Black History Museum

Ashland, Kentucky

The C.B. Nuckolls Community Center & Black History Museum is a nonprofit museum in Ashland, Kentucky, dedicated to the collection, documentation, preservation and study of Black history in Ashland and across America. The museum will continuously cultivate a Black history experience and honor accomplishments of the past while providing an education for generations to come.

Join us for our Grand Opening!

Event Details

Date: April 22, 2023
: 2 to 5 p.m.
: 901 Kilgore Dr., Ashland, Ky 41101
Transport: KDMC Campus Shuttle Provided by City of Ashland

Come out to see the first ever Black History Museum in the Ashland area! The museum is providing food, drinks and special entertainment — admission is free but donations are always welcome.

The City of Ashland will be providing a shuttle service to bring guests to and from the event (parking will be limited on the day of the event). King’s Daughters Medical Center will generously be providing parking lots located between 24th & 25th Streets and Central Avenue in Ashland, where city shuttles will start picking people up at 1:30 p.m.

The museum has also reserved a block of rooms at the Delta Hotel located at 1441 Winchester ave Ashland, Ky 41101 ~ phone 606-327-1100. Please make sure to ask for the group rate of ($109.00 + tax per room, per night) for the C.B. Nuckolls Community Center & Black History Museum when you call to make your reservation. CUT-OFF DATE: Reservations by guests must be received on or before 04/07/2023.

For any questions, please contact Darrell Smith at 606-254-6964, or Bernice Henry at 606-571-5646.

Museum Operations


We expect to be open to the general following our Grand Opening April 22, 2023.


901 Kilgore Drive,
Ashland, Ky 41101


(606) 420-4005

Museum Operations


We expect to be open to the general following our Grand Opening April 22, 2023.


901 Kilgore Drive,
Ashland, Ky 41101


(606) 420-4005

Sal’s fundraiser ~ thank you!

The Nov. 5 event benefiting the museum was a huge success!

We look forward to continuing our momentum together as we head toward 2023 and our museum grand opening!

A special thanks goes out to Sal’s Italian Eatery and Speakeasy and everyone who contributed and came out to support this important fundraiser!

Ashland Chili Fest ~ 2022

We thank everyone who stopped by our informational booth at Chili Fest!

The C.B. Nuckolls Community Center & Black History Museum is being created as an interactive institution for the education of Black history in and around Ashland, Kentucky. It is our goal to welcome the general public as well as be a popular attraction for school groups and personal tours. The Museum will be home to exhibits, educational programs, special activities, art, genealogical research and more. Our mission is to make the museum a cherished archive for all to enjoy!

Founded in 2022, the C.B. Nuckolls Community Center & Black History Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

We are hard at work preparing exhibit materials for our planned late March/early April 2023 opening. Please check back soon for more information!

This painting of Professor C.B. Nuckolls by Jerry Johnson will be on permanent display at the museum.

Photos by Bruce Royal Photography

The C.B. Nuckolls Community Center & Black History Museum was founded in 2022 by Darrell Smith and Bernice Henry:

Darrell Smith

Smith was born and raised in Ashland, Ky. He moved to Delaware to work for MBNA American Bank where he managed CDs, Money Markets, IRAs and the Credit Card Division. He then worked for Humana Insurance, processing claims and working in customer advocacy for several years. Smith is also a Trustee and Financial Secretary with New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. He is a volunteer at the Highlands Museum & Discovery Center and is the first African American to serve on the board in more than 10 years.

Smith has always loved Black history and created the “Ashland, Ky Black History” page on Facebook a couple years ago. He created the page because much of Ashland’s Black history has been slowly disappearing.

Bernice Henry

Henry has volunteered and chaired on numerous committees for over 50 years. Her activism includes serving as NAACP vice president, chairperson of the Ashland Human Rights Commission and commissioner of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights (7th District). Her advocacy has helped improve community relations, education and housing opportunities for all residents of Ashland and the Boyd county area. She has also served on the board for Scope Towers for several years and worked for the Ashland Independent School District for over 30 years. Henry was the first African American woman to serve on the Ashland Board of City Commissioners.

Henry has been an active member of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church since childhood. She is currently the church clerk.

The Community Center is named after C.B. Nuckolls. Affectionately called “Professor Nuckolls,” he was principal of Booker T. Washington School in Ashland from 1922-1962. The school closed in 1962 due to desegregation. Nuckolls fought hard to provide black students equal opportunities and everything they needed in education.

The Booker T. Washington school was set on fire by vandals in 1975. All the pictures, books and trophies inside the school were destroyed.

Mr. Brian Binion
Mr. Chuck Charles
Dr. Larry Ferguson
Mr. Charles Jackson Jr.
Rev. Denzella Letcher
Mr. Richard Martin
Rev. Stanley McDonald
Mrs. Ann Brown Perkins

02/07/23 — Tri-State’s first Black history museum to open in Ashland, WSAZ

01/31/23 — Beshear visits Ashland to announce $4.1 million for Boyd County

11/18/22 — Tree honors African American contributions, Daily Independent