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Country trio Lady Antebellum changes name to remove slavery link

 

Agence France-Presse

New York, United States  /  Fri, June 12, 2020  /  01:06 pm
Country trio Lady Antebellum changes name to remove slavery link

(L-R) Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum attend the Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Seminar at The Peabody on January 17, 2020 in Memphis, Tennessee. (AFP/Brett Carlsen)

The Grammy-winning country group formerly known as Lady Antebellum on Thursday announced their new name Lady A, with members saying they were "embarrassed" for not considering the band name's link to slavery.

The term "antebellum" refers to a time period before a war, and is widely associated with the pro-slavery American South in the pre-Civil War years.

"As a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge… inclusive of all," the group that emerged some 14 years ago said on social media. 

"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," it added.

"Now, blind spots we didn't even know existed have been revealed."

Read also: Twitter, Square to mark 'Juneteenth' holiday lauding end of slavery in US

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dear Fans,⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ As a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge…inclusive of all. 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 everyday. Now, blindspots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ 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.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ When we set out together almost 14 years ago, we named our band after the southern “antebellum” style home where we took our first photos. As musicians, it reminded us of all the music born in the south that influenced us…Southern Rock, Blues, R&B, Gospel and of course Country. But 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. We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued. Causing pain was never our hearts’ intention, but it doesn’t change the fact that indeed, it did just that. So today, we speak up and make a change. We hope you will dig in and join us.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ We feel like we have been Awakened, but this is just one step. 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. Our prayer is that if we lead by example…with humility, love, empathy and action…we can be better allies to those suffering from spoken and unspoken injustices, while influencing our children & generations to come.

A post shared by Lady A (@ladya) on

The announcement comes after two weeks of anti-racism protests ignited after the police killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis.

The band -- known for hits like "I Run To You" and "Need You Now" -- said they had settled on the original name after taking their first group photos at an antebellum-style home, saying it reminded them of "music born in the South" that had influenced them.

The musicians apologized for "the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued."

"Causing pain was never our hearts' intention, but it doesn't change the fact that indeed, it did just that. So today we speak up and make a change."

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