Time to CANCEL the Mobile Azalea Trail Maids

The City Mobile should finally get rid of the Azalea Trail Maid program. It’s imagery of the antebellum south, an era before the civil war in which slavery flourished is really a desperate attempt to hold on to an imaginary, romanticized time that never existed in American history. Yes, I know the Azalea Trail Maids are the allegedly the Good Will Ambassadors of the city who exude the “finest in Southern charm and hospitality” according to their website.

But to me and so many other Black Mobilians past and present and Black visitors alike, those massive colorful hoop skirt dresses is really a nod to the movie “Gone with the Wind” complete with swirling sound score, a romantic back-and-forth, a violent war and oh yeah the fate of four million Black men, women and children who generationally had been enslaved for over 300 years.

As a Black child growing up in Mobile, I grew to despise everything those dresses symbolized and the supposed southern “values” the Azalea Trail Maids stood for. And for clarification this has nothing to do with how many years it finally took to integrate the program with Black Trail Maids. Instead it’s the imagery the city is seemingly clinging to that is all too incongruent with what it really is today, a majority Black city that is attempting to grow its economy and population.

Mobile is proudly home to numerous international companies such as Airbus, ThyssenKrupp and others. So the last thing that a modern Mobile wants to project at the annual Macy Thanksgiving Day parade is a hundred or so mostly white young ladies reminding audiences around the world that the antebellum, pre-civil war and slave driven economy is not dead, but is still alive in the minds and hearts of two-hundred thousand Mobilians!!

In fact over the past few years, I’ve brought friends to Mobile for Mardi Gras. One friend from Chicago often recounts the anger and shock he felt seeing how Mobiilans proudly allowed a man to ride his bicycle before and after the parade with a giant confederate flag attached to it. It’s even harder to explain how imagery from the racist south such as the Azalea Trail Maids is somehow a modern-day Goodwill Ambassador of the city.

Here’s an idea!! Mobile should disassociate itself from the Azalea Trail Maid program and seek more modern and progressive way and marketing to project itself as a city that’s on the move. Mobile let’s finally remove ALL of the racial imagery and pain and allow it to finally be buried and placed in a museum where it belongs. And from those ashes let’s grow a new Mobile of Tomorrow!

Herndon Davis is site manager of the Growing Mobile Alabama page at https://www.facebook.com/GrowingMobileAlabama/

119 thoughts on “Time to CANCEL the Mobile Azalea Trail Maids

  1. Have you ever had a conversation with one of the Trail Maids? If not, please do. You’ll change your mind about how they’re viewed. If they were in any way a negative image of the city, they wouldn’t have received an invitation from Disney for Easter for the past 45 years. Or Chicago & New York the past 35.

  2. I respectfully say NO, I can give up the confederate statues in Mobile, the confederate battle flag, but these young ladies are great Ambassadors for our city. They are made up of various ethnic backgrounds and come from communities all over Mobile. Where does it stop, are we going to tear down the Bragg-Mitchell mansion or hundreds of other “antebellum” structures, end Mardi Gras or any other endless things from the past. I am offended that young men walk around with their pants have way down their butt with their drawers showing, so if you want to be offended be offended by that, but leave the Azalea Trailmaids alone.

    1. This is stupid, they are a part of Mobile there are now black trail maids. Don’t erase history educate those who don’t know. Its just that simple. I come from a creol family that has been in Mobile over 200 years, Regis Durrete married an afican woman from the Caribbean when he sailed to the Americas.

      1. Leave the Azalea Trailmaids alone. In the same vein, I want the Admiral’s statue returned to his rightful place at the Bankhead Tunnel! This kind of ridiculousness must stop! YOU are one of those who carry the bigotery from generation to generation with this kind of narrowminded stupidity. You don’t learn from the past by trying to erase it! Such tactics are more akin to Communism or Nazism, not America.
        To follow your example, Egypt must eradicate the pyramids (built by slaves), Rome should demolish The Colosseum (where 1000’s of slaves were slaughtered), Jerusalem should level the hill upon which Jesus was crucified! It’s an idiotic logic that seeks to eradicate symbols of the past. Keep them. Cherish them for the good in them. And, learn from them! Stop the madness, leave history to the past!

        1. You definitely display some idiotic logic, anger, hate, and bigotry. Cannot you just disagree without becoming hysterical? I’m not interested in participating in this decision. I will say that a modern image for the Maids would serve the city well instead of associating ourselves with forced labor camps.

    2. What next we’re going to give up Thanksgiving Christmas 4th of July why do we have to give up everything about our history or past our family or everything whenever blacks can have black only college black only TV shows and movies if we came up with white only college white only TV shows we would be called racist and to be riots they’ve had this stuff for years and never know riots no crap no burning our places or homes or cities they want to act like thugs and then they get what they want how is that right in any kind of way

  3. Try proofreading your work before you criticize anyone else. Your message loses credibility when a journalist has so many grammar mistakes in an article.

      1. 2018 Azalea Trail Maid Queen is Black and is my classmate’s Joyce McMillian Boykin’s daughter; Miss Taylor Boykin from Baker High School.

    1. There is so much wrong with this!! Our Azalea Maids are our heritage all the monuments erected black or white are our history!!! Are you ashamed of being black? You can take down anything and everything and it won’t change who you are but it can change who you become!The only way we can overcome this divide. Just for 1 week talk with someone not your race and look at them as someone you could become friends with and talk and ask questions. You can care about that person you meant!! You have 1 life to live and don’t waste a min. I wish you the beginning of a happy life, realize no one lives in your shoes and it is up to you to to fill them up with a person that you can be proud of.

  4. do you realize the QUEEN was a beautiful BLACK young lady either last year or 2018???? do some research sir!

    1. It sounds like you came from a racist family if you grew up hating the Azalea Trail Maids. I agree with the comments above me. Also, you are out of your mind if you think their dresses represent slavery times. Perhaps do some research before spewing your opinions all over the internet.

  5. The dresses represent FLOWERS!
    The Azalea Trail Maids are a group of fifty high school seniors chosen yearly to serve as “Official Ambassadors” for the city of Mobile, Alabama. The Maids, wearing dresses meant to look like flowers, make appearances at many local, state, and national events.[1] They often serve as greeters when foreigners and dignitaries visit the city, and are required to be knowledgeable about the city landmarks and history. In addition, they must have a good grade point average to be accepted and have great interview skills. The Maids are selected through a dual interview process, interviewing at the school and county level. Hundreds of girls initially try out, but only fifty become Azalea Trail Maids. The Maids are meant to embody the ideals of “Southern hospitality”, and appeared at the inauguration of United States President Barack Obama.[2][3]

  6. The dresses represent flowers and the girls are are required to be intelligent, friendly, knowledgeable of the area, kind, and full of southern charm. It seems that you didn’t do your research before you wrote this article because YOU are misrepresenting the Azalea Trail Maids or you’re just lying to start more angst and you should not do that. You may like to start things up, but most wish to live in peace as friends.

    1. I was a Trail Maid in 1985. We had a mix of races and ethnicities during my year and I remember in years before I was on the court. The Trail
      Maids are high academic performers who represent their schools and the city as ambassadors. The dresses are to represent flowers… ie Azalea Trail. I earned scholarships for undergraduate school through my service as an Azalea Trail Maid.

      1. This article represents immense ignorance. How about doing a little research before your attack because there’s no truth in your article. I’m glad you do not represent Mobile and you have no say in whether or not the program continues or gets cancelled. Maybe the author just has sour grapes? What happened? Did your relative not make it into the trail maid group?

  7. No
    These young women in high school of all colors representing their City of Mobile & the state of Alabama.

  8. I am appalled at that article and am very aware that each individual has a opinion each their own. The program in and of itself has given opportunities of all races, religions to some bright, articulate young ladies representing Mobile County’s schools including Home Schools.

  9. You need to learn about the hard work those trail maids put worth to EARN the respect to be a maid. My daughter worked for months, volunteered and studied over and beyond. These girls are some of the brightest Mobile has to offer and highlight the positive parts of the city. Take a history lesson please

  10. I can’t even tell you how angry this makes me. As advocate for social injustice, there is nothing remotely racist about this organization. It’s history has nothing to do with racism. If you want to talk about getting rid of all things that have a history of segregation, then I guess we need to get rid of public restrooms, all restaurants, o and how about schools, basically anything that you see when you walk outside. This program is a prestigious organization that young women of all colors work very hard to be included. Each young lady has to maintain a high GPA, be involved in the community, represent their community with their knowledge of what has and is going on in the world and more. To say that this program should be canceled is to say how ignorant you are on its true purpose. This year the queen of the maids is black and in turn will receive a full scholarship to Auburn University. I just can’t even believe anyone would suggest this insanity. #BlackLivesMatter

  11. This is insane. These girls work really hard to be chosen for this honor of representing our city. There are trail maids of all ethnicities so discrimination is not a factor here

  12. I’m not sure about who this person is that wrote this, but, apparently they have no knowledge of the Trail Maids and the wonderful things they do to represent “OUR” city. Yes, they are OUR Ambassadors to Mobile, but, beside that fact…does this person even know that the Trail also affords scholarship opportunities to these young ladies to help further their education at the next level? Does this person even know how much being a Trail Maid promotes self-confidence, pride in ones self and strengthens her self worth? Of course not, because just as this person said, they grew up “despising” everything about the trail and the supposed southern values the Maids stood for. I would suggest that they speak to every single Maid, past & present, black & white and see if they agree with you. My next suggestion would be is, if you “despise” being in the south so much and have nothing good to say about OUR great city…there are 49 other states that you can choose to go live in.

  13. Mr. Davis, it is obvious that you have no idea what you are talking about. OUR ELITE TRAIL MAIDS come is all Sizes and COLORS. If the dress offends you (which that seems to be the case) why don’t you ask them to change it. They have a fabulous narrative. By the way if you didn’t know, the original dress was a Tea Dress. Next time offer a solution. Don’t spew hatred!!!

  14. You’ve decided to take an era and it’s clothing and deem it racist. The only people keeping the hatred going are people like you, white, black it doesn’t matter. You do realize there are black azalea trail maids right? Whoa I guess their parents didn’t get that memo that the Azalea trail maids dresses are racist which by the way are very expensive so there throws out the idea of her family being oppressed. In a time when we as a nation needs to unite it’s people like you that wants to keep us divided and then complain about segregation as you go to your black only clubs, listen to black only radio while watch the black miss America pageant. Can’t you come up with something new to hate? This racist crap is 400 years old. Find a new hobby.

  15. These young ladies show how this organization has grown , and continues to promote growth for all races of young women . This should be an example of where we want to grow and go , diversely, with ALL organizations for the betterment of Mobile and beyond.

  16. You do realize that many young ladies of all colors have worn the dresses and represented our city with grace?
    You seem to be a genuinely hateful, easily offended person…and that is sad. The trail maid program opens up a lot of opportunities and scholarships for the participants.

    Go cancel your hate, and stop trying to divide us further.
    That will actually do some real good.

    1. During President Barack Obamas first inaugural parade, our Azalea Trail Maids were there representing all of us! It was an incredibly cold day; nothing like our weather here. They were second to last before the Gay and Lesbian Alliance who just loved them and were loved back. Ted Kennedy was sick at the luncheon which created a VERY long delay. When at last our girls marched beautifully by, OUR president was the only one left to see them in the stands!!! I could not have done what my daughter did that day to represent OUR COUNTRY: the UNITED States of America!!
      So change the damn dress, but keep the honor, integrity and pagentry!! MOBILE!!

  17. Herndon Davis, you need to back it up just a bit! Grow up. Quit being an ignorant, sensitive twerp….asking for anything somehow associated with history that you find offensive to be removed or terminated is absurd! The Azalea Trail is a program that highlights the good of our history. They are just dresses fashioned after a time in history but worn by girls of every ethnicity, who ALL work hard to achieve a level academically, as well as someone who contributes to their community in order to be a part of a program that only promotes good character and hospitality in the city of Mobile. They receive scholarships that help them further their education. History cannot be erased…..stop trying to. If we start trying to appease every person who is offended by something then we are lost. Lost to catering to people everywhere who are offended by something. Here’s a suggestion to appease your offended feelings: don’t support them, don’t look at them, don’t acknowledge them. Don’t force everyone else to be just like you.

  18. If you took the time to do your research, you would find that when the Azalea Trail Court was established in 1949 by the Mobile Chamber of Commerce, the court included 50 young ladies from all over the country. This part of the program later changed and is now what is known as the Distinguished Young Women program. Young women from all over the country still compete in DYW for college scholarship opportunities.
    When Sam Lackland designed the first Azalea Trail Court, the dresses were designed using pastel colors and made with the shape of flowers in mind ( not pre-civil war antebellum dresses).
    Over the past 70 years, young ladies of all colors and ethic backgrounds have competed to be part of the program.
    In just the past four years alone, 3 of the 4 Court Queen’s have been young ladies of color; Two African American and one Native American.
    Over the years I’ve had the honor of meeting Asian Trail Maids, African American Trail Maids, and even an first generation Indian Trail Maid ( her parents immigrated to America when she was 10). She was beyond proud to wear her ruffles and tell her story!
    Each year the ladies picked to serve on the court are selected by interview process and compete against hundreds of others to wear the iconic dresses. They are women of character with excellent academic backgrounds who also actively participate in programs within their school and in their community.
    Take the time to stop and talk to a few Trails Maids, both from the present and the past. You will find many are in high ranking positions through out our community and across our country.
    If you feel the Azalea Trail Program is oppressive to you and to other black members of our community, then it’s a self-imposed oppression that you have inflicted upon yourself by assumptions and by not educating yourself.
    I am a third generation Trail Maid. I will proudly continue to support the program and all that it stands for. It is a program of empowerment for young women of all colors! YOU alone have made this a racial issue!

  19. The current queen of the 2020 2021 Azalea Trail Court is a beautiful smart young black woman. I do not see how the trail maids are racist when the dress represents the flowers.

  20. First, the City of Mobile has NOTHING to do with the Azalea Trail Maids, not even a penny supports the organization. Secondly, this program is fair to girls from every corner of Mobile County. We have had African-American, Native American, Vietnamese, and Indian girls not only make up the court, but also serve as Queen. These girls are the standouts of their high school. I have seen numerous girls gain confidence as well as earn college scholarships. The year I was president, I had the honor of the Queen AND second lady in waiting being African American and I couldn’t have been more proud of these young ladies. I still keep in touch with them. Lastly, by invitation they participated in the inaugural parade of President Obama in 2008, so obviously his staff didn’t have a problem with them.

  21. If living in the south is such a horrible thing leave. You can’t erase history. So should we remove the great pyramids, the Mayan temples? I mean where does it stop?

  22. Why don’t you educate yourself on this subject before you try and justify your hatred. This years queen is a Smart and Beautiful young black lady, who along with 49 other young ladies have worked very hard to achieve this accomplishment. The dresses you so despise, represent FLOWERS.. These Beautiful young ladies spend countless hours training and studying to achieve this great honor! And for most, this is a life long dream!
    You sir are part of the problem with spreading hatred and racism and now trying to drag these Beautiful young ladies down with your smear campaign! Shame on you!

  23. Am I the only one who realized that the journalist who wrote this “grew up to despise what these dresses stood for” and now wants it eradicated? Sounds like the very sentiment you want eradicated is the same one your using to justify getting rid of the one thing you have been EXTREMELY misinformed on. This isn’t a matter of racism when your using a delusional, outdated reason that no longer applies to what these women stand for today. It was a matter of time before things, such as this, get brought up out of nowhere and action be demanded. It’s sad that such a just cause might be turned into a mockery by the very people who are fighting for it.

  24. As a former Trial Maid, this is laughable. Being an ATM has NOTHING to do with past oppressions, slavery, prejudices, none of that. The ATM is a group of young women who have strived for educational excellence and have the appropriate social skills to represent Mobile and Alabama. We are not trying to lure folks into visiting our city so we can show off how we have preserved history – it’s to show people what a beautiful and welcoming city we have here that some may call “back woods Alabama” or make fun of us for being country folk. Those who make demeaning comments about the Azalea Trail Group do not know anything about our history, do not know who any of us are and clearly have not spoken to any of us; judging the ATM organization and trying to find justifyable reasons for your claims doesnt make you any better of a person. Have you ever had a family member, friend, friend of a family member, or yourself participate in Americas Junior Miss?? Would you slander that program and be quick to judge? It gives young women confidence, scholarship opportunities, and a platform to speak on what they are passionate about to try and make a change. Did you know that AJM is a direct result of the ATM organization? So please tell me, HOW these young women are promoting racism? How are they are constant reminder of slavery? What women wore during that time period is just fashion. Because trust me, if their hoop skirts and gowns were related to slavery, NONE of them would willingly choose to wear it. Its heavy, hot, takes up a lot of room in your closet. Difficult to assemble. So stop blaming these dresses on something you know nothing about.

  25. As a former Trail Maid this article hurts my heart. The girls put so much effort into studying history and current events to welcome visitors to our great city. Girls from EVERY high school and EVERY race come together as the elite to spend a year of traveling, bonding and showcasing their pride of Mobile AL. How dare you demolish the joy these girls bring to events? How dare you try to cast away a COLORFUL group of women? Shame on you for not knowing the history of the Trail Maids nor caring about their efforts to make Mobile beautiful.

  26. 449 followers in a city of 189k.

    No. This individual is not relevant in our town.
    His opinions are his own and, judging from the reactions on his page, not many others.

  27. I see several viewpoints here. For one, those dresses, I think, are mostly historic in that they were created for the Trail, which began, i believe, somewhere in the first half of the 20th Century. Whatever Hollywood designers cooked up, go to the city’s museums, and see what the women of the Civil War era wore. I think you’ll find either fancier gowns, of silk and satin, with lace and broadcloth.

    I can tell you, though, that designer Bob Mackie (perhaps best known for Carol Burnett’s spoofy green gown made of curtains, complete with rod, to get a laugh out of Scarlett) — Mr. Mackie thought the lineups of A.T. Maids who greeted him at the airport were simply splendid. He saw them as costumes, gentle, splendid spoofs!

    Might anyone consider redesign? I think it could be wonderful fun to have some maids in Native American attire, some in Colonial type garb — maybe showing things typical of Spanish ladies, French Cassette girls, early American settlers, etc… perhaps right on up through flappers, bobby soxers, cheerleaders, runners and other athletes, a writer or painter or two? (Alabama, and Mobile, have produced many. Alva Vanderbilt could be one. Regina Benjamin could be another. Just as examples.)

  28. The fool idiot that wrote this drivel doesn’t even live in Mobile. He’s spent almost his whole adult life living in other areas, yet it’s now ready to make a commitment to Mobile…as an investor. He refers to Mobile as a “negative, dead end path” while also implying that graduates in Mobile have no choice but to leave the city after college. Funny how he wants to get rid of the ATM program because it’s “racist” but doesn’t even live in Mobile. Tell you what Mr Davis…keep your “investor money” wherever it is you call home now. Mobile has done just fine with you gone; I’m sure Mobile will do just fine in the future with you still gone

  29. If seeing these young ladies enjoying their young life, offends you then look the other way go do something constructive, just let other people be, and I’m being nice

  30. It is ridiculous to assume this about our Azalea Trail Maids. Do some research. We ALL have heritage, good/bad/ugly! If fact, Africans captured other Africans to sell for profit. It was going on hundreds of years before any were even brought to the US. I’ve read dozens of articles lately, some tribes would sacrifice Africans for rituals. That’s certainly not upstanding, I hope that offends you just as much as the other things you listed. African history is just as tainted as any other. Leave history alone.

  31. I really could careless if the program is shut down. My only concern is, if it is shutdown will the young ladies who received a scholarship through this program will keep their scholarship or will the program take their scholarship away and not be able to go to college because a young lady was counting on the scholarship. It is time to focus on more important issues than making sure young ladies parade around in dresses. If one program is disbanded another one can take it’s place. Young ladies can Still be the Ambassador’s of Mobile without the dresses. I have found that being born and raised in Mobile, Alabama that some people can not handle change because you’re comfortable the way things are. Sometimes change can be good. You have to have a open heart with love. This was typed with love to/for everyone.

  32. I am sorry the sight of Azalea Trail Maid dresses caused you pain as a child but some ill informed person put that thought in your head. They have nothing to do with the Civil War or segregation. Their dresses represent flowers, hence the name, AZALEA Trail Maids. Please stop spreading hate and discord. Let’s work together to move forward and move past this disturbing time we are all experiencing.

  33. My sister was Azalea trail queen once and it was about goodwill and even if there had never been slavery there would have been Antebellum homes and dresses. A way of life

  34. The poor girls have no idea of their origin – they are, of course, living monuments to the stainless virginity of Southern belles from wealthy families.

    Unfortunately, that cat’s out of the bag and everybody knows the beautiful belles only remained pure because their boyfriends – like their daddies – were raping the slaves.

    You can borrow Valerie Martin’s excellentt novel, Property, from the Mobile Public Library on how it felt to be an antebellum planter’s wife while your husband, The Master, sowed his seed (and I don’t mean cotton) elsewhere

    Here’s a link to a 1941 photo of white Mobilians and our Trail Maids lined up for the segregated showing of “Gone With The Wind.” https://www.pinterest.com/pin/528961918705307963/?nic_v1=1aJT3%2B48KLOUq1x8lRmXILjRN8Goip0Dw88juGvLs54W%2BMF1M%2BI%2FVT4oVbGOIsfmlP

      1. Agreed.
        Could be the lookalikes wearing the Scarlett O’Hara knock-offs were the Maids’ actual debutante predecessors, but for all I know, they could have been contest winners or hired by the theater.
        Also, the date is wrong. The photo was taken in 1939 by Eric Overbey. The Roxy was a white-only theater on St. Stephen’s Road at the Springhill and Ann Street intersection and is now the First Church of God in Christ.
        OK, that’s it for my googling penance.

    1. Just as with so many other things, it’s what we CHOOSE to see. We can choose to see the horrible things in the past, or we can choose to see the unbelievable process these girls of ALL RACES go through to earn this role, we can choose to see the hours upon hours of community service these girls participate in. We can choose to see the scholarships they are striving for. We can choose to see the grueling hours they spent studying to earn the high GPA is takes to be an Azalea Trail Maid. We can choose to see the beautiful African American, Indian, Middle Eastern, White faces of these girls who have worked so hard and are seeing their dreams realized. I am a mom of boys, but I have walked through this process with many of my friends and their daughters. Achieving Azalea Trail Maid is a hard-earned privilege and honor that includes ALL races. These families are looking forward to how their girls can positively contribute to their communities, not focusing on the past.

  35. I don’t really care if this offends you or not. The ONLY racists are the ones looking for excuses to cry like little babies. Grow the hell up! Put on your big kid pants and let crap that had absolutely nothing to do with you go. #ALLLIVESMATTER!!!!!!!

  36. It would be crazy to remove Azalea Trail Maids from Mobile!! Evidently the one writing this has no clue what they stand for and the honor it is to be one .. or maybe they are just mad that someone in their Family didn’t become one. The Maids have nothing to do with Race some of all colors and Nationality have worn these beautiful BIG dresses! If need be I will start a petition that STAY !

  37. Wow 😳! As the grandmother of a biracial granddaughter, I find this gentleman’s article very offensive. My granddaughter is 6 years old. I have already started preparing her for Azalea Trail Maid, Distinguished Young Woman, USS Crew Mate, etc. It takes years of learning poise and appearance, interview skill training, knowledge of your city, civics, volunteering, talent training, teaching self worth and self confidence and being a well rounded individual in addition to making excellent grades to even be considered for these prestigious positions that represent our city. All ethnicities are welcome to put in the work to try for these much sought after positions. You put your name on a trail maid dressmaker’s list years ahead of time just so you’ll have the dressmaker you want if you make it. Every girl that makes it deserves it. I’m teaching my granddaughter that if she wants something she has to work for it. She doesn’t deserve to get something just because of the color of her skin. I proudly say I have a biracial granddaughter and I’m married to a registered Native American man and I have a registered Native American son. I am definitely not a racist.

  38. They supposedly buried the “N” word so I think it’s time to bury the “Black” and “White” words and realize that we are all Americans! Lose the distinction between color! We, as well as our ancestors lived through historical times. You can’t change that by destroying a statue and neither by doing away with the AZLEA Trail Maids. Pretty or ugly, it’s history! Get over it and move forward. All you’re doing is inciting more and more anger.

  39. How about you go ahead and provide us with a list of every last thing that we must get rid of so as not to offend your hyperactive sensibilities? I need to know where we are going to stop. After you crush the dreams of diverse high school girls, what next? Make sure it’s complete. I need to plan ahead. Do city buses remind you of segregation? Let’s get rid of public transportation. Do the stately antebellum homes on our downtown streets conjure images of plantation life. Tear them down! Seriously, if you look for something hard enough, you will find it even when it’s not there.

  40. Herndon Davis, the Azalea Trail Maids are great ambassadors representing the city. Azalea Maids are of all color. I suggest we take a city wide poll on whether the Azalea Trail Maids should be disbanded or should Mobilians pack your bags and ship you to Seattle. Quit wasting you your life on negativity. You provide nothing positive for the Azalea City.

  41. Mobile was founded in 1702 during the colonial period, long before the antebellum era. The ambassadors to the city are wearing dresses loosely in the style of when the city was founded. Traditional styles of dress are visible in many of your historic cities: if you visit Colonial Williamsburg, ambassadors are in similar period costumes; visit a village festival in Bavaria, & everyone’s in lederhosen and dirndls; go to any sporting event in Scotland and all you’ll find are kilts. No one associates dressing in a period costume with the travesties of the time. The Azalea Trail Maids were first bright flowers along the Azalea Trail Run route & now serve as confident, inclusive, intelligent (free) ambassadors of a colonial city at local, state, & national events, spreading good Southern hospitality.

  42. These girls are top in there classes. They have to have a certain GPA to even try out. They pick girls from all schools in our city and from different ethnic backgrounds. These girls can deliver history of our city by memory. They spend countless hours greeting visitors and public figures. Both boys and girls love the dress the girls wear, they want photos and want to hold the parasol. Some little girls call them princess. My daughter was a yellow and she was always thought of as Beauty.

  43. These young women of all backgrounds work very hard for this honor, they study all of Mobile history and current events and maintain high GPAs. Speak any past or present Trail Maid I imagine all will tell you they made lifelong friends and don’t see any colors in those friendships. This experience was one my daughter and myself greatly enjoyed and were honored to take part in.

  44. NO! Enough is enough. American history is American history and nothing will ever change history. BUT, the future can be changed and this can be a stronger, prouder America IF EVERYONE will grow up and focus on our nation instead of all this “racist” rubbish that’s preventing us ALL from moving forward TOGETHER.

  45. Former Azalea Trail Maid here…. In the years since its inception, Mobile’s Azalea Trail has become one of the South’s foremost tourist attractions. The Azalea Trail Court, which is widely recognized as representing the finest in Southern charm and hospitality, has grown from a 10 member court who gathered for 3 days, to a 50 member court who represent Mobile year round at hundreds of civic events.

    The girls are in nationwide demand, and have appeared at the internationally televised Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California, the nationally televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, Disney’s Easter Parade in Orlando, Florida, the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Chicago Christmas Parade, the Indianapolis 500 Parade, the Presidential Inaugural Parade, and the 4th of July parade in Atlanta.

    In a nutshell, the Azalea Trail Maids are the “welcoming committee” of Mobile. There is an extensive, fair, HARD process to be selected to be included among the fifty high school seniors each year. Their job is to welcome ALL to our great Port City and to represent us ALL with grace and charm.

    -Yellow Trail Maid, 1986

  46. Former Azalea Trail Maid here….

    In the years since its inception, Mobile’s Azalea Trail has become one of the South’s foremost tourist attractions. The Azalea Trail Court, which is widely recognized as representing the finest in Southern charm and hospitality, has grown from a 10 member court who gathered for 3 days, to a 50 member court who represent Mobile year round at hundreds of civic events.

    The girls are in nationwide demand, and have appeared at the internationally televised Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California, the nationally televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, Disney’s Easter Parade in Orlando, Florida, the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Chicago Christmas Parade, the Indianapolis 500 Parade, the Presidential Inaugural Parade, and the 4th of July parade in Atlanta.

    In a nutshell, the Azalea Trail Maids are the “welcoming committee” for Mobile. They welcome ALL to our great Port City and represent us ALL!

    Find something else to gripe about.

    Yellow Trail Maid, 1986

  47. What is wrong with you liberal, white guilt feeling, jerks? Enough of this race garbage!! What are you going to do when people like me finally get a belly full of your trash? You won’t like the rebuttal. Just STFU about this. I loathe Democrats.

  48. This is the stupidest shit I’ve ever read. As a black child you grew to hate those dresses??? PLEASE STFU… you’re part of the problem.. y’all wanna shine and show your culture but white peoples should just die?? Yeah GTFO.. as long as I’m alive our culture won’t die!!

  49. A friend from Chicago. Wow The murder capital of America. And some young ladies both black and white and I am sure other nationalities dressing in antebellum dresses are offensive. Actually I fine it offensive that those who have never been a slave want to degrade and bad mouth the ones who have never owned a slave

  50. Perhaps Alabama should rid itself of incompetent journalism. Yes, that makes much more sense! Had one single Azalea Trail candidate submitted a piece of work similar to yours, she would’ve never been selected to represent our great city and state.

  51. This is the dumbest article that I have read or tired to read. Before you try to write about the history of these dresses and their meaning, you need to educate yourself. Do some research, and for the sake of all ELA teachers please have someone proofread before you post.

  52. I would like to say I am a very Proud Product of C.F Vigor High School from 1986. A very young Black woman by the Name of Teree Abner represented our school as well as a White young Lady by the name of Jennifer Morrow. Both of these ladies were definitely outstanding and deserving of the honor. There are many High School young Ladies who very much would love to be part of this organization. I also have a very good friend who graduated from Leflore High School and her daughter was also a Trail maid. These young Ladies get to meet people from all around the world. They form many life long bonds and friendships that can’t be broken. These ladies are said to be ambassadors for Mobile because they have to answer ALL questions at their events about the History of Mobile. I encourage you to please check all your facts about this organization before u attack it. Please remember that Mobile is referred to many around the world as “THE AZALEA CITY”. Even though I do not live there any longer I am always proud to say I am from Mobile Alabama.❤️

  53. Mr Davis, you are part of the problem and should not be a writer. The young ladies who wear those dresses 👗 are intelligent, do a lot of volunteer work in this city, and know more about the city of Mobile than you do. It’s a requirement to be a Trail Maid. Know the facts before you try to cause problems for children. We love our Azalea Trail Maids!! And by the way, as others have said, the dresses represent flowers 🌸 hence the name.

  54. Do not let people dictate to change the world the way they want. This is getting ridiculous. I pray the president will fight back with all he can to stop this changing our history ect..

  55. So you’re offended by some dresses? Well, we certainly can’t have you being offended! Get a grip.

  56. The Azalea Trail maid represent the finest young ladies in Mobile. All races are encouraged to participate and are included. The gowns do represent our flowers. But do remind us of the traditional dress of the Deep South. No need to trash the awesome young ladies who participate. They are smart, hardworking and have earned the priveledge of representatives of Mobile. If you hate them, I feel bad for you. . They don’t deserve that. They represent all of Mobile. Not races. All citizens..

  57. The 50 young ladies chosen for this honor are in the top of their classes. They also are chosen for the community service they do. They are from all backgrounds and races and are all beautiful inside and out. This years queen is African American and is a wonderful girl, and role model as are all the girls. The dresses are supposed to emulate beautiful flowers, azaleas! By the end of their year’s service they have all become close friends and shared many wonderful memories while serving their city with dignity and grace! I am sorry you have so much hate and anger in your soul… that you feel you must ruin something that’s a good thing for all involved.

  58. I don’t care how African Americans feel about it, The Maids should stay a part of Mobile. All of this is in reference to Trying to appease African-Americans, which I’m tried of Because of something that happened over 150 years,You might want to try reading a genuine history book and it will tell you that the Civil War was not started over slavery it was started over succession from the union,not slavery,but Lincoln used it as a ploy to try and win the war and ever since then you African Americans want to blame us as a whole for what happened during the war, but we modern day whites didn’t a single solitary thing to do with it, and I am tired of trying to apologize. I went to school for 12yrs with a lot of blacks,and so I have heard everything, Also leave the Confederate monuments alone,if they Bother you I really don’t care, just be quiet, leave the scene and leave our history alone,How would you like it if the shoe was on the other foot and we try to do to you What you all are doing to us by trying to get rid of all our history. So just leave it alone!!!!!

  59. Shall we cancel Mardi Gras too then? Of course not. It’s tradition. Same as this organization. This is taking it way too far. it shows how ignorant whoever the person was that made this article when they stated the Mobile Azalea Trail Maids contain “mostly white girls”. They do not discriminate against any race, and actually contain both African-American and white girls, as well as any other race you can think of. If you truly believe that they are meant to resemble “gone with the wind”, that’s your own problem. They represent azaleas, hence the name. This was an amazing opportunity for me and I will forever be grateful for all the experience it has given me. Saying that the Mobile Azalea Trail Maids need to be cancelled is like saying Mardi Gras should be cancelled. How do you feel about it now? #16trailin17forever 💛

  60. No need to cancel the Trail Maids this is not making sense because there are many different races and ethnicities represented in the Trail. They represent fashion of the time not racism or hatred it was a dress and if we remove everything that anyone may have worn while ugly things were going on around them then we have a lot to remove from not only the south but also the North the East the West and many countries far and wide. There is no excuse for racism and it should not exist period but I do not see how a dress has anything to do with it!

  61. You’re KIDDING right? The dresses are of the time. You can’t wipe away ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING of that time and claim everything “south” was offensive so let’s just erase it, take EVERYONE’S history away. That solves literally nothing. The dresses were art, they were fashionable in EVERY country, during that time. That is when the trail maids were established and that won’t change just because you decided you don’t like their outfits.
    OH! And please… do look up the ACTUAL meaning of Antebellum. It means “before the war”. In several beautiful literary pieces the word is used to describe the time before ALL wars. World war 1, the French war, it doesn’t mean before “the civil war” – AT ALL. A select few decided to use it that way.
    Don’t rip away a perfectly wonderful tradition that celebrates young women of all races just because you hate the dresses.
    Your fight has so many more deserving areas. This isn’t it.

  62. Those beautiful dresses were around long before America was Discovered!!!! Who ever wrote this article seems to be very angry and bitter! It’s a beautiful sight to behold to see young ladies properly dressed and well covered !!!! The sleezy, sexy disgusting dresses the young ladies wear these days are very vulgar and down right ugly…. Now the point is The Hebrew Children were in slavery 500yrs in Egypt and God brought them out to the Promised Land,,,,,so with that perspective, the black slaves brought here from the jungles of Africa were really destined to be set FREE by GOD HIMSELF!!!! We ALL need to count our blessings and FORGIVE THE PAST!!!! No one alive in America has been a slave and no one in America alive today has owned one …..so time to lay down the hate and received the LOVE Jesus intends for each of us! we ALL have the same freedoms: your future depends on how hard you WORK AT IT!!!!!

  63. It looks like someone’s daughter didn’t make the cut, or this is just another person who doesn’t have a job so they have too much time on their hands and need something to get them some attention. Good try but nope. Not happening.

  64. Where does it end? Would it make you happy if all white southerners were eliminated? Or would that not be enough either.

  65. I while heatedly DISAGREE with this!!! A certain style of dress or a description of an era (such as antebellum) DOES NOT have anything to do with racism!! This is the most absurd thing ever!! The antebellum period will still exist whether certain idiots try to erase it or not. Since when did everyone who lives in the free states of America have to all believe and adhere to what the far left believe?? I am proud of our Southern history and heritage!!! #STOPTHESTUPIDITY

  66. So the person who suggested this is obviously not very interested in helping their own people. Black or white! The trail maids are based on a young ladies agi. They also receive scholarships from this program. Check back….a couple of years ago my friends daughter was queen. She is afro American, very smart a hard worker, going to college with the help of one of her may scholarship programs one of which was her trail experience. These well deserving young ladies should not be punished for their hard work, good values and all the opportunities awarded them by this program. Shame on who ever suggested this! You were either born with a silver spoon in your mouth or had no desire to further your education ! You have gone way to far! These young ladies make friends for life in this program and have no desire I am sure to stop it. The selection process is done by gpa’s not race or looks. It also started as the jr. Miss program! Once again Shame on you! Please do not spread your ugly racism on our impressionable youth of today who deserve every opportunity for a scholarship to better their life

    1. I am trying to remove second one it’s the same as first. I apologize. This is my first time to comment..

  67. Most of the woman are religious. That’s how they choose them by how religious they are and by how much religious volunteer they have done.

    1. Really? What “women”? The Jaycees include men and women, so the decision for a girl to be selected for the court is not made by only females. And how do you know this? Are you a Jaycee? I have numerous friends who didnt make it who were “religious.”

  68. This is ole so wrong…this program is wonderful and does good for all young ladies that participate…the dresses are beautiful and show mobile in a beautiful light…do be stupid and get rid of this program

  69. This makes me angry! Tell you what, let’s do away with Miss Black America pageant, NAACP, BET TV, Blackish TV Show among others, MLK related things and street name, etc., etc. Leave the Azalea Trail Maids alone!!! Why should one race have to give up things just because the other race gets offended. Both races should be tolerant of each other’s history and let it be. We are all Americans and we have come thru a lot to be where we are today and I feel like we are tearing down all the progress we have made.

  70. Seriously……. I AM an active SJW. And a LAVENDER AZALEA TRAIL MAID 1998-1999. And do you care to know why I was so enamored with the idea of becoming an Azalea Trail Maid? Not because I am a white girl who wanted a pretty dress, but because circa 1986 at the Alabama State Docks during Mardi Gras, then the naval ships where coming to port, I met an amazing woman. She was poised and graceful. She spoke with confidence and commanded the attention of everyone around her. I will never forget her, but I have NO idea what her name is. She was a beautiful BLACK Azalea Trail Maid in a green dress. And she spoke with a 6 year old girl with a speech impediment. And I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. She kindly told me to work hard and be kind to everyone you meet. She said smart girls can do ANYTHING. Now 34 years later it is profound how much that single interaction changed me.

    How dare You declare that memory cancelled! As stated above by many many people, learn the history of the Mobile Azalea Trail Maids. Everyone has a right to an opinion and to discuss it with others. However, this is not what you did. When one writes an inaccurate article and present it as fact, additionally attempting to shame others, One should be prepared to back up their argument with facts. Clearly you have none, nor have you made any attempt at learning any. One interesting fact worth mentioning is the Azalea Trail Maids participation in President Barack Obama 2009 inauguration. A quick Google search will bring this up. Many people presented the same misinformed opinion as yours, and guess what, many were additionally shut down when Alvin Holmes, Alabama’s longest serving state legislator defended the decision, and stated “They don’t have anything to do with slavery.” The Today show filmed a segment about the contraversy, but didn’t air it, cause there was more important things to report on. One more quick line, if you took a moment to learn the History of the Azalea Trail Maids, you would know that originally applicants where from all over. And Miss America was Queen. After the organization was reformed, the Americas Junior Miss program came to life. As applicants were now limited to Mobile County residents only. The Americas Junior Miss program was nation wide. They are headquartered in Mobile.
    I am sure my grammar is terrible, but unlike you, I am not a “So-Called” journalist, I am a registered nurse working the Navajo Reservation. So my grammar errors are excuse able, yours are not. It’s about like when a nurse can’t get an IV started and misses multiple times and just keeps digging. Pisses you off doesn’t it. You can’t take someone seriously when they don’t care to perform their job to highest standards. And not meeting those standards hurts people, and looks unprofessional. What will you do to fix this problem Sir? Will you correct your errors and admit you were incorrect, or will you stick by your article like a petulant child? Discussion would be welcomed in my end.

  71. You need to get more education! Ignorance is what causes all the problems not race! This organization you are condemning has nothing to do with slavery or antebellum traits!!! It is all about our future with these highly educated young leaders!!

  72. how about a balanced report about slavery and emancipation ,progressive black history about black Americans who have lived progressive and outstanding lives from Mobile. It is just a fantasy that people have about the South, very few people lived that way. It will probably die out on its own if there are alternatives without traumatizing more people who feel like their heritage is disappearing. America really is a melting pot but people struggle about how to hold on to their families past as the melting goes on . Segregation by any culture or race is also a fantasy,we all effect each other in either a positive or negative way. There are peaceful and kind ways to respect each others culture without anyone being diminished .

  73. I’m sorry but this getting a little out of hand. Outstanding young women “white and black” have to work hard and be a model to the community and younger girls to be a trail maid. To say that the way someone dresses makes you mad because that’s how they dressed a long time ago when your ancestors were mistreated is so ridiculous. If this is ok I guess we just get rid of the “white” people because they remind you of something that you weren’t even a part of and neither were they. Things can be what they are just because it has anything to do with slavery like the type of dresses they wore back then does mean it has anything to do with slavery. This is madness and has gone way to far. Stop trying to make everything about slavery and racism. I know there are racist “white people” but they’re are racist “black people” as well. We all know slavery and segregation existed but that was before my time and a lot of other peoples time too.

  74. How awful to live with so much hate & bitterness inside of you. It’s such an honor to be chosen as an Azalea Trail Maid. Every girl dreams of it. Color isn’t a factor until someone like you comes along ahs makes it one. You’re trying to make a beautiful tradition into something ugly and it’s disgusting and unacceptable. Perhaps you should channel your negativity elsewhere.

  75. This is a sad, RACIST article! My best friend was a blue trail maid in 1987. She was Korean. All races are accepted. They do not accept the girls based on race. The accept them based on their integrity, achievements, education, character…. it’s exactly what we all should consider instead of looking a freakin skin color!

  76. NO!!!!!!!NO!!!!!!NO!!!!!!🤬👹🤬
    This is so stupid, so ignorant and selfish. Y’all keep on!!!! There are girls of all races in this every year. They are straight A students. This is a dream come true and I would bet none would answer it to be a racist atmosphere. These are our southern beauties and black, red, yellow or white they are the charm of our city. Y’all just keep on, y’all just keep on keeping on,🕯

    1. Why are we having to erase all of our history. I think we should get rid of black history month, all Martin Luther King statues, Name parks and bridges. I was never a prejudiced person but with God as my witness, this is making me a prejudiced person and I don’t like it. Leave history alone it’s that history. It’s there for us to from not to erase.

  77. Maybe you need to go back and read a little history, and not rely on articles from 2009. When an individual opposed the Azalea Maids representing Mobile at Obama’s inauguration. Azalea Maid’s dresses are antebellum style, but have you looked up the meaning of the word Antebellum? Their dresses are brightly colored to reflect the blooming azaleas that are city is known for. The Azalea Trail Maids were part of a city tradition of opening up the trail. As far as integration, it isn’t something that just happened. Look back at history you will find find all races dating back to the 70’s. I find it appalling that you see a hoop dress and think of slavery. Why? Because you were taught to hate? You have never lived as a slave, you have never known that lifestyle, nor have immediate family who have lived as slaves.

  78. Hi. I was second lady in waiting to the Queen of the ATM in the 80’s and I am African American. The responses to this article is so indicative of why I left Mobile. As a young woman seeking ways to earn scholarships and be a part of traditional programs that allow young women to be recognized for their accomplishments, there were not many options. Junior Miss and ATM were some options. Since segregation kept black women from being allowed to participate many young women were steered to do these established programs by teachers and parents when the doors were opened. The outrageous cost of the dress is prohibitive. So much so that my mom had to make mine. I loved the honor but felt the dresses were certainly a nod to slavery days and the antebellum south. I never felt like it represented my heritage nor any heritage that would respect black women, but I did it anyway. The colors were to portray flowers- not the dress. I think if the dresses are to portray flowers then the style shouldn’t matter. Change the dress and keep the program and stop mentioning Obama. He didn’t hire everyone who walked in his parade and I’m sure he smiled because he’s courteous. Change the dresses and keep the program. If it’s not associated with the slavery south then why would changing the style matter? I never felt as ridiculous as when I wore that antebellum dress, but it’s what I had to do. Maybe if some of you listened and asked more questions, you would hear how your ideals have negatively affected some. Someone said if you don’t like it leave…and I did. These comments confirm that I made the correct decision. We export more educated people from mobile than anything because we don’t want to deal with such narrow minded ignorance. Signed second lady in waiting…waiting for change….

    1. Reply to “2nd lady in waiting 80’s”: You say “If it’s not associated with the slavery south then why would changing the style matter?” Exactly… if it’s NOT associated with slavery, then WHY WOULD changing the style matter? You knew what you were getting into when you when through the ATM vetting process. You chose to apply for the honor. You KNEW what the dress would look like: YOU CHOSE THE COLOR AND DESIGN! So if you felt ridiculous when you wore the dress: that’s on YOU! As for your comment: “We export more educated people from mobile than anything because we don’t want to deal with such narrow minded ignorance.” Talk about narrow minded ignorance…perhaps you should research slavery a bit from from wherever you exported your more educated self to. Here, I’ll help you: PER ARCHIVES.GOV: “Passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified on December 6, 1865, the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States and provides that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”.” 2nd Lady: YOU were never a slave, your parents were never slaves and neither were their parents. I’ve never owned a slave, my parents never owned a slave, their parents, nor even their great grandparents, ever owned a slave (I’ve done my ancestry as well). I seriously doubt that anyone has been negatively affected by being associated with the Azalea Trail Program due to Trail Maids being held in high regard NO MATTER WHAT THEIR COLOR. Stop making everything about color. I don’t care about the color of one’s skin, most people don’t…never have…and I grew up in pre and post segregation! It’s called moving on, bettering ourselves! So for people, including you, to attempt to make this organization’s “costume/dress” out to represent slavery, you’re way out of line. To want to do away with YEARS of tradition, because “YOU” all-of-a-sudden don’t like a damn dress? That’s ludicrous. Do you “more educated people” that exported yourselves from Mobile have nothing better to put that education toward than complaining about a stinking DRESS? I choose NOT TO LIVE IN THE PAST…I choose to help myself, my children, my family, my friends (which includes people of all colors) make a positive difference daily. Apparently you choose differently. We will never move forward with such “educated” mindsets as this. God bless us, dress and all…

      1. You didn’t own slaves and my parents were not slaves but we still feel the effects of slavery and southern Jim Crow laws. Every racist and beneficiary of racists systems always wants to call other people ignorant and carelessly assume that black people just don’t want to move forward or make a change. How can you make a change if it’s been proven that you don’t have quality education because the taxes in your are are lower? You’ve never owned slaves but I bet you also have never been followed around in a store in Alabama (while wearing a Rolex and driving a nice car because you can afford it) because you are black. You have no idea how some blacks really feel nor do you want to. These mind sets will always make Alabama a laughing stock to people everywhere.

  79. I am an African American woman who was second lady in waiting to the queen in the 80’s. I think this article makes me realize how lucky I am not to live amongst some (not all) of the most extremely insensitive people of Mobile. The colors, not the dresses, are supposed to represent the azaleas. The style of the dress definitely is a nod to a bygone era that dishonors our ancestors. I never liked that dress. I never thought it represented my culture. The dress should change. If they want women to feel empowered maybe they should make a classy suit Or a fit and flare dress in those colors so they can still courtesy. The dresses are also cost prohibitive. So much so that my mother had to make mine for me to participate. Then they can recycle all those ridiculous costumes to let women rent them for certain occasions that want to see them. They are not showing a progressive image when they send them out into the world. This program was one of few in which women of any race or ethnicity who wanted to be recognized could participate. Therefore in order to be honored we had to wear the dress. No one EVER asked me how I felt wearing it. Also our mothers who were not even allowed to participate in the 50’s and 60’s encouraged us to do it as a way to honor their inability to do it. They had the same qualifications except for being black. I did my ancestry so no one here can say you didn’t know any slaves or have them in your family. I did. Unless you are black you cannot assume how it makes us feel to parade around in this dress. Now you know. Keep the program, change the dress.

  80. This is absolutely ridiculous, please interview the young black ladies who have been and are Azalea Trail Maids and Queens, ask them how they feel about what you are trying to do. ALL these ladies have worked hard for this accomplishment! This is stepping over the line, don’t take away something so many work hard to be a part of

    1. I think that’s a great idea and if you’re not black you cannot assume that all black women who participated in wearing the dresses loved it. Keep the program. Change the dress

  81. These ladies represent the City of Mobile well !
    And all races represented! They are asked to represent my hometown city in various events in their beautiful dresses ! Enough is enough with picking apart every detail ! Azalea Trail Maids …….. it’s ok people ! They are nice , smart young ladies ! I would say if people tear down everything that is good …… that’s a form of bullying! Let these girls enjoy the experience!

  82. This is an article written without research about the Azalea Trail. Are you old enough to recall the bright pink painted line in our city’s beautification project?Have you ever spoken to an Azalea Trail Maid? Have you ever been to a stage production where actors were dressed like flowers? Have you looked up the history of hoop skirts and how it was a counter culture dress that freed women from tight layers of undergarments that men imposed upon them??? But you didn’t research. Don’t tell women what they can or can’t wear and do some real research before writing such an uneducated article. And, so you’ll know what I think: Black Lives Matter. We finally desegregate an organization and now you want to rip away the opportunity For any girl to be an Azalea Trail Maid and wear a beautiful dress. Write an article about our segregated Mardi Gras Organizations. Or would you simply pen an op-Ed suggesting we change what the organizations wear and cancel Mardi Gras to solve that issue?? Change your heart, mind and actions, then the clothes won’t matter.

  83. Can someone explain to me how a ball gown is racist? These types of dresses are still worn. Granted these dresses are a bit larger than life but that is the way of theatrics. These young women are in the public eye as Ambassadors of Mobile and their stage is anywhere they are while wearing that dress. It is supposed to stand out and be highly visible which it does! These girls dream of earning the honor of being a part of this program. I should know. I grew up wanting to have a turn at feeling like a Fairy Princess in a beautiful ball gown in my favorite color. It was not to be for me but that never changed my love of the Azalea Trail Maids. A few years ago I was in DC visiting my adult Daughter and we attended the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. I was so surprised and thrilled to see all the lovely young Azalea Trail Maids strolling down the street looking like a bouquet of fresh spring flowers. I was excited to point out to my daughter these young ladies from my hometown. I feel compelled to say something to the individual who wrote this article. You can choose to love or you can choose to hate. The choice is yours to make. Please remember Love is of God and hate is of satan. Choose wisely. Life is short. We should all be lifting each other up not tearing each other down.

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