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The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia

edited by Gerald L. Smith, Karen Cotton McDaniel, and John A. Hardin

Availablecloth$49.95s 978-0-8131-6065-8
684 pages  Pubdate: 08/28/2015  8.5 x 11  143 b&w photos

LISTEN: Historian Gerald Smith shares favorite tales from The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia on "UK at the Half” | LISTEN ONLINE HERE.

The story of African Americans in Kentucky is as diverse and vibrant as the state’s general history. The work of more than 150 writers, The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia is an essential guide to the black experience in the Commonwealth.

The encyclopedia includes biographical sketches of politicians and community leaders as well as pioneers in art, science, and industry. Kentucky’s impact on the national scene is registered in an array of notable figures, such as writers William Wells Brown and bell hooks, reformers Bessie Lucas Allen and Shelby Lanier Jr., sports icons Muhammad Ali and Isaac Murphy, civil rights leaders Whitney Young Jr. and Georgia Powers, and entertainers Ernest Hogan, Helen Humes, and the Nappy Roots. Featuring entries on the individuals, events, places, organizations, movements, and institutions that have shaped the state’s history since its origins, the volume also includes topical essays on the civil rights movement, Eastern Kentucky coalfields, business, education, and women.

For researchers, students, and all who cherish local history, The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia is an indispensable reference that highlights the diversity of the state’s culture and history.

Gerald L. Smith is a professor of history and the holder of the Theodore A. Hallam Professorship (2015–2017) in the department of history at the University of Kentucky. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of three books and other publications on history. He pastors the Pilgrim Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky.

Karen Cotton McDaniel
is professor emeritus at Kentucky State University, where she was a tenured full professor and director of libraries. She has more than twenty publications on black Kentuckians, including book chapters, articles, and encyclopedic essays. She has also taught at Eastern Kentucky University and Berea College.

John A. Hardin, professor of history at Western Kentucky University, is the author of two books, several major articles, and numerous book reviews on Kentucky African American history. He has taught at Kentucky State University and Eastern Washington University and has also served as adjunct faculty at the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky.

The roles of African Americans may often have been underplayed in history books about Kentucky, but a six-year effort to offset that has produced the first in-depth look at the state’s key African Americans and events. The encyclopedia, which has more than 1,000 entries, is intended not only as a wide-ranging historical guidebook for the public but also as a comprehensive new resource for teachers. -- Louisville Courier-Journal

Kentucky’s impact on the national scene is registered in an array of notable figures. -- Gleaner

Filled with the long-undertold parts of Kentucky's rich history. Any lover of Kentucky history would be well-served by sitting down for an afternoon to peruse this book, then to keep it nearby for regular consultation. -- Kaintuckeean

This encyclopedia makes clear that the rich history of African Americans, like so much of the black experience, remains to be told. As more of these stories are readily available in Kentucky, perhaps this work will inspire those in other states to do the same. -- Kentucky Forward

This is an incredibly comprehensive collection of narratives revolving around black Kentuckians of the commonwealth, featuring contributions by over 150 writers. -- Chevy Chaser

Comprehensive and scholarly in scope, this tome is a model for future single-volume reference works about African Americans. . . . This work will be the standard on the subject and deserves consideration not only in Kentucky libraries but also in any setting where there is interest about African American history. -- Library Journal

This is a welcomed addition to the general references for the Commonwealth and will reveal much hitherto unknown facts. . . . There is a fascinating (and often disburbing) story on every page on the triumphs and tragedies of Kentucky’s African Americans. -- Northern Kentucky Heritage

A work that reaches beyond the traditional to capture forgotten and hidden stories of people who helped shape the state and the nation forever. -- Kentucky Living

You can learn a lot just by thumbing through this encyclopedia. -- Kentucky Monthly

Drawing inspiration from an African American teacher in Logan County, KY, who when called upon to teach a Kentucky history class in the 1930s lamented that not one of the textbooks referenced the contributions of African Americans, series editors Smith, Karen Cotton McDaniel, and John A. Hardin spent over a decade bringing this rich collection to print. . . . This is an important reference source that other states should emulate. -- Library Journal Best Print Reference

This unique and groundbreaking source will be indispensable for any library collection. -- Kentucky Library Association

Rarely has a reference book brought to light for the first time such a corpus of unknown details about historic events, individuals, or places pertaining to people of color associated with one state from its frontier origins until today. . . . It provides a rich and invaluable reference guide to the history of Kentuckians of color over time and across the commonwealth—chronicling their discrimination, their diversity, and their determination to live free, equal, and healthy lives. -- Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

[The authors] have certainly made an important contribution to fill in a state and local historical record that too often overlooks the contributions of African Americans. -- Journal of the Jackson Purchase Historical Society

This brilliant compilation treats the "other" Kentucky—those people, stories, and institutions largely missing from mainstream histories. . . . The work is unique in its scope and the detail in which it chronicles black lives in one of the oldest states in the US. -- Choice

The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia is an important work that captures forgotten and oftentimes overlooked experiences of African Americans critical to the diverse history of Kentucky and the United States. -- Arkansas Review

Winner of the 2015 Kentucky Archives Month Certificate for Merit for Writing/Publication given by the Kentucky State Historical Records Advisory Board

Dr. Gerald Smith, Dr. Karen Cotton McDaniel and Dr. John A. Hardin, coeditors
of the Kentucky African American Encyclopedia (University Press of Kentucky), were
recipients of the 2016 Legacy Award at the 13th annual Black History Month Celebration
at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort. -- Bird's Eye View

Winner of a Kentucky History Award

Western Kentucky University history professor John Hardin was awarded a community Humanitarian Service Award by the local Martin Luther King Jr. Planning Committee on January 16, 2017. Hardin was awarded for his diligence and major contribution to the Kentucky African American Encyclopedia, the first encyclopedia of its kind in the state.

Recipient of the 2016 List of Outstanding Academic Titles by Choice magazine.