‘Black Confederate activist’ speaks to Urquhart-Gillette Camp 1471
Friday, May 2, 2014
COURTLAND—H.K. Edgerton makes no apologies for being a flag-waver — the Confederate flag, that is. Which is what he did several times on Saturday as guest speaker at the Memorial Day observance that was hosted by the Urquhart-Gillette Camp 1471 Sons of the Confederate Veterans. The program took place in front of the Confederate Monument beside the Southampton County Circuit Courthouse.
What made Edgerton stand out is that he is black.
On his website, www.southernheritage411.com, he identifies himself as “a black Confederate activist who works tirelessly to bring the real truth of our heritage to people of all races.”
Tireless, indeed. During his hour-long presentation, Edgerton continually moved through an almost entirely white audience made up of SCV members, many of whom arrived on motorcycles. Those were members of the Mechanized Cavalry. Several other people wore regalia ranging from Confederate uniforms to period dresses.
A notable exception in the crowd was the presence of Forrest Johnson, who is also black. He was called up by the speaker on learning that Johnson is descended from two relatives who fought on the Confederate side.
“He presented himself well and served the purpose for which he was invited,” said Johnson.
As to his ancestor, he added, “My question is whether they fought on their own initiative or were pressed into service.”
Edgerton spoke of the tens of thousands of blacks who voluntarily served as soldiers or supported the Confederacy. He occasionally called for an ‘Amen’ from the audience and usually got it along with applause from an enthusiastic audience.
Speaking figuratively, Edgerton identified himself as the flag and moved from one hand to another.
“I am the Southern cross…God bless Dixie!”
Among the faithful in the audience were Teresa Wells of the Capt. Sally Tompkins Chapter of the Order of the Confederate Rose Chapter 2, and Reba McDaniel of the Nora Fontaine Davidson OCR Chapter 11.
Both said they enjoyed Edgerton’s program, and explained that their organization, like that of the SCV “is not at all about hate,” said Tompkins.
“We honor our ancestors,” added McDaniel.
© 2014, The Tidewater News.