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

Matthews, Steve

In 1963, the University of Kentucky Athletics Board announced that all sports were open to all, regardless of race, effective immediately. Seventy…

DuBois School (Mt. Sterling, KY)

In August of 1964, as African American parents were preparing to boycott the city schools to protest a change in the school integration plans, the…

Mountain Island (Owen County, KY)

Mountain Island was an early white settlement beginning in the late 1700s. At that time, the area was located in Scott County, KY [Owen County would…

Free Station (Owen County, KY)

Tom Frazier was the first slave to be freed in Owen County, in 1825. He had been owned by members of the Hardin family and Benjamin F. Hawkins. The…

Henryville (Nicholas County, KY)

Henryville has been referred to as a "Negro Settlement" and a "Shacky Village." The community probably existed prior to 1879 when Henryville and its…

Durham, John Stephens

John Stephens Durham, sometimes said to be from Kentucky, was actually born in Philadelphia, PA. He was the United States Minister to Haiti…

Meaux Settlement (Anderson County, KY)

Meaux Settlement was an African American community established in Anderson County by Jane Anderson Meaux. The community was established prior to her…

Kentucky Negro Bar Association, 1909

The Negro Bar Association of Kentucky was founded in August 1909 when several African American attorneys came together at the YMCA in Louisville, KY,…

Jackson, Edward C.

Edward C. Jackson, a slave, was born in Lexington, KY. In 1850 he married Matilda C. Blair who was free and who purchased his freedom. The couple…

Vena, Cyrus, Jr.

Cyrus Vena, Jr. was a carpenter, contractor, and builder who was also one of the first African American city council members in Xenia, OH; he served…