The term “sambo” is a long-standing racial obscenity and its roots go back to an 1899 book about a dark-skinned South Indian boy. The name turned into a satire against African Americans.
The sign of the restaurant has been given, at least temporarily, a sign of peace, an ampersand and the word “love” for peace and love.
“Our family has looked into our hearts and realized that those we respect must be sensitive when others make strong appeals,” the owners posted. “So today we stand in solidarity with those who want change and are doing their part as appropriately as possible.”
Owner Chad Stevens says its founder – his grandfather Sam Batistone and business partner Newell “Bow” Bonnet – created the restaurant’s name from parts of their name.
Stevens agreed to change the name after hearing from resident Rachel Monet.
“Even though it didn’t come from a bad place, it’s still a very harmful word for a lot of people.”
Stevens said that time is right for change.
“We need to integrate with the current environment of our country and as the saying goes, peace and love,” he said.