Nelson W. Winbush is the epitome of what our unique presentation of black history is about. He is a proud Black Confederate American, and we honor him today. The information contained on his Wikipedia entry says more than we probably could. So begging your pardon, we’ll simply quote from them (emphasis added):
Nelson W. Winbush, a native of Ripley, Tennessee, is an academic, notable as being an African American member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. (SCV). He is a member of the SCV’s Jacob Summerlin Camp #1516 (Kissimmee, FL). His grandfather, Louis Napolean Nelson, was a private in Co. M, 7th Tennessee Cavalry of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. Private Nelson was a slave at the start of the war. He began his military service as a cook, then a rifleman, and finally a chaplain. Being descended from this Confederate veteran allowed Winbush to qualify for membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Winbush, who is a retired assistant principal with a masters degree, is a staunch supporter of the Confederate flag and Southern heritage. He believes the South seceded from the Union because the federal government taxed it disproportionately. He believes it was a matter of states’ rights, not slavery. “He denies that President Lincoln freed the slaves, explaining that the Emancipation Proclamation affected only the Confederate states, which were no longer under his authority.”  Winbush travels widely to SCV posts and other organizations to speak about his views and heritage . During one of these speeches, when he was referring to his Confederate heritage, Winbush proclaimed, “….Black is nothing other than a darker shade of rebel gray.”  Winbush also participated in the 1998 production of a Black Southern Heritage video which discusses in part his grandfather’s Confederate military service and qualification for a Confederate pension after the war.
We put him forth as an example and an encouragement for other Black citizens or decedents of the South to reacquaint themselves with and proudly reclaim their Southern heritage.
On a brief side note … Imagine our surprise, when preparing to write this article, to discover that Mr. Winbush is evidently the originator of the expression we have been using, “Black is Gray.” Ours isn’t verbatim, but the “down home” expressiveness of such profound truth owes it’s existence to Mr. Winbush, and is a fitting testament to his heritage in and of itself.