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

Mason, William

William Mason, Jr. was born in Eminence, KY, where Mason Avenue is named in his honor for his civic and civil rights activities in the city. He fought…

Elm Tree Lane and Kinkeadtown (Lexington, KY)

The west side of Elm Tree Lane was part of the Templeton subdivision in 1889. Around 1914, the east side of the street became Elm Tree Heights.…

Coleman, George

George Coleman was a famous jockey in the 1830s who rode in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and other locations. Born in Charleston, SC, Coleman…

Vinegar, Alexander Campbell "Peter"

Peter Vinegar is believed to have been born free in Midway, KY. He came to Lexington, KY after the Civil War and was made pastor of the Main Street…

McDonald, Earl

Earl McDonald, born October 2, 1885 in Louisville, KY, was a musician and founder of the Original Louisville Jug Band in 1902. The group was named the…

Greenwood Cemetery / Cove Haven Cemetery

Greenwood Cemetery and Realty Company 1907-1942 This second-oldest burial site in Lexington, KY was organized and managed by African Americans Edward…

Coleman, John A., Sr.

John A. Coleman, a community leader born in Centerville, KY, was the son of George and Ann Sharp Coleman. He was a builder, school teacher, and…

Kersands, William "Billy"

Billy Kersands was a blackface minstrel and vaudeville performer known for his comedy, dancing, singing, musical performances, and acrobatics. He was…

Grubbs, Albert, Sr.

Albert Grubbs, Sr. was born in Lexington, KY. He is referred to as one of the pioneers of Sacramento, having arrived in California in 1854, two years…

Vital Statistics: Emancipation, Medical Field, & Race Extinction

Following the Civil War, it was again predicted that the effects of emancipating the enslaved in the United States would result in the extinction of…