Is the Word 'Plantation' Racist?

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tags: racism, Plantation

Thumbnail Image - One of the ponds at Cornell Plantations, By Oliver Kliewe

In an 1862 letter, Andrew Dickson White, Cornell University’s first president, described his idea of a great university: “It must have the best of Libraries -- collections in different departments -- Laboratory -- Observatory -- Botanical Garden perhaps …”

The university's gardens were created over 70 years later, and they were called the Cornell Plantations. Today the Plantations contain a botanical garden, an arboretum, and a network of nature preserves. But the name, opponents argue, evokes the language of slavery.

The debate started to pick up last fall, as protests over racial inequality flared on campuses across the country. And when Cornell protesters turned in a list of demands, the gardens made an appearance in section four: “We want the administration to change the name of the Cornell Plantations as soon as possible.”

Read entire article at Inside Higher ED

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