N.B Forrest was great man! Forrest came from a poor and broke home. At the age of 17 he had to work to support his sisters and brothers and mom. He worked hard and became a self made millionaire. He joined the army as a private as the Civil war broke out. He took his own money and raised a Calvary unit. He paid to have them out fitted. He recruited whites and black to serve with him, which was ground breaking in 1860's. In about 3 years he rose from Private to Lieutenant General.
Now a very small group in Jacksonville FL. wants to change the name after 55 years because of him being a Confederate general. They tried this once before and thecommunityvoted to keep the name. Now they are trying againregardlessof of what the people Jacksonville want.
N.B. Forrest was a pioneer and champion of civil rights in the 1870’s. He was a strong supporter of blacks getting education and going to college. A early supporter of the NAACP when they were called the Independent Order of Pole-Bearers Association.
In 1875, Forrest demonstrated that his personal sentiments on the issue of when he was invited to give a speech before an organization of black Southerners advocating racial reconciliation. He made what the New York Times described as a "friendly speech" during which, when offered a bouquet of flowers by a black woman, he accepted them as a token of reconciliation between the races and espoused a radically progressive (for the time) agenda of equality and harmony between black and white Americans. His speech was as follows:
"Ladies and Gentlemen I accept the flowers as a memento of reconciliation between the white and colored races of the southern states. I accept it more particularly as it comes from a colored lady, for if there is any one on God's earth who loves the ladies I believe it is myself. ( Immense applause and laughter.) I came here with the jeers of some white people, who think that I am doing wrong. I believe I can exert some influence, and do much to assist the people in strengthening fraternal relations, and shall do all in my power to elevate every man to depress none. (Applause.) I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going. I have not said anything about politics today. I don't propose to say anything about politics. You have a right to elect whom you please; vote for the man you think best, and I think, when that is done, you and I are freemen. Do as you consider right and honest in electing men for office. I did not come here to make you a long speech, although invited to do so by you. I am not much of a speaker, and my business prevented me from preparing myself. I came to meet you as friends, and welcome you to the white people. I want you to come nearer to us. When I can serve you I will do so. We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment Many things have been said about me which are wrong, and which white and black persons here, who stood by me through the war, can contradict. Go to work, be industrious, live honestly and act truly, and when you are oppressed I'll come to your relief. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for this opportunity you have afforded me to be with you, and to assure you that I am with you in heart and in hand." (Prolonged applause.):