*The University of Mississippi is getting rid of a controversial tradition that has been a part of their football games for nearly seven decades.
The athletic department has announced that “From Dixie With Love,” the unofficial anthem of the Confederacy during the Civil War, will no longer be played by the school band, Pride of the South, before their team takes to the gridiron.
“The newly expanded and renovated Vaught-Hemingway Stadium will further highlight our best traditions and create new ones that give the Ole Miss Rebels the best home field advantage in college football,” read the statement. “Because the Pride of the South is such a large part of our overall experience and tradition, the Athletics Department asked them to create a new and modern pregame show that does not include Dixie and is more inclusive for all fans.”
“Dixie” became popular in the mid-19th century after originating in the blackface minstrel shows of the 1850s. Its lyrics, written in an exaggerated version of African American vernacular, tell the story of a homesick southerner. Today, critics of “Dixie” view the lyrics as longing for the days of slavery and racial segregation in the South.
Below, the band’s first director to put “Dixie” on the field, Dr. Luther Snavely, addresses former Pride of the South members about the controversy surrounding “Dixie,” and says that some writer for the New York Times said their version of the song “would make a Quaker liberal stand up and cheer.”