Lucy Harth Smith

October 24, 2010 in 1960s-1970s

Lucy Harth Smith made a major impact in changing the lives of African American people in Kentucky. When you read about people who actually devoted their lives to changing the lives of other, it is extremely remarkable. She was a principal at Booker T. Washington Public School in Lexington, Kentucky from 1935-1955. Although Lexington was her place of residence she advocated change throughout the state. She was a pioneer in ensuring that African Americans received textbooks and books for their schools and libraries. During this time period that she was principal segregation was still going on. During segregation the schools for white and blacks were unequal. Blacks either received hand me down textbooks or did not receive them all. To be able to help ensure text books so that they would be able to receive textbooks that is a great accomplishment. Also, she was one of the earliest members of the Kentucky Negro Education Association.

As  I searched for information on Lucy Harth’s life there is limited information. She is not only a women whose story should be tell more in depth, but also glorified more for her great achievements. Without people like her in Kentucky who knows how lives would have been changed, without her making sure African Americans received textbooks.

“Lucy Harth Smith,”  The Journal of Negro History 41 (Apr 1956): 177-179.
Stable URL:

“Famous Kentucky Women” Cooperative Extension Service, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture (first issued 9-86; revised/printed 5-97),

2 responses to Lucy Harth Smith

  1. Her accomplishment in getting books to the schools is an invaluable accomplishment. These book educated the students, who could have held key roles in the civil rights movement. Education leads to so much more.

  2. Check out the 1945 “Pictorial Directory of Kentucky Association of Colored Women” that Smith compiled – it’s in the UK Special Collections archives – the digitized images of each page are available for viewing in the Kentuckiana Digital Library at;cc=kyetexts;q1=kentucky%20association%20of%20colored;idno=b02-000000013;view=toc

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