Friday, February 3, 2012

Black History Month: Black Southerners in Confederate gray

February marks the beginning of Black History Month – a remembrance of important people and events of African American origin that began in 1926.
There have been many major contributions to our nation and to our society by black Americans some that have changed history – and are continuing to do so today. One area that has never received the recognition it deserved and has even been over-looked to a certain degree was that of black Southerners who fought for the Confederacy.
One would have to ask, “Why haven’t we heard more about them?”
Ed Bearss, National Park Service Historian Emeritus, made the following statement: “I don’t want to call it a conspiracy to ignore the role of Blacks, both above and below the Mason-Dixon line, but it was definitely a tendency that began around 1910.”
And, Historian Erwin L. Jordan, Jr., calls it a “cover-up” which started back in 1865. He writes, “During my research on pension applications, I came across instances where black men stated they were soldiers, but you can plainly see where ‘soldier’ is crossed out and ‘body servant’ or ‘teamster’ inserted.”
Another black historian, Roland Young says that “he is not surprised that blacks fought ... some, if not most, would support their country, and that by doing so they were demonstrating that it was possible to hate the system of slavery and love one’s country.”
This same principle was exhibited by African Americans who fought for the colonies during the American Revolution, despite the fact that the British offered them freedom if they would fight for them. Peter Jennings, an early settler of Rutherford County, was one of more than… (Read more)
Source: Southern Heritage 411

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