Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

College of Arts and Sciences


Political Science

Major Advisor

Dr. Lee Remington

Second Advisor

Dr. Fedja Buric


From 1882 to 1968, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) estimates that 4,743 lynching’s occurred in the U.S. While other organizations report a slightly different number, the harsh reality of terror and violence remains the same. These violent acts of murder were used as a mechanism by white mobs to promote terror and enforce control upon the black community. Despite the presence of terror and violence in our current society, little is taught about such history and the people who were murdered. Instead of an emphasis on the actual history and the lives lost, the emphasis is on black trauma. However, little has been done to recognize the specific harm and violence lynching left in the community. This project presents research on the lives of two men, Brack Kinley and Luther Durrett, who were lynched in McCracken County. The project begins with a historical investigation of the lynching, an address of the McCracken County, KY community through the lens of white vigilantism, the criminalization of blackness, and white victimization tactics used by the media and community, recognition of broader context regarding systemic issues in the United States which has shifted to the carceral system, including the current debate surrounding Critical Race Theory and Confederate symbolism. Finally, drawing on the principles of restorative justice, the project ends with meaningful dialogue on reconciliation.