Image depicting white text on a black background that reads "Black History Today." The word today is accented with a red and green line.

Black History Today: Eddie Francis, Humbly Chasing His Dreams to New Heights

by Marcus Harden

Image depicting white text on a black background that reads "Black History Today." The word today is accented with a red and green line.

Black History Today, created by Marcus Harden in celebration of Black History Month, pays tribute to the living legacy of Black history in our community and beyond and recognizes the people shaping the future.

Presented in collaboration with Rise Up for Students.

“I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.”

—Beyoncé Knowles-Carter

Many of today’s most successful people opine about hard work, grinding, or as the kids say nowadays, “getting it out da mud!”

Some of the most successful of all will tell you that they are humble at their heights because they know what it means to truly climb the ladder — that the years of hard work and faith have helped them to more fully know themselves.

Eddie Francis embodies every portion of those words. While his voice can currently be heard literally around the world in his role as a host of The Plug Radio on Apple Music, his more humble beginnings trace back to the glorious Pacific Northwest, to the Seattle suburb of Renton, Washington, where Eddie first became, well, Eddie.

Eddie is one of those people whose presence is the present, whose infectious personality and undeniable charisma transforms spaces for the positive. You can find him engaging (at an audibly high but gentle volume) about most anything with a zeal and a passion for life, ranging from relationships to politics to pop movie culture to the Seahawks (or Ohio State Buckeyes) and, of course, music.

Yet, where he is in his life is a direct reflection of who he is and has remained. Eddie first became a known name in the media market after winning a radio DJ internship contest for a local Seattle radio station, slowly and humbly working his way up the ranks over the years, oftentimes being dismissed or disrespected for continually being a positive light and voice. Eddie is the kind of person who will give you the shirt off of his back and go buy another for you to have for safekeeping — and it’s genuine.

Through it all, he continually persevered and never changed, finding himself as one of the top radio DJs in the market.

Photo depicting Eddie Francis in a denim jacket smiling facetiously while holding a cup of coffee and an open black umbrella in the rain.
Eddie Francis. Photo courtesy of Rise Up for Students.

Success, though, is a winding road. When Eddie found himself at the crossroads of that success after years of chasing a dream, he gambled on himself to level the dream up. On his own dime and time, he began to dream bigger, and through positive seeds planted before, found himself moving to Los Angeles to be the initial host of Dr. Dre’s “The Pharmacy” on Apple Music.

What makes Eddie so unique is that he is truly one of those people who the accolades have never changed. Whether he is honoring his stepfather’s memory, treasuring his mother, posting about his dog or literally helping stranded women jump-start their cars on the side of the highway (seriously, this was just last week), Eddie embodies the lines from Rudyard Kipling’s “If” …

“If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch…”

Eddie has never lost the common touch. His story of hard work and perseverance is the fabric from which the true American dream is made. He is a resonant voice, a humble hero, and he is Black History Today!

Marcus Harden is a seasoned educator, with experience as a teacher, counselor, dean, administrator, and program and policy manager. Marcus focuses his work on creating better culture and climate for students, families, and staff. He believes deeply in restorative justice practices and in mindset and resiliency work that leads to excellent and equitable educational outcomes for all students.

📸 Featured image by Devin Chicras for the Emerald.

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