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Castine votes to consider Negro Island name change

A committee will be formed to workshop potential new names for the islands
Updated: May. 8, 2021 at 2:03 PM EDT
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CASTINE, Maine (WABI) - Citizens in Castine today voted to begin the process of potentially changing the controversial name of a set of islands Saturday.

By a close vote of 44 to 33, the community voted during a town hall in favor of forming a committee to conduct outreach on potential new names for Negro Island, a pair of islands in the mouth of the Bagaduce River, for a future ballot initiative.

The islands have had the name for hundreds of years, with the exact origins of it unknown, with local legends that say it was part of the Underground Railroad being debunked by research.

Supporters of the motion hope to generate a conversation about black history in Maine.

The process now falls to the not yet formed committee, who will work on possible new names for the island to go on the ballot in November.

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