More information on
people in the story.......
"John Allen Brewer"
A negro man that didn't play around when it came to his family. There's a story that goes.... John Allen was told that his children couldn't go to school, so he went up to the school and shot-it-up. He said, "If my kids can't go school, ain't nobodies kids going tuh school."
John Allen was born Carroll County Mississippi 1864. His mother was a mulatto slave and his father the white slave owner. John Allen had eleven children with his wife. After she died in 1913, he remarried. His second wife also previously married and had several children from that marriage. By this time, John Allen's oldest children were out of the home and he became father to these children(surname Cobbins).
Jack's younger brother
In real life, James was actually a couple years younger than Jack. His age on this photo is unknown and his appearance a little younger than portrayed in the story.
James did marry and had several sons. His lineage left many grandchildren and great grandchildren. James was the brother that Sheriff Rogers and his Klan took out in the woods.
"Earl Leroy Brewer"
Jack's second cousin
In 1895 Earl Leroy was elected to the Mississippi senate at the age of twenty-seven. He was the youngest member. Earl Leroy married Minnie Marian Block in 1897. This union produced three children. He was reelected to the senate in 1899. In 1902 Earl Leroy was appointed district attorney for the Eleventh District by Governor Andrew H. Longino. Earl Leroy was "Jack's" second cousin. Earl Leroy was unopposed when he ran for Governor of Mississippi.
One of the Twins
Eddie Brewer was born 1924 to Jack and Bessie Brewer. He moved from Carroll County, Mississippi in 1942 to Chicago, Illinois. Unfortunately, Eddie suffered from a speech impediment, which made him difficult to understand at times.
He didn't meet his half-brother Johnny, until many years later. Eddie and Johnny spent about fifteen years together before Eddie passed away in 1975. Eddie fathered a daughter.
Alexander (Alec) ....Eddie's twin: died around age 26.
"Jennie Eatoy & Wilbert Johnson
Jennie was born 1900 in Carroll County, Mississippi to Austen and Lizzie Haslett. They had eight children, of which seven were girls. Jennie was next to the youngest child.
Jennie changed her name to Eatoy when she moved to Neelyville, MO. Jennie had six children, of which one died at a very young age and one stepson.
Wilbert Johnson better known as Wilburn, died January 3, 1941. Find out why this is a prison photo?
Johnny was born November 1926. He grew-up in Butler County, Missouri with his mother Eatoy and Wilbert Johnson his father, at the time.. Jennie changed her name to Eatoy, while Johnny was just a little boy, so this was only name he knew.
Johnny was very good with his hands which made up for his lack of education. As a youngster growing up, Johnny repaired and made bicycles. As he grew older, Johnny learned to make and repair automobiles. He even received awards from the Army for his work on military vehicles. Johnny worked at Rossford Army Depot in Ohio for many years before moving to Chicago, Illinois. He continued his auto mechanic work, as a autobody-mechanic, while living in Illinois. JOHNNY WAS VERY GOOD WITH HIS HANDS. (author's father)
Norman was born in 1906 in Carroll County, MS and remained there until his death. Norman married and fathered eleven children. His son James Cobbins is mentioned in the Acknowledgments of Blood Is Thicker Than Color.
Norman's son James, helped the author better understand John Allen Brewer's character and his life. Norman is the stepbrother that got taken out into the woods by the Klan. He is also the one that helped Jack make his escape.
Jack and Bessie's son
Earl was the baby that Bessie was pregnant with when Jack ran to Chicago. He was born in May of 1926. Earl married twice and fathered eight children. He worked in the steel mills of Chicago. Earl was known for one of his many sayings "Every tub sits on its own bottom". Earl supported his "right to vote" and voted even when he was ill in bed. He died in 2008.
Jack and Johnny together