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

Hooper, Ernest Jackson [Oliver School (Winchester, KY)]

(born: 1900  -  died: 1983) 

Ernest J. Hooper was a teacher and the sports coach for boys at Oliver School in Winchester, KY. Oliver School, in operation from 1892-1956, was a segregated school for African American children. It became a four-year high school in 1928.

During Hooper's brief tenure at the school, he established the beginning of champion sports teams for boys; under his direction, the teams were the 1923 Blue Grass League champions in football and the 1923-24 Blue Grass League champions in basketball. Photos of the boys' 1923 football team, the boys' 1922 basketball team, and the girls' 1922 basketball team are available at the University of Kentucky Audio-Visual Archives, which also includes a typed list of the football and basketball players' names and their positions on the teams. The pictures, along with many others of later sports teams, can be found in Louis Stout's BOOK Shadows of the Past, which also includes the names of the members of the Blue Grass Coaches Association on p. 6.

E. J. Hooper, from Philadelphia, PA, was the son of Louisa Hooper [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census] and the grandson of Georgianna Jackson, according to the World War I registration card completed when Hooper was 18 years old. By 1923, Hooper was a teacher in Winchester, and during the Business Session of the KNEA Conference he gave the address "The Educational Content of an Industrial Subject" [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 18-21, 1923, p. 11]. In the same issue of the publication, on p. 62, Hooper's home address is given as 127 W. Broadway Street in Winchester. In 1925, Hooper was mentioned in the KNEA Journal [April 22-25, p. 16] as the chair of the Manual Training Section. Also in 1925, the Oliver School basketball team was again champion of the Blue Grass League, when James Nance was the coach.

Ernest J. Hooper left Kentucky and in 1928 was a shop teacher at Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, IN [source: Industrial-arts Magazine, vol. 17 (1928), p. 149]. By 1930, Hooper was married and teaching in Peoria [source: U.S. Federal Census]. He was a graduate of Bradley Polytechnic Institute in Illinois [source: Crisis, August 1930, p. 264]. [Bradley Polytechnic Institute would become Bradley University.] Hooper died in October 1983 in Cincinnati, OH [source: Social Security Death Index]. See a photograph of Coach Hooper and the 1923 football team in the UK African American Primary Resources in Special Collections guide.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Clark County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Winchester, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Hooper, Ernest Jackson [Oliver School (Winchester, KY)],” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 21, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-09-14 17:10:49