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

Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA)

The organization was formed when State Superintendent of Public Instruction, H. A. Henderson, gathered 45 Negro educators and trustees in 1877 to form…

Smith, Morgan and Marvin

Born in Nicholasville, KY, the identical twins were the sons of sharecroppers Allena Hutchinson Smith and Charles Smith. The Smith twins were…

Jackson County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880

Jackson County, located in southeastern Kentucky, was established in 1858 from portions of Clay, Estill, Larue, Madison, Owsley, and Rockcastle…

Edrington, Gustavus V.

Gustavus V. Edrington was an escaped slave from Kentucky. When his owner attempted to take him back to Kentucky, the Brookville, IN, community came to…

Stitch, Rudell

Rudell Stitch, a welterweight boxer from Louisville, KY, is one of a few persons to receive two Carnegie Hero Fund Medals. Stitch received the first…

Jefferson County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870

Jefferson County was established in 1780, one of the three original counties created when Kentucky County was subdivided by the Virginia General…

Jessamine County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870

Jessamine County, named for the jasmine (jessamine) flower and Jessamine Creek, was established in 1798 from a portion of Fayette County. Located in…

Combs, George Robert

In 1920, Republican George R. Combs was thought to be the first African American councilman in Nicholasville, KY, when he was elected to represent the…

Wheeler, John Leonidas

John L. Wheeler left teaching to become a leader within the North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company, the largest African American owned business in…