A Letter to Venice on the Passing of Oscar Duncan


On June 4th, 2012, another young Black man was shot down in the street.

Oscar Duncan

He wasn’t a thug or a dope dealer, but instead he was a well-regarded person in his community and in his circle of influence. No, he wasn’t a gangbanger. He worked with young people at the Boys & Girls Club in Venice. As a youth pastor, he encouraged all around him to visit his church on Friday nights or on Sunday mornings. He reminded us that the Sunday service started at 11:00 a.m. for those that might choose to party late on a Saturday night because he kept it real like that.

He was beloved by family and friends. There was nothing bad to say about him.

He proved his love for Jesus by the way he spread the love of Jesus. Nonetheless, Oscar Duncan was shot down in the street in front of his grandmother’s home. How can this be? Yet another tragic loss. There is no reasonable explanation his mother, family or friends will be able to give or understand when someone sees the sadness in their eyes and asks, “What’s wrong?”

Violence is – from the days of Cain and Abel – violence is! I know that, but it doesn’t ease the pain in my heart for Oscar’s family – our ties are long and deep . It does not dry the tears of family after family after family dealing with the same residue of violence.

When will enough be enough? Lord help! Lord help! All we can do is live to our utmost and love with all we have. Perhaps that is what Oscar and all of our fallen loved ones would admonish us to do.

I pray that the strength and power of the Holy Spirit envelops the family and friends of Oscar Duncan like never before. I love y’all . . .

Alma Collins – June 6, 2012