Group calls for ‘Dixie’ to be taken out of Dixie Classic Fair over associations with slavery
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Less than a month after the city of Winston-Salem took down the Confederate statue downtown, a group is calling on the city to take the word “Dixie” out of the name of the Dixie Classic Fair, the Winston-Salem Journal reports.
Several speakers told members of the Winston-Salem City Council on Tuesday that the name Dixie is offensive because of its association with slavery in the South and that the fair needs a new name.
“Dixie does represent the Southern states that fought to hold on to slavery,” said Bishop Sir Walter Mack Jr., the pastor of Union Baptist Church. Mack said that in 1988 he did research on the name “Dixie,” and he has not been to the fair since that time.
Council Member James Taylor suggested in 2015 that the name of the fair could be changed but backed off in the face of opposition. Taylor was not at Tuesday’s general government meeting, but he said Tuesday night that he doesn’t plan to get involved in the issue again.
Council members listening to Mack and the others during Tuesday’s committee meeting sounded much more open to changing the name.
“I think it is a fascinating opportunity to rebrand ourselves,” Council Member John Larson said. “We do need to have a thorough understanding of the history. We have a fair committee involved in branding and marketing. Maybe they should bring a recommendation back to this board.”