Local People

Published on July 23rd, 2015 | by Newt Rayburn

4

Death of the Black Confederate: Mysterious Circumstances Surround the Passing of Anthony Hervey

Southern activist Anthony Hervey knew how to get attention, and his death is as mysterious and controversial as his life.

by Newt Rayburn – from The Local Voice #234 – July 23-August 6, 2015

2000-AnthonyHervey-BlackConfederate

Anthony Hervey marching around Oxford, Mississippi in the year 2000. Photograph by Alison Moore.

Oxford, Miss. (TLV)–Local activist Anthony Hervey, author of the book Why I Wave the Confederate Flag, Written by a Black Man, died in a car accident Sunday, July 19, 2015 near the Pontotoc and Lafayette County line in Mississippi.

Anthony was a well-known Southern activist who lived in Oxford. He spent many days demonstrating in front of the Confederate memorial on the Square with controversial signs and flags.

He was known to dress in a Confederate soldier’s uniform and march around the local area, flying a Battle Flag.

Anthony Hervey

Anthony Hervey on the Oxford, Mississippi Square during the 2008 Presidential Debate.

Hervey’s signs were eye-catching and adorned provocative statements, such as “White Guilt = Black Genocide,” “Anti-Racism is the Brain Child of Racism,” and “The Welfare State Has Destroyed My People.” 

Hervey was returning home on Sunday after speaking at a Confederate History Rally in Birmingham, Alabama.

City leaders there have recently voted to remove the Civil War monument from Linn Park, and Anthony Hervey wanted to speak out against it.

Hervey was traveling with Black Confederate Activist Arlene Barnum from Stuart, Oklahoma.

Arlene Barnum posted updates on her Facebook page on the morning of the crash that said that the two were being chased, and had been run off the road.

“HELP.. They after us. My vehicle inside down,” Barnum posted at 11:25 am on Sunday, July 19. “Anthony Hervy [SIC] pinned in ., gas leaking.”

Anthony Hervey

Anthony Hervey wearing his Confederate soldier jacket and kepi.

Barnum later told the Associated Press that they had “stopped at a convenience store, and she remained in the vehicle as he went in. She said Hervey was wearing a Confederate kepi, or military hat.

Barnum said soon after they left the store, a car with four or five young black men pulled up near them.”

“They were angry with Mr. Hervey,” Barnum said. “Mr. Hervey sped up and said, ‘Hell, no.’ … He really had to gun it on the gas pedal.”

wreckphoto

The SUV accident that killed Anthony Hervey on July 19, 2015. This photograph was taken by the only survivor of the accident, Arlene Barnum.

She said the car ran Hervey off the highway, and the SUV rolled over. Barnum said she unbuckled herself and told Hervey he should take a pocket knife off her key chain and cut his seatbelt. She said he was breathing but didn’t respond.

Anthony Hervey had given a fiery speech at the Confederate History Rally on Saturday, July 18 and Barnum had apparently burned her lifetime membership card to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. According to organizers, the rally was attended by nearly 500 people, who cheered on Hervey and Barnum.

Anthony Hervey (right) and H.K. Edgerton (left) at the Birmingham, Alabama Confederate History rally July 18, 2015, just hours before his death. Hervey gave a fiery speech at the rally.

Anthony Hervey (right) and H.K. Edgerton (left) at the Birmingham, Alabama Confederate History rally July 18, 2015, just hours before his death. Hervey gave a fiery speech at the rally.

Not everyone who attended the rally supported the pro-Confederate cause, however.

According to blogs and Facebook posts, there were demonstrators opposed to the rally, and claims that some were arrested.

One blog post said there were shouting matches between anti-flag demonstrators and the handful of Black Confederates who attended the rally.

“I feel safe,” Anthony Hervey said during his speech at the Birmingham rally, as he spoke in front of the crowd. “I really do feel safe! This is the only time I feel safe telling—let me say the word—the damn truth.”

Anthony Hervey was not afraid to stand up for his beliefs, or himself, and he was not unaccustomed to dealing with angry opposition.

In fact, nearly everywhere he went Anthony Hervey engaged in conversation, discussion, and debates. Often times they became very heated.

A photograph from April 18, 2014, when Anthony Hervey was attacked on the Oxford, Mississippi Square. Hervey punched his attacker and knocked him out cold.

A photograph from April 18, 2014, when Anthony Hervey was attacked on the Oxford, Mississippi Square. Hervey punched his attacker and knocked him out cold.

Former Daily Mississippian Opinion Editor Blake Aued was involved in a violent scuffle with Anthony and his brother on the Oxford Square in 2001. Hervey and Aued both filed assault charges against each other, but both parties eventually withdrew their complaints altogether.

On April 18, 2014, Hervey was briefly detained by Oxford Police after being attacked on the Square by another black man, who was upset over Hervey’s opinions.

According to witnesses, Anthony punched the man and knocked him out, after the man grabbed and yelled at him. Hervey was not charged in the incident.

According to an article in The Sun-Herald in 2000, Anthony Hervey’s devotion to the Southern cause started when he discovered that his Great-Great-Uncle James Hervey was a Black American who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War.

The Local Voice researched and found a James H. Hervey who served in Company C of the 18th Regiment Mississippi Cavalry Battalion. However, James Hervey’s race or relationship to Anthony Hervey could not be established by press time.

Other Herveys who served in Mississippi’s Civil War Army include William O. Hervey of the 9th Regiment Mississippi Infantry, J.K. Hervey of the 2nd and 7th Regiment Mississippi Cavalry, and Benjamin P. Hervey of the 15th Regiment Infantry.

Anthony Hervey and his brother Harry Hervey demonstrating on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Anthony Hervey and his brother Harry Hervey demonstrating on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

“The battle flag stands for freedom and states’ rights,” Anthony Hervey told The Sun-Herald in 2000. “The U.S. flag is the flag of slavery. It flew over 100 years of slavery, and Native Americans were annihilated under that flag.”

“We currently live under a psychological form of reconstruction,” Hervey continued. “Whites are made to feel guilty for sins of their ancestors, and blacks are made to feel downtrodden. This keeps all of us from communicating. The political correctness of today is killing the pride of the people.”

Hervey’s opinions and activities were very controversial at the University of Mississippi, where he attended college studying Sociology. Anthony refused to use Ole Miss’ “Free Speech Zones,” and got in trouble by extending his activities throughout the campus.

Anthony Hervey giving his final speech at the "Monumental Dixie" rally in Birmingham, Alabama on July 18, 2015.

Anthony Hervey giving his final speech at the “Monumental Dixie” rally in Birmingham, Alabama on July 18, 2015.

“Anthony probably was our first real experience with true freedom of speech,” Sparky Reardon, former Dean of Students at the University of Mississippi, told The Clarion-Ledger. “He challenged us and we had to reconsider some things. We realized we had an obligation to the First Amendment to allow him to do that. We mistakenly called it a free speech area; and it really should never have been called that, because the whole campus should be called that.”

Hervey had plenty of critics and adversaries on the internet as well. The website  www.AnthonyHervey-ConfederateCrook.com is entirely dedicated to opposing Anthony Hervey. The site’s publisher is Danish citizen Niels Graverholt, who claims he was cheated out of money by Hervey.

“I made this website to warn others against Anthony Hervey from Oxford and Water Valley, Mississippi,” Graverholt posted. “In return for my helpfulness, friendliness and generosity he is trying to cheat me—an absolutely not well-off pensioner—for 1.300 dollars, that I was naïve enough to lend him in February 2010.”

Some of Hervey’s legal troubles were much more serious. In 2003, he was one of 17 defendants charged in a 31-count criminal indictment for fraudulently obtaining student loans. Hervey went to prison but was released in December of 2006.Anthony Hervey

In the last several years, Anthony Hervey could be found most days hanging out at High Point Coffee on the Oxford Square. He was a frequent fixture of the café, and he spent the days playing chess and talking politics and social issues with the locals. He also spent plenty of time demonstrating with Confederate flags and flamboyant signs in front of the Confederate Memorial on the Square and in front of the West Jackson Avenue entrance to the University of Mississippi.

Hervey’s friends and colleagues remember him much more fondly, and warmly, than his critics.

“He was just trying to promote love and equality between everybody,” said local artist Keelan Stokes. “They are so saturated with all of these political agendas that honesty seems extreme. He was just trying to be honest with how the world is.”

The cover of Anthony Harvey’s book, Why I Wave the Confederate Flag, Written by a Black Man: The End of Niggerism and the Walfare State.

The cover of Anthony Hervey’s book, Why I Wave the Confederate Flag, Written by a Black Man: The End of Niggerism and the Walfare State.

“Anthony worked so hard to try to explain and overcome what he considered to be the dilemma of his race,” explained Debbie Sidle. “He felt like his people had gone from being on the plantation to being on the government plantation.” 

“I get so mad when I see some stranger calling him an Uncle Tom,” Golda McLellan said. “Anthony’s opinions and actions were nothing but his own. Oxford won’t be the same without him.”

“He deserves respect for passionately and actively fighting for his opinion,” said David Watson, “That’s what makes America great. You can agree to disagree and learn something in the process.”

“My heart and prayers go out to the Hervey family for their tragic loss,” said local pianist Bill Perry, Jr. “He was a fellow Oxonian who believed in his convictions and was not afraid to challenge you. Oxford has lost one of its own, and that’s what’s important to acknowledge at the moment.”

Anthony Hervey marching in Oxford, Mississippi in May of 2000. Photograph by Alison Moore.

Anthony Hervey marching in Oxford, Mississippi in May of 2000. Photograph by Alison Moore.

“It’s a sad day in Oxford,” lamented local chef Andy Coulter. “I’ve never wanted to fly a Confederate flag before, but I might get one just so I can lower it to half mast for a day for Anthony. We’re all gonna miss him.”

“He was a very intelligent man,” said Melody Watson. “I still have hopes that his Confederate stuff was some kind of Andy Kaufman prank. I’m sorry to see his light go out.”

“Many people considered him crazy, but I considered him a friend,” said local musician Jeff Callaway. “I wish more people could realize that disagreeing politically and being friends don’t have to be mutually exclusive.”

“I truly enjoyed his fresh and direct way of discussing his passions and his enthusiasm towards challenging stereotypes,” said Vicki Reithel. “Would be honored to attend his service.”

In the weeks before his death, Anthony Hervey told The Local Voice that he really wanted to sit down for an interview and be in the newspaper. It is unfortunate that it had to happen this way.

As was his life, the circumstances involving Anthony Hervey’s death are mysterious and controversial. The Mississippi Highway Patrol is investigating the accident and the claims that he was forced off the road by unknown assailants.

Anthony Hervey was born October 27, 1965 and he died July 19, 2015. He was 49 years old. The Local Voice Ligature

Related Articles:

“Remembering Anthony Hervey” by Louis Bourgeois

“Anthony Hervey’s Funeral Set for Sunday, August 2nd in Oxford, Mississippi” by TLV News

“‘Black Confederate’ Anthony Hervey Funeral Procession Draws Hundreds in Oxford, Mississippi” by TLV News 

 

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Anthony Hervey (left) at the “Monumental Dixie” rally in Birmingham, Alabama on July 18, 2015. Arlene Barnum is second from the right.

Anthony Hervey on the Oxford Square. Photograph by Gaetano Catelli, April 11, 2014.

Anthony Hervey on the Oxford Square. Photograph by Gaetano Catelli, April 11, 2014.

A photograph of the wrecked SUV that killed Anthony Hervey on Sunday, July 19, 2015. Photograph was shot by Arlene Barnum, a passenger in the vehicle and the sole survivor.

A photograph of the wrecked SUV that killed Anthony Hervey on Sunday, July 19, 2015. Photograph was shot by Arlene Barnum, a passenger in the vehicle and the sole survivor.

Flowers at the Confederate memorial in Oxford, Mississippi laid for Anthony Hervey. July 22, 2014. Photograph by Rebecca Long.

Flowers at the Confederate memorial in Oxford, Mississippi laid for Anthony Hervey. July 22, 2014. Photograph by Rebecca Long.

Anthony Hervey demonstrating on the steps of the Mississippi Capital building in 2001, during the sessions to legally establish Mississippi's state flag.

Anthony Hervey demonstrating on the steps of the Mississippi Capital building in 2001, during the sessions to legally establish Mississippi’s state flag.

BURN BABY BURN!! Arlene Barnum tells her part time employer, the NAACP, to “take this job and shove it!” Then she lights her NAACP membership card on fire! She says, “They are the real racists!” – Join us! We are truly multicultural! Let’s work together to Save Our South and our great America! #SaveOurSouth

Posted by Save Our South on Saturday, July 18, 2015

So glad my good friend Frank Matthews was not with me today, this could’ve been ugly. Listen to what a Mississippi sellout has to say.I went deep,deep, deep undercover for this

Posted by Robert Walker on Saturday, July 18, 2015


 

Related Articles:

“Remembering Anthony Hervey” by Louis Bourgeois

“Anthony Hervey’s Funeral Set for Sunday, August 2nd in Oxford, Mississippi” by TLV News

“‘Black Confederate’ Anthony Hervey Funeral Procession Draws Hundreds in Oxford, Mississippi” by TLV News 

Remembering Anthony Hervey (by Louis Bourgeois)
Know Your Bartender: Nick Spiller of Burgundy Room

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About the Author

Newt Rayburn founded THE LOCAL VOICE in 2006.

Previously, Newt was Editor of PROFANE EXISTENCE in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Art Director for Ole Miss’ LIVING BLUES magazine. Newt won a National Magazine Award in 1999 for his SOUTHERN MUSIC ISSUE with THE OXFORD AMERICAN.

A seventh-generation Lafayette County, Mississippian, Newt is perhaps best known as the leader of the Mississippi RocknRoll band THE COOTERS, but he also has the Country & Southern Rock group, HAWGWASH.

Newt is a Photographer, Writer, and Civil War Enthusiast.



4 Responses to Death of the Black Confederate: Mysterious Circumstances Surround the Passing of Anthony Hervey

  1. Shiloh says:

    The Battle of Shiloh was fought on land bequeathed to my family for their service in the American Revolution. Furthermore, Shiloh occurred early on in the war, in 1862. I fail to see your point here as to when Hervey joined – before or after Shiloh. In fact, I fail to see your point here at all.

    But here is my point: This man was likely targeted and killed for nothing more than being a Confederate descendant. I find it very telling that your concern is far greater for the date of his ancestors enlistment than for the witch hunt that spawned this unjust crime and the murder that took this man’s life.

    Deo Vindice Anthony.

  2. Barry says:

    Why is Anthony wearing a baseball cap in the photo taken at the rally if Barnum said he was wearing a kepi when they were at a convenience store? Wouldn’t it make more sense to wear it at the rally if he had one? In addition, the Oxford Eagle reported she made her faebook posts about an hour and a half after the accident. Why not just dial 911 for help?

    This story is just weird.

  3. Barry says:

    Is there any security video from the convenience store?

  4. I was sorry I never met you in the flesh, Anthony. But I have gotten up to speed with all the people involved. Your final speech, your book, these tribute pages – you shall never be forgotten. You stood as a man – and a Black Redneck – and those who attempt to trade off of our Confederacy – like demmedYankees, carpetbaggers and scalawags of all ages – shall lose in the end. I appreciate you for standing, and being yet another gentleman who leads us all. Tell the truth, shame the devil. Deo Vindice – you are with the angels. – Catherine Harris

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