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

Anthony, Lillian D.

(born: 1925  -  died: 2014) 

Lillian D. Anthony passed away June 26, 2014 in Louisville, KY.  Prior to her death, it was within her home in Louisville, KY, that she founded the first African American Heritage House. She was a collector of antiques and African art. The museum was only one of her many, many accomplishments, most of which took place outside of Kentucky. Just to name a few, in 1967, she was the first Civil Rights Director in Minneapolis, MN and left the position after two years to become the first regular faculty member of the newly established Afro-Americans Study Department at the University of Minnesota [sources: D. Hoium, "‘Tired of being angry, hostile,’ Lillian Anthony accepts post in Afro- American Studies" at the Minnesota Daily (online), 08/21/1969; and C. Hallman, "Remembering Lillian [misprinted Anderson] Anthony, Minneapolis' first civil rights director," MSR News Online, 08/03/2015]. She later founded an African American Studies program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Lillian D. Anthony also taught in Egypt, she lived and carried out research in Ghana, and traveled in several other African countries. She was ordained in 1993 at the Central Presbyterian Church in Louisville, KY, and was the Associate for Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action in the Human Resources Department in the Presbyterian Church national office in Louisville. She also received a number of awards and recognitions such as the Academic Merit Award from the Association of Black Women in Higher Education, and in 1995, President Bill Clinton appointed her to the President's Disability Task Force. Prior to this, she had been the recipient of a $200,000 grant in 1983, it was funding for the national journal AWARE that focused on Black women's issues; one of Lillian D. Anthony's projects. She was a graduate of Lincoln University (Missouri); she was the first African American woman to earn a Masters of Religious Education at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary; and she was awarded a Ford Foundation Grant that was used to earn her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts in 1976. Lillian D. Anthony was born in Indiana to Lamella and Joe Anthony, both of whom were from Mississippi.  For more see Rev. Dr. Lillian Anthony in the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper, 07/26/2014; The Rev. Dr. Lillian D. Anthony, my friend (online) by Marceline Donaldson, president of Bettina Network Foundation, Inc.; and A Service to Witness to the Resurrection and Celebration of the Life of The Reverend Dr. Lillian D. Anthony, the memorial service obituary (booklet), General Presbyterian Church, Louisville, KY, 07/11/2014. This entry was suggested by Elmer L. Allen, who also provided a copy of the memorial service obituary (booklet). 

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Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Aware: the research journal for African-American women (periodical)
NKAA Source: Courier-Journal [Louisville] (newspaper)
NKAA Entry: Allen, Elmer Lucille

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“Anthony, Lillian D.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 20, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-09-14 21:36:44