Black People : Black Blue Bloods

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by happy69, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. happy69

    happy69 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    BLACKPR.COM PRESS RELEASE

    [THIS ARTICLE IS AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE REPRINT AS LONG AS ALL CREDIT IS GIVEN TO BLACKNEWS.COM]


    Blacks Join Confederate Heritage Group After Learning of Family Link

    By Keisha Stewart, BlackNews.com Staff Writer

    As some blacks trace their family history, they may find Confederate soldiers related to them. And some of them join a somewhat controversial Southern heritage group for various reasons after learning about their family connection to the Civil War.

    Long Beach, CA - The Hollands didn't join the Sons of Confederate Veterans to add their voices in support of Southern heritage or the beloved blazing stars and bars.

    They found a family tie to the Confederacy as William Holland mined family history and found that their great grandfather Creed Holland, a Virginia slave, worked as a teamster for the Confederate army until the war's end in 1865.

    "Maybe he felt that he deserved something, so here's our chance to do that," said William Holland, a 35-year-old genealogist from the Atlanta suburb, Riverdale.

    The Hollands, however, aren't the only ones who have found gray in their blood, as blacks dig into family trees and find, oh, no, Confederate connections.

    The Hollands membership to the group may sound like an oxymoron for some: black and Confederate. But historical data shows that blacks served in the Confederate army, whether as cooks or combatants, slaves or freemen.

    Historians just aren't sure how many blacks served for the Confederate army or to what extent they saw battle.

    "In truth, no one will ever know how many blacks fought for the South as individuals, but it is safe to say that the number was extremely small," said Donald Pfanz, a National Park Service historian.

    According to Pfanz, the Confederacy used slaves and free blacks as laborers -- chaplains, cooks, teamsters, blacksmiths, for example -- but it was not until March 1865, that it authorized the enlistment of black soldiers.

    Although the South never fielded any black regiments, individual slaves or freemen occasionally fought alongside Confederate units, but their stories are "rare and, for the most part, are not well documented," Pfanz said.

    The SCV has hopeful statistics about the role blacks played in the Confederate army, saying on its Web site that "tens of thousands of blacks" served the Confederacy with 25 percent of free blacks and 15 percent of slaves "actively" supporting the South during the war.

    The SCV was founded in Richmond, Va., in 1896 with the purpose of honoring its heroes, opening membership to men who find familial bonds to Confederate soldiers.

    "The Columbia, Tenn.-based group today has about 35,500 members," said Ben Sewell, SCV executive director.

    "SCV has Hispanic and Jewish members, as well as black ones, but the SCV has no figures to say how many," Sewell said.

    But there are a few well-known black members throughout the SCV, like H.K. Edgerton whom was quoted in the Southern Poverty Law Center's quarterly magazine, "Intelligence Report," as saying "If every African-American would pick up the Confederate flag, I would say 'Free at last, free at last, God Almighty, I am free at last."

    Mark Potok, editor of Intelligence Report, said SCV members revise the Civil War using rhetoric that makes it appear that slaves enjoyed their servitude, slavery wasn't that bad and the war wasn't about slavery but states rights.

    "That's just an utter falsehood," Potok said. "In the end, these guys are simply liars."

    While the SCV is not listed on the SPLC's list of hate groups, the SPLC spurns the connection that some SCV executives appear to have with neo-Confederate groups such as the Council of Conservative Citizens and the League of the South, which are on the SPLC's list.

    Black SCV members are "window-dressing" that the SCV uses to say "look, we're the wonderful antebellum South," Potok said.

    William Holland thought joining SCV would send him back in time so that he could learn more about Creed Holland's life.

    But after the group appeared to give excuses about its slow pace in placing a special Confederate marker at Creed Holland's gravesite, he began to feel slighted by the group.

    "I think they're trying to use us as a publicity stunt," said William Holland, who didn't renew his membership with the SCV.

    But his brother, John Holland is still a member. And their sister, Wanda Chewning of Penhook, Va., is a member of the women's equivalent, the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

    Sewell, however, said the SCV does not use blacks as a tool to legitimize their beliefs.

    "We're just interested in trying to have the history of the war told accurately," Sewell said.

    Stan Armstrong has found truth in the SCV, said the 43-year-old Las Vegas filmmaker and college instructor. Armstrong, who is black, joined a SCV camp in Memphis, Tenn., in 1997 after learning that a white relative served in the Confederate army.

    When people tell say he's being used, Armstrong retorts "read your history."

    "The Civil War is not as black and white as one may make it," Armstrong said.

    Other blacks who have joined the SCV have their own reasons to ally with the group.

    John Holland, 49, a Roanoke, Virginia, tire finisher, wanted to learn more about the Civil War, particularly to piece together the kind of life his great grandfather may have lived as he served in the war.

    "It's a good education of what happened back then and it's an education of what's going on right now," said Holland, a member of Fincastle Rifles Camp in Virginia.

    William Casey, a 42-year-old major in the military, enjoys being a part of living history as he reenacts a black private in the Confederate army, saying it intrigues him to relive the 1860s. Casey, part of a Fredericksburg, Va., camp, said he could just as well be both a SCV member and an NAACP member.

    "I don't even see it as a conflict," Casey said.

    Nelson Winbush carries show-and-tell Civil War artifacts of his grandfather's, a black man who served in the Confederate army and attended 39 Confederate reunions after the war. The collection includes newspaper articles and his grandfather's reunion cap and jacket.

    "It's always been a part of my life," said Winbush, a 74-year-old retired school administrator living in Kissimmee, Fla. "You got all these politically correct folks sweeping it under the rug like it didn't happen."

    Armstrong feels a since of pride of belonging to an organization that seeks to tell the truth about the Civil War's often forgotten veteran: the black Confederate soldier.

    If more blacks peered into their family histories - whether the "white" side or the black -- they may find that they, too, have rebel blood, he said.

    [THIS ARTICLE IS AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE REPRINT AS LONG AS ALL CREDIT IS GIVEN TO BLACKNEWS.COM]
     
  2. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    When does stupid become smart?

    Sister happy, this is some interesting news and it made me wonder about why any of us would want to associate with these types of organizations simply because we discover that our ancestors were a part of it in some way, shape or form? I'm sure that many of us can conduct a genealogical study of our family history and find all sorts of crazy blood running through our veins but does that give reason for us to join groups like this? People did what they did back in the day I'm sure for reasons that made sense then but may not now. We all have relatives that do dumb stuff. Why would I follow suit just because I find out about it years later? If it was stupid then, then doesn't it make sense that it's still stupid?

    Peace :spinstar:
     
  3. happy69

    happy69 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I want to just generalize and say that We are stupid; but it is more than that. Some of Us are some self-loathing people. Although, I don't believe in reparations (not because it isn't right, I just think that We have to progress and not wait around for America to realize...); but this is the same weak-assed argument used against it...."Most, about 75% of Black Americans have White blood; so wouldn't that be taking money from your own family?"
    I couldn't believe this argument; and why no one ever said, where was "my family" when this, and that was happening to me?

    A couple years ago, some of Our Own sick, went to a rally or some KKK stuff this group had going on; many of the women left saying that these people were just racist... they were selling things like "Birth of a Nation," and stuff to the fools.

    I think that this is yet another group within Our Own who We need to kick out...

    And thats the way I feel about it.
     
  4. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    How would you feel?

    If you did some research and found that you were related to someone like Strom Thurmond, would that change the way you feel about racial issues? Would you embrace your newly discovered white relatives? Would you take a family picture and celebrate family reunions?

    I often think about the descendents of Thomas Jefferson and how they must feel. Some years back I was heavily engaged in doing some family research and got as far back as 1845, Jamestown, VA and I stopped. I didn't have the desire to confront what I knew I was bound to discover, knowing this town was a major port of entry for slave ships during that time.

    Peace :spinstar:
     
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