From a 1950 article in the Chicago Defender newspaper regarding Eddie Green: “Radio was his forte. He became the lovable Eddie of Duffy’s Tavern and his quick answers to Ed “Archie” Gardner’s problems won him thousands of ardent fans”.
In honor of Black History Month I am promoting my father as one of the pioneers of black history who so far has not gotten as much attention as say a Frederick Douglas, orator, writer and social reformer, or a William Grant Still, the first Black American composer to have an opera performed by the New York City Opera, though Eddie was a filmmaker, writer and director of his own movies and he was also a composer of twenty-nine songs, one being “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”. And I am promoting him because in the early 1900s he had thousands of ardent fans. Eddie has earned his place in America’s Black History.
I am glad we have a Black History Month. When I worked for the VA I was glad when they celebrated Hispanic History because bands came out and played and people brought books about their culture and everyone had a good time. Any celebration is good as far as I am concerned. Everyone should celebrate who they are.
Now, truth be told, until this year I have never studied the origins of Black History Month. I would acknowledge Jackie Robinson and George Washington Carver (the only black person I remember reading about when I was about eight years old), and I know I am black and before you knew it the month was over. I have written a book now about my father and in doing the research on this book I found a new interest in Black history.
My father was thirty-five years old in 1926 when the precursor to Black History Month, Negro History Week, was started. On February 7, 1926, Carter G. Woodson initiated the first National Negro Week. Every club, society, church or school was entitled to the Negro History Week pamphlet free of charge.
By 1935 the New York Age newspaper printed this headline Negro History Week Grips Nation “Negro History Week literature has been distributed in batches of thousands throughout the country, and it may still be obtained from Dr. C. G. Woodson.” This idea was hot!! Fast forward to 1976 and as part of the United States Bicentennial, the informal expansion of Negro History Week to Black History Month was officially recognized by the U.S. government. Forward to now, where is the Black History Month Grips Nation headline? So I wrote it.
I know that Eddie would want me to celebrate Black History Month because here in America we have added the history of a Black President to what was once celebrated as Negro History Week.
Thank you so much, for stopping by.
http://www.bearmanormedi.com (Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer)
One thought on “Black History Month Grips Nation”
Wonderful post! I am glad to see you pay homage to your father and situate him in the annals of Black History. Certainly important. I watched a speech by Angela Davis and she said we, as black folks, have come a long way from Negro history week, to having a month, and maybe, one day, we can have the whole year! ☺