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

Lewis, Ernestine

Mr. Ernestine Lewis was elected to the Bloomfield, KY, City Council in 1977. The ticket included Freddie Skinner. It was the first time the city…

Lincoln Independent Party (LIP)

The Lincoln Independent Party was formed in 1921 by a group of young African American male leaders in Louisville, KY. The aim was to influence support…

Pryor, Margaret

Margaret Pryor was the richest African American woman in Kentucky as a result of the fortune she inherited from her former owner, horse breeder Major…

Ishmaelites of Kentucky

There are at least two differrent accounts concerning the existence of the the Tribe of Ishmael.According toearlier sources, between 1785 and 1790 an…

Brown (Byrd), Calvin

Calvin Brown is listed in the National Archives as Calvin Byrd*; he changed his name after the Civil War. A slave, he ran away from his owner in…

Isaac Scott Hathaway Museum

The Isaa Scott Hathaway Museum, reestablished in 2017 as part of the Robert H. Williams Cultural Center, was originally "dedicated to establishing a…

Bell, Robert F.

Robert F. Bell (or R. F. Bell) was the first African American police officer in Lexington, KY, joining the force in 1918. Locals referred to him as…

Perkins, James (policeman)

James Perkins, born in Woodford County, KY,was the son of Bertie and Willie Perkins, Sr. He was a graduate of old Dunbar High School in Lexington, KY…

First African American Police Women in Lexington, KY

Garr.jpg

Susan Layton Tabb wasthe first African American woman to join the Lexington (KY) Police Department; she was a matronas early as1925[source: R. L. Polk…

Mason, Luther Roscoe

Born in Scott County, KY, Luther R. Mason was the first African American elected to the Scott County Board of Education, in 1976. He was re-elected in…