Family's Letter Asks Blue Bell To Change Great Divide's Name


ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) — A letter to Blue Bell Creameries from a family in Red River Parish proposes a new name for "The Great Divide," a half chocolate and half vanilla ice cream mix.

Traci Schmidley published a letter that her children and their friend wrote in a Facebook post that's been widely shared. In the letter, Isak, 10, Kaleb, 8, and Jayden 11, express concern that the name of the ice cream flavor may be misunderstood to represent the "division that exists in our world because of different skin colors."

- Sponsors -

The kids go on to explain that Isak and Kaleb are white with two adopted siblings who are black. Their friend Jayden also is black. Then, they suggested the ice cream be called "Better Together."

"We are all our own color and own flavor and there is no divide between us," they wrote. "We think we are all delicious in our own ways."

"Honestly when I heard (the name the kids suggested), I was like, 'Wow guys. That's really brilliant,'" said Schmidley, who shared the letter to Blue Bell on Facebook at Jayden's request because she thought others would enjoy reading the kids' thoughts. She said the new name was Kaleb's idea.

- Partner Content -

Entergy’s Energy Smart Program Brings Cost Conscious Innovation to New Orleans

Offering comprehensive energy efficiency at no cost to the consumer, Entergy’s Energy Smart program incentivizes Entergy New Orleans customers to perform energy-saving upgrades in...

"He had realized that the intention of Blue Bell was probably to comment on the fact that in one family some people would prefer chocolate and some people would prefer vanilla, so some families are divided along the flavor line," she said.

". But, he said, to fulfill that same point, we could have a positive message, and we could say for a family, both flavors in one carton are 'better together,' and that's actually the way the world is, too. When people of all races and all backgrounds come together, we are all better, and he feels our families are representative of that same concept."

Schmidley continued: "I think a lot of people share that sentiment, because they're sending pictures (on Facebook), and not just of adoption and families, but they're sending pictures of sports teams and companies and all kinds of different communities that are diverse and that are in fact 'better together.' I think it's really this neat little thing that (the kids) started."

- Sponsors -

The Schmidleys currently have one foster child living with them in addition to six biological and adopted kids, ages 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10. They became certified to foster and adopted their first daughter while they were living in Pineville, but recently moved to Red River Parish for a ministry opportunity.

Schmidley said she's been surprised by the response to the letter, and so have the kids.

"My oldest (Isak) just said he feels very empowered," she said. "He's very surprised that as a 10-year-old, his opinion is heard and matters to people. I think that is the world we live in. All of our opinions are valid, despite our age or anything else. That's one of the advantages of social media that everyone has a platform to share their opinions."

"(The kids) really do hope Blue Bell changes the name," she added. Or at least get free ice cream or an invitation to Blue Bell's manufacturing plant in Texas.

Blue Bell hasn't directly answered whether the they will consider the name change in statements on social media and in news articles, but the company did express appreciation for the feedback.

"We love the idea of 'better together' and especially the thoughtful sentiment behind it," said a statement emailed to USA TODAY. "We love hearing from our customers, especially kids. We were amazed when we read the letter, by their thoughtfulness and their compassion for all people, and we are humbled by their love of our ice cream."

– by Miranda Klein, AP reporter

Digital Sponsors / Become a Sponsor

Follow the issues, companies and people that matter most to business in New Orleans.

Email Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter