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

Scott, Joseph Walter

(born: May 7, 1935  -  died: January 14, 2024) 

Joseph W. Scott was born and raised in Hamtramck, MI, a Detroit enclave. He earned his undergraduate degree in sociology at Central Michigan University in 1957, then earned his master's and Ph.D. at Indiana University.

After serving two years in the U.S. Army, Dr. Scott became the first full-time African American faculty member at the University of Kentucky in the spring semester of 1965. Scott would begin the fall term as an assistant professor in the sociology department.

Scott had served as professor emeritus at the University of Washington, having earlier taught at four other U.S. higher education institutions  as well as in institutions in Nigeria and Argentina. He was the co-author of the title Little Ethiopia of the Pacific Northwest and author of The Black Revolts.

Joseph Walter Scott died in 2024 in Seattle Washington. He was the son of William F. and Bertha Colbert Scott.

For more see "Kentucky U. names Negro," New York Times, 4/9/1965, p. 16; resources about James W. Scott at the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center; "The First Black faculty members at the nation's 50 flagship state universities," The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, no. 39 (Spring 2003), pp. 118-126; "Notable Alumni: Joseph W. Scott '57" at the Central Michigan University website; Joseph Walter Scott in the South Bend Tribune, posted 02/06/2024 (online). Additional information provided by Valli Scott.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Scott, Joseph Walter,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 24, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-03-21 22:14:05