Since I moved to Dallas in 1997, I have heard city and community leaders refer to the area south of the Trinity River as The Southern Sector. Back then, it seemed like a good way to discuss what was happening in what most agreed to be a forgotten area of town.
But the term has run its course and it's time that the area receive a different moniker. Southern Sector has no real value and doesn't sound like a place to go under ANY circumstance. You might as well say Southern 51 or The Southern Triangle.
Southern Sector doesn't even acknowledge the fact that you are in Dallas. Does anyone ever say the Northern Sector? It's always North Dallas or Northern Dallas.
Southern Sector needs the same treatment as the 'N' word; dead, buried, and gone. So you ask, what do we replace Southern Sector with? That's easy:
I'm sure the lack of creativity of this term doesn't excite anyone. And many would say that the term still divides the city. While both those statements may be valid, there is still a need for addressing the unique circumstances of an area that the city turned its back on for nearly two generations.
Most city officials know better than refer to all things south of the Trinity as South Dallas, but most media outlets erroneously refer to everything below the river as such. South Dallas is a relatively small collection of neighborhoods that surrounds Fair Park. It may not seem like a big deal, but people in Oak Cliff get tired of locals referring to their neighborhood as South Dallas and the reverse is true as well.
A search of Dallas South will find 4 references that I've made to the "southern sector." With one exception, the term has only appeared in quotations marks or proceeded by the words "so called."
This is not an effort to try to name away the city's problems. Many entities in Southern Dallas are trying to do just that.
Oak Cliff Country Club is now The Golf Club of Dallas. Red Bird Mall and Red Bird Airport have replaced Red Bird with Southwest Center and Executive respectively. I believe in branding and don't totally discount what those businesses have done and why they did it.
What I'm suggesting is something different. It's not like there was ever (to my knowledge) a uniform effort to brand Southern Dallas as the Southern Sector. I'm told it kind of happened out of the need to speak to the economic growth and development that has lacked in the region.
And the term is a big hit with politicians, peddling champaign wishes and caviar dreams to residents of the area. Even those against the Trinity proposition tout what it will do for the "Southern Sector." But what's good for the "Southern Sector" is good for Dallas and helps to make the city whole.
I'm asking all officials, leaders, and media outlets to let go of this bogus designation. Oak Cliff, South Dallas, West Dallas, Pleasant Grove, they are all Dallas and should be referred to as such.
So goodbye and good riddance to all references to Southern Sector. Your presence is not welcome here. The time has come for Southern Dallas to take hold.