Group seeking removal of ‘Dixie’ in Alabama fight song

Every college has its fight song, and the University of Alabama is no different. It’s a major staple for fans attending any Crimson Tide sporting event.

But there are some people who say Alabama’s song features an outdated word that no longer resonates with many fans and instead dredges up feelings of exclusion and hate.

That’s why the Delete Dixie Initiative is looking to remove the word “dixie” from “Yea, Alabama” and replace it with a more inclusive phrase. See the words to “Yea, Alabama” right here.

According to the organization’s website, while the term is a longstanding phrase associated with the American South, it grew in popularity between the 1860s and 1900s and became synonymous with hate groups as racially insensitive terminology.

UA faculty member Cassandra Simon said she supports this issue.

“I definitely support it because in part because we are at an institution of higher education and it has been something I have been educating students about for years, said Simon.

Simon said the UA Black Faculty and Staff Association went forward with officially requesting the word’s removal from the fight song last year. They’ve been working on this issue with UA representatives ever since, and DDI was formed in support of that goal. 

Part of the plan is raising awareness and educating others on the meaning behind the word “dixie” and how it represents a past the university should be putting behind it.

Those in support of the change stress they are not looking to completely change the lyrics to this popular song.“We don’t view it as an anti-UA,” Simon said. “We view it as pro-UA in helping them meet their strategic goal for diversity, equality and inclusion. And all we are asking for is a more inclusive term, one that is not so closely tied to race and racial violence in a time when Black people were expected to bow their heads and not have a voice for themselves.”

UA student Eleni Saffold shared her thoughts on this issue.

“I think it’s important to note that we can’t erase history and I mean removing names from buildings is one thing, but then going and changing song names because the meaning was totally different than what it was now. I think we need to recognize that the meanings have changed since then,” said Saffold.

WVUA 23 reached out to UA for comment, but did not get a response.

The groups hoping for change have plans for more educational and discussion ideas in the future.
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