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Old 02-10-2012, 01:43 AM   #1

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Default Mobile Azalea Trail Maids
Here's an article about the NAACP getting upset about these costumes:

The Trail Maids are a group of high achieving high school girls who are chosen every year to represent the city of Mobile, Alabama. They dress in historically-inspired costumes, intended to portray the cultural history of the city, and the beauty, grace and Southern hospitality that the area is known for.

But, of course some people are offended. I think their time would be better spent making real changes in favor of minorities, such as education.

Alabama NAACP criticizes use of Trail Maids in Inaugural Parade

Montgomery, Ala. (WSFA) -- They're part of a long standing tradition that will soon become a part of Presidential history.

The head of the Alabama NAACP, however, wants Mobile's Azalea Trail Maids to stay home on Inauguration Day, claiming the group reminds him of slavery. "These are not just regular costumes. These are the costumes that remind someone of the plantation in Gone with the Wind," Edward Vaughn said in a phone interview.

Vaughn went on to say the group would be the laughing stock of the Inauguration. County leaders say nothing could be further from the truth.

"We want everyone to know that these young ladies do not need to be identified with slavery," said Mobile County Commissioner Stephen Nodine.

The Mayor of Mobile has responded

Friday, Mobile Mayor Sam Jones released this written statement:

"The Azalea Trail Girls represent the beauty of Mobile. After all, we are the Azalea city. We are extremely proud of their participation in President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration and can think of no better group that represents the character and diversity of our city to showcase at this historic event. As it relates to diversity, we would compare Mobile with any city in the state of Alabama. We are a diverse city representing people from all segments and walks of life. These girls epitomize that, and they are excellent ambassadors for Mobile."

Local media have covered the controversy and local legislators have added their opinions.

On parade: The Old South

State Rep. Alvin Holmes, the longest-serving black legislator in Alabama, sees nothing wrong with the selection of the Trail Maids -- especially since the court has 11 members of color. Eight are African Americans, one is Asian and two are of Indian descent, according to Andy Marasca, Mobile Jaycees president. The Jaycees oversees the group.

"I think it would be better for the image of the state of Alabama to have another group participate also," said Holmes, whose district is in Montgomery. "We have some top high school bands around the state of Alabama. But the fact that the Trail Maids are integrated, makes it OK to me. They didn't have anything to do with slavery."

Mobile County Commissioner Steve Nodine has demanded an apology from NAACP President Edward Vaughn

January 9, 2009

Mr. Edward Vaughn

NAACP Alabama State Conference
P.O. Box 9581
Dothan, AL 36304

Dear Mr. Vaughn

I am extremely disappointed in your criticism of Mobile’s Azalea Trail Maids and your call for this group to be removed from participation in the presidential inauguration.

Despite your claims, the Trail Maids do not represent the Confederacy or antebellum times but reflect the beauty of Mobile and its 300-plus years of fascinating history.

22% of the current Trail Maids are minority. How sad it would be if these girls especially were denied the opportunity to witness history as Barack Obama is inaugurated as our 44th president.

Mobile is one of the country’s fastest growing areas in terms of economic development. This would not be possible if the community were divided. Mobile is a place that strives to be inclusive and represent the needs of all citizens.

The Trail Maids have been ambassadors for Mobile County for almost 60 years. Competition to become a Trail Maid is extremely selective with only the brightest, most accomplished girls being chosen.

Over the years, the Trail Maids have helped welcome presidents, foreign dignitaries, celebrities, and other VIPs to Mobile. They have represented Mobile County across the nation at celebrated events like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York and at Presidential Inaugurations in 1985, and 2005.

Your comments about these exceptional young ladies were very hurtful and insensitive. I believe you owe them, and all citizens of Mobile County, an apology.


Stephen D. Nodine

The Rebel Flag -- the stars and bars of the Confederacy battle flag -- is an offensive symbol a destructive, bloody Civil War waged by selfish, wealthy land owners who wanted to protect their "Peculiar Institution" by destroying America. Never mind that it involved the former enslavement of an entire group of people for having African heritage.

The great General Robert E. Lee, who passed over fighting for the Union to join the Confederacy, was not fighting for Miss Ann's right to dress like a wedding cake. This was not the "way of life" of which they spoke, considering most Southern women couldn't even afford the damn thing and it had nothing to do with slave owning. A stupid frilly dress is simply a stupid dress no matter what fictional Southern movie heroine wore it.

Now, offensive would be if the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan got to march a "Southern Heritage" banner down the avenue in front of the motorcade, but if period clothing is enough to inspire Don Imus-level offense then everyone needs to stop wearing cowboy boots right now. I could have swore they were popular with the people who settled the American west driving countless Native Americans off their land and eventually into reservations, to the brink of extinction.

But strangely, you know? A cowboy boot is just a pointy-toed boot popular in the South and American West. Not a symbol of brutality. Neither is a stupid dress.

A noose. A burning cross. A Rebel Flag. A Klan hood. Those are the symbols of the South's tragic, violent, racist past (and in certain cases, present). Sometimes a dress is just a dress. The only thing oppressive going on is that corset underneath which once conformed Southern ladies to an unnatural standard of tiny waist size making them more prone to fainting.

Stories like these imply that there are no serious issues left to tackle involving blacks and racism in America. They also unfairly push the stereotype that only the South has racial hangups and dirty laundry. (Um ... What's the City of Boston's excuse? Do they have a frilly dress situation there too?) Petty complaints like this imply that all we have left are word police and now, fashion police in Blackland. An unarmed black man was shot and killed in Oakland, Calif. on New Year's Day and it spurned riots. Poverty and poor education plague our cities and many parts of the South, including Alabama. We just elected our first black president, president of color, non-white president, biracial president and THIS IS THE FIGHT WE'RE PICKING?


According the the groups organizer Andy Marasco, "39 are white, 8 are black and 3 are Asian."
angeldimmon is offline

Old 02-10-2012, 01:54 AM   #2

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Lulz whatever, some people looking for a reason to whine I guess.
DoroKickcrofe is offline

Old 07-18-2020, 09:43 AM   #3

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