From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Gibbons, Harriet

(born: 1924  -  died: 1992) 

Harriet Gibbons was born in Louisville, KY. A graduate of Kentucky State University and the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, she taught black history at Albany High School and in 1974 was named principal of the alternative high school, Street Academy, both in Albany, NY. After her death in 1992, the Street Academy was renamed Harriet Gibbons High School. (The school closed in 2010; see the Street Academy - Harriet Gibbons High School - School History site.)

Gibbons was selected to fill a vacancy on the city school board and in 1979 became the first African American woman elected to the post, remaining on the board for ten years. Also in 1979, Gibbons was named director of the Office of Equal Opportunity for the city of Albany, staying with the job till 1985.

She next became director of the Affirmative Action Office at the New York Department of Health, retiring from the position in 1989. She had also been a caseworker with the Albany County Department of Social Services and was the first African American woman to head a city agency, the Albany (NY) YWCA.  

In 2012, Harriet Gibbons was posthumously inducted into the Albany City School District Hall of Fame. The Harriet Gibbons Student Services Center in the the Albany City School District is named in her honor.

For more see R. Wexler, "Harriet Gibbons, 68, Former Director of Albany Agency," The Times Union, 4/21/1992, Local section, p. B7.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Times union (newspaper)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Gibbons, Harriet,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed March 23, 2023,

Last modified: 2021-08-04 19:20:06