Old Slave Road's name may be changed

March 10, 2013 at 11:04 AM

WILDWOOD, Mo., March 10 (UPI) -- The historic committee in Wildwood, Mo., said it is considering recommending a name change for the city's Old Slave Road.

The recommendation could come at the end of March, and the City Council could vote on the change in April, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The private street has six homes on it and runs by a historic cemetery, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Lynne Martin, head of the Historic Preservation Commission, said the name is a misnomer and slaves never used the road.

Those that live on the road said the name may offend people and discourage them from living on it, the newspaper said.

The property owners are recommending naming the road Elijah Madison Lane in honor of a former slave who grew up in the area and served in a segregated unit during the Civil War.

But others say the change is an effort to sanitize history and stigmatize the word slave, the Post-Dispatch said.

"I couldn't disagree more," Esley Hamilton, a preservation historian said. "We should not allow the word 'slave' to be stigmatized any more than we should allow the word 'Jew' to be used in that way."

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