BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Three finalists have been announced in an essay contest at Branford High School to change the name of a landmark right off the coast, that many people call offensive.
Kelly Tiernan was named the winner of that essay contest, which was looking to rename “Negro Heads” buoy and rocks to something else.
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Tiernan’s name is “Sowheag Rocks” — named after the chief of a Native American tribe who sold land to Dutch sailors that would eventually become Branford.
“I thought, we want to write about that and have that be known that, you know, remember where we came from. But also where we’re going,” said Tiernan.
Samantha Esposito and Viktoria Sinani were named the two runners up and were also recognized for their essays as well.
The name change was spearheaded by Senator Ted Kennedy Junior.
“After President Obama renamed Mount McKinley to Denali it occurred to me, wow there is a process for citizens to suggest changes to names of different landmarks,” said Sen. Kennedy.
The new name will now be submitted to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, which is the organization with the power to change the offensive buoy name on all government maps.