BLACK SOUTHERN HERITAGE ACVITIST TO RETRACE HISTORIC MARCH
For immediate release
ASHEVILLE, NC – H. K. Edgerton, prominent Southern Heritage activist and former NAACP officer who gained international attention in 2002 with his “March Across Dixie,” will leave Asheville Saturday morning on a two-month-long reenactment of his historic pilgrimage.
In October of 2002, Edgerton left Asheville’s Pack Square and walked 1,600 miles to Austin, Texas, carrying a Confederate flag. His final destination was the Texas State Supreme Court Building, from which then-Gov. George W. Bush had caused two commemorative Confederate history plaques to be removed. He plans to step off from the Square again at 8 a.m. Saturday; however, instead of recreating the entire march step by step, he will conduct mini-marches of about five miles each at selected points that retrace his original line of march. In all, he will make approximately 40 stops, ending at the Texas State Capitol on December 17.
“I wish I could do the whole march step-by-step again, but I’m five years older now. The spirit is willing but the flesh is not what it used to be,” Edgerton, who is now 58, said.
Edgerton undertook his 2002 march not only to demand that Bush replace the plaques, but also raise awareness of the role of blacks in Confederate history and to call national and international attention to what he terms “the wholesale and deliberate destruction of the positive aspects of Southern history by self-serving politicians and the media.” The outpouring of support from Blacks as well as whites that he encountered during the original march confirmed his premise that “Southerners overwhelmingly still see themselves as Southerners, regardless of race, and most of them are not fooled by all this propaganda.”
Edgerton says he decided to recreate his march not only because of the anniversary but because “the lies are still being told and Southerners are still being persecuted for trying to honor their heritage.”
In 2002, Edgerton delivered a letter to Bush, who had just been elected President, at a town meeting in Raleigh. In the letter Edgerton reminded Bush of theTexas plaques incident, pointed out that the South had played a decisive role in delivering him the Presidency, and asked his help in rescuing the region’s history and culture from political correctness. Bush promised to read the letter. Edgerton later sought a personal interview with the president to discuss his points but the White House declined.
Edgerton, former President of the NAACP’s Asheville Branch, is a past Chairman of the Board of Advisors of the Southern Legal Resource Center, a Southern Heritage-related civil rights organization. He and his brother, Terry Lee, recently organized the Anna Belle Edgerton Foundation for Southern Heritage Unity, named in honor of their mother, who died in 2005 and was buried in Asheville’s Riverside Cemetery with Confederate honors.
For additional information, contact:
H. K. Edgerton