An online petition is calling on concertgoers to boycott venues that book the U.S. band Black Pussy for what it calls a racist and misogynistic name.

The band has booked shows in five Canadian locations this month — Winnipeg, Calgary, Equity, Alta., Victoria and Vancouver. 

The band's name is an apparent reference to the 1971 Rolling Stones song Brown Sugar that, according to the petition,"unmistakably refers to raping black women during slavery."

The petition, which has more than 1,700 names, also said the name disrespects black women and exploits their image. It calls for a boycott of the band and any venue that books them.

The band's online bio says founder Dustin Hill thought the name was "fantastic" and "encapsulates exactly what the band is: a sex-charged, '70s-influenced, hide-your-daughters-because-they're-coming-to-town rock 'n' roll band."

The bio goes on to say, "Considering the name comes from a song that directly speaks out against racism, Hill isn't willing to entertain the notion that the band intends to offend anyone."

A show in Raleigh, N.C., was cancelled in March due to the petition, which is also calling for the band to change its name and apologize.

The band makes its next Canadian stop at The Pyramid in Winnipeg on June 2. Another group called The Black Hearted was suppose to play with the group but has since dropped out of the show.

"We in Black Hearted do not support disrespectful or offensive material towards anybody," the band said in a statement. "We do not support or want to be associated with any offensive or disrespectful entities."

Winnipeg musician and activist Noma Sibanda said she's disgusted by the band name and had a "visceral" reaction to hearing it.

"I think it comes down to image and identity in that popular culture — media, music, film — has an influence on the way that we as a society frame our opinions, frame our identities. To say that there's no correlation at all — that there's no connection is just irresponsible," said Sibanda. "Just hearing Black Pussy band I'm thinking what the heck? And why?"

She said even if people avoid the shows, they can still be confronted by the name in other places.

"I go to The Pyramid for shows. I'm leaving my home, and I'm being assaulted. I'm opening my Google to read the news, and I'm being assaulted," she said.

Sibanda said not knowing the controversial nature of the song Brown Sugar or why the name Black Pussy would be offensive isn't an excuse.

"To say, 'Well, I'm ignorant. I didn't know,' well, educate yourself," said Sibanda.

After Winnipeg, Black Pussy is scheduled to tour Western Canada.