Rhode Island moves toward changing its official name over slavery connotations

Welcome to Rhode Island by Taber Andrew Bain is licensed under Flickr CC BY 2.0
Rhode Island is moving toward changing its official name — the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations — due to its slavery connotations.

Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) signed an executive order on Monday declaring that her office would not use the word “plantations” in future executive orders, citations or on its website.

And last week, the Rhode Island state House signaled it will move forward with state Senate legislation to get a referendum on the name change on the November ballot. The state’s only Black state senator, Harold Metts, introduced the bill. 

“Whatever the meaning of the term ‘plantations’ in the context of Rhode Island’s history, it carries a horrific connotation when considering the tragic and racist history of our nation,” Metts said in a statement last week, according to the Providence Journal.