One of my FB friends invited me to join a group dedicated to black Confederates. There are just under 200 members. No surprise that just about all of them are white, including Rickey Pittman. There is nothing serious about the site. Essentially, it serves as a dumping ground for the same tired stories that populate the Web. To get a sense of how ridiculous this is consider the fact that they use an image of Jim Limber as their profile picture. One of the more aspects of the site is the attempt to define who constitutes a black Confederate. Check it out:
BLACK CONFEDERATE DEFINED: 1. Any Black person, slave or free, a subject of a seceded Southern state, who faithfully performed his/her duties during the existence of the Confederate States of America. There were 3.5 million blacks in 1860 census residing in Southern states so the number of Black Confederates numbers in millions, not thousands.
Black Confederate Definition 2: Post War 1865-1940. Blacks of any age and gender and including veterans who identified with and defended the Confederate Cause, its symbols and veterans.
Black Confederate Definition 3: Modern. Blacks of any age and gender who identify with and defend the Confederate Cause, its symbols and heroes; and who belong to the Confederate Community and/or consider themselves Confederate Southern Americans.
So, I guess the tens of thousands of free blacks and fugitive slaves who served in the U.S. Army betrayed a cause that they morally ought to have supported in some way. Notice also that the term has been completely watered down beyond any kind of presence with the Confederate army. I guess “faithfully performed his/her duties” simply means that they maintained their roles as slaves. As for Definition #2 I would love to know who they have in mind. Is there a Preferred Membership option for those who maintained their loyalty even as Jim Crow hardened race relations at the turn of the twentieth century? Finally, I guess they have the likes of H.K. Edgerton in mind for their Modern category.
There is something quite disturbing about a bunch of white people recruiting blacks to buttress their silly beliefs about the loyalty of tens of thousands of slaves.