Published on July 23rd, 2015 | by Newt Rayburn5
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
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
“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 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.
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.”
“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.”
“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.
“Remembering Anthony Hervey” by Louis Bourgeois
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
“Remembering Anthony Hervey” by Louis Bourgeois