Who Was John Tucker? Indiana Coalition Acknowledges His Lynching in Latest Effort to Preserve Black History

Photo: Michelle Pemberton/The Indianapolis Star (AP)
Photo: Michelle Pemberton/The Indianapolis Star (AP)

The Indiana Landmark’s Black Heritage Preservation Program and Indiana Remembrance Coalition worked together to add a new historical marker displaying the story of the lynching of John Tucker in 1845. This is the latest jab against the brewing anti-CRT legislation considered by lawmakers.

Once John Tucker became a newly freed man in the 1830s, he picked up his two children and moved to Indianapolis, per IndyStar. However, on July 4, 1845, he was assaulted by a white laborer on Washington Street. After defending himself, he fled to Illinois Street where the man and two more white men beat Tucker to death while a crowd watched. The ringleader, Nicholas Wood, was (surprisingly) found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced but his accomplices were served no punishment.

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Read more from Indiana Capital Chronicle:

The [Indiana Educational Equity Coalition] specifically took aim at a bill authored by Richmond Republican Sen. Jeff Raatz that would limit classroom discussions about race. The proposal targets teaching about race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation and other factors.

Teachers could not “compel, promote or indoctrinate” the belief that one race is superior or inferior to another, according to the proposal. Mounting opposition against Raatz’s latest bill also centers around a proposed amendment that would only prohibit teaching of concepts that are related to “race or color.”

Despite the overwhelming GOP majority, lawmakers failed to pass a broad-ranging bill last year dictating what teachers could and couldn’t say about racism, per WFYI. They also proposed a “parent-led curriculum” where parents could have a direct say in a teacher’s lesson plan and scan it for “divisive concepts.” Following several debates and various protests, the bill flopped.

However, their classroom conversation regulations won’t stop students strolling on Illinois and Washington from getting a glimpse of history they won’t be taught in school.

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