FOLSOM (CBS13) – A new petition is looking to re-name the Negro Bar State Recreation Area in Folsom, calling the name out of date and offensive.
The petition, set up on the website Care2, was apparently started by an Uber Eats driver who went into the town of Folsom recent and spotted the sign for the historic park.
“I was so confused, shocked, angry, putdown, sad, hurt, disrespected and in disbelief. I couldn’t believe that I had actually seen a sign that read ‘Negro Bar,’” the petition starter writes.
Negro Bar State Recreation Area, also known as Negro Bar State Park, was named for African-American gold miners who discovered gold there during the California Gold Rush.
California State Parks officials released a statement, saying they had not received an official petition as of Wednesday. Officials noted that the name may be offensive to some, but is rooted in the history of the area.
“Many feel that a name change would reduce the cultural significance and important contribution that African Americans made in the region. While the Department of Parks and Recreation is very sensitive to the perception of unit names within our state parks, we are also very careful to insure that our rich California culture and history remain intact,” California State Parks wrote.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the park was known by the much more inflammatory “n-word” bar prior to the 1920s.
As of Wednesday morning, the petition has garnered more than 3,500 signatures.