Exploring Covington’s Black History

Covington’s Black residents and businesspeople are part of the city’s vibrant history that is visible in many of its buildings, statues and murals. A new self-guided walking tour that highlights these points of interest has recently been added to the NKY Art Tours website and can be accessed for free. 

Originally developed by the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission (NKCAC), the Covington Black History Tour takes participants to sixteen locations in and near the Central Business District.  

One of the buildings on the tour is the Lincoln-Grant Scholar House. When it was constructed in the early 1930’s, it was the K-12 public school for African American students during segregation. It is now owned by the NKCAC as a residence for the families of single parents enrolled as full-time college students. 

Dr. James Randolph was an African American physician and the first to be on the staff of Covington’s St. Elizabeth Hospital. Most of the African American children born in Covington between 1922 and 1958 were delivered by Dr. Randolph. His historic marker is on the tour, as is the park that was named after him.  

Some of the beautiful public art in Covington is also included on the tour. The statue of James Bradley, a former slave who bought his own freedom, is located on Riverside Drive. Just a short walk away are the floodwall murals, two of which are on the Black History Tour: “The Flight of the Garner Family” and the “Jacob Price” mural.  

The online tour provides background on the buildings and locations, as well as stories about the people that share a significant place in Covington’s rich history.  

The Public Arts Network runs the NKY Art Tours website and is an initiative of the Catalytic Fund. All the tours are free of charge and new tours are added each year. 

My bio: 

Jill Morenz is the Director of Community Initiatives and Communications for the Catalytic Fund and also runs the NKY Public Arts Network. She is an enthusiastic evangelist for all things NKY. 

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