Black mayor turns heads when he makes April Confederate History Month with proclamation

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The mayor of Livingston, TN has signed a proclamation acknowledging the month of April as Confederate History Month in the small town that lies east of the capital city of Nashville.

Mayor Curtis Hayes met with several members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans for the signing ceremony earlier this month.

A caption with a photo of the ceremony reads:

A contingent of compatriots with Sons of Confederate Veterans, Myers-Zollicoffer Camp 1990 recently met with Livingston City Mayor Curtis Hayes for the signing of a proclamation designating April 2022 as Confederate History Month in the Town of Livingston and urging all citizens to avail themselves of the opportunities to increase their knowledge of this important era of Tennessee’s history. On hand for Mayor Hayes’ signing are, from left, Norman Osburn, Michael Boswell, Junior Matthews, Bill Speck, Bill Heard, and Tommy Phillips.


Confederate Memorial Day is a holiday observed in many southern states, usually in the month of April, and done to honor the estimated 258,000 Confederate lives lost in the U.S. Civil War. While it is an official state holiday in Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina, it is instead only commemorated in Tennessee (where it is called Confederate Decoration Day) North Carolina, and Kentucky, as well as Texas and Florida (where it is called Confederate Heroes Day.)

Be that as it may, only seven states have formally declared – either through proclamation or through legislation – a designation of Confederate History Month in their states. Those states are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia.

In the case of Mississippi, in 2016, then-Governor Phil Bryant proclaimed April to be Confederate Heritage Month in the state, but as the Jackson Free Press noted at the time, the proclamation did not appear on the state’s website. Rather, Bryant’s proclamation appears only on the website for the Mississippi Sons of Confederate Veterans and came two weeks before Mississippi legislators would kill 19 state flag bills that sought to remove the symbol of the Confederate era.

The proclamation states that it is “important for all Americans to reflect upon our nation’s past” and “to gain insight from our mistakes and successes,” reported the Free Press. It further said we must “earnestly strive to understand and appreciate our heritage and our opportunities which lie before us.”

BPR reported at the time that, although Confederate symbols have come under fire in recent years, Gov. Bryant refused to take a position on changing the flag, which he said remains in the hands of voters.

“Like his predecessors — both Republican and Democrat — who issued similar proclamations, Gov. Bryant believes Mississippi’s history deserves study and reflection, no matter how unpleasant or complicated parts of it may be,” said Clay Chandler, a spokesman for Bryant, according to the Free Press.

“Like the proclamation says, gaining insight from our mistakes and successes will help us move forward,” he said.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans website states that the organization “shall be strictly patriotic, historical, educational, fraternal, benevolent, non-political, non-racial and non-sectarian. The Sons of Confederate Veterans neither embraces, nor espouses acts or ideologies of racial and religious bigotry, and further, condemns the misuse of its sacred symbols and flags in the conduct of same.”

The fact that Livingston Mayor Curtis Hayes is black garnered mixed reactions on Twitter as it appeared to enrage some users and discombobulate many others.


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