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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African American Schools in Boyle County, KY

Between 1866 and 1870, there were at least four colored schools in Boyle County that were supported by the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and…

Smith, Lucy Wilmot

Lucy Wilmot Smith was born in Lexington, KY, the daughter of Mrs. Margaret Smith. She began teaching in 1877 in Lexington and became a journalist in…

White, Peter

The following information about Peter White comes from several sources, including the newspaper article "Peter White says that he is aged 103: Native…

Polk, James Knox (former slave)

This entry was submitted by Yvonne Giles. Additional research and sources were provided by Brenda Jackson. James Knox Polk, according to his obituary,…

Air Force Historical Research Agency

The Air Force Historical Research Agency maintains a depository for United States Air Force historical documents. The documents collection was…

WACs Beaten in Elizabethtown, KY

In 1945, three African American members of the Women's Army Corps (WAC) were beaten by police officers for sitting in the waiting room for whites at…

Ariel/Hall (Camp Nelson, KY)

After the Civil War, the refugee camp at Camp Nelson became the community known as Ariel. The school, Ariel Academy, was founded in 1868 with initial…

The Kentucky Four

This dance group performed with Orpheus McAdoo's Minstrel and Vaudeville Company in the late 1890s when the company was located in Australia. Its…

Hayden, John Carleton

Born in Bowling Green, KY in 1933, John C. Hayden has been a clergyman, activist, educator, and historian. He is the son of Otis Roosevelt and Gladys…