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.

Recently Updated/Added

Wright, James L. "Jimmy"

James L. Wright was born in Logan County, KY, the son of James L. Wright Sr. and Mary McCutcher Wright. James Jr.'s union work began at a Kentucky…

Butler, William F.

Rev. William F. Butler was a civil rights activist and fought for the rights of African Americans through the church and equal rights organizations…

Claysville and Other Neighborhoods (Paris, KY)

Claysville was established by African Americans at the end of the Civil War on what was then the outskirts of Paris, KY. The community was located on…

Taylor County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870

Taylor County, located in south-central Kentucky, was formed in 1848 from a portion of Green County and is named for U.S. President Zachary Taylor. It…

First Name "Kentucky"

Many things have been given the name "Kentucky": ships, trains, dams, plantations, businesses, communities, literary characters, gambling wheels, and…

African American Cheerleaders and School Integration in Kentucky

KState Cheerleaders.pdf

There has not been a written history about the African American cheerleaders at Kentucky's segregated high schools and colleges, and their continued…

Magowan Brothers and the Reporter (Mt. Sterling, KY)

The Reporter Newspaper The Reporter newspaper was published in Mt. Sterling, KY by the brothers John D. and Noah W. Magowan. The Reporterwas the…

Cowan, Alfred C.

Alfred C. Cowan was a renowned lawyer in New York. He was born in 1863 in Monticello, KY, the son of Henrietta Moddell and Alfred Cowan, who may have…

African American Schools in Taylor County, KY

As early as 1880 there was a colored school, theCampbellsville school, in Taylor County, KY; the teacher was Robert Hubbard [source: U.S. Federal…