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Kentucky African American Heritage Commission


​​​​​​​The mission of the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission (KAAHC) is to identify and promote awareness of significant African American influences on the history and culture of Kentucky and to support and encourage the preservation of Kentucky African American heritage and historic sites. The commission has 19 members appointed by the Governor and includes representatives from the state’s major universities, state agencies, community preservation organizations and interested citizens. The commission is administratively attached to the Kentucky Heritage  Council, with the council providing staff assistance and program oversight.

Some of the commission’s ongoing programs include educational forums and a Rosenwald School survey and inventory project.

KAAHC was formally established February 10, 1994 by Executive Order 94-145a to “promote awareness of significant African-American influences within the historical and cultural experiences of Kentucky” (enabling legislation KRS. 171.800).

African American history in Kentucky has roots in the Commonwealth’s earliest history, as African Americans accompanied and assisted Daniel Boone on his arrival to the new frontier in 1769. Later, as a border state during the Civil War, Kentucky’s unique condition did not lessen the cruelty and pain of slavery. However through hard work, strength and perseverance, African Americans prevailed, and today these experiences have left a lasting legacy of places that Kentuckians take pride in preserving.

The Kentucky Heritage Council and Kentucky African American Heritage Commission are dedicated to preserving buildings and places important to the history of African Americans. Kentucky has an array of sites that tell the story of slavery, the Underground Railroad, Civil War, education and civil rights, and a historically Black college is leading research efforts. Many architecturally significant buildings and museums preserve and promote local African American heritage. KHC has also worked in partnership with organizations across the state to identify remaining Rosenwald Schools in an effort to preserve and rehabilitate them.

Information for educators:

*NEW* "Teaching Black History and Culture: A Guide for Educators," An Initiative of The Thomas D. Clark Foundation

Davis Bottom History Preservation Project website​

View the hour-long documentary "Davis Bottom: Rare History, Valuable Lives" online

View lesson sets: Teaching Through Documentary Art: Lessons for Elementary and Middle School Social Studies Teachers or visit 

Commission Members

Arts Community

Angela Crenshaw, Lebanon, Chair

Institutions of Higher Education

Samuel R. Coleman, Jr., Middlesboro
Tyler D. Fleming, Louisville
Ronald Moore, Frankfort

Preservation Community

Betty Dobson, Paducah

Public at Large

Betty Baker-Clayton, Cadiz
Richard Fowler, Wilder
Natalie Gibson, Lexington
Charisse Gillett, Versailles
Kilen K. Gray, Shelbyville
Walter Malone, Prospect
Karen E. Morehead, Smithfield
Lacy L. Rice, Jr., Radcliff
Wayne B. Tuckson, Louisville, Vice Chair
Alicestyne Turley, Clay City
Diana W. Woods, Lexington
Mary C. Woolridge, Louisville

Ex Officio by Position

Ronald Johnson​, President, Kentucky State University
Mike Berry, Secretary, Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
Craig Potts, Executive Director, Kentucky Heritage Council and State Historic Preservation Officer

Next Regularly Scheduled Meeting

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission will take place at 1 p.m. ED​T Friday, Nov. 4 via Zoom. The meeting is open to the public and ​an agenda is available. The meeting may be accessed at:

  Passcode: 136585