The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia Black Life and Culture in the Commonwealth text as a link to the KAAE homepage.


To support the Encyclopedia, please email us at and someone will contact you. Your gift is tax deductible. The Thomas D. Clark Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) entity.

Please send all contributions to: Kentucky African American Encyclopedia Project
c/o The Thomas Clark Foundation
The University Press of Kentucky
663 South Limestone Street
Lexington, Kentucky 40508-4008


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Did You Know?

Eugenia "Jean" Murrell Capers, a native of Georgetown, Kentucky, was the first African American assistant police prosecutor in Cleveland, Ohio, and first African American city council person of any major U. S. city.

Guidelines for Writing Entries

Download Guidelines for Writing Entries (PDF).

View some Sample Entries.

  1. The coeditors invite authors to submit specific entries. Authors will need to agree to an online contract (“Consent to Publish”), specifying the length (in number of words) for the entry, and the author's agreement to assign copyright to the University Press of Kentucky. See the help page for information about using the online system.
  2. Entries should be written and submitted using Microsoft Word, which is the official word processing program for this project.
  3. If you will be using Microsoft Works or another word processing program that is not directly compatible with Microsoft Word, you should do the following: block, copy, and paste your entry into Word Pad or save it in Rich Text Format (RTF).
  4. Those who are unable to submit entries in any of the above mentioned formats will need to make special arrangements with the coeditors. See 9. below.
  5. Each entry should begin with the entry title on one line, followed by your name on the next line (exactly as it should appear in the encyclopedia). Entries should list important facts about the topic or individual, for example, "who," "what," "when," "where," "why," and "how." An entry for a deceased individual should include the dates of birth and death (given in parentheses), as well as their birthplace, parents' names, education, career highlights, place of burial, etc. An entry for a living person should include their birth date, birthplace, parents' names, education, career highlights, etc. The entries should be grammatically correct, use complete sentences, be in paragraph form, and be double spaced.
  6. You should be careful to use your own words. That is, do not plagiarize. Please do not use verbatim (word-for-word) phrasing from a book, newspaper article, magazine or journal article, internet, or other source without putting the text in quotation marks and citing the source immediately afterward.
  7. Each entry should include a short bibliography (at least two or three sources) that lists where you obtained your information or where a reader of the encyclopedia may go to obtain further information. The coeditors will be responsible for ordering the bibliographic information. However, you must include as much information for the bibliographic citations as possible - too much information is better than too little. For books, this information is typically found on the book cover, the title page, and the copyright page.
    • A book reference should include: the author's full name; the title and subtitle of the book; the place of publication; the publisher or organization that published the book; and the year that the book was published or copyrighted. If there is a volume editor instead of an author, please state the name of the editor, followed by a comma, and then the abbreviation "ed." If the author is a compiler, please follow the name by a comma, and then by the abbreviation "comp." If the author is a translator, please follow the name by a comma, and then by the abbreviation "trans." If there are multiple authors, please list them. If you used a revised or second, third, or later edition, please note this as well.
      • EXAMPLE: Smith, Gerald L. A Black Educator in the Segregated South: Kentucky's Rufus B. Atwood. Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 1994.
    • A newspaper article reference should include: the author's full name (if given); the full title of the article; the full name of the newspaper; and the month, day, and year the article appeared.
      • EXAMPLE: Davis, Merlene. "Personal Tales Tell History of Civil Rights," The Lexington Herald-Leader, February 6, 2000.
    • A magazine or journal article reference should include: the author's full name; the full title of the article; the full name of the magazine or journal; the month, day (if given), and year of the article; the volume number (if given), the issue number (if given, for example, "spring"); and the inclusive page numbers the article appeared on. For electronic journals, Adobe PDF image page numbers are preferred over HTML versions. If only HTML versions exist, then supply the complete URL web address.
      • EXAMPLE: Hardin, John A. "Green Pinckney Russell of Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons," Journal of Black Studies 25, no. 5 (1995): 610-21.
    • An oral history interview reference should include: the full name of the person interviewed, the full name of the interviewer, the date (at least month and year) of the interview, and if possible, the location of the interview.
      • EXAMPLE: Cunningham, Margaret. Interview by Karen C. McDaniel, March 28, 1999, Lexington, Ky.
    • For primary sources, such as county court or clerk records, family Bibles, etc., list the county, family, and any other specifics available. For manuscript collections and diaries that are housed in historical societies and libraries, list the collection title, the historical society or library, etc.
      • EXAMPLES: Charles H. Parrish Papers. Archives and Records Center, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky.

        Deed Book H, Campbell County Courthouse, Alexandria, Ky., 361-62.
    • Internet Web sites are not recommended for use as primary sources. However, if used, please avoid ".com" sites. It is preferable to use ".edu," ".gov.," and ".org" web sites.
      • EXAMPLE: Kentucky Historical Society. “Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky: Oral History Project” Frankfort, KY: 2006. Available at (accessed October 17, 2006).
  8. When your entry is complete, please assign the file name in the following format: your last name UNDERSCORE your first name UNDERSCORE the title of the entry UNDERSCORE and the current month, day, and year.
    • EXAMPLE: smith_john_civil rights_103106

    Cooperation in this matter will facilitate the submission, filing, editing, and revising of thousands of entries.

  9. Submit your completed entry (Microsoft Word file) using the file upload function on that entry's page.

For those making special arrangements for entries using a word processing program other Microsoft Word, please the mail entry in hard copy to Kentucky African American Encyclopedia Project Office, University of Kentucky, Margaret I. King Building, Lexington, KY 40508-0039. Please include a return address and e-mail address if possible. Or, contact the office by phone at 859.257.2110 or via fax 859.257.6311.

Thank you for agreeing to serve as an author in this exciting project!

Lyman T. Johnson

Lyman T. Johnson (1906-1997) who, in 1949, was the first African American to enroll at the University of Kentucky. He was also an outstanding educator, administrator and community activist in Louisville.

Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson and son

Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson and son taken by Marvin and Morgan Smith in 1948

Marvin and Morgan Smith

Marvin and Morgan Smith were twin brothers and nationally famous photographers from Nicholasville, Kentucky.

Issac Murphy

Issac Murphy (1861-1896) was the first black jockey to ride three Kentucky Derby winners. The image is from the P.W. L. Jones Collection at Kentucky State University.

Mary E. Merritt

Mary E. Merritt, 1881-1953, born in Berea, Kentucky, was the first African American nurse licensed in Kentucky and received national recognition for her work in World War I.