An Open Report, And My Answer To Your Question
As I stood arm in arm with Ms. Annie Chambers Caddell in front of her Summerville, South Carolina home, donned in the uniform of the Southern soldier, and proudly with the Southern Cross in hand on Saturday morning, October 16, 2010, as a host of some of her Black neighbors and those who came to support them marched past in what was deemed a protest march against Ms. Cadell’s posting of the Confederate Battle Flag on her porch.
I began in earnest to ponder the question posed to me by Mr. Rodney Combs of Noble, Oklahoma in a letter dated October 4, 2010. Mr. Combs would ask, why would I and a few Blacks who are seen with the Confederate Flag reconcile the slavery aspect of the Confederacy? I could only think of to Mr. Combs; “first and foremost with a great deal of pride because we are Southern”. And like our ancestors with the knowledge that the whole world was complicit in the economic institution of slavery, and if you were lucky enough to have your ancestors transported from the shores of West Africa out of the reaches of the likes of African King Gelele who pillaged, raped, murdered and cannibalized the villages of your ancestors, sold them into slavery, to the region of America called the South, then you were one of God’s luckiest African children albeit the price of human suffering of slavery was staggering.
As I stood there with my Southern family listening to the vulgarity and insults being hurled my way, I could think what my mama or dad might say to me; “think like Jesus, give them love and remember all those Africans who earned a place of honor and dignity under the Flag you bear, stand up and speak for those dry bones, and see Ms. Caddell as one of those women that your ancestors stayed home and help protect as the men were away”.
And Mr. Combs, if you read about the work of the honorable men of the great Commonwealth of Virginia’s Legislature where the economic institution of slavery began by the actions of Mr. Anthony Johnson, a free Black man, and how they were trying to end the economic institution of slavery with some dignity for the Africans by providing them with shelter, land, money and training to provide for themselves and their families right up to the day that Lincoln illegally gathered and sent armed forces to the revenue collecting agency at Fort Sumter, you will find the essence of the Southern thought on ending slavery.
It mattered not on this day the insults, vulgarity and threats hurled my way, I would ask my Father in Heaven to forgive them for dishonoring the memory of the bonds of love and affection between Southern Black and White that transcended the institution of slavery. The average Black Confederate understood his duty as God gave him the light to do it. He performed his duty without expectation of reward or promise of freedom, but knew that if he worked and struggled and fought hard for the Confederate cause as a loyal subject, the White people of the South would do right by him. Southern White folks accepted the fact of freedom and were prepared to make provision for the new freedman within the limits of an impoverished and devastated South. However, the so called victors would have none of this, and sent their Northern born school teachers South, established the public school system, and the so called Freedman”s Bureau and began in earnest to try and separate the White man and Black man of the South. This Northern modus operandi continues to this very day, utilizing the Southern Black man as their weapon of choice against Southern White folks with distorted history and promises broken with no intent to fill.
I would suggest that one try and reconcile the aspect of slavery of the entire civilized world that participated in it, and I as a Southern man will continue to thank God that my Great GREAT GRANDMOTHER Hettie Edgerton made her way from the shores of West Africa (where an African king cut off the head of her young brother, and drank his blood and ate his arm, and called it the King’s fettish), to the Honorable Doctor T.R. Edgerton family of Rutherfordton County, North Carolina. And I, HK Edgerton, shall continue to make my stand in Dixieland for all my Southern family who fought and died under the Southern Cross for the life of the Constitutional Replublic that I needed if I were ever to understand what it meant to be free in America. God bless you Mr. Combs for asking.