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Panel Recommends Keeping ‘Negro’ in Place Names

South Dakota Capital Building
National Park Service

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Acting on a request by black leaders, the South Dakota panel responsible for getting rid of offensive geographic names has decided to seek the repeal of a state law that requires the renaming of places that use the word “Negro.”

Current state law requires the South Dakota Board on Geographic Names to find new names for creeks, lakes and other places that include the terms “squaw” and “Negro.”

But black leaders have said the term “Negro” is not offensive and should remain a part of place names to recognize black people’s contributions to South Dakota history.

The Board on Geographic Names voted unanimously Wednesday to ask the Legislature to change the law so the word “Negro” can be kept in place names. The term “squaw,” would still be considered offensive.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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