in operation from 1892-1956, was a segregated school for African American children. It became a four-year high school in 1928. During Hooper's brief tenure at the school, he established the beginning of champion sports teams for boys; under Hooper's direction, the teams were the 1923 Blue Grass League Champions in football and the 1923-24 Blue Grass League Champions in basketball. Photos of the boys' 1923 football team, the boys' 1922 basketball team, and the girls' 1922 basketball team, are available at the University of Kentucky Audio-Visual Archives, which also includes a typed list of the football and basketball players' names and their positions on the teams. The pictures, along with many others of later sports teams, can be found in Louis Stout's Shadows of the Past. Stout's book also includes the names of the members of the Blue Grass Coaches Association on p. 6. E. J. Hooper was from Philadelphia, PA, the son of Louisa Hooper [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census] and the grandson of Georgianna Jackson, according to the World War I registration card completed when Hooper was 18 years old. By 1923, Hooper was a teacher in Winchester, KY, and during the Business Session of the KNEA Conference, he gave the address "The Educational Content of an Industrial Subject" [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 18-21, 1923, p. 11]. In the same issue of the publication, on p. 62, Hooper's home address is given as 127 W. Broadway Street in Winchester. In 1925, Hooper was mentioned in the KNEA Journal [April 22-25, p. 16] as the chair of the Manual Training Section. Also in 1925, the Oliver School basketball team was again champion of the Blue Grass League, when James Nance was the coach. Ernest J. Hooper left Kentucky and in 1928 was a shop teacher at Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, IN [source: Industrial-arts Magazine, vol. 17 (1928), p. 149]. By 1930, Hooper was married and teaching in Peoria [source: U.S. Federal Census]. He was a graduate of Bradley Polytechnic Institute in Illinois [source: Crisis, August 1930, p. 264]. [Bradley Polytechnic Institute would become Bradley University.] Hooper died in October 1983 in Cincinnati, OH [source: Social Security Death Index]. See photo of Coach Hooper and the 1923 football team in the UK libguide titled African American Primary Resources in Special Collections.
See photo image of 1923 Oliver football team in UK libguide African American Primary Resources in Special Collections
See photo image in Explore UK of the girl's basketball team at Oliver School.
See photo image in Explore UK of the boy's basketball team at Oliver School.
Subjects: Basketball, Education and Educators, Football, Military & Veterans, Migration South
Geographic Region: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Peoria, Illinois / Cincinnati, Ohio
Howard, Theodore R. M.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1977
Howard, born in Murray, KY, was a graduate of the College of Medical Evangelists [now Loma Linda University] in Los Angeles, CA. He was medical director of the Riverside Sanitarium in California (1937-1939), then left to become surgeon-in-chief at Taborian Hospital in Mound Bayou, MS, (1942-1947), which would become the largest hospital in the state for African Americans. He was also founder and chairman of the United Order of Friendship of America in Bayou. In 1947 he became surgeon-in-chief and chief medical examiner of the Friendship Clinic in Bayou. Dr. Howard was an outspoken civil rights advocate in Mississippi. He delivered the eulogy at Medgar Evers' funeral. Howard left Mississippi in 1956 to become medical director of Fuller Products Co. in Chicago, and he was also named president of the National Medical Association. His decision to come north was made exactly one year after the death of Emmett Till; Howard had been lecturing throughout Mississippi about the killing, and his life had been threatened. The White Citizens Council had place a $1,000 hit on Howard, who had become quite wealthy with hundreds of acres of farmland and an entire block of homes. Howard felt that he did not know whom to trust anymore, white or black. His clinic was sold to members of the United Order of Friendship, and Dr. Howard broke all ties with the Democratic Party. Dr. Howard was the son of Arthur Howard (b.1890 in TN) and Mary Chandler Howard (b.1892 in KY). In 1910, both parents worked as laborers in a tobacco factory, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Their second son, Willie Mason Howard, died of pneumonia in 1914, he was 15 months old according to his death certificate. By 1920, Mary had married Maurice Palmer (b.1888 in TN) and they had two children. Maurice Palmer was a laborer in a tobacco factory, and the family, including Theodore Howard, lived in Pool Town in Murray, KY. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; D. Wright, "His life in danger, medic quits Dixie to fire salvos from North," Jet, vol. X, issue 16 (1956), pp. 12-15; Blacks in Science and Medicine, by V. O. Sammons; Medgar Evers, by J. Brown; and Black Maverick by D. T. Beito and L. R. Beito. Listen to the tribute to Dr. T. R. M. Howard, by Jacque Day at WKMS at Murray State University.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Murray, Calloway County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California / Mound Bayou, Mississippi / Chicago, Illinois
Birth Year : 1934
The Louisville physician was appointed to the city's board of education in 1971, the first African American woman to serve on the board. She led in the integration of the patients' rooms in the Louisville St. Joseph Hospital in the 1960s. Dr. Howell-Young is president of the Falls City Medical Society. She is agraduate of Fisk University, where she earned a B.A. in Zoology, and Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. She completed her intern training at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, OH. Dr. Young-Howell had a private practice in Louisville, 1961-1967. She has had a number of posts including that of medical director of the Park DuValle Neighborhood Health Center, 1974-1976. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and many other organizations. Dr. Howell-Young was born in Cincinnati, OH, the daughter of Lloyd M. Howell and Addie Belle Foster Howell. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials , by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 17; "Doctor says interns don't make living wage," Jet, 03/29/1962, p.27 [available online]; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1996-2009; and Joyce Howell-Young, M.D. in Who's Who in Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, p.112.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Cincninati, Ohio / Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky
Hunter, Lawrence Vester [Noxubee Industrial School, Mississippi]
Start Year : 1891
End Year : 1958
Hunter was born in Bowling Green, KY. He was principal of Noxubee Industrial School in McLeod, Mississippi. The school was founded in 1898 by his father, Samuel J. Hunter (1865-1918) from Arkansas, and after his death, L. V. Hunter took over management of the school. The school produced a monthly publication titled Hunter's Horn. There are photos of the school at the University of Mississippi Libraries. L. V. Hunter's mother was Minnie Esther Lane Hunter (1869-1942) from Macon, MS. L. V. Hunter was a graduate of Fisk University, and he was a WWI veteran. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; and Sadye H. Wier: her life and work by S. H. Wier and G. R. Lewis. [Sadye Hunter Wier was a sister to Lawrence Vester Hunter.]
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Migration South
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / McLeod, Mississippi
Johnson, Mildred Bell
Birth Year : 1905
Death Year : 1972
Mildred Bell Johnson, an educator and civil rights activist, was the first African American to be elected assistant moderator of the United Church of Christ, in 1963. She pushed for the church to participate in the Civil Rights Movement. Johnson was born in Middlesboro, KY, the daughter of Rev. George W. and Elgatha Bell. She was the wife of Robert C. Johnson and was living in Birmingham, AL, when she was named to the two-year term of assistant moderator. Johnson was a 1926 education graduate from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], and after graduating, she moved to Birmingham for a teaching job. She married her husband in 1936. Mildred Johnson served as a representative in the National Council of Churches, 1954-56. She founded the first girl scout troop for African American girls in Alabama and was a girl scout district adviser in Birmingham. The Mildred Bell Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award, of the Cahaba Girl Scout Council is named in her honor. She was the mother of Alma Johnson Powell, the wife of Colin Powell. For more see "Slave's daughter elected U.C. Assistant Moderator," The Calgary Herald, 07/06/1963, p. 30; "Mrs. Robert C. Johnson...," The Christian, v. 101, issue 52, p. 958; "Mildred Bell Johnson: Deep are the Roots," in Rhetoric, Religion, and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965, by D. W. Houck and D. E. Dixon; E. Hooper, "Foundation in scouting; a reporter's lyrical bent," St. Petersburg Times, 03/12/2003, p. 3B; and the "Mildred Bell Johnson" entry in They Too Call Alabama Home: African American Profiles, 1800-1999, by R. Bailey.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Scouts (Boys and Girls), Religion & Church Work, Migration South
Geographic Region: Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky / Birmingham, Alabama
Johnson, Samuel Harrison
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 1999
Samuel H. Johnson was born in Bowling Green, KY, the son of Henry and Minerva Johnson. The family lived on Brown Street, before moving to Indianapolis when Samuel was a child. He later earned several degrees at Indiana University of Bloomington. For more than 20 years Johnson was director of the Southeast Regional Office of the National Scholarship Service and Funds for Negro Students (NSSFNS). Beginning in 1946, NSSFNS has sought to interest promising students in higher education and provide financial assistance toward their attendance and graduation. Johnson was also the founder of the Samuel H. Johnson SSSP Foundation, Inc., located in Decatur, GA. The organization's mission is to provide enhanced educational opportunities to students "of any race, color, national and ethnic origin." The Samuel H. Johnson Papers are at the Auburn Avenue Research Library in Atlanta, GA. The library also has the collection that Johnson established for the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development. For more information see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1977-2002; and the Samuel H. Johnson SSSP Foundation website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration South
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Atlanta and Decatur, Georgia
Jones, Frederick M.
Birth Year : 1892
Death Year : 1961
Frederick M. Jones was born in Cincinnati and was later moved to Covington, KY. Some sources state that he was actually born in Covington, KY, in 1893. He was the son of John Jones, who was white, and an African American mother. Frederick Jones was raised by his father until age seven, when he was placed with the local Catholic Church; his mother had left the family when Jones was a baby. At the age of 11, Jones ran away from his caretakers at the Catholic church and found a job in a garage in Cincinnati, OH. He became a full time employee at age 14. Jones was attracted to mechanics and is credited with building the first practical truck refrigeration system in 1949. He also built cars from spare parts and raced them. He was a soldier in World War I; while in the service he studied electricity. In 1939 he patented a ticket dispensing machine for movie houses, his first patent (#2,163,754). Frederick M. Jones was posthumously awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1991 by President George H. W. Bush; Jones was the 1st African Ameican to receive the award. For more see Distinguished African American Scientists of the 20th Century by J. H. Kessler; and "Frederick McKinley Jones" in Encyclopedia of World Biography, vol. 20, 2nd. ed., 2004.
See photo image and additional information about Frederick M. Jones at The Faces of Science website.
Subjects: Inventors, Military & Veterans, Automobile Races, Race-car Drivers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Cincinnati, Ohio / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky
Jones, Kittie Phelps
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1910
In 1888, Kittie P. Jones became the first African American notary public and pension agent in Lexington, KY. She continued at the post for 22 years, assisting African American widows and soldiers. In 1910, Jones suffered a stroke and died at her home at 322 Corrall Street. Her funeral services were held at Congregational Church, and she was buried in African Cemetery No. 2 on 7th Street in Lexington. Jones was born in Baltimore, Maryland, according to her death certificate and census records. She had come to Kentucky around 1885. Her exact age was not known, although her birth year was given as 1859 in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Kittie Jones was a widow when she died; she had been the wife of George Jones (b. 1824), whom she married in 1887. They shared their home with Alice Brown, a boarder who was divorced, and her young daughter, Imogene. For more see "Kitty Jones," Lexington Leader, 03/01/1910, p. 2.
Subjects: Migration South, Notary Public
Geographic Region: Baltimore, Maryland / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Birth Year : 1852
Louis Jones was born on the Cassiday Plantation near Bowling Green, KY. About a year before his father died, Jones and his mother were sold to an owner in Okolona, MS. His father, John T. Jones, was married to Nancy J. Cassiday. While in Mississippi, Jones was freed. As an adult, he had a series of jobs, including, in 1881, working as a janitor in the Office of the Railroad and Warehouse Commission in Springfield, IL. Jones was a member of the African American community that had migrated to Springfield. He belonged to the Masons Blue Lodge No. 3, and his wife, Ada Chavons Jones, was a member of Shiloh Court No. 1 and Eastern Star Chapter No. 2. For more see History of Sangamon County, Illinois; together with sketches of its cities, by Inter-state Publishing Company (Chicago); and contact the Springfield, Illinois, African American History Foundation.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Okolona, Mississippi / Springfield, Illinois
Jones, Virginia L.
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 1984
Virginia Lacy Jones came to Kentucky in 1933 to become the assistant librarian at the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes; it was her first library job. She worked with Eliza Gleason in offering library classes to African American students. Jones became head librarian at the Municipal College in 1936, leaving the school in 1938 for a position at the Atlanta University Library [now Clark Atlanta University]. Rufus Clement had encouraged her to come to Atlanta. In 1945 Jones became the second dean of the school's library program and remained so for 36 years. More African American librarians graduated from that program than from any other library program in the United States. Virginia Lacey Jones was born in Cincinnati, OH, and raised in West Virginia. She was a graduate of Hampton Institute [now Hampton University] (B.A.), and the University of Chicago (M.A. & Ph.D.). For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones; The Ebony Success Library, vol. I: 1,000 Successful Blacks, by the editors of Ebony; and Who's Who Among Black Americans, 1975-76 & 1976.
See photo image and additional information about Dr. Virginia L. Jones in Jet, 11/01/1985, p.19.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration East, Migration South
Geographic Region: Cincinnati, Ohio / West Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia
Jordan, Eddie J., Jr.
Birth Year : 1952
Born in Fort Campbell, KY, Jordan, the son of Eddie, Sr. and Gladys McDaniel Jordan, grew up in New Orleans, LA. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Rutgers Law School. Jordan was a law professor at Southern University School of Law and has served as the Assistant U. S. Attorney in New Orleans. In 1994, President Clinton named Jordan the U. S. Attorney in New Orleans; he was the first African American to hold the post in the state of Louisiana. In 2002, Jordan was elected District Attorney of New Orleans; after three decades, he was the first new DA for the city and the first African American elected as a DA. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1996-2006; "Taking the oath," Times Picayune, 12/12/1994, Metro section, p. B4; and New Orleans District Attorney Eddie J. Jordan, in "Why justice matters in the rebuilding of community," Symposium on Law, Politics, Civil Rights, and Justice, 03/29/2007, held at the Southern University Law Center.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Fort Campbell, Christian County, Kentucky / New Orleans, Louisiana
Birth Year : 1947
Born in Louisville, KY, Monica Kaufman was a reporter with the Louisville Times and WHAS-TV in Louisville. She joined WSB-TV in Atlanta in 1975. Kaufman has won many awards, including the Women's Sports Journalism Award in 1992 and first place recognition for Excellence in Journalism/Documentary in 1995. In 1998 she had a bout with breast cancer, and she wrote and talked about her illness in publications. Kaufman was inducted into the University of Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 2001. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville. In 2012, Monica Kaufman-Pearson retired from Channel 2 in Atlanta,Ga, where she was a news anchor; she had been on the air for 37 years. For more see African American Biographies. Profiles of 558 current men and women, 1st ed., by W. L. Hawkins; Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame Inductees a University of Kentucky website.
See photos and videos of Monica Kaufman at "Atlanta News Anchor Monica Kaufman Retires After 37 Years + Did You Know She Beat Out Oprah For The Job?," by Atlien, a straightforthea.com website.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia
Kean, Henry Arthur, Sr.
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1955
Born in Louisville, KY, the son of Alice and William T. Kean, Henry was the football coach at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] from 1932 to 1943; the team was four times National Negro champion and Midwestern Athletic Association champion for 10 consecutive years. Kean was a graduate of Fisk University and Indiana University. He was a star athlete in football, basketball, baseball and tennis. He was also a mathematics teacher at Louisville Central High School. In 1943 Kean left Kentucky for Tennessee State College [now Tennessee State University]; that team won five national championships. Kean was the father of Henry A. Kean, Jr., who played forward for the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team. Henry A. Kean was a brother to William L. "Bill" Kean. For more see Kentucky's Black Heritage, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed. Supp. Additional information about Kean's time in Kentucky is available at CESKAA, Kentucky State University.
See photo image of classmates, including Henry Arthur Kean, at Simmons University in the 1920s, in the University of Louisville Libraries Digital Collections.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Education and Educators, Football, Migration South
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee
Key Newsjournal (newspaper)
Start Year : 2004
The Key Newsjournal newspaper was founded in 2003 by Patrice K. and LaMaughn Muhammad. The paper is published by LexTown Publications, a company also owned by the Muhammads. The newspaper, published biweekly, focuses on the African American population in Central Kentucky. Initially, the paper was available in Winchester, Richmond, Berea, Nicholasville, Frankfort, and Georgetown. The circulation region has expanded over the past five years. It is only the second of two newspapers in Lexington to focus on the African American community since the early 1900s. The other publication, Community Voice, ceased publication in 2001. In addition to the newspaper, Patrice Muhammad also has a radio show, Key Conversations, that is broadcast Sundays at 10 a.m. on Groovin 1580AM, also available online. LexTown Publications also publishes The Lexington and Central Kentucky Black Book, a resource directory. Patrice Muhammad is a native of Detroit, MI, and a graduate of Central State University. For more see R. Brim, "Paper to feature Black news," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/15/2004, Business section, p. C1; and the Key Newsjournal website.
Subjects: Businesses, Directories, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Radio, Migration South
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan
King, Norris Curtis
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1960
Dr. Norris Curtis King was the founder of Curtis King Hospital in Newnan, GA, and in 1941, the Rose Netta Hospital in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. King was born in Princeton, KY, the son of Dee and Nettie Metcalf King. The family of four moved to Cairo, IL, and lived on Poplar Street, according to the 1900 U.S. Census. Norris King completed high school in Cairo, and by 1910, his father had died and the family of three was living in Louisville, KY, on W. Chestnut Street [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Norris was employed as a presser in a tailor shop, and his brother Cassius was a roller in an iron foundry. By 1920, Norris and his mother lived in Nashville, TN, where Norris King was a student at Roger Williams University [source: U.S. Federal Census]. He continued his education and was a 1924 graduate of Meharry Medical School [now Meharry Medical College]. Norris King moved to Newnan, GA, where he opened his medical practice and later founded the Curtis King Hospital. His specialty was the prevention and cure of venereal diseases. While in Newnan, GA, Norris King met and married Rosa Mae Webb, who was a nurse. The couple had a daughter, and in 1929 the family moved to, Los Angeles, CA, where Dr. King founded the Rose Netta Hospital. It was said to be an interracial hospital because the employees were Negroes, Mexicans, Japanese and White assistants. While in California, Dr. King was also head of the Los Angeles Venereal Clinic and several other clinics. The first interracial blood bank was was established at the Rose Netta Hospital by the Red Cross in 1942. Dr. Norris C. King was the sponsor of the "Craftsman of Black Wings," a Negro aviator and student group seeking to become licensed pilots. Dr. King also owned and bred palomino horses on his ranch in Elsinore, CA. He was a member of the Palomino Horse Association and several other organizations, and he was a 33rd Degree Mason. He was a WWI veteran, and received a certificate of merit and selective service medal for outstanding work during WWII. Dr. Norris Curtis King died December 29, 1960 in Riverside, CA [source: California Death Index]. For more see Norris Curtis King on p.32 in Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition; "Dr. Norris Curtis King," Jet, 01/19/1961, p.17; "Dr. Norris Curtis King," J.A.M.A., 05/20/1961, p.143; and “Rose-Netta Hospital, L.A.,” Opportunity, 08/20/1942, p.429.
Subjects: Businesses, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Migration South, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky / Cairo, Illinois / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee / Newnan, Georgia / Los Angeles, California
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
Birth Year : 1964
As principal of Crosby Middle School in Louisville, KY, Kirk Lattimore received a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award in 2001. Lattimore has instituted a number of programs, including the Men of Quality Mentoring Program, which partners African-American male students with role models from the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity to promote achievement and civic engagement. Lattimore was born in Plainfield, NJ. He is a graduate of Hampton University and the University of Louisville. In 2010, Kirk Lattimore was the MetLife/NASSP National Middle Level Principal of the Year. For more see Kirk Lattimore at the Milken Family Foundation website; D. Carter, "Crosby Middle principal wins national award," Louisville Courier-Journal, 10/18/2001, News section, p.01B; and Kirk Lattimore in Who's Who in Black Louisville, 2nd ed.
See Kirk Lattimore as he shares how his school tries to catch students before they fall behind, MetLife/NASSP National Middle Level Principal of the Year, on YouTube video.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Plainfield, New Jersey / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Lawson, James Raymond
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1996
Born in Louisville, KY, James R. Lawson was the first student to receive a degree in physics from Fisk University. He developed a research program in infrared spectroscopy, which was the beginning of the Fisk Infrared Research Laboratory. Lawson served as president of Fisk from 1967 to 1977 and later became director of the Office of University Affairs, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, in Washington D.C. For more see N. Fuson, "Brief History of The Physics Department at Fisk University Including Its Infrared Spectroscopy And Other Research Programs", an article from the Tennessee Tribune, 02/18/97; and The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan.
See photo with James R. Lawson on p.66 in Ebony, April 1974.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Physicists, Researchers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee
Lewis, Gary B., Jr.
In 1950, Gary B. Lewis, Jr. was certified as a public accountant in the state of Kentucky. Lewis was a business administration professor at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. He was born in Chicago, IL, and was a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A.) and the University of Chicago, where he earned his M.B.A. Lewis would leave Kentucky to become an accounting professor at Chicago State University. Lewis may have been the second African American to become a CPA in Kentucky; the first was Chauncey Lewis Christian. For more see the Gary B. Lewis, Jr. article and photo in The Crisis, vol. 57, no. 5 (May 1950), p. 323 [available online at Google Books].
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky
Lovett, Wilson Stephen
Birth Year : 1885
Wilson S. Lovett was president of the First Standard Bank in Louisville, KY, which was established in 1921 with $50,000. It was the first African American bank in Kentucky. In 1928 the bank had assets of over $600,000. Lovett was also a civil rights activist who was a member of the NAACP and a member of the committee that led to the African American voters' repeal of the first bond effort to expand the University of Louisville. Wilson Lovett was born in New York, the son of Wilson and Annie E. Stevens Lovett, and he grew up in Pennsylvania [sources: 1900 U.S. Federal Census and Ohio Marriages Index]. He was married to Dorothy Payne Lovett (1896-1927), who was born in Kingston, Jamaica; the couple was married in 1924 in Franklin, OH. Wilson Lovett had worked as a stenographer in Alabama, he was employed in the Savings Department of Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) [sources: 1910 U.S. Federal Census and Negro Star, 01/27/1933]. Lovett founded the men's basketball team at Tuskegee Institute and was the first head coach from 1908-1909. The team was undefeated, winning all three of their games [see Golden Tigers website]. Wilson Lovett came to Kentucky from Memphis, TN [sources: Indianapolis Recorder, 04/02/1927]. In 1915, he was director of Standard Life Insurance Company in Louisville [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1915, p.900], which was prior to the establishment of the First Standard Bank. When he left the bank in 1929, Wilson Lovett became treasurer of the Supreme Liberty Life Insurance Company. During that same year, he served as secretary of the National Negro Bankers Association. In 1930, Wilson Lovett was president of the Standard Reality Corporation in Louisville [source: Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1930, p.1256], and president of the Credential Bond and Mortgage Company in Cleveland, OH [source: Cleveland (Ohio) City Directory, 1930, p.1056], all while living in Chicago, IL. According to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Wilson Lovett shared his home in Chicago with Henry McGasock, from Kentucky; they lived at 608 E. Fifty-first Street in Chicago. In the census, Lovett is listed as the treasurer of a life insurance company. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; "Two dead, another injured," Indianapolis Recorder, 04/02/1927, p.1; "Business," Negro Star, 08/02/1929, p.1; "Program of National Negro Bankers Association," Plaindealer, 08/02/1929, p.4; and "Boom Wilson Lovett for Register of the Treasury," Negro Star, 01/27/1933, p.1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Basketball, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Migration North, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: New York / Pennsylvania / Tuskegee, Alabama / Memphis, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Cleveland, Ohio
Madison, Clarence "Duke"
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 1997
Clarence "Duke" Madison was a recognized jazz saxophone player in Kentucky. He was born in Anderson, IN, the son of Roger and Beatrice Madison. Clarence Madison started playing the saxophone when he was eight years old, and as a teen he played with a number of bands. He performed and taught music, then enlisted in the U.S. Army on March 5, 1943 [source: U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records]. During his time in the service, Madison was a member of the military band. After serving in the Army, Madison continued playing with various bands, coming to Kentucky in the 1940s to play with the Jordan Embry Band in Richmond, KY. He later moved to Lexington, KY, where he played jazz at local clubs and events for 50 years and led the Duke Madison Trio. He was also employed as a postal worker. He was mentioned in the Insiders' Guide to Greater Lexington: and Kentucky Bluegrass, by R. Maslin and J. Walter. There are also several earlier articles in the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper that cover Madison and his music. The Lexington Jazz Arts Foundation established the Annual Duke Madison Scholarship in honor of Clarence "Duke" Madison for his many years of providing music to the Lexington area. Clarence Madison was the husband of Anna M. Gaines Madison. For more see Kentucky Senate Resolution 13 (SR13), 12/19/1997; J. Hewlett, "Jazz musician played in area for 50 years," Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/14/1997, p. B1; and T. Carter, "New group seeking support for Jazz," Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/22/1990, p. J1.
Read about the Clarence D. Madison oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Postal Service, Migration South
Geographic Region: Anderson, Indiana / Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Martin, Marion A.
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1990
Born in Illinois, Martin taught at Jackson Junior High School in Louisville, KY, from 1933-1962. He was the only African American teacher at Ahrens Night School and the first at Du Pont-Manual High School in 1962. Martin was named Teacher of the Year in 1963. He served for 25 years on the Louisville City Textbook Commission. Marion A. Martin was the son of Mary and Alexander Martin. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration South, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Illinois / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Martin, Sara [Dunn]
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1955
Born Sara Dunn in Louisville, KY, she began singing in church. At the age of 16 she was married and widowed. Sara took her second husband's last name, Martin. She began as a vaudeville singer in 1915 and later became the highest paid blues singer of the 1920s. She lived for a while in Chicago, then moved to New York. Martin sang with the W. C. Handy Band, sometimes billed as "Moanin' Mama" and sometimes performing under other names. Her first recording was Sugar Blues. She appeared on film with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and in 1930 appeared in the first all African American sound films, Darktown Scandals Revue [produced with The Exile]. Martin returned to Kentucky where she was a gospel singer; she also operated a nursing home in Louisville. For more see All Music Guide to the Blues. The experts' guide to the best blues recordings, ed. by M. Erlewine, et al.; The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 3rd ed., edited by C. Larkin; and Classic Jazz, by S. Yanow. View image and listen to Sara Martin & Her Jug Band - I'm Gonna Be a Lovin' Old Soul on YouTube.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Businesses, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / New York
McPheeters, Alphonso A.
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1963
Born in Lexington, KY, Alphonso A. McPheeters was the son of Joseph and Katie Bell McPheeters. He was a graduate of Wilberforce University and returned to Lexington where he was a school teacher for several years. He had been enrolled in Hampton Institute [now Hampton University] when he completed his WWI Draft Registration card, and McPheeters listed the family home address as 222 Cedar Street in Lexington, KY. Alphonso A. McPheeters went on to earn his doctorate degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1944. During this period, McPheeters lived in Atlanta where he was an instructor at Clark College [now Clark Atlanta University] for eleven years, beginning in 1930, and in 1941 he was elected dean of Clark College, a post he held for 21 years. In 1971, the instructional laboratory building, McPheeters-Dennis, was named in honor of Dr. Alphonso A. McPheeters and Dr. Joseph J. Dennis. Also during his tenure at Clark College, in 1955, McPheeters served as the U.S. Information Officer in Accra, Gold Coast [now named Ghana], West Africa. On November 2,1960, McPheeters, and Rufus E. Clement were two of the seven administrators from Clark College to meet with Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. to discuss student and adult leadership in the local sit-in movement [source: The Martin Luther King, Jr. papers Project - .pdf online]. Among his many accomplishments, Alphonso A. McPheeters was a founder and charter member of the Lexington Alpha Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; the chapter was founded June 9, 1928 [source: Louisville Sphinx: Alpha Lambda, Summer 2009 edition, p.4]. Alphonso A. McPheeters was the husband of Annie L. Watters McPheeters (1908-1994), she was a graduate of Clark College. The couple married in 1940. Annie McPheeters was the director of the West Hunt Branch of the Atlanta Public Library; she was one of the first African American librarians employed in the public libraries in Atlanta. Named partially in her honor is the Washington Park/Annie L. McPheeters Branch Library. Also named partially in her honor is the Cary-McPheeters Gallery of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History. For more information see the Annie L. McPheeters Papers at the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, which has Alphonso A. McPheeters biographical items and reports in Series I: Personal materials, 1942-1993, folders 5-7; see "Prof. A. A. McPheeters,..." on p. 212 in The Crisis, July 1941 [online at Google Books]; "The American Negro in college, 1943-44" on p.253 in The Crisis, August 1944 [online at Google Books]; The Clark College Panther, 1963 Yearbook, pp.2-3; The Clark College Legacy by J. Brawley, pp.124-125 & 275-276; Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory, 1931-32, p.374; see the Alpha Beta Lambda Chapter website; and see Annie L. McPheeters in The New Georgia Encyclopedia [online].
*This entry was submitted by Juanita Landers White, who also provided copies of the references.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia
Merry, Nelson G.
Birth Year : 1824
Death Year : 1884
Merry was a Kentucky slave who moved to Nashville, TN, with his master and at the age of 16 was willed to the First Baptist Church, which freed him in 1845. Merry was a preacher at the First Colored Baptist Church and in 1853 was the first ordained African American minister in Nashville. The First Colored Baptist Church became the largest church in Tennessee with more than 2,000 members. Merry founded several African American churches and the Tennessee Colored Baptist Association. For a year, he was editor of The Colored Sunday School Standard. He was the husband of Mary Ann Merry, b.1830 in TN. In 1860 the family of seven lived in the 4th Ward of Nashville, TN. For more see "History of Nelson G. Merry," The Tennessee Tribune, Spirituality & Issues section, vol. 17, issue 49 (Dec 14, 2006), p. D5; and the "First Baptist Church, Capitol HIll, Nashville" by B. L. Lovett in The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture [online version].
Subjects: Freedom, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee
Meyzeek, Albert E.
Birth Year : 1872
Death Year : 1963
Albert E. Meyzeek was principal and teacher at several Louisville schools. He was also a civil rights activist. He came to Kentucky from Terre Haute, IN. Meyzeek fought for libraries for African Americans in Louisville and for the development of Louisville Municipal College for Negroes. Meyzeek Middle School was named in his honor. Meyzeek was also a former president of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association and was hired to become president of State Industrial College [now Kentucky State University], but resigned before the beginning of the fall term. Albert Meyzeek was born in Toledo, OH, the son of John E. and Mary Lott Meyzeek. He was a graduate of Indiana State Normal School, Indiana University (B.A.) and Wilberforce University (M.A.). For more see Old War Horse of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton; "Life Achievements of Albert Ernest Meyzeek," Kentucky Negro Journal, vol. 1; and Albert E. Meyzeek, at the Louisville Free Public Library website.
See photo of Albert E. Meyzeek at Great Black Kentuckians by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration South
Geographic Region: Toledo, Ohio / Terre Haute, Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Migration from Canada to Kentucky by 1870
End Year : 1870
In 1865, at the close of the Civil War and at the time slavery ended in Kentucky with the ratification of the 13th Amendment [December 18, 1865], there were persons listed as "Black" or "Mulatto" in the U.S. Census who had returned to Kentucky from Canada or moved to Kentucky from Canada. Below are some of the names, occupations, and locations of those living in Kentucky when the 1870 U.S. Federal Census was taken.
- Samuel and Anny Dupee were born in Canada and in 1870 lived in Henderson, KY. Samuel was born around 1835, he was a laborer, and Anny was born around 1840, both could read and write.
- The W. H. and Margaret Johnson family had returned to Kentucky; both parents were Kentucky natives. The family lived in Louisville, where Mr. Johnson was a store porter. Their son Henry was born in 1857 in Canada; daughter Almyra was born in 1861 in Michigan; and the last three children were born in Kentucky.
- Mary and Zach Mason, Sr. were Kentucky natives who returned to Kentucky. The family lived in Louisville, where Mr. Mason was a teamster. Their daughter Rebecca was born in 1861 in Kentucky, their son Zach Jr. was born in 1863 in Canada, and the last two children were born in Kentucky.
- Mariola McRanny, born in 1840 in Kentucky, lived in Louisville with her daughter Capitola, who was born in 1866 in Canada. They lived with several other family members.
- Abraham Miller, a barber in Louisville, was born in 1827 in Kentucky. His wife Harriet was born in 1845 in Canada. One of their sons was born in Indiana and the other was born in Kentucky.
- Jackson Morum was born in 1845 in Canada; he was a hotel waiter in Hopkinsville.
- Reverend John R. Riley was born in 1842 in Canada and lived in Louisville.
- Allael Sherman was born in 1846 in Canada; he was a school teacher in Louisville.
- James Smith was born in 1851 in Canada; he was a school teacher in Hopkinsville.
- The Smiths, Edward (b. 1826) and Hannah (b. 1840), were Kentucky natives. Their son Samuel was born in 1862 in Canada. The family lived in Covington, KY, where Edward was a day laborer.
- Mag Taylor was born in 1845 in Canada; she was a school teacher in Burkesville.
- James Thomas, a laborer, was born in 1832 in Canada. His wife Emily was born in Maryland, and their children were born in Kentucky. The family lived in Louisville.
- Mary Watters was a seamstress born 1845 in Louisiana. She lived in Louisville with her daughters Gertrude (b. 1859) and Matilda (b. 1862), both born in Canada.
- John Weakly was born in 1837 in Canada; he was a farm laborer in Hopkinsville.
- Emma Webb was born in 1849 in Canada; she lived in Louisville.
- Rueben Wright was born in 1831 in Missouri; he was a farmer. His wife Florida Wright was born in 1828 in Kentucky. Their oldest daughter Mary was born in 1858 in Canada, and their last five children were born in Kentucky. The family lived in Newport.
Subjects: Barbers, Education and Educators, Migration South
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Burkesville, Cumberland County, Kentucky / Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky / Canada
Migration from Kentucky to Florida
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1945
In 1910, Florida was one of six states to have the greatest gain from Negro migration (the other five states were Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, New York, and Illinois). Florida received a greater migration than any northern state. Kentucky was not a major contributing state; there were very few African Americans who migrated from Kentucky to Florida prior to the mid 20th Century. Looking at the Florida State Census (1867-1945), the U.S. Federal Census (1850-1930), and the World War I and World War II Draft Registrations, there are little more than 1,000 African Americans listed as born in Kentucky and residing in Florida. For those who did move, they were not concentrated in one particular region of Florida or employed in one particular industry. One of the first Kentucky natives listed in the Census is Oather Bell, who in 1850 was a carpenter in Jacksonville. In 1870, Eli Adams was a farm laborer in Leon County; in 1885, Robert Adams was a laborer in Pensacola; in 1900, David Straws was a farmer in Jefferson County; in 1910, Lannie Jake was a sewer ditch digger in Quincy. During 1917-18, at least 23 African Americans born in KY registered for the Army Draft in Florida during World War I. In 1920, Ruthanne Adams ran a lodging house in Winter Haven; in 1935, Hallie O'Brien was a laundress in Dade County; in 1945, Victor C. St. Clair was a caretaker in Orange County; and at least 46 African Americans born in KY enlisted in Florida during World War II Army Enlistments from 1938-1946. More recently, in the 2004 Louisville Urban Studies Institute Research Report, Florida ranked as one of the top destinations for persons who moved from Kentucky (not defined by race). For more see Negro Migration During the War, by E. J. Scott. For more recent migration trends, see the University of Louisville Urban Studies Institute, Kentucky Population Research, and Kentucky State Data Center - Research Report by Price, Scobee, and Sawyer, Kentucky Migration: consequences for state population and labor force, February 2004 [available online .pdf]; and Migration by Race and Hispanic Origin: 1995-2000, Census 2000 Special Reports, issued October 2003 [available online .pdf].
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Migration South
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Florida
Mitchell, Stanley P. [National Civil Liberty Party]
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1908
Rev. Stanley P. Mitchell, said to have been born in Kentucky, was a national civil rights activist at the turn of the century during the last decade of the 1800s and the first decade of the 1900s. He was editor and manager of the Southern Sentinel newspaper in Memphis, TN. He wrote editorials for other Negro newspapers throughout the U.S., encouraging Negroes to read and subscribe to Negro newspapers. In 1892, Mitchell was living in Fort Pickering, TN, and owned a considerable amount of property. He was leading the effort to form anti-emigration societies in the South to discourage Negroes from moving West to deceptive dreams of Utopia. By 1900, Mitchell was an evangelist living in Midway, KY, where he was also president of the National Educational Council of Midway. He caused a stir when he proposed that former slaves in Kentucky hold a reunion with their former masters, along with a "darkey corn-shucking," as an auxiliary to the Confederate veteran's reunion in Louisville. By 1901, Stanley Mitchell was living in Lexington, KY, he was a proclaimed Democrat and was campaigning for Cloak Room Keeper of the Upper House of the Kentucky Legislature. He did not get the position. In 1902, Mitchell was one of the incorporators of the National Industrial Council, an organization that fought against the mobbing and lynching of Negroes; they fought against discrimination based on race on passenger carriers such as the railroad and steamboats; and they fought voter disenfranchisement. The home office of the council was in Lexington, KY, and there were 27 chapters in Mississippi. Mitchell was also the founder and leader of the National Civil Liberty Party, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. and the campaign headquarters in Chicago, IL. The party was formed in 1903 after Mitchell took a delegation of Negro men to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Roosevelt to request pensions for the former slaves who had served during the Civil War in non-soldiering capacity such as laborers, bridge-builders, and forgers. The request was denied and Mitchell called for a national organization of Negro men in order to use their vote against members of the Republican Party such as President Roosevelt who felt the "Negro had received enough from the government when he was set free." The Civil and Personal Liberty Leagues, lead by Stanley P. Mitchell, formed the National Civil Liberty Party. The first National Convention of the National Liberty Party [the word "Civil" was dropped] was to be held in Cincinnati, OH in 1903, but had to be postponed, and was held in Douglas Hotel in St. Louis, MO on the 5th and 6th of July, 1904. Thirty-six states were represented. George E. Taylor accepted the party's U. S. Presidential nomination; Taylor, from Iowa, was president of the National Negro Democratic League. He was unsuccessful in his bid for President of the United States. In spite of the loss, Stanley P. Mitchell continued to be active on many fronts, he was president of the National Ex-Slave Congress, formed in 1903 with delegates from 34 states. By 1905, the organization name was changed to the Ex-Slave Encampment and National Freedman's Congress. The congress fought for reparations in the form of pensions for former Negro slaves who were 40 years old or older. Mrs. S. P. Mitchell, an evangelist, supported her husband in the ex-slave campaign by giving speeches and organizing chapters. She was editor of the Pioneer newspaper and the National Journal newspaper. In September of 1903, Stanley Mitchell had been arrested in Georgia on the charge of swindling money from ex-slaves; supposedly, he had asked for the money in order to secure the passage of the Hanna Bill. There was no evidence to support the charges and Mitchell was set free. The New York Times initially proclaimed Mitchell was a thief. At the same time, there were several Negro newspapers that claimed Mitchell had been framed by the Republican Party due to the popularity of the National Liberty Party among Negroes in the South. The Hanna Bill, by Ohio Senator Mark Hanna, would have given a pension to former slaves, but the bill died in Congress. Stanley P. Mitchell's popularity waned for a couple of years after he was accused of swindling; some of the Negro newspapers turned against him. Mitchell continued his campaign for equal justice for Negroes. He opened a nursing home for former slaves in Memphis, TN. Mitchell was Chanceller of the Knights and Ladies of Industry of the U.S., the main office was in Washington, D.C. Ads in Negro papers were used to solicit membership and the ads included a line stating that the organization would buy homes for its members. By 1905, trouble came Mitchell's way again when he performed the marriage of a German man to a Jewish woman, and the Memphis community was outraged. In 1906, Stanley Mitchell resigned as editor of the Southern Sentinel and sold the newspaper to Mrs. Rachel T. Mitchell. Stanley P. Mitchell died in 1908, and his wife took over his duties as pastor, she continued the search for heirs of former slaves who had savings in the Freedmen's Bank, and she continued the campaign for equal justice for Negroes. For more see "Stanley P. Mitchell," The Washington Bee, 09/03/1904, p.1; "National Ex-Slave Congress," The Washington Bee, 07/04/1903, p.8; "S. P. Mitchell set free," The New York Times, 09/08/1903, p.8; "National Industrial Council," Colored American, p.16; "Stanley P. Mitchell of exslave pension fame...," Freeman, 02/20/1904, p.4; "Ex-Slave Encampment and National Freedman's Congress," Freeman, 05/20/1905, p.2; "Pension for ex-slaves!" Plaindealer, 06/30/1905, p.1; "Married by a Negro," Freeman, 08/05/1905, p.5; see Stanley P. Mitchell in "Paragrahic News," Washington Bee, 03/24/1906, p.1; "To check emigration: anti-Oklahoma societies to be organized," Langston City Herald, 01/16/1892, p.1; "An Appeal," Freeman, 09/08/1900, p.1; "Mrs. S. P. Mitchell," Colored American, 12/22/1900, p.15; "ms of Interest," Freeman, 08/24/1901, p.8; S. P. Mitchell, "The Negro newspapers the only powerful leaders left," Washington Bee, 04/19/1902, p.1; "S. P. Mitchell...," Evening Post, 03/23/1900, p. 5; "Wants to be Cloak Keeper," The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 12/31/1901, p. 7; G. E. Taylor, "The National Liberty Party's Appeal," The Independent, v.57, pp.844-846 [available online at Google Book Search]; and "Rev. Mrs. Mitchell," Washington Bee, 05/09/1908, p.1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Memphis, Tennessee / Chicago, Illinois / Washington, D.C.
Murry, Philip H. [The Colored Kentuckian]
Birth Year : 1842
Murry was born in Reading, PA, the son of Samuel and Sarah Murry. His family was free born and had not been slaves. Murry was a school teacher and advocate for the education of African American children; he taught school in Kentucky and several other states. He was also a journalist and newspaper publisher, and is recognized along with J. P. Sampson for establishing the first African American newspaper in Kentucky, in 1867: The Colored Kentuckian. For more see "Philip H. Murry" in Men of Mark [available full-text at Google Book Search], by W. J. Simmons and H. M. Turner; and "He prefers Sherman," Titusville Herald, 08/10/1887, p. 1.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Reading, Pennsylvania / Kentucky
Neal, Sterling Orlando, Sr.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1977
Sterling Neal Sr. was born in Cleveland, OH, and made his home in Louisville, KY. He was the son of Robert and Anna Harper Neal. In 2003, Sterling O. Neal Sr. was selected for the Hall of Fame at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. He had been employed at the International Harvester Co. and in 1952 was elected the international vice-president and district president, and a member of the general executive board of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). Neal represented more than 300,000 workers in the United States and Canada. He had previously been the president of the UE District 7, representing Kentucky and Ohio. He was the first African American elected district president. Neal was also a civil rights activist in Louisville, KY, he was a mentor and associate of Anne Braden. He served as Grand Knight of the St. Augustine Council 58, Knights of Peter Claver. As president of District 7, he spoke before a U.S. House agriculture committee about the farm crisis that was causing high unemployment in the farm equipment industry. He asked for action from the U.S. Government to reverse the crisis. In 1957, Neal was called to testify before a U.S Senate committee about Soviet activity in the U.S., and Neal was accompanied by James T. Wright, his attorney. Exhibit No.475, a periodical article written by Neal, was presented as evidence during the hearing: S. O. Neal, "Unity pays off - everyone benefited when Negro and White workers stuck together at Louisville Harvester Plant," March of Labor, September 1953, p.9. Sterling Neal, Sr. was the father of Kentucky Senator Gerald Neal. For more see SR 42 in Memory and Honor of Sterling Orlando Neal, Sr., 05/30/1997 [online]; "Union Leader" in Plaindealer, 02/29/1952, p.2; "Long range farm program," Hearing before the Committee on Agriculture, House of Representatives, 83rd Congress, 1st Session, held at Columbus, OH, October 20, 1953, Serial R, pt.10, p. 1525; and "Scope of Soviet activity in the United States," Hearing before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Acts of the Committee of the Judiciary United States Senate, 85th Congress, 1st Session, June 6, 1957, pt.68, p.4206. The government publications research for this entry was completed by UK Librarian Carla Cantagallo.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Migration South, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Cleveland, Ohio / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Negro Exodus (Hopkinsville, KY)
Start Year : 1904
In 1904, the city of Hopkinsville, KY, was a bit alarmed by the number of Negroes who had left the county due to the collapse of the tobacco market. Also in 1904, the Planters Protective Association had been formed to protect the tobacco prices against the marketing trusts. The association soon developed into a group of armed and hooded night riders whose actions went from boycotting to violence. Most of the violence was centered in the Black Patch (dark fired tobacco) area of Western Kentucky and Tennessee. Entire towns were captured, there were hangings and killings, and tobacco warehouses were burned. According to an article in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian, a large number of Negroes had quit farming tobacco in Hopkinsville and left the county for work on the railroads, the mines, or as teamsters in northern cities. A few moved as far away as Honolulu, Hawaii to farm sugar cane. Some followed Riley Ely to Ita Bena, MS, where he and his brother raised cotton on a 7,000 acre farm. The names of those who left for Mississippi included Henry Gant and family, Bud Wilson, and John Ritter. For more see "Negro exodus," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 02/23/1904, p. 1. See also the "Black Patch War" entry in the Kentucky Encyclopedia; The Black Patch War, by J. G. Miller; and Breaking Trust (dissertation), by S. M. Hall.
Subjects: Migration North, Migration West, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Migration South
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian 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.
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
Perry, William H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1860
Death Year : 1946
William H. Perry, Sr. was born in Indiana. After the death of his father, he and his mother moved to Louisville, KY. He was a graduate of Louisville Central High School, becoming a teacher at the school following his graduation in 1877. He was also a graduate of the Illinois Medical College. In 1908 Perry became the first African American physician to receive his license by passing the Kentucky State Board of Medical Examiners. He was also one of the co-founders of the Louisville Red Cross Hospital. The Perry School in Louisville was named in his honor posthumously in 1952; Perry had been head principal of the school, 1891-1927. The school was later merged with the Roosevelt School, and the name was changed to the Roosevelt-Perry Elementary School. William H. Perry, Sr. was the husband of Ana Ridley, from Nashville, a concert pianist and vocalist. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and "Professor William H. Perry, Sr. passes," KNEA Journal, vol. 18, issue 1 (1946), pp. 12-13. Mark Shepard provided additional information from the Personal Papers of William H. Perry, part of the grass-roots collection at the Lost Creek Historical Society.
See photo image of William H. Perry, Sr. at Wabash Valley Visions & Voices website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Plato, Samuel M.
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1957
Samuel M. Plato was born in Alabama, the son of James and Katie Hendrick Plato. He was the husband of Nettie M. Lusby Plato (b.1879 in KY). They are listed in the 1910 and 1920 U.S. Federal Census. Prior to his marriage, Plato entered State University of Louisville in 1898, and two years later moved to Pennsylvania to enroll in an architecture course. After having finished the course, Plato moved to Marion, IN. One of the first African American architectural designers and building contractors, Samuel Plato built over 39 post offices throughout the U.S. He was one of the few African Americans to receive contracts to build defense homes during World War II. Plato came to Louisville from Marion, IN, around 1921 and would eventually remained in Louisville for the rest of his life. Contrary to what has been written, Plato's first wife Nattie M. Lusby Plato did not die in Marion, IN; she died in Louisville, KY, October 9, 1924, and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, according to her death certificate. Plato's second wife Elnora Davis Lucas Plato (1890-1975) was not from Indiana, she was a Kentucky native and died in Washington, D.C., according to the Social Security Death Index. For more see Samuel M. Plato in African American Architects by D. S. Wilson; Samuel M. Plato, 1882-1957: a collection of accomplishments, by L. I. Neher and B. D. Shutt; 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 "Samuel M. Plato," Black History News & Notes, 1992, no.47-54, p.4. The Plato Family Papers, 1924-1967, are available at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, KY.
See photo image and article about Samuel M. Plato, by Pen Bogert at the Filson Historical Society website.
Subjects: Architects, Migration North, Migration South
Geographic Region: Alabama / Marion, Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Porter, Benjamin F.
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1911
Dr. B. F. Porter was 3rd Assistant Physician at the Central Kentucky Lunatic Asylum in Louisville, KY, in 1896; he was the first African American doctor at the facility. Porter was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the husband of Elizabeth Porter (1843-1910, born in CT) and the father of Wiley Porter (b. 1877 in KY). Dr. Porter received his medical degree in 1878 and was an 1899 graduate of the College of Hypnotism. The family had lived in Columbia, SC, where Dr. Porter was a minister before coming to Kentucky, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. The Porter's employed two African American servants who worked at their home. While Dr. Porter was employed at the asylum, he and his family lived in the housing provided by the institution. The Central Kentucky Lunatic Asylum had been established in 1874 as a state house for "feeble minded children." A third of the appropriations for the facility were to be used for the Colored inmates, who were to be kept in a separate ward from the white inmates. The facility had formerly been the State House of Reform for Juveniles. Dr. Porter's appointment to the institution by Kentucky Governor William O. Bradley caused a bit of alarm throughout the state when it was reported that Dr. Porter would be treating both Colored and white children. An article by the asylum superintendent, H. F. McNary, was published in The Medical News, reassuring all that Dr. Porter would only be treating the more than 200 Colored patients. With McNary's published letter, The Medical News editor gave the journal's approval to the hiring of Dr. Porter. In addition to his medical duties, Dr. Porter was also pastor of the African Methodist Church in Louisville, KY. By 1910, the Porter Family had left Kentucky for Carbondale, IL, where Dr. Porter practiced medicine, was minister of the Bethel A.M.E. Church, and was a member of the Knights and Daughters of Tabor. The family employed one African American servant. Dr. Porter was also a veteran; he was a barber when he enlisted in the Union Army on February 10, 1864, and served with the 5th Massachusetts Colored Calvary, according to his military service records. For more see "Colored Medical Doctors as Attendants in Insane Asylums," The Medical News, vol. 68, January-June 1896, p. 622 [available full-text at Google Book Search]; "Rev. B. F. Porter," The Daily Free Press, 12/22/1911, p. 5; and Marie Porter Wheeler Papers at the University of Illinois at Springfield. For more about the Asylum see Acts Passed at the ... Session of the General Assembly for the Commonwealth, Regular Session, December 1873, Chapter 287, pp. 29-30 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Barbers, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Williamstown, Massachusetts / Columbia, South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Carbondale, Illinois
Porter, William M.
Birth Year : 1850
Porter, born in Tennessee, was an undertaker in Lexington, KY. In 1905, he had been in business with J. C. Jackson for about 13 years. Porter came to Lexington from Cincinnati, OH, where at one time he had been the only African American undertaker in the city. Porter spoke during the convention of the National Negro Business League in New York, pointing out that he had been a hackman for 31 years before becoming an undertaker, and that it was not unusual for hackmen to make $12 or $15 per day because "the street cars were not so convenient." By 1920, Porter was again living in Cincinnati, according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see Wm. M. Porter, "Undertaking," Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919, 6th Annual Convention, New York City, New York, August 16-18, 1905, reel 1, frame 529; and The Negro in Business by B. T. Washington.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Migration South, Negro Business League
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Cincinnati, Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Rainer, Georgia B. Gomez [Madam Gomez]
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1919
Madam Gomez was the stage name for Georgia Beatrice Barkley Gomez Rainer, a famous soprano operatic singer who was born in Lexington, KY. She was the daughter of Louisa Barkley Matthews and the stepdaughter of Courtney Matthews (1868-1940), a hostler and the overseer at Ashland Stud in Lexington, KY. Georgia Barkley was a graduate of Chandler Normal School in Lexington. She lived in Chicago with an aunt and uncle, Robert and Lily Davis, and received musical training in 1900 [source: U.S. Federal Census]. She was a graduate of Fisk University in Tennessee; Barkley had attended Fisk for three years specializing in vocal music and was an honors graduate. She had been giving concerts since 1904. After College, Barkley continued performing, and in 1907 she married Alphonse Frisco Gomez (b. 1884) in Mobile, Alabama. She would return to Lexington for engagements, performing before 22,000 people during the Booker T. Washington Day celebration at the Lexington Colored Fair. She sang at Pleasant Green Baptist Church in November of 1908. That same month, she sang at the Pekin Theater and the Odd Fellow's Hall in Louisville, KY. Gomez performed with the vaudeville team Williams and Walker and later teamed with Will Downs, performing as Gomez and Downs [or Downz]. The team split in 1917, according to an article in Freeman, but according to her death notice in the Lexington Leader newspaper, they were a team at the time of Gomez's death in July 1919. Gomez died in New York, and according to the Lexington Leader article, Gomez's second husband, Irving E. Rainer, brought her body to Lexington, KY, for the funeral and burial. It is not known when Georgia Gomez married Rainer; according to Alphonse F. Gomez's World War I U.S. Army registration (1917-18), Georgia was still his wife and was living at 3 West East Street in Mobile, AL. For more see the following articles in the Lexington Leader: W. Hill, "Madam Gomez," 07/25/1919, p. 3; "Complimentary notice," 07/28/1907, p. 3; "Married in Alabama," 04/14/1907, p. 4; "Colored Notes," 11/15/1908, p. 16. See the following articles in the Freeman: "One of Kentucky's favorite soprano singers...," 11/21/1908, p. 1; "Chicago Weekly Review: Downz & Gomez at the Grand," by Sylvester Russell, 07/24/1915, p. 5; "Georgia Gomez, late of Williams and Walker...," 05/14/1910, p. 5; "Tallabee returns to the Pekin - Mott's Theatre again crowded," and the sentence that begins "Downs and Gomez sing in the...," 10/14/1911, p. 4. See also "Senora Georgia Gomez...," Washington Bee, 08/18/1917, p. 2.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Mobile, Alabama / New York
Rayburn, Wendell G., Sr.
Birth Year : 1929
Wendell Gilbert Rayburn, Sr. was the first African American to become a dean of a college at the University of Louisville (U of L). From 1974-1980, he was Dean of the University College; he then left U of L to become president of Savannah State College [now Savannah State University], where he implemented the desegregation plan mandated by the Georgia Board of Regents. He would later become president of Lincoln University of Missouri. Rayburn was born in Detroit, MI, and is a graduate of Eastern Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University. For more see The University of Louisville, by D. D. Cox and W. J. Morison; Who's Who in the World, 1982-2001; and Who's Who in America, 1982-1991 and 1995-2001.
See photo image of Wendell G. Rayburn, Sr. at Pension Associates website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration South
Geographic Region: Detroit, Michigan / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Richards, Ralph H.
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 2002
In 1953 African Americans were finally allowed to apply for membership to the Louisville (KY) Bar Association, and Ralph Richards was one of three African American attorneys whose applications were accepted. Richards had a private law practice in 1951 and was appointed assistant police court prosecutor in 1964. During the 1970s he served as an assistant commonwealth attorney. Richards graduated from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] in 1942 and earned his law degree from Howard University in 1951. He was a WWII veteran, having enlisted in the Army in Cincinnati, OH, on July 22, 1943, according to his enlistment records. He was born in Cincinnati, OH, the son of Lucia and Julia Richards, both of whom were from Kentucky. In 1920, the family lived on Preston Street according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see P. Burba, "Ralph H. Richards," Courier-Journal, 10/27/2002, NEWS section, p. 5B; and "Attorney named prosecution aide in Ky court," Jet, vol 19, issue 10 (12/16/1965), p. 10.
Subjects: Lawyers, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South
Geographic Region: Cincinnati, Ohio / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.
Birth Year : 1976
Keith Robinson, an actor and singer, was born in Kentucky and grew up in South Carolina and later moved to Augusta, GA. He played the character C. C. White, brother to Effie White, in the 2006 award-winning musical film, Dreamgirls. He played the role of the Green Lightspeed Ranger in the TV series Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue and had a guest role in the TV series Monk (2005). He has appeared in several films, including This Christmas, Fat Albert, and the Hallmark movie The Reading Room. Robinson has recorded a few singles. For more see M. K. Hoffman, "Keith Robinson: music is my first love," Jet, vol. 112, issue 3 (July 23, 2007), p. 40; and view Keith Robinson at R&B Live - Spotlight New York on YouTube.
See photo image of Keith Robinson and additional information at IMDb.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Kentucky / South Carolina / Augusta, Georgia
Rounds, Ned and Ellen [Honey Island, Mississippi]
Ned (1825 - ?) and Ellen (1835 - died between 1880 and 1900) were slaves born in Kentucky and were either sold or taken down South. They were owned by Peter James, Sr. and lived on the Stonewall Plantation in the Mississippi Delta. After he was freed, Ned Rounds became one of the largest landowners in the community he helped found, Honey Island, MS. Ned could not read or write, but he could count: he served as a banker for residents of Honey Island. He was a wealthy man who had been a slave and was the son of slaves who were also born in Kentucky. By 1910, the succeeding generation of the Rounds family had heavily mortgaged the land. The family wealth was lost and family members began leaving Honey Island, moving to northern locations. For more on the history of the Rounds family see Honey Island, by J. Hunter.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Communities, Freedom, Migration South
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Honey Island, Mississippi
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
Birth Year : 1844
Death Year : 1925
Tom Scott, born in Bourbon County, KY, was a survivor of the Saltville Massacre [the murders of wounded African American Union soldiers who were buried in a single grave], which took place in Virginia during the Civil War. Scott was an escaped slave who became a member of the U.S. 5th Colored Cavalry, having joined up in Lebanon, KY. After the war, he relocated to Rocky Springs, MS, and, according to his great-granddaughter, was one of the first African Americans to own land in Claiborne County. In 2000, a permanent marker was placed on Scott's grave, located in the cemetery next to the Second Union Baptist Church, where Scott had been a deacon. Additional information from University of Kentucky Anthropology Researcher Nancy O'Malley: As a slave, Tom Scott was owned by James Scott of North Middletown, KY. Tom Scott was the husband of Phillis Ann Risk, who was owned by Thomas West Brooks. Tom and Phillis Scott had four children when Tom enlisted in the Army. This information comes from the military muster rolls, a copy of which is available at the Kentucky Military History Museum in Frankfort, KY. James Scott had 27 slaves, according to the 1860 U.S. Federal Census. Tom Scott would have been about 16 years old in 1860; there is a black male, aged 16, listed in James Scott's slave census. For more see "Memorial service in Mississippi to honor Kentucky slave-turned -soldier," The Associate Press State & Local Wire, 12/02/2000, State and Regional section; and The Saltville Massacre, by T. D. Mays.
Nancy O'Malley, Assistant Director
William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and
Office of State Archeology
1020A Export Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Migration South, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: North Middletown, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Rocky Springs, Mississippi
Birth Year : 1874
Death Year : 1930
Seal was born in Hustonville, KY. Although illiterate, she led one of the largest religious cults in the United States, the Church of the Innocent Blood, which was an interracial faith. She believed that women made better leaders. She had thousands of female followers, both black and white, and she focused on caring for unmarried pregnant women. They prayed to the image of a Black Jesus. Seal's ministry was in New Orleans, LA, where her church was built. In 1930, Mother Catherine told her followers that she needed to go home to fight a spirit; she died a few hours after she arrived in Lexington, KY. She was listed as living on Charbonnet Street in New Orleans in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. After Seal's death, Mother Rita took charge as head of the church, temporarily, warning that if the church were sold, then New Orleans would be destroyed by a flood. The property was sold in 1931 because Mother Catherine left no will. There were no unpaid debts or taxes, so the proceeds from the sale went to the Louisiana State Treasury. For more see African-American Religious Leaders, by N. Aaseng; and "Physicking Priestess" in Time, vol. 17, issue 16 (04/20/1931), pp. 63-64.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Hustonville, Lincoln County, Kentucky / New Orleans, Louisiana / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Shankle, James and Winnie [Shankleville, Texas]
James Shankle (1811 - 1887), born in Kentucky, was the husband of Winnie (1814 - 1883), born in Tennessee; they were both the slaves of Isaac Rollins in Wayne County, Mississippi. Winnie and her children by Isaac Rollins were sold, and James Shankle became a fugitive when he went looking for them. After many months of searching, he found them in Texas, and Winnie's new owner also purchased James. After they became free, James and Winnie bought land and founded the African American town of Shankleville. They would become the parents of six more children, one of whom married Stephen McBride, founder of McBride College, which was located in Shankleville. The school existed from 1883 to 1909. For more see Shankleville, Texas, at The Handbook of Texas Online website; and "James and Winnie Brush Shankle" in vol. 7 of the African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Freedom, Migration West, Migration South
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Tennessee / Wayne County, Mississippi / Shankleville, Texas
Death Year : 1891
Shaw's birth date was in the late 1820s. He was a free man born in Kentucky who moved to Memphis, TN, around 1852. He owned a saloon and gambling house. Shaw has been described as a radical Republican political leader and as the most powerful African American leader in Memphis. He was defeated in a run for Congress in 1869. He spoke up for the rights of African Americans, for integrated schools, and against poll taxes. He served on the City Council and the County Commission and was elected wharf master. Shaw was also a lawyer and editor of the Memphis Planet newspaper. For more see "Ed Shaw" in the article "Free Blacks had impact on county history - Historian traces roots of black population," Commercial Appeal, 10/14/1993, Neighbors section, p. e2; and in the History of Memphis at cityofmemphis.org.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South, Gambling, Lottery
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Memphis, Tennessee
Simpson, James Edward
Birth Year : 1854
Death Year : 1956
Simpson was born in Brownville, PA, and moved to Louisville, KY, where he taught Latin at Louisville Colored High School [later Louisville Central High School]. He was also a graduate of Louisville National Medical College, but never practiced medicine. Simpson was a member of the committee that established the retirement and pension for the City of Louisville, and he was the first teacher to retire under the new system. He was the husband of Lida Simpson, and they were the parents of three children, all born in Louisville, KY, two of whom were Abram L. Simpson and Jane Simpson Williams. James E. Simpson died in Washington, D.C. For more see "James Edward Simpson" on page 440 in The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians by A. A. Dunnigan.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South
Geographic Region: Brownville, Pennsylvania / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D. C.
Slave Trade Between Kentucky and Southern States
Lexington was initially the slave trade center for Kentucky in the 1800s due to many factors that included the demand for slaves in southern states, the large number of slaves in Kentucky and the decreasing profits of slavery, the Kentucky anti-importation law of 1833, and attacks by abolitionists against the African slave trade and slavery in general. As the economic demands for more slaves increased in southern states, the Kentucky and Virginia slave markets responded to the demand in the cotton belt, economically benefiting the states. In 1840, Robert Wickliffe, the largest slave owner in Fayette County, boasted to the Kentucky Legislature that as many as 6,000 slaves per year were being sold to southern states from Kentucky, though the actual number was not known because there were no definitive accounting records for all sales. Prior to the late 1840s, the sale of slaves was a personal business transaction that was not tracked or announced to the public, other than through public auctions, as was the case with the sale of livestock. In 1843, two of the more prominent slave trade firms in Kentucky were the firm of Downing and Hughes and the much larger firm of Griffin and Pullum, both located in Lexington. In 1849, the Kentucky anti-importation law of 1833 was repealed, allowing slaves from other states to be brought into Kentucky and sold. That same year, the Kentucky Legislature adopted a resolution denouncing abolition. It was also around 1849 that two other major changes took place. First, Kentucky newspapers garnered a greater share of the slave trade economy and promoted the trade with an increased number of paid advertisements and hand bills for the sale of slaves or those looking to buy slaves, for the services of slave trade firms and brokers, and for the recapture of runaway and kidnapped slaves. Second, the slave trade in Louisville became a major competitor to the trade in Lexington, and adjoining towns were developing their own slave trade businesses. In 1859, when there were discussions of re-establishing the African slave trade, loud voices of opposition were heard from Kentucky and Virginia. For more see T. D. Clark, "The Slave trade between Kentucky and the Cotton Kingdom," The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, vol. 21, issue 3 (Dec., 1934), pp.331-342; and Lexington's slave dealers and their Southern trade, by J. W. Coleman, Jr. See also Kentucky and slavery: the constitutional convention of 1792 (thesis) by M. Herrick.
Subjects: Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South, Slave Trade (U.S.)
Geographic Region: Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky / Virginia
Smith, Elijah Strong
Smith, born in Henderson, KY, was a graduate of State University [later named Simmons College] in Kentucky. He moved to Alabama and was employed at the Union Mutual Aid Association in Mobile; the insurance company was started by C. F. Johnson, one of the wealthiest African American men in Alabama. Union Mutual Aid Association was incorporated in 1898, and had over $170,000 in income in 1913. Elijah Smith excelled within the company and after a short time was a district manager. He would soon become the district manager of the Tuscaloosa area. Smith was also president of the Negro Business Men's League in Tuscaloosa, a delegate to the national league in 1912, and secretary of the state league in 1916. He also held a number of positions within the Tuscaloosa Baptist Church and was president of the District Baptist Young People's Union and an advisory member of the Federation of Colored Women of Alabama. For more see "Elijah Strong Smith" in the Afro-American Encyclopedia; and for more on C. F. Johnson and the Union Mutual Aid Association see vol. 2, p. 208 of The Story of the Negro, by B. T. Washington [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and pp. 1134-1135 in the Annual Report of the Insurance Commissioner of the State of Alabama for year ending December 31, 1913 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Negro Business League, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Mobile and Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1917
Harris Snowden was a race horse trainer from Kentucky. He was born around 1887 in Kentucky and died in Nashville, TN, December 16, 1917 [source: Tennessee Deaths and Burials Index]. Snowden is buried in Mt. Ararat Cemetery in Nashville.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration South
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee
Taylor, Joseph H.
Birth Year : 1898
Taylor was born in Burkesville, KY. He was dean of the Alabama State Teachers College [now Alabama State University] from 1930-1939 and later history professor and chairman of the division of social science at North Carolina College for Negroes [now North Carolina Central University], beginning in 1939. His doctoral dissertation was entitled, The Restriction of European Immigration, 1890-1924. Taylor was also author of a number of articles. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration East, Migration South
Geographic Region: Burkesville, Cumberland County, Kentucky / Florence, Alabama / North Carolina
Terry, Woodford H.
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1960
Woodford H. Terry was a plumber and carpenter who was a furniture maker in Bowling Green, KY for a few years. In Clarksville, TN, he was the chief builder at The American Tobacco Company plant. In 1909, Terry moved to Los Angeles, CA and did general contracting work. There was a new builders law enacted in California in 1912, and that year Terry passed the General Builders License exam. He constructed a number of buildings in California, including the Vernon Avenue A. M. E. Church in Pasadena, CA, and the Trinity Baptist Church in Southern California. Woodford H. Terry was the son of Henry and Rachael Eggner Terry. He was born in Birmingham, KY, a town that was intentionally removed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the development of Kentucky Lake in the 1940s. Long before the town disappeared, Woodford H. Terry's family moved to Clarksville, TN, where Woodford attended the city schools. He earned his master's certificate in plumbing in 1894 via a correspondence course at Smith Trade School located in Nashville, TN. He was also an apprentice carpenter with American Tobacco Company in Clarksville, TN. In 1908, Terry vacationed in California and liked the area so much that he moved there the following year. In 1910, he married Jessie Sayers and the couple had three children. [Jessie Sayers Terry was the first African American member of the City Housing Commission in Los Angeles, CA.] In addition to his work as a plumber and carpenter in California, Woodford H. Terry was also the director and treasurer of the Unity Finance Corporation. He died in Los Angeles on December 27, 1960 [source: California Death Index]. For more see Woodford H. Terry on p.13 in Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition; and Two Case Studies of African American Architect's Careers in Los Angeles, 1890-1945: Paul R. Williams, FAIA and James H. Garrott, AIA by W. H. Henderson.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Migration West, Migration South, Carpenters, Plumbers
Geographic Region: Birmingham, Marshall County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Clarksville, TN / Los Angeles California
Thompson v. Wilmot
Start Year : 1805
End Year : 1809
In Maryland in 1790, Ruth Wilmot exchanged her slave, Will, for a slave named Harry who belonged to Thomas A. Thompson. Part of the written agreement was that in addition to the swap, Will would be freed within seven years. Thompson took Will to Kentucky, and after more than seven years, Will was still a slave. Thompson had reneged on the agreement, so Wilmot sued on Will's behalf for his freedom. The Kentucky lower court ruled in Wilmot's favor and awarded her $691.25 in damages; the money was to go to Will. [Slaves could not file a law suit in Kentucky.] Thompson appealed the case to the higher court [Thompson v Wilmot] and lost his case when the lower court's decision was affirmed in 1809. The case set a standard for contractual agreements for the future emancipation of a slave, and allowed the original slave owner to file suit for the emancipation of the slave when the terms of the contractual agreement were not honored. For more see Fathers of Conscience by B. D. Jones; "In Kentucky" in The Encyclopedic Digest of Virginia and West Virgina, volume XII [full view in Google Book Search]; and "Thompson versus Wilmot" in the Afro-American Encyclopedia.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration South, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Maryland / Kentucky
Thornton, James and Adeline Joyner
Mimi Lozano is the author of Black Latino Connection which includes the history of the family of Kentucky native James (1835-1911) and Adeline (1852-1940) Thornton. James was born a slave in Versailles, KY, and gained freedom when he joined the Union Army in 1864. He and other African American soldiers were sentenced for an attempted mutiny, and James received hard labor off the coast of Florida and was dishonorably discharged in 1866. He and his sons moved to Kerr County, Texas, where James married Adeline in 1871, she had been a slave in Florida. They would become the first African American landowners in Kerr County. Together they had thirteen children, some of whom migrated to Canada, and their son David migrated to Guadalajara, Mexico in 1901. For more see the Black Latino website at somosprimos.com and contact Mimi Lozano.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Migration South, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Dry Tortugas, Florida / Kerr County, Texas / Guadalajara, Mexico
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
Birth Year : 1849
Death Year : 1926
Peter Vertrees was born in Edmonson County, KY, his mother Mary E. Skaggs, was white, and his father, Rev. Booker Harding was the mulatto son of Jacob Vertrees. Peter Vertrees was raised by his grandfather Jacob Vertrees and his wife Catherine. Peter Vertrees served with the Confederate Army in the 6th Kentucky Calvary during the Civil War; he was a servant to his uncle, J. L. Vertrees, an enlistee who was white and a physician. Peter Vertrees left Kentucky to live with his uncle Judge J. C. Vertrees in Tennessee. He would become one of the first students to attend Roger Williams University. He would become a teacher and a preacher, and a respected community leader in Sumner County, TN. In 1880, he was a 31 year old widower living in Gallatin, according to the U.S. Federal Census; his wife, Amanda L. Dowell, had died in 1872. He had next married Sarah Head and the couple had three sons. In 1901 he married Diora Wylie (b.1875 in TN), according to their Marriage Bond, and the couple had three children, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. They would later have two more children. Peter Vertrees was principal of the South Gallatin School, and for 60 years he served as pastor of the First Baptist Church. He was actually pastor of more than one church, and was president of two benevolent societies that helped pay for medical assistance and burials. He opened schools for African Americans within the churches where he was pastor. He founded the East Fork Missionary Baptist Association with 28 churches in Tennessee. A historical maker honoring Peter Vertrees was placed at the corner of South Water and Bledsoe Streets in Sumner County, TN. For more see the Negro Baptist History, 1750-1930 by L. G. Jordan; and Peter Vertrees, by Dessislava Yankova at the rootsweb.ancestry.com website.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Edmonson County, Kentucky / Gallatin, Sumner County, Tennessee
Birth Year : 1939
Death Year : 2008
Alice Wade, born in Jeffersonville, IN, is remembered as one of the most dependable and committed voices in the Louisville, KY, civil rights movement. When she was not out front, she was many times working behind the scenes. Wade and Ann Braden were friends and worked side by side; they met in the 1980s. Wade was a volunteer, coordinator, and organizer for The Braden Center and the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, both in Louisville, KY. She also worked beside activist Rev. Louis Coleman; on July 4, 1999, she and Colman were two of the 12 people arrested for trespassing at the Valhalla Golf Club, where they were protesting against the absence of minority and women owned vendors at the PGA tournament. Wade led marches and protest against racism and police brutality. For more see P. Burba, "Civil-rights activist Alice Wade dies at 69," Courier-Journal, 05/22/2008, News section, p. 1B.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Migration South
Geographic Region: Jeffersonville, Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Wallace, Count X.
Birth Year : 1815
Death Year : 1880
Wallace, a barber and musician, played the violin at parties and other gatherings. He was born in Kentucky and was a freeman living in Fayette, Mississippi, according to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. Judge Frank A. Montgomery recorded his meeting with Wallace in his book Reminiscences of a Mississippian in Peace and War, published in 1901 [available full-text at Google Book Search]. Wallace had been in Port Hudson, LA, when the Union Army seized the area in 1863 and gained control of the Mississippi River. The forces included two regiments of Colored soldiers, the 1st and 3rd Louisiana Native Guard. Wallace was a servant to the Union officers, and when the soldiers were to leave, they had planned to take Wallace with them, but Wallace requested and received a parole from his servant duties. He had shown the parole certificate to Judge Montgomery. In his civilian life, Wallace had been fairly well off, with $2,000 in personal property; he was also a slave-owner. He is listed in the 1860 Slave Schedule as owning a 35 year old female; Wallace was one of 28 slave owners in Fayette, MS. When he died in 1880, his property went to his 30 year old wife, Nelly [or Nellie], and their five children: Edgar, Gaitwood, Floyde, Mary, and Stanton.
Subjects: Barbers, Freedom, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Free African American Slave Owners
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Fayette, Mississippi
Walls, Murray B. Atkins
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1993
Murray Walls was a schoolteacher from Indiana who added the first black history program to the curriculum while teaching high school in Indianapolis. She was married to Dr. John Harrison Walls of Louisville, KY. One day Murray Walls was preparing research for a speaking engagement in Louisville when she was denied entrance to the nearest library; she was directed to the Colored Libraries, the Western and Eastern Branches. After this incident, she began to campaign for the integration of the Louisville Free Public Library System. The libraries began to integrate in 1948. Murray B. Atkins Walls was born in Indiana, the daughter of Kentucky natives Calvin and Dora Atkins. She is a graduate of Butler University and Columbia University. For more see the Murray B. Atkins Walls Papers at the University of Louisville Libraries; and In Black and White, 3rd ed., edited by M. M. Spradling.
The Dr. John and Murray B. Atkins Walls oral history recordings and transcript are available online at the University of Louisville Libraries Digital Archives.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration South
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana
Waring, Mary R. Fitzbutler
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1958
Mary R. Fitzbutler Waring was said to have been born in Louisville, KY, but according to the 1880 U.S. Census, she was born in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of doctors Henry and Sarah Fitzbutler. The family moved to the U.S. in 1875, and was living in Louisville in 1880. Waring would become a teacher at the Western Colored School, according to the 1890 Louisville City Directory. She was a 1894 graduate of the Louisville National Medical College. She married Frank B. Waring, her second husband, in 1901. According to the 1930 U.S. Census, the Warings were living in Chicago, where Mary was a physician, having graduated from the Chicago Medical College, and she was also a school teacher. She was the 1915 commissioner of the Chicago Exposition, showing progress of Colored People in Chicago, and she was the appointed representative of the National Council of Women of America. She served as president of the National Association of Colored Women, and she attended the International Council of Women in Norway in 1920. For more seeWho's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; Blacks in Science and Medicine by V. O. Sammons; and Notable Black American Women,Book II by J. C. Smith.
See photo image of Mary Fitzbutler Waring at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
See 1898 graduation photo image of Mary Fitzbutler at Explore UK.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada / Chicago, Illinois / Norway
Watkins, Alma Taylor
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1968
Watkins was born in Louisville, KY. A professor of romance languages at Tennessee A & I State College (now Tennessee State University) beginning in 1943, she was recognized for her language skills. Watkins' doctoral dissertation was entitled Eroticism in the Novels of Felipe Trigo (1949); she also published several articles. She studied at the University of Toulouse in France in 1939, the Bibloteca Menendez y Pelayo in Spain, and the National University of Mexico. She was the wife of Dr. Mark Hanna Watkins (1903-1976), an anthropologist, they divorced in 1945. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Who's Who of American Women 1st, 5th, & 6th editions.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration South
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee / Toulouse, France / Santander, Spain / Mexico City, Mexico
Weston, Alice Victoria Henry and William Julius Sr.
In 1948, Alice Weston was buried in Paducah, KY. She was born in 1882 in Perry, NY, the daughter of Henry and Clara E. Henry Thomas. Her father had been an escaped slave from Mississippi, and her mother was the sister of distinguished Judge Edward W. Henry (1871-1946) in Philadelphia. Alice Weston was married to Dr. William Julius Weston (1875-1936) from Henderson, KY; they met while students at Howard University. The couple moved to Kentucky, where Dr. Weston practiced medicine at Hickman, Henderson, and Paducah. Victoria Weston completed her college degree at Kentucky State University and taught at Lincoln High School in Paducah for 20 years. She was one of the most influential teachers in the city and the state. Weston, who taught history, was the first teacher in Kentucky to develop and teach a formal course in African American history that was required of all students at Lincoln High. She served in several leadership positions within her church and led general church activities held in Paducah. She was an active member of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association and served as president of the Kentucky State Association of Colored Women, which was established in 1903. Victoria and William Weston had three children, all born in Kentucky: Clara Elizabeth (b. 1904), Alice Victoria (b. 1915), and William Julius, Jr. (1906-1945); William was a police officer in Washington, D.C., who was killed in the line of duty. For more see C. G. Woodson, "Alice Victoria Weston and her family," Negro History Bulletin, vol. 11, issue 9, pp. 195-198; William Julius Weston in A Historical, Biographical and Statistical Souvenir, by D. S. Lamb [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Historians, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Perry, New York / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky
Wheeler, John Leonidas
Birth Year : 1869
Death Year : 1957
John L. Wheeler left teaching to become a leader within the North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company, the largest African American owned business in the U.S. He was an 1897 graduate of Wilberforce College [now Wilberforce University]; immediately after graduating, he became a faculty member at Kittrell College, where he would become a president of the school for four years. [Kittrell College was a Black College in North Carolina, 1886-1975. The location is now Kittrell Job Corps Center.] In 1908, Wheeler left Kittrell College to accept a position with North Carolina Mutual, where he would become superintendent of the Raleigh District. Wheeler would later move to the records department in the Durham office. He also served as master of the Knights of Pythias while in Durham. He invested in real estate and owned property in North Carolina, Ohio, and New York. In 1913, Wheeler was named the North Carolina Mutual state agent for Georgia. In 1922, he was elected to the company's board of directors and in 1927 was named regional supervisor. In 1930, Wheeler was insurance superintendent in Atlanta, GA, and would become assistant director of agents in charge of the southern region. In Atlanta, he was also a member of the NAACP, the Negro Business League, and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Wheeler was born and raised in Nicholasville, KY, the son of Phoebe Wheeler, a former slave. He was the husband of Margaret Hervey (b. in 1880 in KY). For more see John Leonidas Wheeler in History of the American Negro and His Institutions, 1917, edited by A. B. Caldwell [online at Google Book Search]; and in An Economic Detour, by M.S. Stuart [online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Education and Educators, Migration East, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Negro Business League
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Raleigh, Durham, North Carolina / Atlanta, Georgia
Wheeler, John N.
Birth Year : 1869
Death Year : 1940
Dr. John N. Wheeler was born in Kentucky, the son of Sarah and Robert Wheeler. According to the U.S. Federal Census, in 1870 the family of 13 lived in Feliciana, KY, and by 1880 Sarah Wheeler had died, and Robert and four of the children lived in Mayfield, KY. The family moved to Vienna, IL, where John Wheeler completed school and went on to graduate from Meharry Medical College in 1903. He was the husband of Dr. Emma Rochelle Wheeler (1882-1957), and they had a medical practice together in Chattanooga, TN. In 1915, Dr. Emma Wheeler was founder and owner of Walden Hospital in Chattanooga, it was the first African American hospital in the city, and it closed in 1953. Dr. Emma Wheeler also founded a school for training nurses, and she and her husband taught at the school. For more see the John N. Wheeler entry in African Americans of Chattanooga by R. L. Hubbard.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South
Geographic Region: Feliciana and Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky / Chattanooga, Tennessee
Wheelwright, KY - Colored Section
Start Year : 1918
The Wheelwright Company Housing Project included housing for African Americans, known as the Colored Section. African Americans had first come to the town to work on the railroad at the close of World War I. The railroad was being constructed by the B&O (Baltimore and Ohio Railroad), one of the oldest railroads in the United States, and was later purchased by the C&O (Chesapeake and Ohio Railway). When the railroad was completed, the African American men were kept on to work in the mines. Some of the men lived at the boarding house owned by Hilton Garrett (1895-1991), an African American from Birmingham, AL. Garrett had come to Kentucky on his own, and after saving enough money, he was able to bring his wife, brother, and another man to Wheelwright. The town of Wheelwright had been established in 1916 by the Elkhorn Coal Company, and was named after the president of Consolidated Coal Company, Jere H. Wheelwright. The miners were of all races and nationalities, and African Americans were recruited from the North and the South. In the mines, the men were integrated, but they were segregated outside the mines. A black deputy was hired for the Colored section of town known as Hall Hollow. Wheelwright was not listed as a separate town in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. In the 1930 census, of the 226 African Americans listed as living in Wheelwright, more than 100 were men from Alabama. Wives and children were also listed in the census. Segregation was the norm between African Americans and Whites. Among the African Americans who lived in the Colored section, there was distinction and confrontations between those from the North and those form the South. There was not a school building for African American children, so grade school was held in the Colored church. A high school, Dunbar High, was built in 1936. Mrs. Mannie N. Wilson was a high school teacher before the building was completed, and in 1935, she was listed in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal. When Inland Steel owned the city of Wheelwright, the homes were upgraded, the streets were paved, and recreation facilities were built. All was segregated. Library services were provided to African Americans around 1943 via the library for whites. Photographs, such as a 1946 photo, show the street in the Colored section of the housing project. There is also a photo of the shift change at a mine. These and other photo images are available in the Kentucky Digital Library - Images. For more see the Wheelwright Collection and other collections at the University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections; Black Coal Miners in America, by R. L. Lewis; the Kentucky Coal Education website Wheelwright Kentucky, Floyd County; and Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones. Also contact the Floyd County Public Library.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Migration South, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Birmingham, Alabama / Wheelwright, Floyd County, Kentucky
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, Wallace D.
Birth Year : 1946
Wallace Williams is a retired Territorial Librarian and was director of the Florence Williams Public Library in Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Williams is also a runner, an Olympic marathon runner. He was born in Campbellsville, KY, and in 1950 was the first African American to attend a white school, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School. He was among the first African Americans to graduate from Campbellsville High School in 1964. He had started running track and cross-country as a senior in high school. While a student at Bellarmine College [now Bellarmine University], he was the only African American on the cross-country team and the freshman basketball team. Williams left school and joined the the U.S. Air Force. While at Reese Air Force Base, Williams was the leading scorer on the base and squadron basketball teams and was also a coach. He received an Honorable Discharge from the Air Force and went on to earn a B.A. in liberal arts at Northwestern Illinois University. He was the school's leading scorer in basketball during the 1973-74 season, and was winner of the Golden Eagle Award. He was also a member of the Evanston Running Club at Northwestern University. In 1975, Williams earned a masters in library science at Rosary College [now Dominican University]. He was the school's first athletic coordinator in 1974. He was the first student delegate to attend the International Federation of Library Associations Conference (IFLA). In 1977, Williams began his 30 year career as a librarian in St. Croix, and during his career, he taught library skills at the University of the Virgin Islands, and he taught coping skills in the Adult Education Program with the Department of Education. He was secretary of the Rotary Club of St. Croix, was president of the St. Croix Library Association, and was co-president of the Virgin Islands Library Association. Williams was a newspaper columnist, and trained for marathons and established running organizations. In 1978 he founded the Virgin Islands Pace Runners and organized road races. He was founder of the Society of Olympic Marathon Runners, was a founding member of the Virgin Islands Triathlon Federation, and started Women Race for the Women's Coalition. In 1979, Williams ran in the marathon of the Pan American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1982, he was the first participant for the Virgin Islands to run in the Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) in Havana, Cuba. He was also a delegate of the International Association of Athletic Federations Congress for several years, beginning in 1982. Williams competed in the World Cross-Country Championships in 1984 and in 1986. He competed in the Olympic Games Marathon in Seoul, Korea in 1988, and came in 81st with a time of 2:44:40. The marathon took place Sunday, October 2, 1988 at 2:30pm (local time). There were 118 athletes representing 70 countries, and 98 completed the marathon. Wallace Williams represented the U.S. Virgin Islands, he was the oldest competitor in the competition. Information in this entry was added with permission from the resumé of Wallace Williams. See also C. Buchannan, "On Island Profile: Wallace Williams," St. Croix Source, 07/29/2007 [available online, photo at end of article].
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Basketball, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Military & Veterans, Track & Field, Migration South
Geographic Region: Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky / St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Wilson, James Hembray, Sr. (musician/band director)
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1961
Born in Nicholasville, KY, James Hembray Wilson was a noted band director and musician, he played the cornet. He was a faculty member at Alabama A&M College [now Alabama A & M University] 1903-1904, he took over the school band, succeeding W. C. Handy, the former band director. Wilson left the school to tour with Billy Kersands and the Georgia Minstrels. Wilson returned to the school in 1907 to remain there until his retirement in 1951. He had been a musician in Jacob Litt's 'In Old Kentucky' Company in 1896, bandmaster in Al Martin's Uncle Tom's Cabin from 1897-1899, cornetist in Mahara's Minstrels in 1899, and worked with many other groups. He became the first African American treasurer at Alabama A&M in 1947 and served as the first African American postmaster at the school from 1919-1942. The James Hembray Wilson Building, located on the Alabama A&M campus, houses the James Hembray Wilson State Black Archives Research Center and Museum. James Hembray Wilson was the son of Hester and Jacob Wilson, and the husband of Eveline Wilson. He graduated from high school in Cincinnati, OH, and from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. He died in Normal, Alabama on October 2, 1961 [source: Alabama, Deaths and Burials Index]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; "New Acquisitions" on p.3 in the Newsletter of the Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments, Fall 2006, no.29 [online .pdf]; and Alabama A&M Wilson Building under the headline "Why is it named that" by D. Nilsson on p.6 in Pen & Brush, February 2003, vol.43, issue 4 (newsletter of the Huntsville/North Alabama Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication and others).
Subjects: Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Postal Service, Migration South, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Huntsville and Normal, Alabama
Young, Aurelia J. Norris
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 2010
Aurelia Young was a musician, composer, performer, writer, and educator. She was formerly a music professor at Jackson State College [now Jackson State University]. She was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and an original charter member of the Jackson (MS) Alumnae Chapter; Young served as the first president of the chapter 1941-1943. In 2008, she attended the chapter's "Legacy of Leadership" program. Aurelia Norris was born in Knottsville, KY, the daughter of John H., a farmer, and Hilda A. Stone Norris [sources: Kentucky Birth Index and the 1920 U.S. Federal Census]. By 1930, the family of five had moved to New London, OH, where John H. Norris was employed as a mechanic. Aurelia studied piano and violin and was a top graduate of her high school class. She was a 1937 graduate of Wilberforce University, where she studied music theory, organ, and French horn. She moved to Mississippi intending to teach for one year then leave, but she stayed after she married Jack Harvey Young, Sr. in 1938. Jack Young (1908-1976) would become a distinguished civil rights lawyer in Mississippi. Aurelia Young described her role in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement as a supporter of her husband's efforts. In 1955, Aurelia Young earned her Master of Music degree at Indiana University then continued her studies in Europe and Africa. She held the copyright [PAu002421668] to a trilogy created in 1995 entitled Trilogy. Aurelia Young died in Los Angeles, California on October 17, 2010 [source: Social Security Death Index]. For more see the Aurelia Norris Young entry in Accomplishments of Mississippi Women, funded by the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year; Mississippi Black History Makers, by G. A. Sewell and M. L. Dwight; P. Jenkins, "PTA hears panelist: accept me as human," Delta Democrat-Times, 10/14/1970, p. 10; Mississippi, America [videorecording] by J. McCray; and J. Irons, "The Shaping of activist recruitment and participation: a study of women in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement," Gender and Society, vol. 12, issue 6, Special Issue: Gender and Social Movements, Part 1, (Dec. 1998), pp. 692-709.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Knottsville, Daviess County, Kentucky / Jackson, Mississippi / Los Angeles, California
Birth Year : 1836
Death Year : 1907
David Young was a Louisiana Senator for the 15th district that covered the Concordia and Avoyelles Parishes. Young was born a slave in Kentucky on February 4,1836. When he was a boy, he escaped to Ohio but was captured in 1850 and sold to an owner in Natchez, Mississippi. He gained his freedom and moved to Concordia, LA, where he was a property owner and a community leader. He was a civil rights activist who fought for equal access to public establishments such as saloons and theaters, and he fought for equal access to public transportation such as steamships. David Young was elected a House Member of the Louisiana Legislature in 1868; his parish, Concorida, was 92.8% Black. He was re-elected in 1870 and 1872. In 1874, he was elected to the Senate. In 1877 he was indicted for the embezzlement of the school fund for his parish. The case was dismissed and it was the end of David Young's political career. David Young was self-educated and owned interest in the Republican Journal and the Concordia Eagle. After his political career, David Young became a minister in New Orleans and was head of the Zion Traveller's Baptist Church at Adam and Commercial Streets. He was vice president of the Colored Baptist Convention. He was the husband of Nancy Young [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. For more see "Hon. David Young" in the column "State House Sketches," Weekly Louisianian, 02/20/1875, p.2; "Baptist Churches" in the column "Church Directory," Weekly Pelican, 12/25/1886, p.4; Black Legislators in Louisiana During Reconstruction by C. Vincent; Crucible of Reconstruction by T. Tunnell; and "The Rev. David Young," The New York Times, 04/21/1907, p.9.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Ohio / Natchez, Mississippi / Condordia, Avoyelles, and New Orleans, Louisiana