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

Dean, Dora [Dora Dean Babbige Johnson]

Dora Dean Babbige Johnson was born Dora Babbige in Covington, KY. She was known in vaudeville as "The Black Venus." She was married to Charles E.…

McKinney, William "Bill"

Drummer William B. McKinney was born and died in Cynthiana, KY. He served in the U.S. Army during World War I, then played with a circus band before…

Morton, Lena B.

Educator and a scholarLena Beatrice Morton was born in Flat Creek, KY, the daughter of Susie and William Morton. The family temporarily settled in…

Mason, Melvin T. "Mel"

Melvin T. Mason, a civil rights activist and educator, was born and raised in Providence, KY. His family moved to Seaside, CA, where Mason was an…

Semmes, LaVaughn "Bonnie" Taylor

LaVaughn Taylor Semmes was born in Carrollton, KY, the daughter of Paul B. and Lucille Jackson Taylor. She grew up in Lafayette, IN. In 2000 she was…

Malone, Beverley L.

Beverley L. Malone, born in Hardin County, KY, is a past and present chief executive officer of the National League of Nursing. Her prior employment…

Blanton, John W.

John W. Blanton, born in Louisville, KY, was the son of John O. and Carolyn Steward Blanton. A retired General Electric Aircraft Engines (GE Aviation)…

Woods, Mattiebelle

JournalistMattiebelle Woods was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Annabelle and Ira Woods. She grew up in Milwaukee, WI and married when she was…

Always there: the African-American presence in American quilts (book)

This book was written by C. Benberry (Kentucky Quilt Project), includes Kentucky quilters such as Fanny Catlett, who was born in 1859 in Birmingham,…