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US renames Negrohead Mountain after black pioneer

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A California peak formerly known as Negrohead Mountain has been officially renamed in honour of the black pioneer who settled there in 1869.

The 619-metre peak near Malibu, became Ballard Mountain after John Ballard, a blacksmith and former slave.

Dozens of Ballard's relatives attended the renaming ceremony on Saturday.

The name originally contained an even more offensive racial slur which appeared on federal maps, but was changed to "negro" in the 1960s.

The US Geographical Survey approved the change last year after an application by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

The peak is located in southern California's Santa Monica range.

"I don't know what it means to Los Angeles as a whole, but it means a lot to me," Ballard's 85-year-old great-grandson Reggie Ballard, a retired LA Fire Department captain, was quoted as saying.



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