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.
SOUTHERN WHITE-on-SOUTHERN WHITE RACISM still alive & well in the SOUTH. It’s part of Southern Heritage since Civil War/Reconstruction era. I was informed that “Scalawag” means “White Southern Ni**** Lover”.
About 7 months ago I was informed that “Scalawag” is a racial slur that most white southerners use against other white southerners who helped blacks gain their right to vote. And advised with caution that I should never utter that word again not even in private because some white people’s use of that word was same as calling a white Southerner a “Ni**** Lover” who risked & lost their lives for blacks. White Southerner informed me that his white relatives who were Confederate veterans were killed from helping freed black slaves seek public office as Republicans in 1870s Louisiana.
This was in response to my uttering that word in casual conversation. When asked where I 1st learned that word, my reply was that it was at white school (MB Smiley High School) where I was forced bussed to in late 60’s as part of desegregation during heated Humphrey/Wallace presidential race. White teachers taught civil war, told black students that “Scalawag” was a Southern spy who turned against the south by helping burn down the south in the civil war. Therefore, I assumed that was the proper term.
Then I was informed that there’s NO monuments erected in the South to memorialize white Confederates veteran Republicans of Reconstruction era that helped newly freed black slaves with their civil rights .. and who lost their lives in doing so. I didn’t realize I was taught wrong, and I won’t use the racist word “Scalawag” anymore. Btw, the word scalawag is not a typical vocabulary that’s used in black households.
Words by itself don’t have meaning until people give it meaning.
VIRGINIA. Again, and unfortunately the Confederate Battle Flag symbol is being increasingly used in connection with race hate & threats towards the Black race. And this time in a full blown KKK ad that’s on front page of news paper.
To add confusion to insult, the ad ends with the words “DEO VINDICE”, which is a commonly used salutation or utterance of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV).
Keep in mind that Black people are SOUTHERNERS too, who have black southern ancestors, albeit slaves, who contributed a invaluable service of labor to the South. This racially horrifying ad also is an attack on the memory of the sacrifices that most enslaved Black ancestors rendered to the South. We repudiate these racial attacks in this ad, as well as those who support it.
Link –> http://fox2now.com/2018/04/27/kkk-recruitment-ad-in-local-virginia-newspaper-shocks-community/
SOUTHERN HERITAGE. Negro Spirituals are big part of this heritage. The song that comes to mind was “Steal Away To Jesus”, that was usually sung at black funerals, particularly in the segregated south – dating back to times of slavery. Sometimes it’s sung while the pallbearers carried the casket to the burial.
This Negro spiritual – was authored by slave Wallace Willis from Oklahoma Territory (who was probably in Mississippi at the time) prior to Civil War.
Here’s what the song sounds like – sung by 2 southerners —> Mahalia Jackson & Nat King Cole. Jackson is from Louisiana. Cole is from Alabama.
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.