There are more notable African Americans with Kentucky roots and ties than any one person knows about. Very little has been written about many of them and it is a challenge to find what was written in the past. For some, their stories have only been told by word of mouth. The Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (NKAA) has been developed as a finding aid to bring together a brief description of pertinent names, places, and events, and to list the sources where additional information may be found. This is not currently an all inclusive database, but we are working toward that goal and suggestions are welcomed.

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Mason, Melvin T. "Mel"

Melvin T. Mason, a civil rights activist and an educator, was born and raised in Providence, KY. His family moved to Seaside, CA, where Mason was an…

Semmes, LaVaughn "Bonnie" Taylor

LaVaughn Taylor Semmes was born in Carrollton, KY, the daughter of Paul B. and Lucille Jackson Taylor. She grew up in Lafayette, IN. In 2000 she was…

Malone, Beverley L.

Beverley L. Malone was born in Hardin County, KY. She is a past and the present chief executive officer of the National League of Nursing. Her prior…

Blanton, John W.

John W. Blanton, born in Louisville, KY, was the son of John O. and Carolyn Steward Blanton. He was a retired General Electric Aircraft Engines…

Woods, Mattiebelle

Mattiebelle Woods, a journalist, was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Annabelle and Ira Woods. She grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and married…

Laurel County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870

Laurel County, located in southeastern Kentucky, was established in 1825 from portions of Clay, Knox, Rockcastle, and Whitley Counties, and is…

Kentucky Colored People's Convention

In March of 1866 a group of African American men formed the Kentucky Colored People's Convention that gently asked for education and the opportunity…

Chivis, John C.

This entry was submitted by DeShana Collett, who also provided the newspaper sources cited in this entry.John Chivis was a farmer, jockey,…

1125 W. Chestnut Street, Louisville, KY

The address 1125 W. Chestnut Street in Louisville, KY is most noted for being the location of the city's first colored library. The location was also…

Anderson, Heidi M.

In 2013, Dr. Heidi M. Anderson left the University of Kentucky when she was named the first African American female pharmacist to be appointed Provost…