Controversy after apparel company shares offensive Dothan t-shirt design

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 8:00 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Outrage on social media after a Facebook page called “Alabama Memories” shared a t-shirt design representing Dothan in a negative light. American Retro Apparel prides themselves on selling “wearable throwbacks.” The company has recently created a retro post card themed shirt of many Alabama cities.

The design chosen for the city of Dothan stood out to many on social media because it shows two African Americans picking cotton.

We looked into other shirt designs by this company for cities in Alabama and none of them depicted images like this that would be considered offensive. News 4 has reached out to both the clothing company and Alabama Memories. So far, neither have provided a comment. Alabama Memories restricted the post’s comments so many have turned to sharing the post to express their criticism of the company’s design.

One post saying, “What cowards to turn off the comments” and another saying “Slaves in the foreground. Nice marketing.” Another post saying, “Wholeheartedly trying to understand why we needed to include the depiction of slaves picking cotton…”

We reached out to Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba to get his reaction to design.

Saliba said, “Its very disturbing when something comes out like this and the city of Dothan has absolutely nothing to do with it and or any company from the city of Dothan. It’s just I had to do the research and go online just to find out who they are it’s a national company that’s selling t-shirts and postcards and apparently they just take liberty to decide what they’re going to put on those and so it’s very disturbing it doesn’t depict Dothan in any good way.”

Mayor Saliba told News 4, the city plans to write a letter to American Retro Apparel asking them to change the shirt design. Alabama Memories has now removed the post despite having almost 800 shares.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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