"DIXIE." The song "Dixie" traditionally is attributed to the white minstrel violinist Daniel Decatur Emmett. An immediate popular hit in 1859, "Dixie" was adopted—with new lyrics by General Albert Pike—as the Confederate anthem during the Civil War. A century later "Dixie" became inextricable from the massive resistance of white southerners to the civil rights movement. However, historical affiliations of "Dixie" with blackface minstrelsy and white southern racism have been complicated by late-twentieth-century scholarship associating the song with African American neighbors of Emmett in Mount Vernon, Ohio.
The standard account is that Emmett wrote "Dixie"—originally entitled "I Wish I Was in Dixie's Land"—for Bryant's Minstrels, who with Emmett himself on violin, premiered the song on Broadway on 4 April 1859. The etymology of the word "Dixie" is highly debatable: it has been traced to a slaveholder named Dixey; to "dix," a ten-dollar note issued in Louisiana; and to the Mason-Dixon Line. Emmett himself commented that "Dixie" was a showman's term for the black South. Hence, many scholars have interpreted Emmett's song as an inauthentic and racist product of northern minstrelsy. By contrast, critics interrogating Emmett's authorship of "Dixie" have usually questioned how a man from Ohio could have come into contact with the southern black culture evoked in the song. However, Howard and Judith Sacks have demonstrated, in Way up North in Dixie: A Black Family's Claim to the Confederate Anthem (1993), that Emmett could have learned "Dixie" from the Snowdens, an African American family of musicians resident in Emmett's hometown, Mount Vernon. Their book further argues that the original lyrics of "Dixie" may be the semi-autobiographical account of Ellen Snowden, formerly a slave in Maryland.
Nathan, Hans. Dan Emmett and the Rise of Early Negro Minstrelsy. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1962.
Sacks, Howard L., and Judith Rose Sacks. Way up North in Dixie: A Black Family's Claim to the Confederate Anthem. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993.
See alsoMinstrel Shows .
"Dixie." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dixie
"Dixie." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved May 26, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dixie
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.