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Biographies include census data, descriptions of the killings, and articles from news sources at the time.


Our maps show racial violence by county and by racial composition of the location. 


Timelines provide information on  decades, eras, and historical contexts when racial violence was most prevalent 

About Our Project

Historian George Wright estimates there were 353 people lynched in Kentucky between the end of the Civil War in 1865 and the murder of Emmett Till in 1955, “placing Kentucky ninth among states with the largest number of mob murders.”
This terrible history of racial violence refutes long-standing, but false claims that a milder form of racism existed in Kentucky than in other southern states.

This project, Documenting Racial Violence in Kentucky, presents biographical narratives of lynching victims in Kentucky between 1880 and 1955. It also encourages cooperation across the Commonwealth as community members come to terms
with the events of the past, memorialize injustice, and encourage reconciliation.