Memphis TN 2013
It was such a pleasure speaking with you today thank you for any help you may provide to all of us and our future generations. Thank you for being you. I have been told it is early in committee stage and it would be too early for a visit. I don’t usually do much in the way of politics. No one from the public will be able to speak yet. I attached a copy of the speech Forrest gave the Pole Bearers on July 4th 1875. Also, a copy of this email with the links. And, a picture of what the marker looked like in place prior to the city removing it. I tried to add you as a friend (kat blalock) on fb but, you already are at maximum.
I have asked for an appointment Thursday or Friday 1/31 or 2/1 to meet with Janis Fullilove, City Council member to teach her some of what I know of my hero Bedford Forrest. She said she would listen to me so I have hope. I should to hear back from her assistant tomorrow. Although she is not on the parks committee she seemed the most opposed. I plan to share with her a few items: the picture of my Great Grand Father, FS Blalock that served under Forrest in the same company of the TN 7th Cavalry that Forrest enlisted as a private, one of your videos (still trying to decide which one, recommendation?), copy of the speech from the Memphis appeal to the Pole-Bearers (precursor to NAACP), and speech to Aldermen of Memphis. Also that he was the only non member to donate to the building fund for The First Baptist Church of Beale Street (Where Ida later made some of her speeches).
What else should I bring to the meeting and how would you recommend I start? Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. Below is the links from the media. Most are from the paper, one Flyer, and two TV spots. I look forward to reading what you wrote recently on Forrest, please email it to me or send me a link if it is on line. I included some Memphis contact info also from Alan’s email.
Here is the link to Forrest’s Pole-Bearers Speech in the Appeal from the Library of congress July 6, 1875:
1/13/13 “Marker for Klan founder Forrest moved by KKK’s worst nightmare: A powerful Black man”
Dear Ms. Blalock,
When I read the news article below listed in the Commercial Appeal written, by a reporter so named Wendi C. Thomas, and titled : Marker for Klan founder Forrest moved by KKK’s worst nightmare: A powerful nightmare: A powerful black man; I could only wonder what creditable Newspaper would allow the level of hatred and bigotry to be espoused in their newspaper. And then I became very distraught that a young black woman would stoop to such a level of bigotry and hate utilizing a level of ignorance only surpassed by the unfounded rantings of the likes of Harriet Beecher Stowe, and well beyond anything that I have ever heard in my life time from the most militant of organizations, other than the Ku Klux Klan that operated not under the command of Forrest who she has no real knowledge of as indicated by her own admonitions in the article, or she would have spoken of the Union League.
This young woman would be hard pressed to find any Black man who lived in the time of Forrest, be they freed or indentured, or were among those who were accounted as his servants, or those forty plus who rode with him under the Southern Cross, or whose family member he rode off into the dark of night to bring back to them, answering their plea for him to do so, or the Pole Bearer Organization, that would speak of the Honorable Genera Nathan Bedford Forrest as he did of himself, and had proved to be ," a true friend to the Black man " !
I only wish that she had met Holt Collier, or the Honorable Rev. Napoleon Nelson, Grandfather to the Honorable Nelson Windbush of Florida, a Black Son of a Confederate Veteran, or any of those forty plus Black men who rode with the General. It is taboo for Southern Black folks to speak proudly of the place of honor that their ancestors earned besides the likes of Christian men like Forrest, Lee, Jackson, or Morgan. They have had inculcated into their thinking process just like their Southern White counterparts who suffer from the planted White folk guilt to remember their ancestors in shame , and to hate each other while forgetting the complicity that the Africans, Arabs, Russians, British, French, Brazilians, and certainly those of the Northland of America had in the economic institution of slavery, and to accept unchallenged the daily accounting of a tale told so wrong as the plan of Southern social, and cultural genocide is complete, and especially the practice of abiding by the teachings of Jesus Christ , and that Christian symbol so called the Confederate Flag that is at the crust of their spirit so synonymous to that which could not be broken on February 9, 1865.
My brother Terry Lee has so well documented the voices of the unheard loyalist of the South , Red, Yellow, Black, Brown and White in his DVDs and also his pictorial journal of the Historic March Across Dixie that took place some ten years ago that would see me marching some twenty miles a day, six days a week don in the uniform of the Southern soldier , carrying the flag of Forrest , that so depicts a different tale of then and now of a shared love of a people on a path of shared social vertical mobility that would been the envy of the civilized world, only to be derailed by a man of greed bent on circumventing the rules of the document meant to guide them as he illegally invaded their homeland, and now some 150 years later continues to try and break their spirit by pitting them against each other with a tale told so wrong and so mean. I would hope that you take a copy of his book and any of his DVDs with you to see the Black Council lady. She will be surprised at what she will see, but I have faith in my Black brothers and sisters of the South ability to discern the truth when presented with both sides of a story. They don’t see strength in hate. This is a wonderful time that we live in. It is a time when all these attacks upon us have given us the opportunity for the vindication we speak of so freely. The Table of Brotherhood has been set in the South for a long time, but it will be a Barmecide Feast if the voice of Wendi C.Thomas is the only one to be heard.
I look very much forward to once again standing in Forrest Park at the Monument of the Honorable General Forrest as he would have done for the likes of King. God bless you, and I hope to see you soon.