The African-American Genealogy Group of Kentucky was formed in January 2011 by 11 researchers interested in preserving the history and heritage of Kentucky's African American generations. The group grew out of frustrating exceptions in researching Black history when traditional research methods were roadblocked by slavery. Jim Crow laws not only segregated African Americans in public spaces during a dark time in United States history, but had a similar effect on record-keeping as well. African Americans in historical records could be filed under a plethora of different titles, in the back of books, un-indexed, or simply missing altogether. It was out of these frustrations that the AAGGKY came to be -- the first group of its kind in Kentucky. It officially incorporated in April 2011, and the rest is history.
Our stories are often hidden in un-indexed volumes, stored forgotten on dusty shelves and omitted from the traditional history books of our country. With every passing minute we are losing our histories to death, memory loss, and record destruction. By focusing on aspects of research unique to the Black community, the AAGGKY provides a venue for researchers and historians of all races, age groups, and backgrounds, to share their strategies and findings. The AAGGKY is attempting to minimize this loss. Our mission is to save our history and pass it on.
Our logo represents the struggle we face in the work we do. We wanted an easily recognizable symbol to show our dedication to sharing and preserving our histories. Kentucky with it its jagged edges contains our story and says, "Life hasn't always been easy.” Hands that were once bound, breaking free of their chains depict the restraints of slavery, liberated by the promises of freedom. Our logo symbolizes the story of being Black in the Bluegrass.
Our membership is open to anyone interested in researching, preserving, and sharing the stories of Kentucky’s African American generations. The group has grown from the original 11 founders to a following that numbers in the hundreds. We serve on boards of history, genealogy, museums, libraries, and research institutes. We are accountants and plumbers, janitors and teachers, preachers and presidents, housewives and truck drivers. We are of all ages, genders, and ethnic backgrounds. We are economically and culturally diverse. We are Kentuckians united in our hope of preserving African American history so that future generations may be indulged in its richness. We are the African-American Genealogy Group of Kentucky.