There are more notable African Americans with Kentucky roots and ties than any one person knows about. Very little has been written about many of them and it is a challenge to find what was written in the past. For some, their stories have only been told by word of mouth. The Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (NKAA) has been developed as a finding aid to bring together a brief description of pertinent names, places, and events, and to list the sources where additional information may be found. This is not currently an all inclusive database, but we are working toward that goal and suggestions are welcomed.

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Veney, Anderson

Anderson Veney was born in Kentucky. When he was a child, the Veney family members were slaves who eventually escaped from Kentucky to Canada, led by…

Former Kentucky Slaves form town near Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada

According to the Abolitionist, as early as 1817 a community of about 150 escaped slaves from Kentucky had made their home in Upper Canada. The former…

Taylor, Kimberly Hayes

Kimberly Hayes Taylor, born in Louisville, KY, is the daughter of Loraine S. and James E. Hayes. She is a 1984 communications graduate of Morehead…

"Petition of Colored People of [Owensboro] Kentucky"

In July 1867, Chief Agent A. W. Lawvill, of the Bureau Refugees, Freemen and Abandoned Lands, forwarded a petition to Congress from the Colored people…

Kavanaugh, Nelson

Nelson Kavanaugh was a freed slave from Richmond, KY, who made his way to Texas in 1837 and settled in Houston. He was one of the many barbers in the…

Adams, Cyrus Field

Cyrus Field AdamsBy Reinette F. Jones05/08/2016Cyrus F. Adams, born in Louisville, KY, was an author, a historian, a teacher, a newspaper man, a…

Coleman, Frederick Douglass, Jr.

Frederick Douglass Coleman, Jr. was one of the early African American surgeons in the U.S. Army. He was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Frederick…

Salsbury Free Negro Settlement (Muhlenberg County, KY)

The Salsbury Free Negro Settlement was a community located south of Greenville, KY. Thomas (d. 1848) and Rebecca Salsbury (d. 1860) had willed the…

Convention of Free Negroes of Kentucky

A convention of Free Negroes was organized in Philadelphia by James Forten in 1813. The National Convention of Free Negroes was called in 1830 by…

The African Repository and Colonial Journal (periodical)

Published by the American Colonization Society, the journal was first known as The African Repository and Colonial Journal. In 1850 the title changed…