PLANTATION, FLA. (WSVN) - A Plantation resident has put out a petition to urge the city council to change the city’s name, citing its negative meaning.
Dharyl Auguste said he loves the city where he went to high school and met his wife, but he said he hates its name.
“Yeah, this place is great. It’s a beautiful place to live, but man, it’s really embarrassing that when I tell someone from out of state that, ‘Yeah, I’m from Plantation, Florida.’ They’re like, ‘What?'” Auguste said. “The kneejerk reaction of the word ‘plantation’ is negative irregardless of whatever type of white-washed history is brought up about the founding of Plantation. The point is, it does not feel comfortable to say.”
Auguste has started a petition on Change.org to change the city’s name. In a few days, the petition has garnered over 1,700 signatures, which continues to rise.
He said his inspiration for beginning the movement was seeing Confederate symbols across the U.S. being taken down amid protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
“I started seeing all the news articles of the racist monuments being torn down, being thrown in rivers and not just here in America,” Auguste said. “It’s happening all over the world, and that just gave me so much hope, so much confidence.”
Auguste then brought up the idea in front of the city council on Wednesday.
“I think that it’s time that we, as a city and as a council, come together and realize that the name ‘Plantation’ no longer serves us as a community,” he said.
Commissioner Denise Horland then responded to Auguste’s idea.
“I think that your concerns need to be heard,” Horland said. “I offer if you would like to have a chat. I’d love to talk to you. Again, I think that everybody’s opinion matters, and that we need to take that into consideration.”
Auguste has received opposition from those who said the city is named after the previous owner, the Everglades Plantation Company. Some have said it was a rice plantation.
However, Auguste said it is 2020, and it is time to change the municipality’s name.
“In the end, honestly, for the obvious thing, I want to change the name of the City of Plantation, but I don’t want to stop there,” Auguste said. “I’ve done research. I need to change the name of Broward County. He was a horrible man. Napoleon B. Broward that founded the county, terrible person. There’s so many positive changes that we can have here, and I know it will have a beautiful ripple effect across America.”
When asked what he would change the city’s name to if the petition was successful, Auguste said he would change the name to Jacaranda.
He wants the community to vote on a possible name change, where people can come up with names that people can vote for.
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