Sweden is set to rename a suburb of Mjällby, southern Sweden that has been popularly known by residents as ‘Negro Village’ for about forty years. This is a result of the negative attention the village has recently gained from people who were upset by the name.
‘Negro Village’ (Negerby) was originally named by inhabitants after a trend in the village’s infrastructure.
“It all started over 40 years ago,” said Lars-Göran Björklund, CEO of Sölvesborgshem, the housing company which manages the area.
“Some 14 or 15 houses were built with black chimneys, and the townspeople decided to call the town Negerby. There was no harm in that word at the time, and there were no problems with the town name,” he told The Local.
Despite the fact that ‘Negro Village’ never became the official name of the district, the expression stuck in local parlance, and it was 40 years before somebody took the initiative to do something about it.
“It wasn’t until a journalist came to town a while back and made a big deal about it that people got upset. Now we have discussed it and have decided not to use the name at all anymore.”
The establishment is now using the provisional name of Slottsstaden (‘Castle City’) while negotiations to find a befitting name are in progress.
“The chairman has suggested that we hold a competition to find a new name for the area, which hopefully will happen soon,” Björklund said.
In September 2009, a neighbourhood in Karlstad, southern Sweden, was mandated to change its name from Negern (‘The Negro’) after a public outcry.
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