central pennsylvania african american history for everyone
              ten years on the web 1997 - 2007

"Colored Man Is No Slacker"

World War One Recruiting Poster

From Calobe Jackson, Jr., March 11, 2005

George, I saw your list of posters for Sci Tech and thought of this one. I have an original.

"Slacker" was a popular slang word for those who were opposed to fighting. My father was a member of the Pioneer Infantry and I have a picture of him in uniform. He often talked about songs of WW1...."My Buddy," and "Lili Marlene." In the Korean War we still marched to "Dixie" and "Lili Marlene," both songs of our enemies, but popular among our troops. Marlene Dietrich and Hildegarde were especially great on the vocal of "Lili Marlene."

Calobe Jackson

World War I recruiting poster, "Colored Man is no Slacker."

Reply to this letter here

Reply from Pauline Ferraro:

I have no story but today I was in a barn that had booths for many dealers. I did not see much that took my interest until I saw an old oval frame with the picture named above , in. It is an old frame with curved glass. When I got home I typed up the title and immediately came up with information. My picture shows man and lady and marching black soldiers in the background. A small portion of our Beloved Flag is showing. Also only part of the pillar is showing as the poster has been cut to fit the frame. The picture is magnificent and I fell in love with it immediately and bought it. I truly wish the entire picture was there and had not been cut but it is beautiful as it is. Thanks for reading. (September 14, 2006)

Editor's Note

We get many, many inquiries about this poster, but unfortunately, know little about its history or the artist, beyond what Calobe Jackson has discussed above.  The artist was E. G. Renesch, and it was published in Chicago, in 1918.  Renesch painted many patriotic posters during this time, including at least one other poster with an African American theme.  It was called "True Blue," and depicted an African American family gazing at the portrait of the father, in an American army uniform, on the living room mantle.  The father was serving in Europe and the wife and young children awaited his return at home.

Please note, we cannot answer questions about the value of the poster.  We are historians, not antique dealers!


Write to us-- we will publish letters to the editor, letters to the community, etc.  Note:  we will not publish letters containing personal attacks on individuals.  We reserve the right to edit letters for length and content, or not to publish at our discretion.

 E-mail:  I want to share my story

 This Web site represents our community's shared history.  Won't you join us?

afrolumens project home | mailbox page

Original material on this page copyright 2005-2006 Afrolumens Project
The url of this page is
Contact the editor

This page was updated 24 July 2007.