In a series of Tweets issued Thursday, the Grammy-winning country music group, Lady Antebellum, announced that they are changing their name to “Lady A” in light of recent protests over the death of George Floyd during an arrest by Minneapolis police officers and concerns their name brought to mind racist imagery.
The group — made up of musician trio Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood, and Charles Kelley — has used the name, “Lady Antebellum” since 2006, according to CNN. The name, the band said, originally referenced the typical southern-style “Antebellum” home, which to them, “reminded us of all the music born in the south that influenced us…southern rock, blues, R&B, gospel and of course country.”
They say they did not realize the association the name had with slavery.
“Antebellum” means “pre-war” in Latin but is often used to refer to pre-Civil War southern culture.
In their statement, the band says they now regret the decision to adopt the “Lady Antebellum” name.
“We are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word referring to the period of history before the civil war, which includes slavery,” the social media post read.
“We’ve watched and listened more than ever these last few weeks, and our hearts have been stirred with conviction, our eyes opened wide to the injustices, inequality, and biases Black women and men have always faced and continue to face every day. Now, blindspots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed,” the group wrote on Instagram.
“After much personal reflection, band discussion, prayer, and many honest conversations with some of our closest Black friends and colleagues, we have decided to drop the word ‘antebellum’ from our name and move forward as Lady A, the nickname our fans gave us almost from the start,” they added.
In addition, the trio says, they will make up for their lack of sensitivity by sending funds from their aid organization to charities associated with the group Black Lives Matter.
“We feel like we have been Awakened, but this is just one step,” they said. “There are countless more that need to be taken. We want to do better. We are committed to examining our individual and collective impact and making the necessary changes to practice antiracism. We will continue to educate ourselves, have hard conversations, and search the parts of our hearts that need pruning—to grow into better humans, better neighbors. Our next outward step will be a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative through LadyAID.”
Lady Antebellum’s name change is just the latest in a string of moves related to the ongoing protests over racism and police brutality. On Wednesday, HBO Max announced that it would remove the classic film “Gone With the Wind” from its library until it could bookend the movie with an appropriate discussion on the story’s context and could provide an appropriate disclaimer about the film’s depictions of race and slavery.
On Wednesday night, after pressure to cancel police-oriented television programs, Paramount network announced that it would drop the reality show “Cops” from its lineup, and A&E Network announced it would cancel the wildly popular “Live PD.” The New York Times suggested, also Wednesday, that networks should consider dropping the children’s cartoon, “Paw Patrol,” over its favorable depictions of law enforcement and first responders.
Author: Emily Zanotti
Source: Daily Wire: Country Group Lady Antebellum Changes Name To ‘Lady A’ Over Racism Concerns