Explore the humble beginnings of a historic figure who helped change perceptions about what African Americans of his time might hope to achieve.

Kentucky’s diverse and complex African-American history encompasses the experiences of enslaved laborers, freedmen, soldiers, activists, inventors, artists and more, across more than four hundred years. 

One of these men is Brig. Gen. Charles Young, who was born into slavery in Mays Lick, Kentucky, and overcame racial inequality to become one of the first African-American graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Young went on to be the first African-American superintendent of a National Park, as well as a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. 

In recent years, Young’s birthplace has been the subject of fundraising and preservation efforts. Tours are available by appointment.