A Place for "Potentially Offensive Place Names"

What's in a name? Apparently, reports Kim Severson, some not-so-subtle reminders of a segregated American landscape. And changing them is not easy."The United States Board on Geographic Names, the federal agency that maintains the official names of m

"The United States Board on Geographic Names, the federal agency that maintains the official names of more than 2.5 million streams, mountains, cities and civic buildings, lists 757 names that use the word Negro or a variation, said Lou Yost, executive secretary of the board."

"Local residents, including some African-Americans, sometimes see no reason to change a name that has always been there. Others argue that changing race-based names is political correctness run amok."

"With millions to track and countless versions of official maps on file both on paper and digitally, order must be maintained. It is a Sisyphean task that falls to the keepers of the national database of place names, the Geographic Names Information System."

Full Story: Race-Based Names Dot the Landscape

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95