Meeting held to suggest name change for Negro Bar State Park

(KTXL) – The process of renaming a recreation area in Folsom takes the next step after a private stakeholder meeting reaches consensus on a new name.

Some people in the area say the current name is offensive, but others say changing the name would erase local history.

“I don’t know why people are offended by the word nigger,” said Michael Harris.

Harris is the president of the Friends of Negro Bar. He thinks changing the name would wipe out the story.

“After 172 years, this is the Negro Bar,” said Harris.

The state park is across the street from the sandbar mined by black miners during the California Gold Rush.

Phaedra Jones in 2018 was stunned to see the name and started a petition. Three years later, in a private meeting with stakeholders, about 25 people suggested the name be changed to Black Miners Bar, California State Parks told FOX40.

This option ended in front of the African American Miners Bar, the Freedom Bar and the option of putting Historic in front of the existing name.

And they suggest renaming the boating area, Kota Rocks Boat Launch. Officials, however, say they will need to speak to Native American groups first to see if this is appropriate.

“It was in Mexico when the city was founded,” Harris said.

Harris says he was in a meeting Thursday and was not happy with the vote. But he says it’s not over.

“It won’t be a long fight. There will be no fight, ”said Harris.

The vote was a suggestion, and now the recommended names will go to the director of California Parks, who will have to determine the next step.

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