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HK Edgerton, a native of Asheville, North Carolina, born the son of Rev. Roland Rogers Edgerton, and Mrs. Annabelle Robinson Edgerton who as a native of Anderson, South Carolina is the only Black to receive a Confederate State Funeral, and has a Heritage Medal named in her honor by the North Carolina Order of the Confederate Rose.
HK is a Co-Founder of the Black Student Center at the University of Minnesota, and served as its first Board Chair. HK served as a Student Regent , and was key in the Board of Regents decision to divest its interest in a South African Gold Mine in its quest to free Nelson Mandella.
HK is a past Board Chair of Sabathani Community Center, a United Way Social Service Agency in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
HK served as the North Carolina Representative of the Black Leadership Caucus in District 50.
HK served on the joint committee of the City and County Commissioners that re-wrote the Minority Business Plan for the City of Asheville and Buncombe County. North Carolina.
HK is the Past Program, Planning and Implementation Chair of the Buncombe County Drug Commission.
Please Donate Today! HK is the Past 1st Vice and President of the Asheville Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; a Civil Rights Organization.
HK is presently the Chairman of the Board of Advisors Emeritus of the Southern Legal Resource Center, a non-profit organization that coordinates legal assistance for persons whose civil or Constitutional rights have been violated in connection with Southern Heritage issues.
HK is presently the President of Southern Heritage 411, a corporation founded to inform the public about Southern Heritage from the perspective of the hundreds of thousands of Black people who love and support the South, its people, its customs, and its history.
While Edgerton does not mention the Morill Tariff and the election of Lincoln and the inoperative document deemed the Emancipation Proclamation in the documented speech chosen for this discourse, he has often referred to it as an inoperative war document so called by Lincoln deemed to mount slave revolts in the South, and to gain sympathies from the countries of Europe, so freeing slaves not under his jurisdiction, and freeing none that were. Or the Corwin Amendment that really defines Lincoln's intentions for the slaves... "If the Southern men who had left Congress would come back and agree to the proposed tax increases by the now Northern dominated Congress, ratify the Corwin Amendment which stated in part that it would prevent Congress from ever writing an Amendment to end the economic institution of slavery." The South would not agree to this.
Edgerton's speech given January 8, 2000 (printed below) in Columbia ,South Carolina defines why he was chosen for this discourse on Black History.
My fellow Confederates
My message will be brief, but I hope you will remember my words,
I speak today on behalf of the 2 .5 million Southern Bondsmen, Bondswomen, Freedmen and freedwomen who from 1861 to 1865 loyally served and supported the Confederate cause, in however humble and noble capacity.
When cotton was needed to finance a long war, it was Black hands that picked it and prepared it for export to Europe. When foodstuffs were needed to feed the embattled Southern armies and a beleaguered Southern civilian population, it was Black hands working with White hands that tilled the soil to grow needed crops to fend off starvation. Slave and Freeman alike gave his last penny to support the Confederate cause.
It was trusted Black hands left on the Plantation to guard the Mistress and her children from the hand of the invader. It was skilled Black labor that worked in the New Southern factories making the implements of war that kept the Southern armies in the field for four years, across the South in every Town, City, and plantation a trained cadre of Black laborers and craftsmen worked to keep Southern armies supplied with all the implements of war.
In the Confederate Navy some Black men mustered in as sailors on Confederate naval vessels, manned the rigging, manned the guns, and stoked the fireboxes, and even served as Pilots.
Without the untiring sweat of Black men, the Confederate army would have quickly ground to a halt. Black men served as Teamsters, Cooks, Blacksmiths, Farriers, Laborers, Servants and in many cases as the close friend of the White man he accompanied. Many of these Black auxiliaries were to prove their worth in combat, even though by law they could not be compelled to fight. and would not be legally allowed to enlist as soldiers until the last days of the war. Most importantly was the bond of love and affection between Black and White that transcended the institution of slavery and is so incomprehensible to people up North.
In cases too numerous to mention, boyhood friends Black and White went off to war together, sharing together the hardships of Camp life, the camaraderie of army life, the stress of campaigning, the excitement of battle, the agony of the hospital, and the painful separation of death.
Stories abound of faithful Black friends and servants seeing to the comfort of their White friends last moments on earth, and with tearful countenance and broken hearts begin the sometimes difficult and arduous task of obtaining proper burial for his friend and then bringing the painful news home.
Only love can explain such a bond, fear of the lash cannot explain it, and our Northern friends dismiss it as so many fairy tales. these Northerners miss a very important point. we are Southerners too. By 1861 we had worked with these Southerners for two centuries. South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, or Tennessee was our home. The average Black Confederate understood his duty as God gave him the light to perform it. He performed his duty without expectation of reward or promise of freedom, but knew that if he worked and struggled and fought hard for the Confederate Cause as a loyal subject, the White people of the South would do right by him.
When Sherman marched to the sea, he destroyed Black homes as well as White, stole foodstuffs that would keep Black children from starving as well as White, his soldiers raped and killed Black women, and forced loyal Black men to volunteer for their army at bayonet point or more commonly to act as laborers so that White Yankees could sit on their backside.
Sure, many Blacks voluntarily went over to the Union Army, but history will never record how many of them sincerely regretted their decision later, while they served as slaves for Union officers or their wives were forced to be prostitutes for Union enlisted men.
Then came 1865, the complete collapse of the Confederacy, so called freedom for the slave, and the beginning of 135 years of deferred promises to African Americans under the Star and Stripes.
The South was ready to do right by their former slaves. They accepted the fact of freedom and were prepared to make provision for the new Freedman within the limits of an impoverished and devastated South. But even though the Southern armies had surrendered, the North had not finished their conquest. they began a deliberate policy of poisoning the minds of the former slaves against their former Masters.
The bonds of love and affection were severely tried and in many cases sundered, The North spread anarchy and hatred through their secret Black Societies called the Union or Loyal Leagues. By the misrule of the Carpetbag governments, they spread corruption across the defeated South. They continued their deliberate economic boycott of the South until the mid 20th century. there was no Marshall Plan for Dixie.
This Northern Policy of divide and conquer coupled with the economic strangulation of the South go a long way towards explaining the rancor and hatred of Black / White relations in the South. Unfortunately most Americans, Black or White are completely ignorant of this view of Southern History. Therefore, to those who act out of simple ignorance we should extend the hand of friendship with education. To those who act out of malice. Hear me! From this day forward your policies of divide and conquer are doomed to failure! No longer are you going to be able to benefit from the ignorance created by your own failed education programs.
No longer from this day are you going to be able to play middle man between the races. Because a new class of Black Southern leaders are rising, leaders who are aware of how people have been duped, bribed, and pandered to, for the benefit of a powerful few. These new leaders are willing to cast aside the ignorance and prejudice of the past to work with a new class of White Southern leaders who together will sort out the problems and invent solutions for their respective communities, and for the mutual betterment of all.
Scalawag politicians will not be a part of this process, nor will our insincere Northern friends be invited. Christian Southern men and women , Black and White are invited to begin the healing process that was derailed in 1865. Reconciliation based on truth, not a lie. reconciliation based on Christianity, not secular humanism. Reconciliation based on mutual respect, not on one - world pipe dreams.
The process I am describing starts today, we are all a part. And we do so under the noble and sacred Confederate Battle Flag. God bless you all! and may God bless Dixie and young Candice Hardwick of Latta who has suffered and faced the terror that so many Southern women faced for making a Stand in Dixieland for those honorable men and women of the South.
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