A Dutch group torched the cover of Lawrence Hill's The Book of Negroes in Amsterdam on Wednesday, as a protest against the bestselling title.

The group, known as Foundation Honor and Restore Victims of Slavery in Surinam, had contacted the Canadian author earlier in June  and demanded he change the title of his award-winning book, recently published in the Netherlands.

The activists vowed to burn copies of the book, published in Dutch as Het Negerboek, in an Amsterdam park unless its name was changed.

However, group member Perez Jong Loy said Wednesday that they did not burn the entire work because it's not the novel's content they find offensive, only the title.

"We are upset by the title of your book because the name you gave, it's insulting to the black community. It's an insult," he told CBC News.

He pointed out that Hill's book has been published under a different title, Someone Knows My Name, in some markets — including the U.S., Australia and New Zealand. In Quebec, the book was published as Aminata.


Lawrence Hill's The Book of Negroes has also been published as Someone Knows My Name in some international markets.

The group will continue to speak out against the use of the term negro, Loy added.

Earlier on Wednesday, Hill said he was "horrified by" the notion of burning books.

"I wasn't looking to be sensational or provocative when I called it The Book of Negroes. I called it The Book of Negroes to bring attention to a long-forgotten historical document and a long-forgotten migration," he told Matt Galloway on CBC's Metro Morning.

"There is no defence to burning a book. It's a hateful act designed to intimidate…It's something that stifles dialogue and the notion of the freedom to read and to write."