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

Hackett, Wilbur, Jr.

Wilbur Hackett, Jr. is a 1999 Hall of Fame inductee at Manual High School in Louisville, KY, where he was a linebacker and running back on defense. He…

African American Boxers in Kentucky, Photographs

Within the John C. Wyatt Lexington Herald-Leader Collection are photographs of many competitive African American boxers who participated in the…

The Ladies (of color)

The Ladies (of color), in Frankfort, KY, are thought to have been free African American women. In 1847 the group held a fair for "benevolent purposes"…

Young, Hortense Houston

Hortense H. Young was the first African American woman admitted to the University of Louisville Law School, which she attended from 1951-1953 before…

Peterson, Roy Phillip

Born in Alexandria, LA, Roy P. Peterson lived in Lexington, KY. He was the Deputy Executive Director for Academic Affairs at the Kentucky Council on…

Hutchinson, Jerome, Sr.

Born in Louisville, KY, Reverend Jerome Hutchinson, Sr. was the first African American to chair the Louisville-Jefferson County Planning Commission in…

Rhodes, Bessie M.

Born in Hodgenville, KY, Bessie M. Rhodes was an assistant professor at Northwestern University and later a school teacher and principal in Chicago,…

Hardin, Boniface

Born in Louisville, KY, Boniface Hardin grew up in Bardstown, KY, and Indianapolis, IN. He became a Benedictine monk in 1953. Hardin established…

Turpin, Melvin Harrison

Melvin H. Turpin, born in Lexington, KY, was a 6'11" high school All-State basketball center who played at Bryan Station High School in Lexington.…

Black Owned Businesses in Kentucky

An August 2006 publication compiled by the Office of Research and InformationTechnology General Research Branch at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic…