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

Hughes, Brenda Lee Garner

(born: 1947  -  died: 1986) 
This entry was written and submitted by Dr. Sallie Powell, University of Kentucky.

Brenda Lee Garner Hughes was the first African American woman to officiate the Kentucky High School Athletic Association's "Sweet Sixteen" Girls' State Basketball Tournament. Born in Lexington, Kentucky, she was the only daughter of Mathew and Alice Garner. She graduated from Dunbar High School. As a divorced mother of Monique and Lucy Lee, Brenda worked for the U. S. Post Office and as a seasonal employee for the Lexington Division of Parks and Recreation where she learned to officiate basketball. She became the first woman to officiate the Lexington Senior Dirt Bowl basketball tournament. In 1995, she was posthumously inducted into the Dawahares Kentucky High School Athletic Association Sports Hall of Fame.

For more see:

Powell, Sallie L., "'It Is Hard To Be What You Have Had Seen': Brenda Hughes and The Black and White of the Zebra Shirt—Race and Gender in Kentucky High School Basketball," Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Special Edition, Volume 109, No. 3 & 4, Summer and Autumn 2011, pp. 433-465.

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NKAA Source: The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society (periodical)

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“Hughes, Brenda Lee Garner,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed March 4, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-09-29 21:28:34