Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts - History



First Advisor

Paul J. P. Sandul

Second Advisor

Court P. Carney

Third Advisor

Mark B. Barringer

Fourth Advisor

Stephen M. Sloan


After a horrible historical injustice reemerged into public discourse in 1998, the citizens and civic leaders of Waco, Texas wrestled with the idea of whether to continue to forget the event or to acknowledge, apologize, and reconcile the past. At the center of the debate, a lynching of a seventeen-year old African American named Jesse Washington in 1916. Also known as the “Waco Horror,” the lynching disappeared from public conversation in Waco shortly after its occurrence. For nearly a century, the lynching remained relegated to anti-lynching movements, academic study, and the fringes of society. After the lynching’s reappearance into public discourse, two opposing factions arose and debated whether to acknowledge and apologize for the horrific event or to continue to forget it. This project explores the processes of forgetting, memory, and apology in Waco concerning the dark past.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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