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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Bradberry, Henrietta Mahim

Henrietta Mahim Bradberry was born in Franklin, KY, and lived in Chicago, IL. She was a housewife who held two patents. The first, received in 1943,…

White, Churchill

Churchill White was living in Talmage, KY, when he invented the hemp brake machine (patent #1358907, November 16, 1920). He is listed in the 1920 U.S.…

Robinson, William H.

William H. Robinson from Paris, KY invented the Robinson Mechanical Book, a crank-operated dictionary that spelled and defined words. William and his…

Duncan, George

George Duncan's birth place has been given as Lynchburg, VA, and Louisville, KY. He was an entertainer who partnered with Billy Brooks from…

Davis, Ellen

Ellen Davis was the daughter of John Davis, an Irishman. [John J. Cummins is listed as her father on her death certificate.] From Fayette County, KY,…

Thornton, Jerry Sue Owens

Jerry Sue Owens Thornton, born in Earlington, KY, is an educator. Her career began in 1970 as a grade-school teacher; she has since taught high school…

Compton, John Glover

John Glover Compton, born in Harrodsburg, KY, was a noted ragtime jazz pianist and entertainer. He was the husband and, for a time, musical partner of…

Gomez, Hazel E. J. Thompson

The following information comes from In Darkness With God, by A. L. Gomez-Jefferson; and U.S. Census Records. The author's mother, Hazel Gomez (1891-…

African American Revolutionary War Soldiers, Kentucky

There were Black men who served during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783). After the war, some settled in Kentucky. The exact number is not…