Voters to get say in dropping ‘plantations’ from R.I.’s name

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island voters will get another chance to strip the words “and Providence Plantations” from the state’s formal name. Lawmakers on Thursday approved a joint resolution to put the question on the November ballot. Although the word “plantations” in Rhode Island’s name does not specifically refer to a place where slaves labored, the bill’s sponsors say it elicits such images. Calls to drop the word “plantations” have intensified recently as protesters across the country have called for racial justice since the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. The ballot question would make the change official in the state’s constitution if approved by a simple majority of voters.