Savannah-area residents want the official name of a creek on Skidaway Island to be changed from Runaway Negro Creek to Freedom Creek. (AJC Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Photo: Stephen B. Morton
Photo: Stephen B. Morton

Georgia’s Runaway Negro Creek one step closer to getting new name

A small waterway on Skidaway Island near Savannah is one step closer to getting rid of its “offensive” name.

Georgia lawmakers are moving legislation through the statehouse that would ask the federal government to change the name of Runaway Negro Creek, which some say is offensive, to Freedom Creek.

A House subcommittee on Thursday approved Senate Resolution 685, sending it to the Governmental Affairs Committee for its consideration as soon as next week. State senators unanimously approved the proposal last week.

State Sen. Lester Jackson, D-Savannah, told a panel of House members Thursday that the creek’s name is offensive. Local residents instead would like to call the small waterway Freedom Creek, he said.

If the proposal is approved by the General Assembly, state officials would urge the U.S. Board of Geographic Names to change the name of the creek. The board is tasked with maintaining uniform usage of geographic names across the country.

Jackson is confident the federal government will honor the request, saying the creek’s name used to include a racial epithet, but at some point in the past 100 years officials changed the even more offensive name.

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