The country band Lady Antebellum, which recently changed its name to Lady A, "connected" Monday with the blues artist Lady A, who has been using the moniker for decades.
"Today, we connected privately with the artist Lady A," bandmates Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood and Hillary Scott said on their group's Instagram account Monday, sharing a screengrab from their video call.
"Transparent, honest, and authentic conversations were had," the caption continued. "We are excited to share we are moving forward with positive solutions and common ground. The hurt is turning into hope. More to come."
Anita White, who has long sung under the stage name Lady A, shared the same photo and message on her own Instagram account.
Last week, the Grammy-winning country band announced that they would be shortening their name to make it more "inclusive."
"As a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge…inclusive of all," the band said in a statement shared on Instagram June 11. "We’ve watched and listened more than ever these last few weeks, and our hearts have been stirred with conviction, our eyes opened wide to the injustices, inequality and biases Black women and men have always faced and continue to face every day."
"Now, blindspots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed," the musical trio continued.
"After much personal reflection, band discussion, prayer and many honest conversations with some of our closest Black friends and colleagues, we have decided to drop the word 'antebellum' from our name and move forward as Lady A, the nickname our fans gave us almost from the start," they went on.
The word "Antebellum" invokes the historical period before the American Civil War when African Americans were enslaved.
The band said that they are "regretful and embarrassed" that they "did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word referring to the period of history before The Civil War, which includes slavery."
"We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued. Causing pain was never our hearts’ intention, but it doesn’t change the fact that indeed, it did just that. So today, we speak up and make a change. We hope you will dig in and join us."
The band said they were making a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative through LadyAID, and that their "prayer" is that if they "lead by example…with humility, love, empathy and action…we can be better allies to those suffering from spoken and unspoken injustices, while influencing our children & generations to come."
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
• ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.
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