Push to remove racist names draws support — and backlash

For more than two decades, Black residents of Rhode Island have argued that the official name of their state, “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,” connotes slavery and should be changed.It’s a “hurtful term” that “conjures extremely painful images for many Rhode Islanders,” said Democratic state Sen. Harold Metts, who traces his family lineage to a plantation in Virginia and is the only Black man in the Senate.Metts sponsored a bill to amend the state constitution to remove “Providence Plantations” from the official state name. Rhode Island voters will decide in November, bu…

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