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Sweden's 'Negro Village' unveils new name

29 Jun 2012, 15:26

Published: 29 Jun 2012 15:26 GMT+02:00

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"We've killed that name," said Lars Björklund, CEO of Sölvesborgshem, the housing company which manages the area, to the TT news agency.

As homes in the area were built four decades ago with black chimneys, locals initially called the suburb Negerby, which translates into English as 'Negro Village'.

While the suburb was never officially called 'Negro Village' the expression stuck in local parlance for nearly four decades before anyone decided it was time for a change.

"There was no harm in that word at the time, and there were no problems with the town name," Björklund told The Local back in February when the decision was taken to re-christen the area with a name that had less of a risk of offending people.

At 11am on Friday, Björklund unveiled a new sign revealing the area's new name.

From now on, residents of what used to be called 'Negro Village' now live in Österbo, which translates roughly as 'Eastern Settlement'.

"There are parts of Mjällby which are already called Österbo. We're now expanding that area," said Björklund.

The area had previously been given the temporary title of Slottsstaden (‘Castle City’), until Österbo was chosen from among suggestions put forward by area residents.

However it remains to be seen if the new name will gain traction among locals who have grown accustomed to 'Negro Village'.

Story continues below…

"If someone asks me where I live, and if the answer is Österbo, the question then is, where is Österbo? 'In Negerby.' 'Oh, I see, you live in Negerby.' Everyone known were it is," Mjällby resident Kennet Svensson, 76, told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

TT/The Local/dl

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Your comments about this article

16:32 June 29, 2012 by VoodooDingy
And the politically correct award goes to...

Sweden! For the 587743rd time in a row! Congratulations!
17:33 June 29, 2012 by bcterry
Absolutely the right decision.

Blacks consider it to be derogatory term, and this is just a simple respectful name change, ........ nothing more.
18:18 June 29, 2012 by esvahnt
offend who?

i think the coloured people should be proud of their colour

unfortunately allmost all of them are only just interested on beig accepted by the traditional white european

in africa is not like this

they use to have wars betwen themselves because of differences betwen the same race people but with little differences of race and they are very proud of being blacks they are happy people

every race should be proud of their characteristics and never hate themselves like these "offended "

i think in sweden we only have outcomers wanting a race change through mixing with the swedish people

if it wasnt so they would choose to go to any country more racially equal to their own

but they strongly demand the right to come to only the most developed countries in the world where people is at the top of the "whiteness" and there is very little to be done to better up the country

everything is allready done

our ancestors gave their entire live to build up all this wonder of a country

but nobody knows who is he working for

i think we will inherit it to middle east and africa
18:43 June 29, 2012 by Paul_225
BOO HOO offend who?
19:42 June 29, 2012 by cbgbg
whats wrong with the word nigger when they call us white trash, People are so naive, It reminds me of London in the 80`s when there were black only meetings and jobs advertised for black lesbians. No wonder there is a problem in the world when politicians have no idea about life
20:25 June 29, 2012 by TG22
No long ago a watched Bad Boys 2 and lost count how many times Will Smith and Martin Lawrence called themselves nigger. The same goes for Boomerang and many others.

Those "offended" by the town name are not blacks, they are all white middle class liberals making sure the industry of racism is well and kicking...
22:48 June 29, 2012 by Vitas
Idiots...Yes, idiots
04:47 June 30, 2012 by Eric1
Sweden's biggest industry is now "Big Racism" extorting millions every year from taxpayers.
07:55 June 30, 2012 by Marc the Texan
The word negro is no more offensive than the word white. Stupid politically correct decision that will probably be reversed when the town comes to its senses in a generation or so. All it shows is that a small town in Sweden is hypersensitive to a few contentious political correctness arguments in small regions of the US. Swedish institutions never make a decision until they check what's happening in the US and UK first. I don't see how this kind of self consciousness makes Sweden a better place.
09:55 June 30, 2012 by VoodooDingy
I'm surprised, TheLocal! You don't have a language filter that automatically censors the N-word? Tz tz tz...

Bad, bad TheLocal [slap!]
12:12 June 30, 2012 by Fred Johnsson
Black people is not a problem in Sweden.

Go after the ragheads that are destroying our culture!
13:33 June 30, 2012 by k2kats
Right on, bcterry! Bravo to Österbo!

It would be unreasonable to expect majority members to fully appreciate how minorities experience discrimination. But it IS reasonable to expect everyone to extend the same level of respect they demand to others.
14:23 June 30, 2012 by Atlas
Ah yes...Politically Correct Names...The death of Scandinavia and its culture...
16:55 June 30, 2012 by bcterry
"Ah yes...Politically Correct Names...The death of Scandinavia and its culture... "

A name of a district, (negro), that is only 40 years old, is Scandinavia culture?
11:26 July 2, 2012 by rise
There's always talk about racism, and the underlying meaning of it the racist being a white person. I'd say the assumption of a racist being white is in fact a racist assumption itself.

Be that as it may "neger" is considered derogatory... Immigrants, mostly from the middle east, are using the term "svenne" in exactly the same derogatorily way. But I don't mind - nowadays if I hear I'm being titled as "svenne" I just respond "vad vill du, "svarting?""

"Racist this and racist that" is a discussion that will not end during our lifetime. It will not end during our children's lifetime either. Simply because xenophobia is something we're all born with.
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