“Council Member James Taylor is backing away from his suggestion that [Winston-Salem] consider dropping the word ‘Dixie’ from the name of its popular fair.
“ ‘The support at this time seems to be for leaving the name the same,’ Taylor said of the Dixie Classic Fair. ‘Because this seems to have driven a wedge in the community, I don’t see a need to pursue it any further’….
“Taylor’s discomfort with ‘Dixie’ makes sense to…William Ferris, senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at UNC Chapel Hill: ‘It’s a highly charged word and, like the [Confederate] flag, it will increasingly be relegated to the pages of history in a public way.’…
“Though Taylor is now supporting keeping the fair’s name, it’s likely the issue may surface again, Ferris said.
“ ‘You have people who look back at displaying the flag and singing “Dixie,” and the Old South was a place to long for,’ he said, adding that those memories are being increasingly contested by people who view the Old South through a prism of violence and human rights violations with little affection for the “land of cotton.”
“ ‘The South is evolving and considering its future and figuring how to best understand its history. And contesting those memories is one way to do that,’ Ferris said. ‘The word “Dixie” is part of that re-evaluation of what the South is and how it should be publicly presented.’ ”
— From “Council member says he won’t pursue name change for Dixie Classic Fair” by Lisa O’Donnell in the Winston-Salem Journal (Aug. 12)