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March Across Dixie Re-Union March / An Open Report / Meridian, Mississippi (November 10, 2007)

The Meridian Star Reporter reported in the morning edition of the Star that
only White members of the Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy would come
out to greet me on my journey into Meridian. However they failed to mention
the the gracious ovation that I received from so many others as I made my
way into town. I was so gratified by the reception that I receieved from the
many young Black men who came from atop buildings under construction, just
to salute me as I passed, and this scene would be repeated many times before
I arrived in downtown Meridian. I was astounded! A young White man would
bring me water, just as he had on the previous March, and express his
gratitude for my return.Two young Black ladies would stop alongside me, and
very courteously inquire as to why a Black man would have the nerve to walk
down the highway in a Confederate uniform, carrying the Confederate Battle
Flag. When these two young ladies correctly identified the flag that I was
carrying, I quickly surmised that they probably understood my reasoning more
than they let on. However, I explained to them that I had began to carry
this flag of our Southland seeking vindication from the terrible historical
injustices placed upon a proud and noble people who stood in defiance
against her brother who she felt had not lived up to to the bargain they
forged under the Constitution of the Republic, and furthermore, foremost in
those injustices was the willful use of those loyal Southern Blacks against
their former White masters and the White community folk who they had come to
know as family, and had gone off to war with, stayed at home and protected
the plantations and home places because the men were away, made the
implements of war, provided the food stuffs for the beleagured Southern
army. This African found himself with this so called freedom being used to
deny the right to vote to the one man who had continued to do right by him.
When he was told he was free with no place to go or anyway to feed his
family, this same White man said go on back to your house, the animals have
been killed, the land scorched, and my money is no good, but we will make
it, and together in the Southland of America,they did. How could I do less,I
asked these two young girls in honor of those two men who had gone off to
war together and no matter mans inhumanity to man had found a love for each
other, regardless that one had been Slave and the other Master ? They told
me to carry on Sir!

I would be stopped to take pictures many times on this day, and except the
gratitude from so many more people. I am thankful for the gracious comments
from the two Air force Sergeants and their hand salutes at the 4th street

The evening activities would culminate at Ryans Steak house where I would
fulfill my promise to Carey Lee Johnson that I would speak before his Sons
of Confederate Veterans Camp: the Sons of Confederate Veterans Grimes County
Greys # 924 and the public. I certainly want to thank Commander Knox Pooley
and the Ladies of the United daughters of the Confederacy for escorting me
into Meridian, for their generosity and kindness,and all the people who came
great distances to meet and greet me including Commander and a host of other
Mississippi, and Alabama SCV dignitaries who were on hand. I look forward to
Vicksburg on Monday morning. I do want to thank the Meridian Star and ABC
News for their coverage, and look very much forward to see if ABC with it’s
Producer, Michelle Smawley will move forward to produce something that will
accurately protray those who look like me that seek A Step To Peace !