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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Johnson, Robert Maxwell

Robert M. Johnson was an African American expatriate who had been enslaved for 24 years in Lexington, KY, to Dorothea D. Christian and her husband the…

Juneteenth National Freedom Day in Kentucky

Juneteenth (June 19) is the celebration of the freedom of African American slaves. In Kentucky, Representative Reginald Meeks (D-Louisville) led the…

Connections with Renee Shaw (KET)

Renee Shaw is the host, co-producer, writer, and managing editor of "Connections with Renee Shaw." The intent of the program is to show the positive…

Sunday School Unions (Louisville, KY)

In the early 1850s, several of the African American churches in Louisville, KY joined together to form a singing school for children. The classes…

Barbers (Louisville, KY)

Mention of the following African American barbers in Louisville, KY, can be found in The History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of…

Crowders, Reuben [Ernest Hogan]

Born in Bowling Green, KY, in the Shake Rag District, Reuben Crowders became known as Ernest Hogan, comedian, actor, dancer, songwriter,and…

Caterers, Butchers, Confectioners, Ice Cream (Louisville, KY)

Author W. H. Gibson, Sr. lists the following as prominent African Americans in Louisville, KY in the late 19th century:[Caterers] George Brown, Daniel…

Carpenters (Louisville, KY)

In 1897, author W. H. Gibson, Sr. mentions the following African American carpenters in Louisville, KY: John Evans, Berry Evans, Jesse Merriwether,…

Mozart Society (Louisville, KY)

The Louisville Mozart Society, considered the first African American musical society in the city, was organized in 1852 and included German musicians.…

Berry, Isaac, Sr.

Isaac Berry, Sr. was a violin player who was born a slave in Garrard County, KY. He had been willed to one of his owner's daughters. The daughter…