Austin’s UT ‘Eyes of Texas’ Remains the Spirit Song
Over the summer, protests were held at the University of Texas school grounds as divided students and interested parties debated, protested, and petitioned to end the use of the UT's fight song, 'The Eyes of Texas,' as speculation offered that the history of the song was tied to General Robert E. Lee and deemed to have racial intent.
The University of Texas gathered a committee to investigate and The University of Texas at Austin 'Eyes of Texas History' Committee was born.
The committee of 24 consisted of former and present students, alumni, facility, athletes, staff, spirit squad, and communication specialists, and they were charged with the following tasks;
Charge 1: Collect and document the facts of the origin, the creators’ intent, and the elements of “The Eyes of Texas,” including the lyrics and music.
Charge 2: Examine the university’s historical institutional use and performance of “The Eyes of Texas."
Charge 3: Chronicle the historical usage of “The Eyes of Texas” by University of Texas students, staff, faculty and alumni, as well as its usages in broader cultural events, such as film, literature, and popular media.
Charge 4: Recommend potential communication tactics and/or strategies to memorialize the history of “The Eyes of Texas."
Yesterday, an official report was released by the University of Texas at Austin 'Eyes of Texas History' committee which you can read in its entirety here, which found that the controversial alma mater, “The Eyes of Texas” debuted at a minstrel show where students likely wore blackface.
However, the committee could not find documents that specifically tied the phrase to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, despite it long being believed that Gen. Lee said " The eyes of the SOUTH are upon you" and was part of the song’s origin story.
The Eyes of Texas History Committee considered nearly 100 ideas for moving forward with the alma mater in a healing and constructive way, and the full report offers “40 recommendations for the Forty Acres” which you can read here.
It looks as though 'The Eyes of Texas' is staying, but changes will be made in other areas on the Forty Acres.
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