Strictly speaking, the word “plantation” refers to a large group of plants or trees in a settlement. But the association with slavery is inescapable.
“We can’t ignore the image conjured by the word ‘plantation,’” Gov. Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island said last month. “We can’t ignore how painful that is for Black Rhode Islanders to see that and have to see that as part of their state’s name. It’s demoralizing. It’s a slap in the face. It’s painful.”…
But Lynn Stoner, the mayor of Plantation, does not necessarily share this opinion.
“If we change the name, it doesn’t change the mind-set of what people indicate the problem is,” Ms. Stoner said. “I think it is just the optics.”
Ms. Stoner has lived in Plantation for 50 years, and she proposed instead that residents be educated on the “racial components and diversity in the community.”