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

Negro Hamlets (photography)

While working on a horse racing research project, photographer Sarah Hoskins learned of the Negro hamlets in the Bluegrass area of Kentucky. Beginning in 2001, she photographed the hamlets around Lexington.

The hamlets were developed after the Civil War and the emancipation of the Kentucky enslaved; a track of land was divided into lots that were sold or given to former slaves who were employed by the land owner. For some, the land owner was also the former slave owner.

By Hoskins's earlier count, there are 29 remaining hamlets. She had taken about 11,000 black and white photographs of the area and the people who lived in the hamlets. By 2010, Hoskins was at the end of the project.

For more about Hoskins' project see C. Gibson, "A very living past," American Legacy, 2005, vol. 11, issue 2, pp. 34-36, 40, 42; Photographer finds kinship with a Black homeplace at NPR, April 2010 [NPR Story audio]; and Peter Craig Smith, Negro Hamlets and Gentlemen Farms: a Dichotomous Rural Settlement Pattern in Kentucky's Bluegrass Region (thesis), 1972, available in the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: American legacy (periodical)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Negro Hamlets (photography),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 28, 2022,

Last modified: 2022-06-20 15:41:19