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What's in a Name?

Since the 1920s, folks in Valdosta have been visiting Barber Park on River Street. Well, some folks at least.

Floyd Rose, President of People's Tribunal, says, "It was called the swimming spot for Valdosta, except blacks were not allowed to swim in the pools, walk the trails, or even sit at the picnic tables."

That has long since changed, but some feel Barber Park's name is a constant reminder of racial segregation. That's why they're lobbying to see it changed.

George Rhynes says, "We deserve to have positive images in our community for our children so they won't feel inferior or less than a human being in this society."

Community advocates are so passionate about having this sign changed, that they are taking their request to the streets literally.

Rose says, "We are going to walk the 1.4 miles from Barber Park to City Hall."

But their request for a name change won't come without opposition from residents in the community.

Jeff Waldron says, "I've been in this neighborhood all my life and I know the Barber's, or at least know of them, and they were pretty good people from what I know."

Even so, advocates say the name should be changed to help eliminate the memories of a segregated past.


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