An official application for a name change of Negerbyn in Dalarna County has been submitted, as the "politically incorrect" name has been criticised by the Afro-Swedish National Association, which perceived it as "racist", Swedish Radio reported.
"This is a racist word and we, Afro-Swedes and black people of African descent, do not use the n-word. It is a word that comes from the colonial era when white people came to Africa and oppressed us with this word, Nantale Kitali of the Afro-Swedish National Association, told the Expressen daily. "Using this word employs a kind of dehumanisation that includes pre-conceptions of black people as being lazy, unintelligent and more like animals compared with white people. This is nothing we want to be associated with today".
The Negro Village is not an actual village and doesn't contain a single building that is inhabited. Instead, the name applies to an area that contains two ponds and a stream.
"There is no reason for such a name to be present today. We live in a time of constant change and we know that this expression has fallen out of use today", the Centre Party's Anna Hed, chairwoman of the Mora municipal council, told Swedish Radio.
The name "Negro Village" originates from the coal mining in the area. Dalarna used to be part of the historical province Bergslagen, once an industrial powerhouse. The area was officially named in 1975 by the Institute for Languages and Folklore. Nantale Kitali found this amazing.
"I thought it was something that has remained since the 18th and 19th centuries when Sweden bought African slaves", Kitali argued. She argued this name was a symbol of "insufficient representation" and rejected the idea that minority Swedes were "too sensitive and easily offended".
Kitali and her organisation were satisfied with the name change, arguing it was important to break the "racist language use".
"Has she ever listened to rap music?" a user tweeted, hinting at the abundance of "n-words".
”Det är ett rasistiskt ord och vi afrosvenskar och svarta människor med afrikanskt ursprung använder inte n-ordet” Har hon aldrig lyssnat på rapmusik?! #neger #PKsverige #migpol #svpol #afrosvensk #rapmusic #hiphop #niggers #afrika #PK #negerbyn #mora #sv https://t.co/ViIPiERfY2— 📎📎Brandir📎📎🌻 (@BrandirSE) 7 марта 2019 г.
"The National Association of the Aggrieved strikes again", another user commented on Facebook.
"Can we not ban the word 'black' once and for all while we are still at it? Sweden is sick!" another one chimed in.
"At this pace, we'll be changing the name of the country soon", yet another joked, to which a fellow joker offered "Absurdistan".
Others recalled that Niger and Nigeria are still present on the world's map.
While the Swedish word "neger" was deemed acceptable for most of the 20th century, it began to fall out of use from the 1970s onwards. The Swedish Academy glossary (SAOL), the main authority on the Swedish language, listed the word with no commentary until 1986 and has gradually shifted its connotations from "somewhat derogatory" to "may be perceived as derogatory".
In 2012, another Negerbyn, a district of Mjällby, was renamed Österbo.