Chocolate and vanilla go together like, well, chocolate and vanilla. Some people love the creamy taste of vanilla while others prefer the richer taste of chocolate. A lot of people love both. So it's no surprise that Texas ice cream company Blue Bell serves up its most popular flavors side by side. Named "The Great Divide," Blue Bell offers a 1/2-gallon of Homemade Vanilla alongside Dutch Chocolate, creating a line between the middle.
Traci Schmidley, mother of six and foster mother of more, decided to surprise her kids with some ice cream as a treat for all the hard work they put in that week. A fan of Blue Bell, Traci bought the Great Divide as a way to please the flavor preferences of her kids. While serving up ice cream, her oldest son aged ten, jokingly commented on how it should be the Civil War ice cream since it looked like a visual representation of the Mason Dixon line and a time when our nation was heavily divided.
The son looked around the table at his brothers and sisters and noted that they were black and white. And unlike the divide between the flavors, they were all around the table together enjoying chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Traci started asking her kids what they think the ice cream flavor should be named. Sons Isak and Kaleb with friend Jayden suggested the name, Better Together. Traci explained it further on the website, Love What Matters:
One of the boys explained it well. 'Well, really mom, for families that enjoy different favorite flavors, the flavors really are better together in one carton, because everyone can be happy.' He also explained how the new name reflects both our family and our country; that we really are all better and stronger when we are together, not when we are in separate 'containers.'
Traci and the kids composed a letter to Blue Bell Ice Cream and shared it as a Facebook post.
To The Makers of Blue Bell Ice Cream:My name is Traci Schmidley. Two of my sons and one of their friends wanted to...
Here's the full text of the children's letter.
From Isak, Kaleb, and Jayden:
Hi Blue Bell! We love your ice cream! We all think Cookies and Cream is the best ice cream on the planet! Last week we had an ice cream party and we had the flavor the Great Divide. It's a good flavor for parties because we can add a lot of unique toppings to it. But, we began to talk about the name and we think some people might misunderstand the name and think the name the Great Divide is about people and the division that exists in our world because of different skin colors.
Isak and Kaleb have lighter skin and Jayden has darker skin. But Isak and Kaleb also have a brother and sister adopted from foster care who have dark skin as well. We are all our own color and own flavor and there is no divide between us. We think we are all delicious in our own ways. So, we have a suggestion for a new name for your chocolate and vanilla ice cream flavor:
Thank you for taking the time to listen to our ideas. We love your ice cream. We think having a big bucket of Better Together chocolate and vanilla on dinner tables across the country will make our families and communities stronger than ever!
From Your Fans,
Isak, Kaleb, Jayden & Friends!
From thereon families started sharing photos of their interracial families with the hashtag #bettertogether. Traci goes on to say that they don't believe the original name is racist. Rather, the children believed that name, The Great Divide wasn't fitting for an ice cream that brought their family together.