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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)[1][2]. 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[3] 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." [1] Winbush travels widely to SCV posts and other organizations to speak about his views and heritage[4] [5]. 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." [1] 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[6].

His views on these topics have drawn criticism from organizations such as the NAACP.[1]


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