“Antebellum.” The word means “before the war,” but in American culture, all things “antebellum” relate to styles that pertained in the South before the Civil War. To many, the word evokes lanes under canopies of Spanish moss leading to sprawling plantations, inhabited by dainty young women in hoop skirts—it’s all Scarlet and, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
For others, of course, it refers to a time of slavery and oppression that made all that finery a whole lot less fine.
The popular country band, Lady Antebellum, was founded in 2006 by Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood. The group has scored huge hits with such singles as “Need You Now” and “Just a Kiss.” They’ve taken home five Grammy awards.
The trio originally got the idea for the name “Lady Antebellum” from the type of Southern house they took promotional pictures in, saying, “It just [felt] kind of country and nostalgic.”
Recently, Lady Antebellum began to reflect on the negative realities associated with their name. In light of this, Lady Antebellum has officially changed their name to Lady A.
“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.” Lady A explains. “We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued. We’ve watched and listened more than ever over 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, blind spots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed.”
Of course, they could have cracked a history book a while ago, but hey, that’s now Gone with the Wind. And that’s the way the group wants it.