Reflecting values...
Jan 23, 2013 | 999 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When we first moved here, many, maybe even most of our neighbors and friends still called the canyon, Nigger Bill Canyon. We were taken aback and called it Black Bill Canyon – for our kids.

I never knew his full name. I never knew the canyon’s history, let alone his history. To this day there is no explanation at the trailhead of the namesake of this canyon, although there is info on poison ivy and beavers.

Geographical names reflect our values. And in my book, keeping things the same for old times’ sake is of no value.

Today, our demographics include a much wider range of color and ethnic origin, including our own daughter. Like it or not, the term Negro is weighted with bad memories and associations of slavery and segregation. Even the Miriam-Webster dictionary definition notes that the term is considered “sometimes offensive.”

I think the name of this canyon needs to reflect the history and the growing respect and integration of ethnicity in our town, our country and our world.

And please, add a bio about William Grandstaff at the trailhead.

—Jil Kulander


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