From: HK Edgerton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2012
Subject: An Open Letter & Open Report — Wright State University and Black History Month
To: siegels1 <email@example.com>
Dear Ms. Lunelle,
When I received the request from Wright State University to speak from the Honorable Andrew Bryce Hudson of the University Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center, located near downtown Dayton, Ohio, I didn’t know what to expect from a school so deep into Yankee land and, at best, the State of Sherman.
However, after speaking to Bryce, all my apprehension soon faded away. He explained to me as I would later learn that he and his boss, the Honorable Dr. Dana Murray Patterson, who would stand behind him as he spoke to a committee of the University that felt that I should not be there to speak; that if the University was to live up to its mandate of listening and learning from diverse ideas and opinions; then surely a man of color carrying and defending the Confederate Battle Flag, especially on a journey callled the Historic March Across Dixie at a time when the Flag and it’s symbolic ideas were under attack from nearly every politically correct entity in the nation, and to boot a former NAACP President whose organization had been coerced into leading the attack , was surely the embodiment of that mandate.
I knew that this was the month (February) that White people in the South and the Southern Cross would take its annual beating. And here I was being asked to go right into the heart of the beast. And sure enough that very morning I was to give my first of two speeches, the Northern media rhetoric against the South would begin in earnest. There was Condi speaking about the Alabama Church bombings as if all the good Christian White folks in Alabama had sanctioned such an action; there was Bo Connors with the dogs and hoses; there was George Wallace standing at the schoolhouse doors proclaiming segregation now, and segregation forever; Bear Bryant with his segregated football teams, and of course that band at Ole Miss, playing Dixie as the Drum Major and his court pranced around with that evil Confederate Battle Flag.
I was so proud when my little brother Terry Lee spoke a different tale. And when he produced his new book of the Historic March Across Dixie, the meaning that a picture is worth a thousand words was all that I needed to get my engine going. God bless the students, staff, community, and especially Dr. Dana and Bryce, and not to forget John, the owner and publisher of the African American Newspaper of Dayton for a taste of Southern Hospitality. Terry Lee’s book and his Historic March Across Dixie dvds are now on permanent display in the Center of the University.
And I want to thank Kelly Barrows for his book on the Forgotten Confederates, Mike Scruggs and the Asheville Tribune Newspaper for the Un-Civil War book, Thomas De Lorenzo for his many works, the SLRC , Southern Heritage News and Views, and others that I have failed to mention for always arming me with undisputable truths, and Dixie Outfitters for not only my very own historic shirt, but for the Black History series of shirts that has become the pride of so many, especially those who look like me.
On Saturday morning, March 3, 2012, the Southern Legal Resource Center and arguably the Southland would lose its heart, a very dear lady, Mrs.Tate, but for those of us who call ourselves family referred to
lovingly as "MIM" ;would head home to be with God. As I stood at her hospital bed with the family, I could only feel joy for Mim as she began to make her journey home, but I must confess that I have never been so sad as I watched the tears fall from Laura Elizabeth’s eyes (one of her granddaughters). Laura Elizabeth had become to represent in her young years for me, one of the most courageous, talented, unselfish human beings that I have ever known on God’s earth. "Mim was one of the same". May God bless her husband and family, and forgive me because in my selfishness, I did not want her to go.