Rhode Island's Name Game

Soon, Rhode Island may be named Rhode Island. The Providence Journal explains: PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Voters will consider in 2010 a proposal to drop "...
by | June 29, 2009

Soon, Rhode Island may be named Rhode Island. The Providence Journal explains:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Voters will consider in 2010 a proposal to drop "Providence Plantations," the controversial phrase conjuring up for many images of Rhode Island's role in the slave trade, from the state name.

The full Senate on Friday approved adding a referendum on the November 2010 ballot asking voters whether they are willing to change Rhode Island's formal name from "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" to simply "Rhode Island."

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Proponents of the name change say that the word "plantations" is offensive to the African-American community because it conjures up images of slavery.

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But opponents say that the full name is rooted deeply in the state's history. "Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" represents the merging of two colonies that now make up the nation's smallest state.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com

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