MATTHEWS, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- Come Tuesday, the Plantation Estates Retirement Community in Matthews will be renamed. This comes as more and more places across the country are taking a second look at having ‘plantation’ in their name.
For some, the name is a selling point–a way to market a home, a street, a community. But for the last several months, neighbor Sandra Dickerson has been asking, what does the name mean to you?
“When you think of the word ‘plantation’, what do you think of? For people of color, Black people, it’s our ancestors,” Dickerson said.
She started a petition that is continuing to gain some steam. Her effort is part of a larger nationwide movement to address the use of place names that have a questionable history–from Florida, to Rhode Island, to the Low Country, to the Queen City.
“There’s Oakland Plantation Park, there’s Plantation Park Apartments, Belvedere Lake Plantation, Langtree Plantation, Sardis Plantation,” Dickerson said.
Plantation Estates officials tell FOX 46 that tomorrow, they’ll be rolling out the new name: Matthews Glen. But within a short distance are neighborhoods that do have the plantation name.
“Even 26 years ago, there was a hesitation and silence,” said Edward Lee.
Lee lives in one of those neighborhoods and told us of the weird interactions with people on the phone when he said he lived in a ‘plantation’ community.
“I totally understand why people would want to change it to another name,” he said.
Others FOX 46 spoke with camera say they like the names and don’t necessarily see the racial connotation it has. Dickerson says her online petition, though, shows a growing movement.
“It wasn’t like I just made this up in my head. Other people were thinking about this and not knowing what to do,” she said. Dickerson says communities are starting to take a second look, and hopes others will consider history, with names.
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