Contact Us

‘Negro’ Stays in Geographic Descriptions in South Dakota

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_South_Dakota.svg

Whoever believes the old saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me,” has never been on the receiving end of insulting words spoken often and with malice or indifference. Names matter. Words matter.

The South Dakota Board on Geographic Names met in Pierre on Tuesday. On the agenda were 17 locations with names identified as offensive by the Legislature in a law passed in 2009.  All of the locations had either the word “Negro” or “Squaw” attached to them.

Once we learned what the word “squaw” means when translated into English, even the most jaded of us would say, that word has got to go.

The word “Negro” is different. According to the Miriam Webster Dictionary here is the definition:

a member of a race of humankind native to Africa and classified according to physical features (as dark skin pigmentation)

The dictionary notes that the word is “sometimes considered offensive.”

As the Commission was discussing the removal of the word ”Negro,” a group of South Dakota citizens who happen to be “Negro”, Black, and/or African American, testified. They were from the South Dakota African American History Museum in Sioux Falls.

Porter Williams, the museum curator testified the word “Negro” is not offensive. He further stated the sites with that word as part of the name should continue to use it to recognize the contribution of African Americans in South Dakota history.

After the testimony the board decided to stop work on sites with that word. For now, Negro Canyon, Little Negro Creek, Negro Gulch, and six other locations, will continue to be identified that way.

Work on removing the word “Squaw” from eight locations including Little Squaw Humper Table in Shannon County which is in south western South Dakota, will continue.

Offensive words describing people, races, and cultures should not be used to identify places in our great state.

Hats off to members of the African History Museum in Sioux Falls for educating the Commission, and us, on the use of “Negro.”

Rational thinking and logic have prevailed.

More Local News

Latest Rock Report

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://b1027.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on B102.7 - Sioux Falls Classic Rock quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on B102.7 - Sioux Falls Classic Rock quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!