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

Gibbs, Clinton

Clinton Gibbs was one of the musical leaders in Cincinnati, OH, who prepared the chorus each year for the June Festival for Negro Music [The Enquirer,…

Carpenter, Eliza

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Known as Aunt Eliza, the only Colored race horse owner in Oklahoma, her real name was Eliza Carpenter. She had been a slave born in Virginia and sold…

James, Andrea M.

Andrea M. James, born in Lexington, KY, was the first African American woman elected to the Lexington City Council. She served two two-year terms,…

McCoo, Edward Jordan (the first)

Edward Jordan McCoo, who was a minister at the AME Church in Newport, KY, is recognized for writing, publishing, and producing the play Ethiopia at…

Rudder, John Earl, Jr.[John Rudder and Doris Rudder v United States of America]

John Earl Rudder, Jr., born in Paducah, KY to John Sr. and Beatrice Copeland Rudder, was the first African American to receive a regular commission in…

Holland, Tommie Beatrice Laine

Tommie Beatrice Laine Holland, born in Madison County, KY to Florence and Henry Allen Laine and raised in Cleveland, OH, was the first African…

Coleman, Louis, Jr.

Reverend Louis Coleman, Jr., from Louisville, KY, was one of Kentucky's most recognized civil rights activist and an outspoken advocate. He was…

Tucker, Hagar

Hagar Tucker, from Kentucky, was the first African American police officer in Fort Worth, TX. The police department had been formed in 1873. More than…

Moulton, Elvina

Elvina Moulton, also known as Aunt Viney, was a former slave born in Kentucky. She is thought to have been the first African American woman in Boise,…