The University of Georgia’s marching band has dropped the tradition of playing the song ‘Tara’s Theme,’ from the film Gone With the Wind, which many say glorifies slavery. That tune has now been replaced by the song ‘Georgia On My Mind.’
In a letter this week, the university’s Redcoat Band’s acting director, Brett Bawcum, said the issue of playing ‘Tara’s Theme’ has been under discussion for months, but the “current social climate has highlighted the urgency of addressing it.” He didn’t want to delay dealing with the issue, he added.
“To be clear, the issue with the tradition is not the motivation of those who have embraced it, but rather the possibilities it may limit in those who haven’t. I value tradition, but I value creating a welcoming environment much more,” Bawcum said.
Gone With the Wind has again come into the spotlight amid nationwide protests against racial injustice. Earlier this month, streaming service HBO Max pulled the film from its lineup and said it would eventually be brought back with historical context.