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.

Recently Updated/Added

Givens, Mrs. Fanny Rosalind Hicks, and James Edward Givens

Mrs. Fanny R. Hicks Givens was an artist, songwriter, educator, and police matron. She was born in 1872 in Chicago, IL; her parents were Kentucky…

Gillet, Charisse L.

Charisse L. Gillet became the 17th president of Lexington Theological Seminary (LTS) in September 2011-the first woman and African American in the…

Foree, Jack C.

Jack C. Foree was born in New Castle, KY, the son of Etta and Jesse Foree. He attended a segregated, two-room grade school in New Castle and received…

Cosby, Kevin Wayne

Born in Louisville, KY, Kevin W. Cosby is the son of the late Clora E. and Laken Cosby, Jr. Since 1979, Rev. Kevin W. Cosby has served as senior…

Clement, Rufus E.

Rufus E. Clement was born in Salisbury, NC; his family moved to Louisville, KY, when he was a small child. Clement would become the first dean of the…

Butts, William A.

William A. Butts served as president of Kentucky State University, 1975-1982. He favored the Council on HigherEducation's plan to keep Kentucky State…

Burse, Raymond M.

Raymond Malcolm Burse was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the youngest of the twelve children of Joe and Lena Belle Burse. He was captain of his high school…

Burse, Luther, Sr.

Luther Burse, Sr. was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Ernestine Merriweather Perry and the stepson of Monroe Perry. He is a 1958 graduate of…

Buchanan, Walter S.

Walter S. Buchanan was hired as president of Kentucky State University (K-State) in 1912, but he never arrived at the school; Green P. Russell was…

Bond, James Arthur, Sr.

In 1929, James A. Bond was the interim president of the Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute [now Kentucky State University]. Bond had been a dean…