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

Allen, Elmer Lucille

(born: 1931) 

Mrs. Elmer Lucille Allen was born in Louisville, KY. She is a 1953 chemistry graduate of Nazareth College [now Spalding University]; in 1966 she became the first African American chemist at the Brown-Forman Company in Louisville, one of three women employed at the company where she held the title of senior analytical chemist. She retired from the company in 1997 and returned to college to earn a MA in creative arts in ceramics from the University of Louisville in 2002.

Allen's art work has been displayed at various galleries in Louisville, Indiana, Kansas, and many other locations. She was the first recipient of the Community Arts Lifetime Local Achievement Award in 2004, the same year she was also recognized as a Woman of Distinction. In 2007 she was one of the "Women of Spunk" honorees.

Allen is also actively involved as a community volunteer with organizations such as the Louisville Western Branch Library Support Group, Inc.

For more see J. Egerton, "Actors Theatre will honor Women of Spunk," The Courier-Journal, 12/02/2007, Arts & Travel section, p. 1I; "Black Achievements in the Arts Recognized by Governor's Awards," a press release on 1/31/2005l and Shanklin, Sherlene M., "Brown Forman's first Black chemist Elmer Lucille Allen adds more than math to Louisville's history," 2/03/2021, on the website.

Kentucky County & Region

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Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Courier-Journal [Louisville] (newspaper)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Allen, Elmer Lucille,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 12, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-02-12 18:30:12