Activists Fight to Have N-Word Removed From Graves

Activists Fight to Have N-Word Removed From Graves

The gravestones are believed to belong to Black pioneers.

Published May 6, 2011

Activists are fighting to have the the N-word removed from 36 concrete gravestones in El Dorado Hills, California.


The gravestones, from 1850 and 1870, are believed to belong to Black pioneers who moved to the area during the California Gold Rush. The site where gold was found was typically named after the race, religion or social group of those who found it first. In 1849, two Black men struck gold, and the area was called Negro Hill.


As the area and those surrounding it developed, racial unrest began to arise. In 1852, a Black man was lynched after being accused of stealing a gold nugget. Many Blacks were buried without markers, and the 36 stones in El Dorado Hills were engraved: “Unknown. Moved from &#**@% Hill Cemetery by U.S. Government—1954."


Today, activists would like the words “&#**@%” replaced with “Negro Hill.”


"Telling the accurate story of what happened and putting the positive correction is something that this region has a responsibility to do," activist Michael Harris told the Associated Press.


The general manager of the California Prison Industry Authority has offered to have the offensive term removed by state prison inmates, free of charge.

 (Photo: AP Photo/US Army Corps of Engineers photo)

Written by Danielle Wright


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