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

Green, Jim

(born: 1950) 

From Eminence, KY, Jim Green was the first African American athlete to graduate from the University of Kentucky. A state high school track champion in the 100, 220 and 440, he attended the university on a track scholarship from 1968-1971.

His freshman year Green won the 100-yard dash in 9.7 seconds in New Orleans during the Super Bowl meet and the 60-yard dash in Detroit during the NCAA indoor meet. Green had hoped to participate in the 1968 Olympics but suffered a hamstring injury. Two of the Olympic sprinters that year were Tommie Smith and John Carlos, African Americans who raised their fists while standing on the awards platform.

Jim Green would go on to have a successful track career at the University of Kentucky: two of his times that set records are still in the top 10 all-time at UK: the 60-meter dash, indoor; and the 100-meter dash, outdoor.

In 2007, Jim Green was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of fame. In 2019, The Jim Green Invitational track and field meet was named in his honorof. The meet is an annual indoor meet at the University of Kentucky.

For more see "Green's Sprinting Helped Pave Way," Lexington Herald-Leader, 2/20/98; M. Maloney, "Sprinter leads Mason-Dixon Hall's first class, Green's legacy began at games," Lexington Herald-Leader, 3/3/2005, Sports section, p. B8; Kathy Johnson, "Track Meet Honors Jim Green, First African-American Student-athlete to Graduate From UK," 1/10/2019, at the UKNow website; and listen to an interview with Green on 3/10/2005  and 4/3/2019 at the University of Kentucky Libraries' Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History website.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Henry County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Eminence, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Lexington herald-leader (newspaper)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Green, Jim,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 5, 2023,

Last modified: 2021-08-20 18:50:34