My grandmother raised me.
She was born in 1890
Her father and uncles fought for the south in the Civil War
You could say she was first generation after the War
My mother would be second generation
And I guess that would make me the third generation post-Civil War.
I was raised in the Mississippi Delta
‘Colored” water fountains
‘Colored’ waiting rooms at the bus station
We did not celebrate July 4th for that was when Vicksburg fell
We did celebrate Confederate’s day
Children dressed in Confederate uniforms
And marched in a parade in Vicksburg.
As abhorrent as they are, the feelings of pride in the Confederacy
And even the racial prejudice of those closest generations to the War
Is understandable when viewed as a time frame
When Confederate soldiers were still alive in some southern communities.
But now it has been seven generations
It’s time to take the fucking statues down
Time to admit the sin the Confederacy was built on
A time to recognize that it is no longer about pride of culture and family
But an excuse for bare and bold face racism: white supremacy.
My great-great grandfather Kelly: as a teenager fought in the Civil War for the South.
My Great-great grandfather Gilliland: fought in the Civil War for the North, died at the Battle of Shiloh.