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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Johnson, Emma White Jaja

Emma White, the daughter of former slaves, was born in Kentucky. An educated woman, she was one of the hundreds of African Americans who migrated to…

White, Lillian Nareen

Lillian Noreen White.jpg

Lillian Nareen White was an outstanding athlete in track and basketball at Georgetown High School [the school merged into Scott County High School in…

WACs Beaten in Elizabethtown, KY

In 1945, three African American members of the Women's Army Corps (WAC) were beaten by police officers for sitting in the waiting room for whites at…

African American WACs Born in Kentucky

This is a partial list of the African American women born in Kentucky who served in the WACs. The information comes from World War II Army Enlistment…

Williams, Henry

Henry Williams was a marshal with the police department in Paris, KY, one of the first African Americans with the police department in Paris. On…

John Little Mission (Louisville, KY)

The John Little Mission was one of the first community centers in the United States for African Americans. It was founded in 1897 when students at the…

Brown, Thelma Waide

Thelma Waide Brown was born in Ashland, KY. She toured as a concert and opera singer and was a music and voice instructor for more than 25 years in…

[Clarissa] Street vs. Ferry

In January 1853, Clarissa, a slave, was given her freedom by Judge J. Crenshaw of the Kentucky Court of Appeals; the decision was a new legal point of…

Combs, Richard "Tallow Dick"

Richard Combs, a barber,was from Beattyville, KY, born c. 1864. He was one of the ten men initially charged with complicity in the murder of William…

Ross, Gerald David

Born in Washington, KY, Gerald David Ross was appointed Aide to the Honorable Stanley F. Reed, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, holding…