we come to the close of Black History Month, but not to the end of
our remembering and celebrating African-American Heritage, today we
are highlighting some
African American firsts:
E. Merritt (1881-1953)
was born in Berea, Kentucky was the first African American nurse to
be licensed in Kentucky
1935, Charles W. Anderson, Jr. (1907-1960), was Kentucky's
first African American legislator in the South since Reconstruction.
1937, Willa Brown Chappell (1906-1992) born Willa
Beatrice Brown in Glasgow, Kentucky earned her pilot’s license,
making her the first African American woman to be licensed in the
Mac Clarke (1919-1944) a native of Lawrenceburg, KY and a
graduate of Kentucky State University was the first African American
woman in Kentucky to enlist in the military during World War II and
was a member of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp, or WACC.
1949, Lyman T. Johnson (1906-1997) became the first African
American to attend classes at the University of Kentucky.
Marilynn James (1923–1989) was
born in Charleston, West Virginia was the first African American
physician on the University of
Louisville School of Medicine faculty
1959, Alberta Odell Jones (1930-1965) was the first
African American women to pass the Kentucky bar and the first woman
appointed city attorney in Jefferson County.
A. Palmer (1919-1982)
the first African
pharmacist to own a Rexall franchise in the United States
also the first black member of the University of Kentucky Board of
1961, John T. Smith (1919-1994)
was the first African American student to receive a doctorate from
1963, Harry N. Sykes (1927- 2012) a native of
Starkville, Mississippi was the first African American city
councilman and served as mayor pro tem of Lexington, KY
1969, Moneta J. Sleet Jr. (1926-1996) born in
Owensboro, KY was the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize
Wilkinson was the first African-American woman
appointed to the full-time faculty in the College of Arts &
Sciences at the University of Kentucky.
1971, Rev. William E. Summers III (1918-1996) born in
Louisville, became the first African American radio station owner in
the state of Kentucky when he purchased WLOU
Denise Cowan (1963 – 2004) born
was Lexington, Kentucky's first black female
(1936-2017) born in Lexington, Ky, was the first African American
nurse to lead a state office of public health nursing in the United
1988, Judge Gary D. Payne was the first African
American judge in Lexington/Fayette County, Kentucky.
1999, Judge Pamela Goodwine became the first African American
woman in the Fayette County judiciary
2001, Anthany Beatty became the first African American Chief
of Police in Lexington, KY.
2007, Andrea M. James born in Lexington, KY, became the first
African American woman elected to the Lexington City Council.
June, 2012, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Keith L. Jackson made
history by becoming the first African American appointed Chief of the
Lexington Division of Fire and Emergency Services.
Baird, was sworn in as
the first African American to serve as Fayette County Commonwealth’s
October 1, 2022, Angela Evans
first African American Fayette County Attorney.
February, 2023, Thomasena Grider the first
African American woman promoted to Lieutenant in the Lexington Police
we forever remember and celebrate our African-American Heritage. To
God Be the Glory for Our Past, Our Present, and Our Future