Runaway Negro Creek, located on Skidaway Island near Savannah, Georgia could have a new name in the near future. According to Politically Georgia, Georgia lawmakers are presenting a proposal to the federal government to rename the historical creek, "Freedom Creek."
The creek's current name has been deemed offensive by State Sen. Lester Jackson (D-Savannah) and a House subcommittee approved Senate Resolution 685, which would rename the creek, on Thursday. State senators unanimously approved the proposal last week, and it will make its way to the Governmental Affairs Committee by next week.
“I am so pleased that this resolution has advanced another step through the committee process,” Jackson in statement via press release, per Savannah Now. “We need to replace this antiquated symbol with one that is more representative of the events of the 1800′s. We will be redefining history by a shining a light on the events that transpired at Freedom Creek and honor the movement of freedom.”
The name, Freedom Creek is being backed by local residents. Jackson noted that the creek's name used to include a racial epithet, but it was changed to a slightly less offensive name some time in the past 100 years.
Runaway Negro Creek served as a passage to freedom for runaway slaves, according FOX Georgia.
“During the Civil War, Africans escaping out of these areas trying to get to places such as Fort Pulaski or any coastal area or again trying to get to Hilton Head because those are places of freedom. Those are sanctuaries of freedom for them," said Dr. Jamal Toure, a Geechee Kunda scholar.
Toure noted that the creek's current name doesn't fully represent the creek's rich history, as it only focuses on what happened there from the point of view of slave owners. “You can’t give a part of history and not give the fullness. You’ve got to go to the larger conclusion of it all," Toure said.
So, what's next for Runaway Negro Creek? Should the renaming be approved by the Governmental Affairs Committee, state officials will formally request that the U.S. Board of Geographic Names rename the creek.
We'll keep everyone posted on any further updates!