When hearing the word, Plantation in the 21st century one may think of a field full of rich nutritious foods, crops, cotton fields or something to do with farming. Many hear that name and automatically think of people of color and slaves and slave owners. I recall going through school and hearing about Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, segregation and the Jim Crow Laws. The way people of color slaved over plantation fields, sweating, picking cotton and living in America a place they call the “land of the free”, a place where “dreams comes true”, yet has a horrid past of, not all citizens having freedom, but being owned by other human beings. People of color, worked the fields and were slaves to the white man. This is where men lost some of their dignity, because their women of color were mistreated, raped, forced into sex, and traded to other white slave owners. Most of these lands were in the South, but Florida. Florida, never comes to mind.
According to Bowman and Forde, Slave labor had contributed to building up Florida State. Harry Flagler, was a white, rich man, who long after the civil war, took advantage of laboring African Americans, involuntarily and used his White privilege to salvage investigation reports of his illegal activity of working people of color. He worked them to build roads, hotels, and more (Bowman et al, 2018). I wanted to post a bit of history on Florida State, given the petition for a name change in Florida city taking place currently. In Florida city, in plantation, it is said not to have been a place where slaves worked (t.v news report).
Several Persons has their hands involved in creating a petition to change one of the names in Florida City. One of them is, Dharyl Auguste. The name of that city, is called Plantation. From the media coverage, it showed this interviewing of Dharyl Auguste about why he is going around asking for this petition to be signed and why he feels the name of plantation needs to be changed. Dharyl responded, in light of the recent events with Black Lives Matter and the death of George Floyd, having such a name like that is going to continue to cause division, given the current events in the news about people of color.
Given what is known about Plantations and the city, “Plantation” and the current events of today, I would say it is be-fitting to move along with the petition with the rest of those who are making change in the world and are acquiring for change. There are plenty of other names to go for. Florida, is known, as the “sunshine state”, it shouldn’t be tarnished because of wanting to keep a name, such as “Plantation”, in the city of Plantation. Plantation, just by hearing, to not only people of color, but other races, hears this word as a word with such negativity attached to it and it’s history. When One thinks of sunshine, it ought to make you happy, but there is nothing about touring a city, with Florida state with a name like “plantation”. As an African American Female, There is nothing historic about the name, like that of visiting Jamestown, Martin Luther King Monument or the Black and Wax Museum etc. Changing the name of Plantation, will not lose any meaning, but would rather gain one.
Bryan Bowman and Kathy Roberts Forde (2018). “How slave labor built the state of Florida — decades after the Civil War”. Washington Post.