PRESS RELEASE: Southern Heritage Group Supports Slavery monument Bill in Black History Month
Tallahassee – HK Edgerton, Save Southern Heritage Florida "SSH FL" member, called on the Florida Legislature to pass of a bill yesterday that would build a memorial to the contribution of enslaved persons in Florida, especially those who served Florida during the War of 1861-1865. Edgerton appeared at the Capital in Tallahassee donned in the uniform of a Confederate soldier in observance of Black History Month. "I came to Florida and found a cesspool of ignorance about the contribution of Black Southerners to the South during the War" said Edgerton about his interactions with the public during his visit. "The South and Florida... wouldn't have lasted a day without the participation of the free and slave people of color. These men...and women...who used the rifles, but also fed the troops, protected their friends and families and made the implements of war all need to be honored for their service and a monument would be a good way to do it" Edgerton added. Edgerton posted colors at the War Memorial at the Capital and conducted living history presentations during his visit. "We agree with Mr. Edgerton and the bill's sponsor that the contribution to of enslaved Africans that were brought to the new world has not been fully recognized and we think that including an aspect of military service to the proposed monument would be fitting" said David McCallister, spokesman for Save Southern Heritage. Enslaved Africans were first brought to Florida by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon in his first voyage to Florida in 1513, and the practice continued until the Confederate States of America's Constitution, to which Florida was a member, banned the continued importation of enslaved persons from Africa. The bill, as it is written, omits mentioning the Spanish role in bringing enslaved Africans to Florida and America but places the blame on the United States and the colonies. "When the bill is passed, it should focus on their contributions rather than on placing blame" McCallister noted. "They provided a labor force that created a strong agricultural economy in Florida. And when strife came to Florida, they took their place honorably as well" McCallister added. February is Black History Month and Save Southern Heritage FL observes the month by posting information about Black Southerners on its its social media and web sites, and in sponsoring Mr. Edgerton's visit. "I can think of no more fitting time for the Florida Legislature to take this step than during Black History Month" added McCallister. There is currently no monument to the service of enslaved servicemen in Florida. The Confederate Monument at Arlington National Cemetery features Confederate soldiers with recognizably African facial features but Florida does not have any similar monument. "We would like to see the proposed memorial include an aspect of military service, and so, when erected, it would be subject to the protections that other Veterans and Military memorials deserve" he added. “Only God knows how many total blacks served, but the South wouldn't have lasted a day without the participation of free and slave blacks in the South and they should be remembered” HK Edgerton concluded. Mr. Edgerton's appearance in Tallahassee was part of the Save Southern Heritage Florida's observance of Black History Month that includes informational posts about Confederate Veterans like Holt Collier, a Confederate Sharp Shooter, Alexander Darnes, Aide to Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith and others. HK Edgerton is past president of the NAACP in Ashville, NC and is recognized nationwide as an advocate for Southern Civil rights and educating the public of the role of black Southerners in the war of 1861-1865.
SAVE SOUTHERN HERITAGE Inc. is not for profit corporation that educates & advocates on behalf of Southern Heritage & History. It was started in 2015 in response to the knee-jerk Anti-Southern institutionalized bullying and “erase-ism” levied against the people of South Carolina by Governor Nikki Haley, after she broke all previous agreements about how South Carolina’s historical veterans and their symbols should be treated and respected. SSH FL does not condone racism and as such we do not support any group or person that does. We respect the rights and privileges of all as bestowed on them by their creator and expect those in our association to respect and treat others as they themselves would wish to be treated. The Florida branch was activated in mid-January 2016, in response to three initiatives in the Florida Legislature that are part of a hate campaign led by Anti-American extremists, who refuse to respect the various cultures that make up the fabric of Florida’s society. Since that time, it has grown in membership and has been active in Heritage battles throughout Florida and actively involved in voter education resulting in wins for pro-heritage candidates. More info: www.sshfl.org