From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Racial Conflict (Berea, KY)

A shootout occurred September 1, 1968 in Berea, KY, following the end of a National States' Rights Party meeting. It was not determined who fired the first shot, but the disagreement over segregation took place on the street between the white party members leaving the meeting and a carload of African Americans.

Two men were killed: Elza Rucker, a white man who lived in Lexington, KY but was a Berea native; and African American Lenoa John Boggs from Berea. One man was injured when he was struck by a state police car rushing to the scene, and a number of others were injured from shotgun blasts.

The Berea Police Department was assisted by state troopers in bringing the situation under control. Fourteen men who were involved in the shootings were arrested for murder.

For more see "Headline: Racial Violence / Reaction / Kentucky," CBS Evening News (archives), 9/04/1968, record #199944; "2 Die in Kentucky in Racial battle," New York Times, 1/02/1968, p. 13; S. Connelly, "Racial Shooting in Berea on 1 Sep 1968," 5/25/05, Berea Encyclopedia [blog]; Algeo, Matthew, "Book Excerpt: Berea‚Äôs Deadly Racial Shootout of 1968" from the website, March 10, 2020; and articles in the Berea Citizen newspaper beginning 9/1968.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Madison County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Berea, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: CBS Evening News (archives)
NKAA Source: The New York times (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Berea citizen (newspaper)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Racial Conflict (Berea, KY),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 21, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-04-30 15:17:55