How do you reconcile a lynching?
Reconciliation comes after appropriately acknowledging the truth of a wrong.
In this case, it means fully acknowledging the horror that was committed, grasping the pain that was endured, and paying homage to that suffering.
Before we can find reprieve from this burden, we have to first bear the weight of it.
At 7th and Golden Ave (Coos Bay, OR 1902)
SEEKING RECONCILIATION FROM HISTORY.
This event will always be with us. It may be behind us, but we will never be able to get past it unless we turn and face the truth of what happened.
This means we must confront the legacy of lynching in America and concede that we, as Oregonians, have contributed to this legacy.
To reconcile this legacy of terror, we have to try and fathom what Alonzo Tucker experienced.
ACKNOWLEDGING THE PRECIPITOUS END TO A MAN’S LIFE
We can never know the validity of the accusation leveled against Alonzo Tucker. However, we do know that the color of his skin determined his fate. Judge Lynch sentenced him as soon as it was known that he was black. This injustice and what followed is what we must reconcile.
BEARING THE WEIGHT OF WHAT HAPPENED
Imagine the panic that flooded a black man accused of raping a white woman, knowing that a mob had formed to lynch him.
It’s difficult to envision what happened, and we may never be able to fully grasp it. Imagining him...running for his life...hiding all night...begging for his life...and still breathing when they placed a noose around his neck. However, to understand the truth of history, we have to soberly reflect on these things.
Acknowledging the suffering that Alonzo Tucker experienced is a necessary part of the reconciliation process.