Rhode Island Looking to Change Official Name Over Connection to Slavery

“We should do everything in our power to ensure that all communities can take pride in our State.”

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According to reports, the state of Rhode Island is now set to change its official name, “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.”

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed an executive order to change how the state will appear on government documents, due to the official names’ connection to slavery.

“Many of the State’s residents find it painful that a word so closely associated with slavery should appear in the official name of the State,” wrote Raimondo. “The pain that this association causes to some of our residents should be of concern to all Rhode Islanders and we should do everything in our power to ensure that all communities can take pride in our State.”

The move in response to recent events and to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the executive order will see the official name become “Rhode Island.” The change will immediately impact communication from the governor’s office and the state’s official website.

The bill to change the name of the state was introduced by Rhode Island’s only Black senator Harold Metts back in May with Senate calling a vote shortly after. “Whatever the history of the term is in Rhode Island, it is an unnecessary and painful reminder of our nation’s racist past,” said Metts in a statement, revealing his mother’s side of the family were slaves to the Speck Plantation in Virginia. “It is a hurtful term to so many of us.”

It is important to note that before the name can be permanently changed, voters must agree to amend the Rhode Island Constitution in November after the previous move was opposed by 78 percent of voters back in 2010.

In case you missed it, GALLERY DEPT. recently introduced a social justice campaign with its Stop Being Racist T-Shirt.

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