In my last post, I wrote about finding my father’s WWI Draft Registration Card and the added information I discovered on the card. Eddie did in fact, show up on June 5. Eddie had a small child at the time, and I have no idea if that made a difference in whether a man was sent off to the war. As a side note, the first training camp for black officers was set up in March, of 1917.
In the meantime, Eddie was working as an actor at the Standard Theater on 12th and South in Philadelphia.
Eddie was 25 now and he was working and supporting a family, though times were difficult.
There was also a riot that year: The city of East St. Louis, Illinois was the scene of one of the bloodiest race riots in the 20th century. Racial tensions began to increase in February, 1917 when 470 African American workers were hired to replace white workers who had gone on strike against the Aluminum Ore Company.The violence started on May 28th, 1917, shortly after a city council meeting was called.
Life was happening, as always. Some good, some bad. It is difficult to write inspiring stories without including the “bad”. But it does help to highlight the success stories. Not everyone gets caught up in what is wrong in this world. Even when it is difficult to stay out of the madness. Hey, that sounds inspiring, doesn’t it?
On August 10, John Lee Hooker was born, and on December 18, Ossie Davis was born. Good things were to come.
On December 28, Eddie copyrighted his first song “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”, which would go on to become a hit. He wrote 29 more songs over the next 15 years, five of which are still under copyright.
What a year!
Thanks for stopping by.