African-Americans in Polk: Loyalty to church, pastor, God – News – The Ledger

The early weeks of 1918 found black Lakelanders facing complications recently arisen from the nation’s immense commitment to World War I. To the good, spirits soared on the wings of economic boom triggered by wartime spending. Suddenly, agreeable possibilities appeared within the grasp of many who, not long before, had entertained few such happy dreams.

On the other hand, the community’s young men either faced the military draft or already had volunteered for service abroad. Those somber truths in turn spawned a perpetual cloud that shadowed daily life. Fears of horrible deaths, terrible injuries, and unbearable loss haunted even those who would remain safely at home.

The circumstances produced, among other things, surging interest…

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