Share This Page

Lawmakers want 'Negro Mountain' to get new name

| Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, 8:12 p.m.

HARRISBURG — A Philadelphia lawmaker is teaming with one of her Maryland colleagues to lobby for the renaming of an Appalachian peak called Negro Mountain that sits on the line between the two states.

State Rep. Rosita Youngblood, D-Phila., said she was stunned when her granddaughter, who is in grade school, told her that she had found a place called Negro Mountain on a map of the commonwealth.

“I thought, there couldn't really be a Negro Mountain in Pennsylvania,” Youngblood, who is black, told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Since she found out about the 30-mile ridge in the Alleghenies on the Mason-Dixon Line in 2007, Youngblood has started periodic efforts to persuade her colleagues in the state Legislature that it was time for a name change. She announced Friday that she was renewing her campaign.

The ridge is said to have been named to honor a slave named Nemesis who died there in 1756, fighting alongside settlers and British force during the French and Indian War.

Youngblood said she wanted the name to honor the man's heroism rather than his skin color.

“I am not looking to rewrite history,” she said. “Nobody questions that Nemesis was a brave man, and the intent of naming Negro Mountain was to honor his sacrifice. But we live in different times, where we must recognize the person, not label them by the color of their skin.”

A Maryland state lawmaker two years ago introduced a bill seeking to rename the ridge and another Appalachian peak, Polish Mountain, citing cultural sensitivities. State Sen. Lisa Gladden, D-Baltimore, called for a commission to come up with new names that would more accurately reflect the history and culture of Maryland's western Appalachian region near the state line with Pennsylvania.

“They don't call Mount McKinley ‘White Man Mountain.' ”Gladden said.

Both, however, said their colleagues have been anything but enthusiastic.

“They said, ‘Why do you want to change something that's always been there?' ” Youngblood said. “Then they asked why a Philadelphia lawmaker was getting involved.”

Gladden said the idea seemed to her “seemed like a no-brainer,” but the reaction indicated that it was anything but.

“They think I'm an agitator from the city,” Gladden said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.