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

Barker, Samuel Lorenzo

(born: 1878  -  died: 1971) 

According to Kentucky Birth Records, Professor S. L. Barker was born in Christian County, KY, the son of Ellin Sumers (?) and Bob Barker. [Tennessee is also given as his birth location in Census Records.]

Samuel Barker is best remembered as an education leader. In Owensboro, KY, he was a Dunbar School   teacher and principal; he became principal of Western High School in 1934. He was a long-time member and leader in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA), first serving as assistant secretary in 1916. He was the 2nd District organizer for the Association of Colored Teachers beginning in 1925. The KNEA reporter in 1928, he later serving on the Board of Directors 1930-1935 and as president of the board 1939-1940.

Barker chaired the Legislative Committee in 1933, ran unsuccessfully for president of the association in 1935 and 1937 and successfully in 1939, serving 1939-1941. He also served on the Kentucky governor's committee for higher education for Negroes in 1940. Professor Barker served on various KNEA committees until the Kentucky Education Association subsumed KNEA in 1956. In his political life, Barker served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention from Kentucky in 1952.

S. L. Barker was the husband of Callie Coleman Barker (b. 1878 in TN), a teacher and seamstress. They were the parents of nine children, one of whom was Roberta L. Barker Woodard, listed in The Black Women in the Middle West Project, by D. C. Hine, et al.

For more on Samuel L. Barker see the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, 1916-1952. For more on the Second District Association of Colored Teachers of Kentucky see "Colored Column" in The Bee, 12/05/1911, p. 2.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Christian County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Daviess County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Owensboro, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA)
NKAA Source: The Black women in the Middle West Project : a comprehensive resource guide, Illinois and Indiana : historical essays, oral histories, biographical profiles, and document collections
NKAA Source: The Bee (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Kentucky Negro educational association journal (periodical)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  African American Schools in Daviess County, KY

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Barker, Samuel Lorenzo,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 27, 2022,

Last modified: 2022-01-10 18:04:48