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African American Comic Book and Action Figure Hero Collection [Frank X Walker]
In 2014, the exhibit titled "We Wear the Mask: Black Superheroes Through the Ages" opened at the Lyric Cultural Arts Gallery and Museum in Lexington, KY. The exhibit is on display September 6, 2014 through January 5, 2015. All items in the exhibit belong to Frank X Walker (NKAA entry), and the exhibit represents only a portion of his overall collection. The size of the exhibit has been a surprise to visitors, most of whom know little or nothing about the many African American superheroes and superheroines in comic books, or the action figures and posters. Frank X Walker's collection is one of the largest personal collections of its kind in Kentucky and the United States; it is a serious venture he started almost 30 years ago. "Over 300 black action figures (and a few other non-white characters like Bruce Lee), 1,000 plus comic books and graphic novels featuring black characters, professionally framed posters, and original art including a 5 foot tall caped crusader carved by Lavon Van Williams makes up the bulk of Frank X Walker's private collection that also includes original paintings, African masks, musical instruments and stools, ethnic sculptures, and books that focus on positive representations of blacks and other people of color." - - [source: Frank X Walker, via Facebook chat, 10/01/2014]. For more about the collection, contact Frank X Walker at the University of Kentucky. 


  See "Top 15 Greatest Black Superheroes" on YouTube.


   See 10 Black Female Superheroes (Heroines)

Subjects: Collectibles, Other
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

First Name "Kentucky"
Start Year : 1800
Many things have been given the name "Kentucky": ships, trains, dams, plantations, businesses, communities, literary characters, gambling wheels, and race and show horses. But there have also been living persons with the first name "Kentucky" dating back to at least the early 1800s. Looking at the census records, it is noted that during the 1840s and 1850s there were a few persons who had been honored with the name. In 1850 there were about nine persons named "Kentucky," both male and female, about half actually born in the state of Kentucky. There were about 18 in 1860, and by 1870 there were about 30. The numbers continued to grow very slowly until there was an all time high in 1900 of about 70 persons named "Kentucky"; then the numbers started to slowly decline. In the 1940 U.S. Census, about 41 people were named "Kentucky." The name is still given to a few newborns each year in the United States. To date, within the U.S. Social Security Death Index, 1935-Current, there are 17 persons with the first name "Kentucky,"; the most recent death was in 2007. Slaves were also named "Kentucky" in the U.S.; many of the persons listed below were born prior to 1865, when slavery was to end in the United States with the ratification of the 13th Amendment. There was at least one slave outside the U.S. named "Kentucky"; born around 1758, he was the slave of Sir William Barton in St. Michael Parish in Barbados, Lesser Antilles [source: Slave Registers of Former British Colonial Dependencies 1817, Office of Registry of Colonial Slaves and Slave Compensation Commission, The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England]. African Americans who were not slaves in the United States with the first name "Kentucky" can first be found in the 1860 Census and the 1870 Census, both male and female, and all but two were born and lived outside the state of Kentucky. Overall, "Kentucky" has not been among the most popular first names with any group of people in the United States. Looking at African Americans with the first name "Kentucky," it has most often been in the south, in particular in Mississippi, that people were most likely to name a female child "Kentucky." The name is not among those found in the Popular Names by State, a database at the U.S. Social Security website, but it is found in baby names books such as The Complete Book of Baby Names, by L. Bolton, and The Best Baby Names Treasury, by E. Larson.


African Americans Named "Kentucky"


1860 U. S. Census

  • Kentucky Sloan (f) - born 1850 and lived in KY

1866 Alabama Census

  • Kentucky Heston (or Horton) (m) - 30-40 years old

1870 U. S. Census

  • Kentucky Brown (f) - born 1853 in VA and lived in AR
  • Kentucky Whorton (f) - born 1865 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Nixon (m) - born 1840 in SC lived in FL
  • Kentucky Simmons (f) - born 1845 and lived in KY
  • Kentucky Steward (f) - born 1859 and lived in MO
  • Kentucky Walker (f) - born 1851 in MO lived in OH
  • Kentucky Wright (m) - born 1863 and lived in GA

1880 U. S. Census

  • Kentucky Price (f) - born 1859 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Ream (f) - born 1853 and lived in TX
  • Kentucky Taylor (f) - born 1856 and lived in AR

1900 U. S. Census

  • Kentucky Bivins (f) - born 1855 and lived in AR
  • Kentucky Freeman (m) - born 1891 and lived in TX
  • Kentucky Humphrey (f) - born 1894 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Jordan (f) - born 1876 in KY and lived in KS
  • Kentucky Malet (m) - born 1880 and lived in LA
  • Kentucky Mabry (f) - born 1893 and lived in AR
  • Kentucky Price (f) - born 1870 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky M. Reid (f) - born 1845 in KY lived in OK
  • Kentucky Shannon (f) - born 1852 and lived in AR
  • Kentucky Tubb (f) - born 1888 and lived in MS

1910 U. S. Census

  • Kentucky Childers (m) - born 1900 and lived in OK [noted as mulatto and/or Native American]
  • Kentucky Gambrell (f) - born 1892 and lived in SC
  • Kentucky Humphrey (f) - born 1894 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Malony (f) - born 1889 and lived in AR
  • Kentucky White (f) - born 1886 and lived in MS

1918 World War I Draft Registration

  • Kentucky Childers (m) - born August 4, 1900 - KS
  • Kentucky Lewis (m) - born March 20, 1872 - TN

1920 U. S. Census

  • Kentucky Brazeale (f) - born 1890 and lived in SC
  • Kentucky Childers (m) - born 1900 in OK lived in KS
  • Kentucky Jenkins (f) - born 1868 and lived in TX
  • Kentucky Price (f) - born 1856 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Shannon (f) - born 1855 and lived in AR
  • Kentucky Woods (f) - born 1917 and lived in MS

1925 Kansas Census

  • Kentucky Childers (m) - born 1900 in OK and lived in KS

1930 U. S. Census

  • Kentucky Davis (f) - born 1885 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky U. Davis (m) - born 1929 and lived in AL
  • Kentucky Evens (m) - born 1907 and lived in TX
  • Kentucky Jackson (f) - born 1894 in MS lived in IL
  • Kentucky Y. Lewis (m) - born 1872 and lived in TN
  • Kentucky Petty (f) - born 1912 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Shannon (f) - born 1853 in KY lived in AR
  • Kentucky Smith (f) - born 1909 in KY lived in NY
  • Kentucky Weathersby (f) -born 1857 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Williams (f) - born 1906 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Woods (f) - born 1917 and lived in MS

1940 U. S. Census

  • Kentucky Brazeale (f) - born 1891 and lived in SC
  • Kentucky Carter (m) - born 1928 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Davis (f) - born 1890 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Y. Lewis (m) - born 1872 and lived in TN
  • Kentucky Thomas (f) - born 1907 and lived in TN
  • Kentucky Weathersby (f) - born 1856 and lived in MS

Texas Death Certificate

  • Kentucky W. Shannon - died March 27, 1935

North Carolina Birth Index

  • Kentucky Illinois Fulton - born November 30, 1932

* Sherman J. Ferguson (1908-1975), AKA Kentucky Ferguson [BoxRec], welterweight boxer from Lewiston, Maine.  Fought from the early 1920s to the early 1940s. W 10 (10 KO); Lost 13 (12 KO); Draw 1
Subjects: Other
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Lane, Allie Sylvester
Birth Year : 1900
In 1922, Allie Lane became the first African American auctioneer at the Mt. Sterling Court Day markets [source: "Colored auctioneer," The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 04/20/1922, p.4]. Allie Lane lived in Sideview, Montgomery County, KY, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. He was the son of Josie Lane, and the entire family of six lived in Sharpsburg, KY in 1910 [source: U.S. Federal Census]. By 1936, Allie had left Kentucky with his wife, Kentucky-native Woodie M. Lane; the couple lived at 424 Turpin Lane in Dayton, OH [source: Williams' Dayton Directory for 1936, p.710]. Four years later, Allie Lane was a farm laborer in Dayton, OH [source: U.S. Federal Census]. He and his wife lived with Woodie's mother on Stepstone Pike. In 1944, Allie and Woodie Lane lived in Ashland, KY, at 124 15th Street; Addie was a laborer at Clayton-Lambert Manufacturing Company and Woodie was a janitor at the Second National Bank [source: Polk's Ashland (Boyd County, KY.) City Directory 1944, p.187]. According to his WWI Registration Card, Allie Lane was born June 4, 1900.
Subjects: Migration North, Other
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / Sharpsburg, Bath County, Kentucky / Ashland, Boyd County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio

Snorton, Hickman Matthew "Matt"
Birth Year : 1942
Death Year : 2016
Matt Snorton was an athlete who was born in Crofton, KY in 1942. He would eventually return to Christian County to become the Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator. His family left Kentucky when Matt Snorton was a child and they would settle in Detroit, MI, where Matt attended high school. He was a gifted athlete in baseball and football, he also played basketball, and was a musician in the marching band. Matt Snorton's high school baseball team won Detroit's Public School League Title in 1959 [source: R. Bak,"Northwestern Field in Detroit launched many great baseball careers," 08/03/2014 at ]. He received scholarship offers for both football and band, and he was offered a contract to play professional baseball. Considering all of the offers, Snorton settled at Michigan State University, where he played wide receiver on the football team from 1961-1963. He was selected by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 1964 NFL Draft, and selected in the third round of the AFL Draft. Snorton decided to play professional football with the Denver Broncos, an AFL team. His career was cut short after five games due to an injury. Snorton changed his career to banking. He returned to Christian County in 1994 and was hired as the Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator. Snorton also worked at the radio station WHOP in Hopkinsville and he became a historian who researched African American history in Christian County. He developed one minute segments on African American history that were aired on WHOP during Black History Month. Hickman Matthew Snorton was the son of Flem and Mary Whitney Snorton, and he was the nephew of Charles C. Snorton. For more see S. Burnside, "Matt's journey," Kentucky New Era," 04/28/2004 [online]; "Community icon Matt Snorton will be missed by Christian County,"The Eagle Post, 01/03/2017 [online]; Matt Snorton at the NFL profile website; Matt Snorton's college stats at; and KY House of Representatives 17RS BR 1017 honoring Matt Snorton.


  See Matt Snorton picture and obituary at Gamble Funeral Home website. 

Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Baseball, Football, Historians, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Radio, Other
Geographic Region: Crofton, Christian County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Whiting, Pierre, Sr.
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1949
Pierre Whiting, Sr. was a janitor at the University of Kentucky for 57 years. It is thought that he was the first African American employed at the university, and that he was employed longer than any other employee. Whiting's starting date was in 1888 and he retired in 1945. Pierre Whiting was born in Woodford County, KY, the son of Fletcher and Martha Whiting [source: Pierre's Kentucky Death Certificate Registrar's No. 344]. Prior to coming to work at UK, Pierre Whiting lived in Adamstown and he was a farmhand, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. Piere's wife was Florida Young and their son was Hannibal. An uncle named Hannibal Breckinridge lived with the family. Pierre Whiting started working at the University of Kentucky in 1888. By 1900, he and Florida were no longer together, and Pierre Whiting was married to Nanine Scott. There were four children in the house: Hannibal, Pierre Jr., Charlie T., and a daughter named Mary [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The family lived on Winslow Street. Pierre's oldest son Hannibal Whiting died of consumption in 1907 and is buried in African Cemetery #2; he was 26 years old [source: Kentucky Certificate and Record of Death Registered No.543]. By 1918, Pierre's son Charlie T. Whiting was employed at Michler Brothers, a greenhouse located at 415 W. Maxwell Street in Lexington [source: Charlie Whiting's WWI Draft Registration Card]. When he returned from service, he was employed with Louis Michler as a chauffeur [source: p.765 in Lexington City Directory, 1923]. In 1920, Pierre and Nannie's son Robert W. was included in the census record for the family. In 1930, the family is listed as living on Euclid Street (Adamstown), according to the U.S. Federal Census. The address is given as 247 Euclid Avenue on p.615 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory, 1930. Beginning in the 1930s, there were a series of deaths in the Whiting family. Pierre and Nannie Whiting's son Pierre Jr. died in 1939 and is buried in African Cemetery #2 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death Registered No. 699]. Pierre Whiting was a widower when his son died [source: U.S. Federal Census]; his wife Nannie Scott Whiting had died in 1936 and she is buried in African Cemetery #2 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death Registered No. 1123]. Pierre's first wife Florida Young Saunders died in 1940, she was the widow of Edward Saunders. Florida is buried next to her son Hannibal Whiting in African Cemetery #2 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death, Registrar's No. 204]. In 1943, Piere's son Robert Willie Whiting died of lukemia and he is buried in African Cemetery #2 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death, Registrar's No.1060]. Also in 1943, Pierre Whiting's house was one of the homes in Adamstown that the University of Kentucky purchased, with the intent of tearing the houses down for the building of Memorial Coliseum. The land was referred to as the "Field House Property" in the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees' Minutes, January 12, 1943, p.63 [available online at Explore UK]. The Whiting home was purchased for $1800 [p.64]. Pierre Whiting and his daughter Mary moved to 181 Colfax Street [source: Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory, 1943, p.343]. Charles, who was a chauffeur for Thomas B. Cromwell, lived with his wife Millie at 561 S. Upper Street [p.343]. Pierre Whiting retired from the University of Kentucky in 1945, he died April 7, 1949 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death Registrar's No. 344]. He lived to see the integration of the University of Kentucky in March of 1949. Pierre Whiting, Sr. is buried in African Cemetery #2. His son Charlie T. Whiting died in 1958 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Lexington, Charlie was a veteran of WWI [source: U.S. Headstone Applications for Military Veterans]. Prior to his death, Charlie T. Whiting was a clerk at O. S. Honaker, and he and his Millie lived at 741 Whitney Avenue [source: p.760 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory, 1958]. Pierre's daughter Mary Whiting was a cook at Donovan Hall Cafeteria on the University of Kentucky campus in 1958, and she had moved from the home on Colfax Street to 512 Lawrence Street [source: p.760 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory, 1958; and p.728 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory, 1960]. Mary Whiting retired from the University of Kentucky on June 1, 1971; she had been a cook at Donavan Hall for 15 years [source: University of Kentucky Board of Trustees' Minutes, May 4, 1971, p.20 - available online at Kentucky Digital Library]. Mary Whiting died in 1973 [source: U.S. Social Security Death Index]. For more see "The Life story of Dean Whiting is the history of an institution," Kentucky Kernel, 04/22/1949, p.5; and "Dean Pierre dies; served UK 57 years," The Kentucky Alumnus, p.19; [both articles available online at Explore UK]. For the earlier employment and resignation of Mary Whiting at the University of Kentucky, see the Board of Trustees' Minutes, April 6, 1954, p.50; and Board of Trustees' Minutes, June 1, 1954, p.97 [both available online at Kentucky Digital Library]. 


  See photo image of Pierre Whiting Sr. in Explore UK, University of Kentucky
Subjects: Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky, Other
Geographic Region: Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky


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