SOUTHERN HERITAGE for long time in public discourse, displays, and mainstream Southern history of achievements of black Southerners, has been excluded. One of the reasons they were/are being excluded was/is because of bigoted hatred for Reconstruction period in which newly freed southern blacks benefited from … to rise from slavery to prominent position as politicians.
Had it not been for Reconstruction, Blanche Kelso BRUCE a born slave of Virginia, would not had opportunity to win public office – as it was during that era that republicans pushed the 14th & 15th Amendment, after slavery was abolished.
Blanche Bruce was a runaway slave, who became the 1st Black US Senator to preside over a Senate Session. He was a Republican as most black politicians were during Reconstruction. While there was opposition against racial minority veterans, Bruce fought for Asians would were denied citizenship even though they militarily served this nation. He fought for Native Americans who were treated unfairly. He fought for black military service members who faced racism & violence in US armed forces, and he pushed for racial desegregate in the US Army. And after he left the senate in 1881, he REFUSED a political appointment to position as Foreign Minister to Brazil because Brazil practiced slavery. Yes slavery of blacks was still going on in Brazil until about 1888.
Blacks were & are Southerners too.
Oftentimes, many white southerners nowadays keep trying to tell black southerners what they as a race of people descending from slaves “think” or “believe” on matters concerning their OWN Southern Heritage – particularly on matters of slavery and the civil war. And there’s this bad habit of being instructive in telling black southerners about their OWN history, when black people have already received instructions from their black elders about WHO they are, where they come from & stories of what happened. To make matters worse, many have gone so far as to be instructive so as to tell black southerners who they should chose to honor as their heros. Not all southerners are in lockstep on this matter of Southern Heritage as to who they celebrate and honor. Some black southerners may have preference to Patrick Cleburne but perhaps not for the same reason as some southern whites. Some white southerners have no problem with embracing the “Slavery” clause in the CSA secession documents, whereas most black southerners who love the south, do NOT embrace the Secession documents as written. Some white southerners idolize CSA Vice President Alexander Stephens, whereas most Black Southerners, for good reason, despise the man.
Many white southerners wrongly assume that most southern blacks are stupidly supportive of Abraham Lincoln because of Emancipation Proclamation. 1st of all, the fact that black southerners do not celebrate January 1st (date that Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863) should be a clue ! For that matter, blacks do not even celebrate December 6th (date that slavery was officially abolished via 13th Amendment in 1865). Therefore the continued instructions to black southerners as to what Lincoln & the Emancipation Proclamation did or did not do, is unnerving to say the least. Most southerners are fully aware of how Abe felt towards black slaves & the institution of slavery, as this is preached on repeatedly at Juneteeth Day events. For that matter, the black elders are instructive on this.
NEGRO SLAVES were requested by the Confederacy, when the Confederacy desperately needed them the most. I’ve seen numerous reports saying that negro slaves were the stomach of the Confederacy, rendering an invaluable service that the Confederacy could not had done without. CSA General Pemberton, who requested negro slave labor, has a statue. There’s hundreds of statues erected for even the Confederate horses. So where’s at least ONE statue that honors the thousands of negro slaves that did fortifications labor for the Confederacy?
BLACK SLAVES as Confederates. There’s some out there who have issues with me for spending too much time in giving voice to Black Southerners who contributed to South. Some have even asked that I stop talking too much about honoring Black confederates & to start refocusing my energy on white Confederates because statues of White Confederates are at risk of being taken down.
This is me at a Black Confederate monument in Canton, Mississippi in a cemetery that was erected for black slaves – Willis Howcott & the Harvey Scouts. How the hell can any white person who claims to supports anything Confederate, would dare be instructive on me for honoring my OWN race who were slighted when statues were erected mostly of the whites? Afterall I myself am a Southern woman, a descendent of southern black slaves who contributed to the South. The south & the Confederacy was built and relied heavily on the backs, labor, blood and sweat of black slave labor. Why should I be expected to give less attention to the preservation pf the history of Southern black slaves when history has ignored them. Black Southern slaves who contributed to the South are the most FORGOTTEN. And I will continue to speak up for black Southern ancestors – AFFECTIONATELY! I shall stay the course.
Black Confederate Statue? NOT! There are many within the Confederate support ranks who are referring to this statue as such. The unveiling of this statue was met with controversy because of the bitter feelings that some white southerners still have about the south losing the war and towards southern black slaves who fled to fight for the North. The state of Mississippi paid $300,000 for this statue which is located in Vicksburg. According to the write up for the 3 imageries, it does NOT identify the sculpted black men as Confederates. This statue represents blacks who served for the Union. Evidently, there’s hardly to not any statues erected in the physical likeness of blacks who contributed to the Confederacy. I’ve wondered for a long time as to why. According to National Parks Service, the figures for blacks who served for the Confederacy are reportedly unknown.
MISSISSIPPI. My response to Andrew Williams’ reasoning behind his wanting removal of current state flag. Williams’ main reason behind why the current state flag must be removed is because he feels that the flag (with Confederate Battle flag emblem) relates to the Mississippi Declaration of Secession (which had some scathing racist remarks about keeping blacks as slaves).
Eventhough I agree that slavery was a horrifying act that should had never happened. And there is NO acceptable EXCUSE that can be given to make slavery alright. But where I differ with Williams is on the time period. I’m not going to misrepresent the history of my ancestors. Some of my black ancestors were born in Mississippi & who were later brought to Louisiana – all prior to 1865. The Mississippi state flag at that time was the Bonnie Blue & the Magnolia flag. The flag that represented my ancestors enslavement in the state of Mississippi as it relates to the state’s Secession document (according to Williams) could not had been the flag that he’s currently protesting on the behalf of my ancestors.
The current Mississippi state flag was not adopted until over 20 yrs after slavery was abolished. While I appreciate Williams’ caring words for innocent black slaves who did not start the war, but I still do not understand why he is connecting the current state flag in his argument with slavery in Mississippi, when it was the Magnolia & Bonnie Blue flag under which my ancestors were enslaved in that state.