Music

The Chicks Help Raise Funds to Relocate Confederate Monuments in Texas

The Chicks took part in a virtual music festival on Monday (Jan. 18) which raised funds to relocate two Confederate monuments from the Bastrop County Courthouse lawn in Texas.

Bastrop resident Cheryl Lee organized the Move Forward Virtual Music Fest with singer-songwriter Grace Pettis. Beyond the Chicks, it featured local and national acts, including Grammy-nominated blues and folk artist Ruthie Foster plus such Americana talents as Eliza Gilkyson.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day fundraiser benefitted the Bastrop County Monument Relocation Committee. Before the virtual concert's airdate, the committee had raised $28,000 of its needed $50,000 to relocate two monuments.

Per a press release, "the committee was empaneled after the Bastrop County Commissioners Court voted in July to remove its two Confederate monuments from the courthouse lawn. One of the statues is a tall stone obelisk with Confederate symbols that was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1910. The second is a granite headstone commemorating Joseph D. Sayers, a major in the Confederate Army and Texas' 22nd governor, which was erected in 1964 by the state of Texas."

"The Confederate monuments are a serious concern to the Black community, but I think they're now a concern to the whole community," said Bastrop City Council Member Dock Jackson in a press release. "Not only because of recent events, but because of the message it sends. When you have to go to the courthouse for birth certificates or marriage licenses, you have to pass by those monuments, and that's not a very pleasant reminder of the past."

Read More: Taylor Swift Calls for the Removal of Confederate Statues in Tennessee

The Chicks' Martie Maguire made a brief statement before the group's music video for "March March" played during the livestream event.

"We are so proud and happy to be supporting Move Forward Fest," Maguire said. "It means relocating Confederate monuments and creating more welcoming and inclusive public spaces in our state."

In an interview with CBS Austin, Lee applauded the Chicks for shortening their name from the Dixie Chicks to distance themselves from the term "Dixie's" Civil War connotations.

"They're authentic, it shows they're not just saying it," Lee said. "Just as moving these monuments is a gesture, it's a gesture the fact they're willing to remove that from their name and go by the Chicks and publicly state that they're doing so knowing they're going to get the backlash they're going to receive from some fans means a lot to me because that they're willing to take the punches because they believe in the movement."

Author Ryan Holiday joined Lee as a guest speaker.

Donations can be made on the Bastrop Confederate Monument Relocation Fund website.

The Chicks' livestream appearance came the same week as Garth Brooks' stirring rendition of "Amazing Grace" on President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris' inauguration day.

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The Chicks Help Raise Funds to Relocate Confederate Monuments in Texas