Alaska Middle-School Students Find Racist Names On Topography Map

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Eighth-graders at a Fairbanks middle school made a startling discovery — racist names on an Alaska topographic map.

One of the places near Minto on the U.S. Geological Survey map was named, “Negrohead Creek.”

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that the teacher began brainstorming on how to make this a teaching moment. Her first action was to enlist the help of Tonya Brown, a Black-Native teacher at Randy Smith Middle School.

Brown also was aghast that such an offensive epithet remained on state and federal maps. Shed began making calls and researching how to change it.

Now, almost two years later, the offensive name has been replaced with the original Athabascan name.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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