I, too, am sensitive to language and would not have used it if I realized there was a negative connotation to the term. I remember a story I read as a child about a family who moved to Africa to work with wildlife preservation intending to maintain their American lives in Africa and planning to leave after five years. But, they became immersed in the culture and never left. There was a quote or a reference in the book about the Dark Continent being the land of mysteries and unknowns. That always stuck with me. Made Africa seem romantic and mystical.
However, I should have done research before using the term. How I remembered it from a child’s story is not a good reason to use the name without the benefit of adult research. A terrible oversight on my part.
I did some reading today and discovered that my positive opinion of the name Dark Continent is definitely not the norm. Therefore, I have changed it in my piece.
Thank you for educating me on this. I truly would never want to use a term that would be offensive. And, I actually like the new name better than that one!