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

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…

Kentucky Black Deaf Advocates (KYBDA)

"The KYBDA was formed in June 7, 2003 as a "Pending Chapter." On August 6, 2005, the KYBDA became an affiliate chapter of the National Black Deaf…

Early Schools for Negro Deaf and Blind Children

In 1884, the Kentucky School for Negro Deaf was established in Danville, KY, as a division of the Kentucky Asylum for the Tuition of the Deaf and…

Brady, Bessie May

Bessie M. Brady (Thomas), born in Frankfort, KY, was an actress with the[Egbert "Bert" A.] Williams and [George] Walker Abyssinia Company in 1906. She…

Jackson, Earl, Jr.

Born in Paris, KY to Earl, Sr. andMargaret Elizabeth Cummins Jackson, Earl Jackson, Jr. was a microbiologist who retired in 1995 from Massachusetts…

Scearce, Simon

In 1904, Simon Scearce, a 15-year-old from Lexington, KY, was the first African American in Kentucky to be publicly whipped since before the Civil…

White, Thomas McKinley

Thomas McKinley White, from Henderson, KY, was chauffeur for the gangster Gerald Chapman. Chapman was hanged in 1926 for the 1924 murder of policeman…