An Open Report & Open Letter / Summary Of Black History Month

From: HK Edgerton  <hk.edgerton@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Mar 3, 2014
To: siegels1  <siegels1@mindspring.com>

Dear Ms. Lunelle,

As I stood in the public easement at the entrance of Christ School in my home town of Asheville, North Carolina, fielding the insults of a White male official, one in particular that I was making a spectacle of myself because I stood don in the uniform of the Southern soldier with his Colors in hand at a time when the nation had declared this month of February to be Black History Month. I could not help but to think back on the day that the Honorable Attorney Kirk D. Lyons, Chief Trial Counselor for the Southern Legal Resource Center, would give the keynote address in the slave section of the Taylor family cemetery on the grounds of the prestigious Asheville School.

Before Mr. Lyons would finish his speech, my mother, the only Black woman to ever receive a Confederate State funeral, and who has a Heritage award issued annually in her name by the North Carolina Order of the Confederate Rose, would slip me a folded paper titled, "From Slavery to Freedom." I whispered to her, "Mom, do you want me to read this?" "Not now, son," was her reply. "You will know when the day comes to do so." I find it appropriate to do so now as I summarize the aforementioned.

The Constitutional Convention called in pursuance of the Reconstruction Act all contained Negro members. Only in South Carolina did they make up a majority of delegates. They were for the most part men of moderation. Typical of the magnificence of the Negroes are the words of Beverly Nash before the Convention…

"I believe, my friends, and fellow citizens, we are not prepared for this suffrage, but we can learn. Give a man tools and let him use them, and in time he will learn a trade. So it is with voting. We may not understand it at the start, but in time we shall learn to do our duty… We recognize the Southern White man as the true friend of the Black man… In these public affairs we must unite with our fellow White citizens. They tell us that they have been disfranchised, yet we tell the North that we shall never let the halls of Congress be silent until we remove that disability."

The Charleston Daily News would write: Beyond all question, the best men in the Convention are the Colored members. Considering the influences under which they were called together, and their imperfect acquaintance with parliamentary law, they have displayed, for the most part, remarkable moderation and dignity…

My mom would also tell me as I strutted around her living room after having walked to Texas with her beloved flag, "Son, you have not done enough." My Southern babies and our homeland are still under attack!

And so it shall be, that if I am to make a spectacle of myself in fulfilling her command to do more, on this day and month, her will shall be done! God bless you, and the men and women who made a Stand in Dixieland against a man who would illegally invade their homeland and circumvent the laws that had bound us together and the righteous path they chose to leave the Union because he did so.

Your brother,

HK