Kentucky History Makers 

  • Colonel Charles Young  Soldier, Educator, Diplomat, & Civil Rights Advocate

    Colonel Charles Young Soldier, Educator, Diplomat, & Civil Rights Advocate

    An unheralded military hero, Charles Young (1864-1922) was the third black graduate of West Point, the first African American national park superintendent, the first black U.S. military attache, the first African American officer to command a Regular Army regiment, and the highest-ranking black officer in the Regular Army until his death. Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment tells the story of the man who-willingly or not-served as a standard-bearer for his race in the officer corps for nearly thirty years, and who, if not for racial prejudice, would have become the first African American general. — Brian G. Shellum, Author of Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young
  • Early Life & Education

    Early Life & Education

    Charles Young was born to enslaved parents Gabriel and Arminta Young in Mayslick, Kentucky on March 12, 1864. Young graduated from high school in Ripley, Ohio in 1881 at the top of his class at the young age of 16., and taught school in Ripley 1881-84. After graduation, Charles became a teacher and went and taught at an all-black high school also located in Ripley. Later in his life he returned to his educator roots and taught Latin, Greek, French, Spanish and German as well as Military Science at Wilberforce University in Ohio.
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