The Truth About Alonzo

Published In

Portland Magazine

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2020


Lynching -- Oregon -- Coos County -- History, Racism -- Oregon -- History, Black lives matter movement, Equal Justice Initiative, Blacks -- History -- Oregon


After visiting The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, Taylor Stewart ’18 returned to the Northwest determined to advance racial justice in the present by looking squarely at the racism of Oregon’s past. His first goal was to honor and memorialize a man named Alonzo Tucker.

On the last day of Black History Month, February 29, 2020, Taylor Stewart stood on a small traffic island in Coos Bay, Oregon, addressing 200 people. They had all gathered on this particular site, sandwiched between the bustling 101 South highway and where the old Coos Bay City Hall used to stand, because an atrocity had been committed on that soil more than a century ago. Here the harrowing nightmare commenced for Alonzo Tucker, a young Black man who in 1902 was murdered by a white lynch mob. Now, more than 100 years later, people congregated to mourn his loss and commemorate his life.


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