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Richmond man signatures away from adding license plate that honors 'Black excellence'

The Richmond Planet License Plate Design.png
Posted at 8:11 AM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 08:35:15-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Richmond man is working to get the DMV's approval for a license plate that celebrates "Black excellence."

The plate honors The Richmond Planet, one of Richmond’s first black newspapers.

Reginald Carter was going to get a new license plate at the DMV, and he wanted something that represented his experience as a black man -- but the only plates offered were of the state’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and historically black fraternities and sororities.

So, he decided to create one himself.

"Unless it's an HBCU or fraternity or sorority, there are no Black options," explained Carter. "This will be the first one, so I just want to make history and it's for us or for anyone and everyone who also wants to make history with me as well."

For the past six months, Carter has been busy designing the plate which honors John Mitchell, Jr., the editor of The Richmond Planet for 45 years.

The newspaper was founded in 1882 by 13 freed slaves. Carter has gained the support of Senator Joseph Morrisey (D-16) and Delegate Jeff Bourne (D-71).

On Sunday, Aug. 29 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Carter will be part of Rotate RVA’s thrift store pop-up event at The Diamond, and he said he is confident he will receive his 450th pre-order.

That's the number of pre-ordered plates needed in order to bring the design before the General Assembly for approval. Carter has a little more than 400 signatures right now.

But Carter is now increasing his goal to 800 orders because he wants everyone in the state to have the chance to celebrate Black excellence on their plates.

"This is something that the community wants, so it has like an unofficial name of being the people's plate," said Carter. "This isn't just for me. It isn't just for, you know, a Black business owner. It's for any and everyone that wants to celebrate black excellence."

If approved by the General Assembly, you could start seeing the plates around the state as early as July 1, 2022.

The tags are $10, and and it cost $20 if a driver wanted to personalize the plate

To support this effort, contact Carter through RichPlanetPlate@gmail.com.