(KTXL) — The process to rename a recreation area in Folsom is moving into the next step after a private stakeholder meeting came to a consensus on a new name.
Some people in the area say the current name is offensive, but others say changing the name would be scrubbing away local history.
“I don’t know why people are offended by the word negro,” said Michael Harris.
Harris is the president of the Friends of Negro Bar. He believes changing the name would be eliminating history.
“After 172 years, it has been Negro Bar,” Harris said.
The state park is across from the sand bar mined by Black miners during California’s gold rush.
Phaedra Jones in 2018 was stunned to see the name and started a change.org petition. Three years later in a private stakeholders meeting, around 25 people suggested the name be changed to Black Miners Bar, the California State Parks told FOX40.
That option finished ahead of African American Miners Bar, Freedom Bar and the option of putting Historic in front of the existing name.
And they are suggesting renaming the boating area, Kota Rocks Boat Launch. Officials, however, say they will have to speak to Native American groups first to see if it’s appropriate.
“This was Mexico when the town was founded,” Harris said.
Harris says he was Thursday meeting and was not pleased by the vote. But he say it is not over.
“It’s not going to be a long fight. There is not going to be a fight,” Harris said.
The vote was a suggestion, and now, the recommended names will go to the California Parks director, who will have to figure out the next step.