Most history of southern heritage speaks of contributions made by white southerners of the 1800s during and shortly after the civil war. Not so much is spoken of contributions made by blacks for that time period. A greater treatment on the subject matter of black southerners can be found in studies that cover the Reconstruction era.
After slavery was officially abolished, newly freed black men entered into politics and joined the Republican Party. Most white southern men who were Confederate veterans were Democrats at that time. Even though some black southern men who joined the Republican Party during Reconstruction did contribute to the Confederacy (voluntarily or otherwise), there was still some racial bitterness towards them, as the black republicans ushered in Civil Rights which was opposed by most white Democrats.
There’s a book entitled “Black Americans In Congress 1870 -2007″ that reportedly has information on every black American who served in Congress from 1870 (which was the year that the 1st black American took office in Congress). My review of this book is pending.
SOUTHERN HERITAGE. Contributions, Accomplishments and History of Southern blacks are usually hidden in the history of the Reconstruction Era, which is an era that appears to be a taboo subject matter these days amongst many white Confederate supporters. That is the era where Southern blacks (the men) 1st gained right to vote & 1st gained right to hold political office.
Take Florida for instance, whereby the FIRST black person elected to US House of Representatives from that state was in 1871 – namely Josiah Walls (a former slave). He was elected as a Republican. It took 135 years later after Walls left office for Florida to elect its next black republican to US House of Representatives – in 2011 (Allen West was the next & last). This is not well known. And I suspect that it’s because of Reconstruction period that most try to hide from black people. But this is a HISTORICAL period important to Southern blacks.
Another piece of hidden history is that Josiah Walls served in the Confederate army – albeit forcibly as a slave; but nonetheless he did contribute. However, it does not appear that Walls gets credit for the service he rendered & he’s rarely if ever ever mentioned in Confederate support circles nowadays. Afterall Walls is a historical figure.
I strongly urge every Southern black person who has Southern ancestry to research the Reconstruction Era as much as possible. It might not be a popular nor a desirable subject matter amongst many White Confederate supporters, but within the Reconstruction era lies much of the recorded HISTORY of Southern blacks & the accomplishments they have done for their race of people.