Rhode Island Looks to Change Its Official Name to Remove Slavery Connotations

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The state of Rhode Island considering changing its official name to “Rhode Island.” No, that’s not a typo — the state’s full official name is “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,” and that last part of the name has been criticized for invoking connotations of slavery.

As the map below shows, the majority of Rhode Island’s territory is not actually on islands. The state’s name comes from Colonial times, when four Colonial settlements were combined, two of which were on what is called Aquidneck Island today but was called Rhode Island during that time, and two adjoining settlements on the mainland surrounding the town of Providence. Hence, “Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations.”

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