Wait … What?


Creighton is known for an extraordinary commitment to undergraduate research. Here’s a snapshot of one student’s research project, which was inspired by the most shameful event in Omaha’s history, the mob lynching of a black man, Will Brown, in 1919.

Title of Research

“Life Since Will Brown: Unearthing a Century of Nebraskan Hate Crimes”

Student Researcher

Saige Jager; junior, majoring in political science, with a minor in history; McHenry, Illinois

Faculty Mentor

Simon Appleford, PhD, assistant professor of history

What It Means

The lynching of Will Brown is remembered as a shameful stain in Omaha’s history. Brown’s violent murder revealed the prejudice and racism that lurked beneath the city’s surface in the early 20th century. Yet its horrific nature has overshadowed the fact that this incident is just one of many hate crimes that have been committed over the last century against Nebraska’s marginalized populations. To better understand Nebraska’s continuing struggle with racial and social equality, this project uses Brown’s murder as a starting point for the creation of a database of hate crimes committed in the state of Nebraska between 1919 and 2019.