Rev. Pinkney's energy and optimism after eight months behind bars for a crime he did not commit was amazing, but he was also sober about his situation.
Rev. Pinkney wanted to know, have you ever heard of the First Alabama Cavalry or the name Newton Knight? Not likely. It was a story written by Paul Wilcox. The capitalist media have always promoted stories of “former Confederate soldiers” who loyally served the Confederacy, loved General Robert E. Lee, had no issues with slavery, and so on. But there is another story. A hidden history of poor whites' opposition to the Confederacy and to slavery.
Newton Knight was a poor white farmer who fought the Confederacy with all his might. The First Alabama Cavalry was an anti-slavery, pro-Union cavalry mostly white, but also with Blacks, about 2,000 in total, whose members fought the Confederacy and eventually were escorts for Gen. Sherman during his historic march through Georgia in 1864.
The greatest opposition to slavery came from the enslaved themselves, who always had escape in mind, who aided both the Union Army and Confederate deserters, fought for the right to fight the Confederacy, and heroically struggled for their freedom at every turn. There was also significant opposition to the Confederacy from poor whites in every slave state.
Rev. Pinkney's activism and kindness have won him the respect and admiration of many of the poor white prisoners, along with over 95% of the Black prisoners. We must stand together and fight back, Blacks, whites, poor whites, and all others. It is not just one thing, it is everything.