School Plays Minstrel Show Song “Dixie” On Lynching Memorial Site

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Missouri State University is apologizing after its band performed “Dixie,” a song that originated in the blackface minstrel shows of the 1850s, at a site where three black men were lynched in 1906.

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Interim President Clif Smart said the song was an “unfortunate selection” and won’t be played again in a public venue.

The song was played at a November 18 dedication of Park Central Square in Springfield, a town in Southwest Missouri.  A plaque at the location identifies the site as a place where three black men were lynched.   The band leaders have stated that they didn’t realize the song would be offensive.

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