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

Porterfield, Rosella F.

(born: 1919  -  died: 2004) 

Rosella F. Porterfield, born in Daviess County, KY, was a teacher and the first African American librarian in the Elsmere-Erlanger School System in northern Kentucky. She retired from the Elsmere-Erlanger System.

The Elsmere Park Board rededicated the Rosella French Porterfield Park in 2002. She is referred to as the Rosa Parks of Northern Kentucky. In 1955, while head teacher at the African American School--Wilkins Heights, Porterfield approached the Elsmere superintendent and said that it was time to integrate the schools. The request was taken to the school board and approved.

Porterfield was a 1940 graduate of Kentucky Normal and Industrial School [now Kentucky State University]. In 2007, Rosella French Porterfield was inducted into the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Hall of Fame.

For more see "Civil-rights pioneer Porterfield honored," The Cinnati Enquirer, 7/25/2002; and C. Meyhew, "Rosella Porterfield, 85, helped integrate schools," The Cincinnati Enquirer, 11/10/2004, Metro section, p. 4C.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Daviess County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Kenton County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Elsmere, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Erlanger, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Cincinnati enquirer (newspaper)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: African American Schools in Kenton County, KY

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Porterfield, Rosella F.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 27, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-03-28 17:09:42