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

Howard, James L.

(born: November 7, 1942  -  died: January 19, 2011) 

James L. Howard was born in Sturgis, KY. When he was 13 years old, he and other students attempted to integrate the all-white Sturgis High School, which was only blocks from his home. African American students were being bussed 11 miles away to Dunbar, an African American school in Morganfield, KY. The student's campaign was picked up by the international media when protesters blocked the streets, burned a cross, and harassed Blacks in the community. The following year a judicial order forced the school to integrate.

James L. Howard was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. After his military career, he settled in Oklahoma where he was the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission in Oklahoma City.

For more view the James Howard interview in the Kentucky Historical Society, Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky, Oral History Project; and number 109 James Howard biography and video at KET Living the Story. See the James Howard obituary (2011) at

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Union County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Sturgis, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Morganfield, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Howard, James L.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 27, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-08-05 15:59:13