MLK Peace March In Cross City, Florida
On the morning of January 18, 2010, all across the nation communities would gather to march in what has been deemed the Martin Luther King Peace March. This march is said to symbolize the dream of King of the coming together of the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners to the Table of Brotherhood when Black men and White men would come together in peace and harmony.
On this very same morning in the Great State of Florida, in a town named Cross City in Dixie County, where a granite monument displaying the Ten Commandments is proudly positioned on the Courthouse steps, like in no other place in the Nation, for the very first time since King uttered these words in his famous I Have A Dream speech, given on the Capitol Mall in Washington, D.C., these words in fact became a reality as the Sons of Confederate Veterans took their place of honored position alongside their Southern brethren in the King Peace March and together began their journey down SE 19, and up Main Street to the applause and adoration of all it’s gathered citizenry.
The total irony of it all is that right down the road in Homestead, these same Sons of Confederate Veterans would see the Boy Scouts of America, the American Red Cross, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars join forces with those who would ban them from marching in the annual Veterans Day Parade. The total irony of it all was that these same Sons of Confederate Veterans had seen their children banned from wearing the famous Southern apparel of DixieOutfitters that bore the depiction of the Southern Cross, by a Principal of Hawthorne Middle / High School right up the road in Hawthorne, after she had conjured up false information and tried to create an environment against the soldiers flag.
Yet the Honorable Angela Carter, the Chair of the King March Committee, would reach out to the Honorable Joe Sparcino, the Commander of the Dixie Defenders Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans as he had reached out several years running to the Black community of Cross City, by having his Camp present a Black History program honoring the Black Confederate soldier and the trained cadre of Blacks on plantations all across the South who made all the implements of war, provided the food stuffs for General Lee’s beleaguered army, stayed at home and help protect the home places while the the men were away, and those who had gone off to war and fought alongside a man that he not only called Master, but Family and Friend. The Irony of it all.
After the festivities of the day had concluded, we would have lunch at Caesar’s Restaurant and to the delight of the patrons, we would sing Dixie.
Later that evening , my brother, Terry Lee, Commander Sparcino, and the Camp Chaplin would, at the invitation of a Board member of the Dixie County Historical Society, attend their Board meeting where Terry Lee and I would be made Honorary Members of the Society and be invited to be a part of an event to be held on April 17, 2010 at the Societies grand facility. The irony of it all was that there was a show case display that contained my historical shirt designed by Dixie Outfitters which earmarked the March Across Dixie and a copy of the Un-Civil War published by the Asheville Tribune and authored by my dear friend, the honorable Mike Scruggs. It had been a great day in Dixie and would get even better as Commander Sparcino would the next day be invited by the Rotary Club to talk about the day that the Dream of King became a reality in Cross City.