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

Cross, Dorothy Mae

(born: 1943  -  died: 1996) 

Dorothy Cross was the first African American hired by the Kentucky Education Association in Frankfort, KY. The education associations in Kentucky were segregated until May 1956 when the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA) was subsumed by the Kentucky Education Association (KEA).

The KNEA Conference and meetings had been held in Louisville, KY. All of that ended in 1956 when the organization name itself was subsumed;  the officers and members, as well as the structure, procedures, conferences, and literature, were not included in the transfer.

About a decade after KNEA was dissolved (1956-1965), the first African American hired by KEA was Dorothy Cross, who at the time was a 22-year-old senior at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. An education major, Cross was to serve as the editorial assistant and c editor of the KEA Journal.

Cross, from Hopkinsville, KY, was a graduate of Attucks High School. As a college student she was a member of the student council, Alpha Kappa Mu Honorary Society, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She was to start her new job the day after she graduated from Kentucky State College. In 1974, Dorothy Cross was still editor of the Kentucky School Journal (formerly the KEA Journal) [source: Gebbie House Magazine Directory, 1974].

Dorothy Mae Cross Winston died in 1996. Born in Todd County, KY, she was the daughter of Mae Meriwether and John W. Cross [Source: Ancestry]. The family later lived in Hopkinsville. Dorothy was  the wife of LeRoy Winston; the couple lived in Louisville.

For more see "Kentucky Education Assn. hires first Negro," Jet, vol. 28, issue 6 (5/20/1965), p. 14; "Kentucky group hires 1st Negro," Washington Post Times Herald, 5/06/1965, p. A2.; "Cross-Winston" in the Courier-Journal, 5/16/1972, p. 19; and Dorothy Louise Winston at

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Franklin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Christian County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Todd County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Frankfort, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Hopkinsville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Cross, Dorothy Mae,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 20, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-05-10 17:02:39