The group’s name was inspired by a house. In particular, an antebellum-style home in front of which the musical group took its first photos. Over the 14 years they’ve been together, the highly successful country music trio has not been involved in any social flaps over racial missteps. But there is the name.
The antebellum period refers to the years before the Civil War in the South when slavery was legal and a few homes were large and airy, with sizable verandas. With the current social uproar over George Floyd’s murder and the heightened sensitivity to anything that might cause offense, the members of Lady Antebellum have decided to change their name.
In an open letter about their name, the group said:
“But we are regretful and embarrassed to say that 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. 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 these past 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.”
To be sure, the group isn’t straying very far. They’re changing the name to Lady A, which was the shorthand many people used to refer to the group anyway. Besides, “Musical Group in Front of Cool Old House” was probably too long. Who knows if their change will make a difference, but they get props for being socially aware.