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Southern Pride: Confederate civil rights activist walks 1,400 miles to raise awareness

By JOAN SHERROUSE
Daily Sun Staff

Noted black Confederate civil rights activist H.K. Edgerton is back in Corsicana after adding a 200-mile detour to his marathon march from Ashville, N.C. to Austin.

He was a part of the Civil War re-enactment and historical marker dedication in Chatfield Saturday, arriving in Corsicana Monday with his trademark Confederate flag waving in the biting wind.

During his last visit, he donned a Civil War-era uniform and carried his flag on the Navarro County Courthouse steps in defiance of an order issued by 13th District Court Judge John Jackson banning the display of all but the U.S. and Texas flags on courthouse property.

Thus far, Edgerton's march has taken him through some of the south's strongest bastions, including South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

He said he has encountered nothing short of astounding support all along the route as he endeavors to share his philosophy on the meaning of Dixie's true heritage as it relates to the black community's contribution to history.

Throughout the journey he has averaged about 20 miles a day, frequently attracting a band of advocates -- both black and white -- eager to join his quest, even if only for a mile.

During his stay in Navarro County, he has been hosted by the William Henry Parsons Camp No. 415 Sons of the Confederate Veterans -- and member Rob Jones -- who have provided meals, motel accommodations and encouragement.

Edgerton is chairman of the Southern Legal Resource Center's board of advisors, and he is accompanied by the firm's chief trial counsel, Kirk Lyons, and his brother, Terry Lee Edgerton, who has documented the feat on film and in pictures.

"When this is all done, we're going to produce a tape and certainly there will be a book," H.K. said. "I can't wait for people to see some of those photographs."

He went on to describe the love and support he has received along the way from southerners representing all races and walks of life.

"It's certainly going to give some of my liberal black friends ... a headache when they look at these pictures," he said.

Tuesday's goal is Wortham, but Edgerton and his entourage will return to Corsicana for the night to eat and rest.

While Terry Lee said there is no time in his brother's schedule for an unplanned visit to the courthouse, H.K. said he is not so sure he can resist the opportunity.

"That courthouse keeps coming back in my mind every day, and I do want to get over there and see that big Texas star," he said. "I dream about that star, and it was a great moment in my life standing there on it."

The epic march, which will span more than 1,500 miles, will end in Austin Jan. 25 where Edgerton will be at the center of several ceremonies and hopes to address Gov. Rick Perry.

Joan Sherrouse may be contacted via e-mail at jsher-@corsicanadailysun.com