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Hi friends, Emily Owen Mendelsohn here. It has come to my attention that I took part in an organization that is racist and harmful to black people: BIRMINGHAM BELLES.

The fact that it is acceptable for 100+ young, southern women to dress up in antebellum regalia at Arlington House, a former PLANTATION home, is appalling. While volunteer work is a noble cause, Birmingham Belles needs to be seen for what it really is: an excuse for white women to "play plantation" for a day. Yes, this hurts and it is the truth.

Birmingham Belles is a performance that glorifies the antebellum lifestyle which in turn silently glorifies the SLAVERY that took place on plantations. This is unacceptable.

Please sign the #nomorebelles petition so our community can take action and end the Birmingham Belles. 

*The comments section was removed from the first post that I shared in the What’s Happening in Mountain Brook group on Facebook, but I feel it is important to share the words of my fellow MBHS alum and petition organizer, Autumn Robinson, here:

“As a black woman who grew up in Mountain Brook, it greatly offended me that my classmates took part in glorifying the history of their ancestors who enslaved mine. I never felt comfortable saying anything as a teen, but I’m so grateful that this is being brought to light and hopefully changed.”

It is clear that we have a responsibility to make a change in our community. Thank you for your support!