An Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
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:
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 http://arch.as.uky.edu/
Gerald L. Smith, Ph.D., Lexington, Chair
Samuel R. Coleman, Jr., Middlesboro
Angela Crenshaw, Lebanon
John A. Hardin, Ph.D., Bowling Green, Vice Chair
Howard E. Bailey, Bowling Green
Betty Baker-Wharton, Cadiz
David S. Benders, Ph.D., Shelbyville
Rodney Bennett, Frankfort
W. Maurice Brown, Frankfort
Jerry E. Cowherd, Greensburg
Rev. Richard B. Fowler, Wilder
Natalie Gibson, Lexington
Rev. Kilen K. Gray. Shelbyville
Carolyn Sundy, Lynch
Timothy W. Thomas, Madisonville
Alicestyne Turley, Richmond
Aaron Thompson, President, Kentucky State University President
Don Parkinson, Secretary, Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
Regina Stivers, Deputy Secretary, Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
Will Adams, General Counsel, Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
Craig Potts, Executive Director, Kentucky Heritage Council and State Historic Preservation Officer
BardstownSt. John AME Church CovingtonLincoln Grant SchoolDanvilleWillis Russell HouseDoram-Sledd HouseFrankfortGreenhill CemeteryKentucky State UniversityFranklinGeorge Mahin HouseGeorgetownGeorgetown College Underground Railroad Institute, GeorgetownJessamine CountyCamp NelsonLexingtonAfrican American Cemetery #2Cadentown Rosenwald SchoolCharles Young ParkSouth Hill Historic DistrictUttingertown Union Benevolent LodgeLouisvilleChickasaw and Cherokee ParksLynch Lynch Colored SchoolMarshall CountyCherokee State Resort Park MaysvilleNational Underground Railroad Museum, Bierbower House NewportSouthgate Street SchoolPaducahHotel MetropolitanPrincetonHalleck’s Chapel, School and CemeteryRussellvilleKnights of Pythias HallShelby CountyWhitney Young Birthplace and Boyhood HomeLincoln HallStanfordBarrow CemeteryWest PointRosenwald SchoolWinchesterOliver Street School
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Kentucky African American Encyclopedia
UGRR Research Institute
Kentucky Center for African American Studies
Gallery of Great Kentucky African-Americans
University of Louisville Theatre
Crime and Justice
Pan African Studies
Ann Braden Institute
University of Kentucky
African American Studies and Research Program
Notable Kentucky African Americans
Martin Luther King, Jr. Cultural Center
African American Studies Program
The African American experience at Harrods Creek from the late 19th century through today.
Lesson plans are for 4th, 5th, and 8th graders. The themes are history, geography, government and /or economics. Each lesson includes a grade-appropriate essay, and primary source material (interview excerpt, photo of artifact or building, copy of census record, newspaper article).