The Kentucky African-American Encyclopedia editors Karen Cotton McDaniel, Gerald L. Smith and John A. Hardin will be presented with awards at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at the Welcome Center in the Academic Services Building (ASB) on the campus of Kentucky State University during Kentucky Archives Month.

KSU President Raymond M. Burse will give opening remarks at the event and a book talk about the cultural and historical reference will follow the award presentation.

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. Capturing the earliest frontier years to the present, the encyclopedia chronicles the individuals, events, places, organizations, movements, and institutions that have shaped the state’s history.

Kentucky State University faculty members in the Paul G. Blazer Library also contributed to the encyclopedia: Dr. Nkechi Amadife, Dr. Anne Butler (now deceased), Sharon McGee, Erin Gilliam and Dantrea Hampton.  Also, resources from the Paul G. Blazer Library Special Collections and Archives Department and the Center of Excellence for the Study of Kentucky African-Americans (CESKAA) were cited in the encyclopedia.

About the editors

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.

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, Ky.

John A. Hardin, professor of history at Western Kentucky University, is the author of two books, including Onward and Upward: A Centennial History of Kentucky State University, 1886-1986, 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.


For more information, contact Sharon McGee, the Archives Records Manager at 502-597-6864 or