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University of Kentucky. The African American Presence from 1949 to the present. A student holds a pamphlet by Alvin C. Hanley, Director of Minority and Disadvantaged Recruitment. (1978). Pioneers. Recognized the need for change.

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University of kentucky l.jpg

University of Kentucky

The African American Presence from

1949 to the present


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A student holds a pamphlet by Alvin C. Hanley, Director of Minority and Disadvantaged Recruitment. (1978)


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Pioneers Minority and Disadvantaged Recruitment. (1978)

Recognized the need for change


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In 1949 Lyman T. Johnson, paved the way for African American Students to enroll at the University of Kentucky

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. --Martin Luther King, Jr.


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Lyman T. Johnson right, and Kentucky State University President R. B. Atwood, leave federal district court in Lexington, after the court ruled in favor of Johnson's admission to the University of Kentucky. (1949)


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The first African Americans who were admitted to UK registered for graduate and professional classes. (1949)


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Lyman T. Johnson (1906 - 1997) registered for graduate and professional classes. (1949)Lyman Tefft Johnson is best known as the plaintiff whose successful legal challenge opened the University of Kentucky to African–American Students in 1949.


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Administrators registered for graduate and professional classes. (1949)

Encouraged African-American and other minorities by extending a helping hand.


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Alvin C. Hanley, registered for graduate and professional classes. (1949)Director of Minority and Disadvantaged Recruitment. Hanley shakes hands with a student at Valley High School Louisville(1978)


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Dr. John T. Smith registered for graduate and professional classes. (1949)one of the first African Americans to graduate from the University of Kentucky.Also one of the first African Americans to earn a Doctorate at the University of Kentucky. He served as director at Jefferson Community College and was named the first Vice President of Minority Affairs(1975)


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Alvin C. Hanley registered for graduate and professional classes. (1949)Director of Minority and Disadvantaged Recruitment speaks with a student in the halls of Valley High School, Louisville(1978)


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Zirl Palmer (1920-1982) registered for graduate and professional classes. (1949)First African-American Member of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees (1973-1979)Also the first African American to own a Rexall franchise in the United States and the first African American pharmacist in Lexington


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Victor Gaines registered for graduate and professional classes. (1949)Director of Affirmative Action and Vice President for Minority Affairs (1978)Executive Director, Office of Minority Affairs (1986)


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Edgar Mack registered for graduate and professional classes. (1949)University of Kentucky Assistant Professor of Social Professions, and aide to Martin Luther King Jr. (1979)


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Dr. William C. Parker registered for graduate and professional classes. (1949)Vice Chancellor for Minority Affairs at the University of Kentucky(1984)


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Reverend Willis Polk registered for graduate and professional classes. (1949)Minority Affairs, Black Campus Ministry


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The Black Voices registered for graduate and professional classes. (1949)a popular choral group on campus. (1989)


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Frank Kendrick registered for graduate and professional classes. (1949)Office of Minority Affairs


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Don W. Byars, Jr. registered for graduate and professional classes. (1949)Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions Former NCAA Basketball Referee(1987)



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Chester Grundy, Director of Minority Affairs, speaks to teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)


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Juanita Fleming teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)Dean of the College of Nursing (1991)Former Special Assistant to the President (Wethington)


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Lauretta Byars teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)Formerly Vice Chancellor of Minority Affairs at UK , also served as Director of the Undergraduate Program and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. She is currently Vice President for Institutional Relations & Public Services at Prairie View A&M University.


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Frank X Walker teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)Formerly Program Coordinator of the Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural CenterAffrilachian Poet, Scholar and Educator (Photo by Tracy A. Hawkins)


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Bernadette Locke-Mattox teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)Former Assistant Men’s Basketball coach with Rick Pitino 1990-1995Head Women’s Basketball Coach 1995-2003


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Tubby Smith teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)Head Basketball Coach (1997-2007)


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Joker Phillips teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)Offensive Coordinator, Future Head Coach, Football Team


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Ricardo Nazario-Colón teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)Director, Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Center (2002-present)


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William H. Turner teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)Vice President for University Initiatives/Associate Provost for Multicultural Affairs (2004-2007)Associate Professor Department of Family StudiesHas also held administrative posts at Kentucky State University, Winston-Salem State University, Fisk University and Howard UniversityCurrently Commissioner, Kentucky Commission on Human Rights


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Educators teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)

We benefit from their dedication and creativity in the classroom


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Helane Davis teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)DirectorLaw Library


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Percival Everett Professor of English teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988) (1986 – 1989)


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Nikki Finney teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Poetry, Department of English


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Dr. Wanda C. Gonsalves teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)In private practice for 10 years before serving on the faculty of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.Founded the Bluegrass Medical SocietyCollege of Medicine Hall of Fame InducteeCurrently an Assistant Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina


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Reinette Jones teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)Outreach and Diversity Librarian; Communications and Journalism SelectorResearch and Education Division Young Library


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Shawn Livingston teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)Reference Librarian, selector for History, Political Science and Public AdministrationYoung Library


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Johné M. Parker teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)Associate Professor, College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering


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Doris Wilkinson teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)Professor of Sociology


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For your consideration teachers at Tates Creek High School (1988)

"It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It isn't a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideal, but it is a disaster to have no ideal to capture. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. Not failure, but low aim is a sin"

--Benjamin E. Mays


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