Country-pop group Lady Antebellum announced on Thursday that they will no longer go by that name, as the term “Antebellum” represents the cotton plantation era in America’s southern states which used to own and work slaves. Going forward, the group which formed out of Nashville in the mid-2000s will now be known simply as Lady A.
The band’s announcement follows the past two weeks of heated protests and social justice gatherings in cities across America and other parts of the world as the United States continues to work to abolish any association with its dark history of systemized oppression towards people of color.
A lengthy statement shared to the band’s social media page on Thursday morning reads,
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.
The band continues in explaining how they first came up with the name Lady Antebellum after taking their first photoshoot in a southern “antebellum-style” home, and the name reminded them of “all the music born in the south that influenced us.” They did, however, go on to admit that until now they’ve been unable to recognize the effect of the connotation on Americans of color when celebrating an era which represents such grave oppression felt over generations.
“We feel like we have been Awakened, but this is just one step,” the band continues. “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.”
Scroll down to read the entire statement.