Companies, artists and institutions have been disavowing and rebranding problematic names, badges and mascots that share a history of exploiting black people and other cultures and idealizing the slavery-era South. Examples range from Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s to Lady Antebellum and the Dixie Chicks to the Washington Redskins and even Disney’s Splash Mountain, which had depictions from its controversial 1946 film Song of the South. Look at this list, and you can begin to appreciate the magnitude and importance of this movement.
According to the press release, after specific conversations with leaders of the black communities of New Orleans, the brewery decided it was an imperative move this past June. The brewery engaged with hundreds of New Orleanians, including beer drinkers, hospitality workers, culture bearers, local historians, among others, to participate in the rebranding process. Then just last month, the brewery enlisted the public’s help again for a rename, gathering thousand of online submissions of names it hoped would represent the community and culture of New Orleans.
To the press release!
“When my husband and I acquired the majority interest in Dixie Beer in 2016, we recognized that we were investing in more than a brewery, we were investing in a strong and resilient community,” said Gayle Benson, owner of Faubourg Brewing Company. “When the team embarked upon this journey in June, we understood that our new name must encompass the spirit and diversity of all of New Orleans unique neighborhoods. The Faubourg Brewing Company is a celebration of our city, our people, and our commitment to New Orleans. Our investments in New Orleans East will continue, and bringing jobs and economic opportunity to our community will remain at the forefront.”
The Faubourg name (pronounced fo-burg) is a French word that’s often used interchangeably with the word “neighborhood” in New Orleans. When will the change happen? Customers can expect to see the new Faubourg Beer on shelves and taps in early 2021. Until then, products remain available under the Dixie brand.
“We took a deliberate approach to the name retirement and rebranding process. We have a tremendous amount of respect for our customers and the countless good memories that our products have helped to create since 1907. Throughout this project, there were brand name suggestions that kept coming up in conversations with our team as well as the community, and one of them was Faubourg,” said Jim Birch, general manager. “Our products have always brought people together, and we believe, like so many others, that Faubourg is a unifying name that celebrates every corner of New Orleans. Our beer has been served in this city’s neighborhood bars and markets since 1907 and we look forward to the next 100 years. We’re grateful for the incredible participation from the public and it’s our pleasure to share this new name with everyone now.”