WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - A group in Winston-Salem, North Carolina is calling on the city to take the word "Dixie" out of the name of the Dixie Classic Fair, just one month after the city took down a Confederate statue in downtown.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that 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,” Bishop Sir Walter Mack Jr., the pastor of Union Baptist Church, reportedly said in Tuesday's meeting.
In 2015, the Winston-Salem Journal reported that the fair had undergone several name changes during its history of more than 130 years. The Dixie Classic name dates to 1956. Before then, it was known as the Forsyth County Fair. Local historian Fam Brownlee said at the time that the name appeared to have been changed to emphasize a broader reach than just Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.
The newspaper reports when the name-change controversy broke out in 2015, William Ferris, a co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, called the word Dixie “a highly charged word” that, like the Confederate flag, would “increasingly be relegated to the pages of history.”
Council Member Dan Besse reportedly said during Tuesday’s meeting that he wants to know more about how the fair got the name Dixie attached. For more information on this story, click here.