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

Shake Rag (Bowling Green, KY)

The Shake Rag District of Bowling Green, KY was an African American community with families, schools, businesses, and churches. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The community was settled by former enslaved people, families, and soldiers who had fought for the Union Army during the U.S. Civil War. A large portion of Bowling Green's domestic employees lived in Shake Rag. The Southern Queen Hotel and Covington-Moses home located in Shake Rag at 140 State Street; the Southern Queen Hotel is still the only African American-owned hotel in Bowling Green. Built in 1906 by James Covington, his family members still lived in the home into the the 21st century. Bowling Green purchased the property from the remaining members of the Moses family in 2023 and began restoration work on the building.

Prior to school integration, State Street High School was where African American students in Bowling Green attended school.

In 2008 the 5th Annual Shake Rag Heritage Festival was held by the New Era Planning Association, an organization working to revitalize the Shake Rag District.

For more see ShakeRag: a pictorial history from 1946 to 1967, by D. Thompson and K. R. Singleton; ShakeRag Historic District at; and the following articles from the Daily News (Bowling Green): J. Dooley, "Visitors' bureau highlights Shakerag area," 10/08/2002, News section; Alyssa Harvey, "Shake Rag group hosting heritage festival," 5/30/2003; A. Carmichael, "Shake Rag looks toward resurgence," 8/17/2003, News section; A. Harvey, "Shake Rag's festival returns - fifth annual event pays tribute to BG's historic black area," 5/15/2008, Feature section; and B. Speakman, "Celebrating Shake Rag," 5/17/2008, (
See also William Battle, "City of Bowling Green preserves Southern Queen Hotel," 7/18/2023, WBKO News.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Warren County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Bowling Green, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Shake Rag (Bowling Green, KY),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 23, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-07-24 17:16:03