From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

African Cemetery No. 2 (Lexington, KY)

African Cemetery #2 has been located at 419 E. 7th Street in Lexington since 1869 when, according to The Kentucky Leader (2/3/1892), the Union Benevolent Society No. 2 formed "to take care of the sick, bury the dead and perform other deeds of charity."

The organization purchased four acres in November 1869; the charter from the Legislature permitted the operation of a cemetery in 1870. In 1875 another four acres were purchased. The official name of the cemetery became Benevolent Society No. 2 of Lexington, KY.

Well over 6,000 men, women, and children are interred in the cemetery, with 100 having been identified as U.S. Colored Troops of the Civil War.

The information in this entry comes from African American Cemetery No. 2, a flier published by African Cemetery No. 2, Inc. (Feb. 2005). Board member Yvonne Giles has researched the history of the cemetery, which she presents in Stilled Voices Yet Speak, published in 2009.

There is also a film about the cemetery: Eight Acres of History: Lexington's African Cemetery No. 2, produced by the Lexington Public Library's Cable Channel 20.

For more information about the cemetery, Juneteenth celebrations, and other events, see African Cemetery No. 2 or contact the African Cemetery No. 2, Inc., P. O. Box 54874, Lexington, KY 40555.

See also S. Lannen, "Reliving Slavery," Lexington Herald Leader, 6/19/2005, City&Region section, p.  B1; M. Riegert and A. Turkington, "Setting stone decay in a cultural context: conservation at the African Cemetery No. 2, Lexington, Kentucky, USA," Building and Environment, vol. 38, issues 9-10 (September-October 2003), pp. 1105-1111; "Recognizing Buried History in African Cemetery #2" at the International Museum of the Horse website; the video Lexington History Untold: African Cemetery No. 2, from Lex TV on YouTube; African Cemetery No. 2 | Unforgettable | Kentucky,  March 25, 2020, at the Kentucky New Era website (includes video); Janie Rice Brother, "Juneteenth at African Cemetery No. 2, Lexington, Kentucky," June 19, 2020, at the Gardens to Gables website; and "African Cemetery No. 2: Lexington, Kentucky" at the University of Kentucky website.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky leader (newspaper)
NKAA Entry: Giles, Yvonne Y.
NKAA Source: Stilled voices yet speak: a history of African American cemeteries in Lexington and Fayette County, Kentucky
NKAA Source: Eight acres of history: African Cemetery No. 2
NKAA Source: Lexington herald-leader (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Building and environment (periodical)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“African Cemetery No. 2 (Lexington, KY),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 22, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-06-16 18:10:24