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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Dearing, Joseph Earl

J. Earl Dearing was the first African American to be appointed deputy clerk of the police court in Jefferson County, KY. He later won the primary for…

African American Schools in Carroll County, KY

When R. W. Bevarly was completing his master's thesis in 1936, he located articles about the colored schools of Carroll County in 1879 in the…

Lyles, Ruth Elizabeth

Pfc. Ruth E. Lyles was the first African American WAC who died in Kentucky during World War II. She had enlisted in Baltimore, MA on April 5, 1943 and…

Haggins, George Washington

George Washington Haggins was born November 4, 1878 in Lexington, KY [source: Ancestry. The Kentucky Birth Index has the wrong birth year]. He was the…

Walters, Arthur M.

Arthur M. Walters was born in Magnolia, KY. He was a social services administrator most recognized for his role as executive director of the…

Olden, Clarence E.

Clarence E. Olden, from Paducah, KY, was a trumpet player and band leader. He also played the saxophone. He left Kentucky for New York in the early…

Wilson, George Washington, Jr.

George Washington Wilson, Jr. was a professional boxer from Louisville, KY. He competed in the light heavyweight and middleweight divisions from…

Blewitt, Kenneth G., Jr.

Kenneth G. Blewitt, Jr. was thought to be the first African American in the U.S. to manage a major movie theater and live entertainment house.…

Fitzpatrick, Jackie Marcellus "Jack"

The 6'4" center, Jackie M. Fitzpatrick was a member of the 1953 Kentucky High School Athletic League (KHSAL) championship basketball team from Dunbar…