Skip to comments.Black man supports Confederate flag in march
Posted on 11/03/2003 6:01:25 AM PST by stainlessbanner
ROXBORO -- Under a warm October sun Friday, a black man carried the Confederate battle flag and led 20 white men up the middle of Main Street to the front lawn of the Person County Courthouse, singing "Glory, glory hallelujah. The South will rise again."
The old song competed with the squelch and squawk of police radios. Outnumbering the marchers, police officers, sheriff's deputies and state troopers looked on from the corner sidewalks of the courthouse.
As the short, gray-bearded man who led the march stepped up to a monument honoring Person County's fallen Civil War soldiers, he was met with cheers from the men holding several versions of flags flown by the Confederacy.
"We love you H.K.!" they shouted.
H.K. Edgerton, a political activist and former president of the Asheville chapter of the NAACP, acknowledged them and launched into a passionate rhetoric in defense of the Confederate flag and race relations in the South.
"You go over there to Person High School and tell the students I said to keep the undying devotion of the South in their hearts," he said, jamming the butt of the flagpole against the cement ground. "Tell the black people of Roxboro about this flag. [It is] history! [It is] heritage! Not hate!"
Person High officials banned the display of Confederate paraphernalia Oct. 7 after a rash of incidents, in which some students displayed the flag while using obscenities against blacks. About two dozen students were suspended in the aftermath, but school officials say things have returned to normal.
The E. Fletcher Satterfield camp, which honors Person County's place in the Civil War, invited Edgerton because of the ban.
Throughout his 30-minute speech, Edgerton harked back to life in the South before and after the Civil War.
He ticked off the contributions of blacks who fought alongside whites and spoke of what he called the "bond of love and affection" between the two races leading up to and during the war.
And he assailed the North, continually blaming "Yankees" for stirring up hate after the war.
"It's hard to tell Yankees about love between blacks and whites in the South," Edgerton said. "The North's divide-and-conquer approach did much to strengthen the rancor between black and white."
"Tell 'em H.K," several men said. "Amen!"
Some of the men who marched with Edgerton wore the gray wool uniforms of the Confederacy. As he spoke in the shadow of a statue of Edward Fletcher Satterfield, a Person County native who died in Gettysburg, the number of onlookers grew to about 40.
The march and speech was met with little dissent, except for a white man who walked out onto the sidewalk on Main Street and shouted to the authorities: "When are the Nazis coming through? Are they next?"
Edgerton said a black woman also told him to "go to hell" earlier in the parking lot as the men prepared to march.
After the speech, the men marched back down Main Street to a city parking lot, passing Royal Medley on the way. Medley, a 54-year-old black man, watched the procession of waving flags near the Henry Daniel Clothier shop.
He said the flag symbolized racism to him, but Friday's display "[didn't] bother me, man."
Born and raised in Asheville, Edgerton, 55, has spent the last decade traveling the South to defend the Confederate flag. From October 2002 into January 2003, he walked the flag from Asheville to Austin, Texas in his "Walk Across Dixie."
Edgerton described the 20-mile days and 77 cities he visited as "glorious." He's been beaten for his beliefs before and said people have called him "everything under the sun."
"I'm not here to defend the institution of slavery," he said. "[But] I've always been passionate about my Southland."
Edgerton said he came to Roxboro to support his "babies" over at Person High.
As for those using the flag as a sign of hate?
"Those babies that do that don't know history," he said, pointing to the flag. "This flag is not a white thing. That red is my blood just as much as it is theirs."
Citing the official US Census of 1830, there were 3,775 free blacks who owned 12,740 black slaves. Furthermore, the story outlines the history of slavery here, and the first slave owner, the Father of American slavery, was Mr Anthony Johnson, of Northampton, Virginia. His slave was John Casor, the first slave for life. Both were black Africans. The story is very readable, and outlines cases of free black women owning their husbands, free black parents selling their children into slavery to white owners, and absentee free black slave owners, who leased their slaves to plantation owners.
-"Selling Poor Steven", American Heritage Magazine, Feb/Mar 1993 (Vol. 441) p 90
Of course, a full telling of Black History would not be complete without a telling of the origin of slavery in the Virginia colony:
Virginia, Guide to The Old Dominion, WPA Writers' Program, Oxford University Press, NY, 1940, p. 378
"In 1650 there were only 300 negroes in Virginia, about one percent of the population. They weren't slaves any more than the approximately 4,000 white indentured servants working out their loans for passage money to Virginia, and who were granted 50 acres each when freed from their indentures, so they could raise their own tobacco.
Slavery was established in 1654 when Anthony Johnson, Northampton County, convinced the court that he was entitled to the lifetime services of John Casor, a negro. This was the first judicial approval of life servitude, except as punishment for a crime.
But who was Anthony Johnson, winner of this epoch-making decision? Anthony Johnson was a negro himself, one of the original 20 brought to Jamestown (1619) and 'sold' to the colonists. By 1623 he had earned his freedom and by 1651, was prosperous enough to import five 'servants' of his own, for which he received a grant of 250 acres as 'headrights.'
Anthony Johnson ought to be in a 'Book of Firsts.' As the most ambitious of the first 20, he could have been the first negro to set foot on Virginia soil. He was Virginia's first free negro and first to establish a negro community, first negro landowner, first negro slave owner and as the first, white or black, to secure slave status for a servant, he was actually the founder of slavery in Virginia. A remarkable man."
I found the reference, out of Michael A. Hoffman II's "They Were White and They Were Slaves: The Untold History of the Enslavement of Whites in Early America" : Joseph Cinque was himself a slave trader, selling his fellow blacks into this horror after he himself was set free by a US court.
Amistad producer Debbie Allen calls this destabilizing fact a "rumor." She'd better. If the thinking public, black and white, discover that "noble" Cinque later sold his own people in the very manner he condemned, then there will be a second mutiny, this time against Spielberg and his shameless hoaxing.
Here is Samuel Eliot Morrison, one of the most distinguished of American historians, writing in his "Oxford History of the American People,"
(New York: Oxford Univeristy Press, 1965), p. 520:
"The most famous case involving slavery, until eclipsed by Dred Scott's, was that of the Amistad in 1839. She was a Spanish slave ship carrying 53 newly imported Negroes who were being moved from Havana to another Cuban port. Under the leadership of an upstanding Negro named Cinqué, they mutinied and killed captain and crew. Then, ignorant of navigation, they had to rely on a white man whom they had spared to sail the ship.
"He stealthily steered north, the Amistad was picked up off Long Island by a United States warship, taken into New Haven, and with her cargo placed in charge of the federal marshal. Then what a legal hassle! Spain demanded that the slaves be given up to be tried for piracy, and President Van Buren attempted to do so but did not quite dare.
"Lewis Tappan and Roger Sherman Baldwin, a Connecticut abolitionist, undertook to free them by legal process, and the case was appealed to the Supreme Court. John Quincy Adams, persuaded to act as their attorney, argued that the Negroes be freed, on the ground that the slave trade was illegal both by American and Spanish law, and that mankind had a natural right to freedom.
"The court with a majority of Southerners, was so impressed by the old statesman's eloquence that it ordered Cinqué and the other Negroes set free, and they were returned to Africa. The ironic epilogue is that Cinqué, once home, set himself up as a slave trader."
(End quotation from historian Samuel Eliot Morrison)
"To pursue the concept of racial entitlement--even for the most admirable and benign of purposes--is to reinforce and preserve for future mischief the way of thinking that produced race slavery, race privilege and race hatred. In the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American."
--Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take it away from those who are willing to work and give it to those who would not."
Kudos to H.K. Edgerton!
That sums up my sentiment. The Confederate flag doesn't hate nor does the swastika. That some used it as a symbol of hate or for ideas that have been disproved by time, doesn't alter the historical significance of it and it should not be censored from our history books just because some are uncomfortable with it.
I am a Christian. Am I proud that some groups (KKK for example) have used the cross as a symbol of hatred? Absolutely not! But it doesn't negate the good that millions have done for that very same symbol and it should not be scrubbed from our heritage simply because a minority is upset by it.
Adults should be mature enough to understand that symbols don't oppress - only people. It's sad that feelings trump fact so often.
Tight security accompanies SCV march, rally Uptown on Friday (HK Edgerton) Posted on 11/03/2003 9:50 AM EST by stainlessbanner (joanie: good picture of "the hat")
HK Edgerton's March Across Dixie Attacked Posted by FreetheSouth! On 12/14/2002 7:05 AM PST with 42 comments
He's made it into Texas (H.K. Edgerton's march through Dixie) Posted by Rebelbase On 01/13/2003 1:14 PM PST with 13 comments
Former NAACP leader carries Confederate flag across Upstate on March Across Dixie Posted by shuckmaster On 10/19/2002 3:41 AM PDT with 447 comments
If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)
Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.
Reparations for slavery? OK, but I want reparations for Indentured Servants. Slaves mostly lived their lives out, even with hard work. Indentured Servants were usuallt bonded for a term of 7 years with a life expectancy of 6 years. We all know that a "rented" car makes a better ATV than the one we own.
I think that civil war (or war between the states ) was about two opposing societies but it was also about which laws took precedence (Federal or State)... Understanding that this has been resolved...
Part right, part wrong.
From: Francis W. Springer's War for What?
"The Union of Sovereign States, each state deriving its powers from its own people, and the federal government having only those powers granted it by the states, ended when Lincoln was allowed to eviscerate the Constitution. Lincoln did not save the Union, the Union that the delegates founded in 1788. A new Union was created in the 1860s with power over the states, power usurped by deception and maintained by force."
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.