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Underground History explores racist and sexist place names and the long process of erasing them

squaw_lakes__or.jpg
Trougnouf, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70137941
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The Jackson County lakes now go by Acorn Woman Lakes.

The West's early white settlers had a way of naming geographical sites, and it's not a way that ages well with time.

Various authorities in charge of place names have spent decades scrubbing derogatory terms for Black people and Native women from the landscape. And the efforts took a major step forward recently, when the federal Interior Department completed the removal of the term for Native women (call it the S word) from sites under its control.

The job is not done elsewhere in the West, and we explore the situation in this month's Underground History, our history-and-archaeology excursion with Chelsea Rose from the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology.

Chelsea returns to discuss the derogatory place names, and their long persistence, with Kimberly Moreland from Oregon Black Pioneers.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Nash Bennett is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.