RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginians can help shine light on history and bring a little-known lesson about The Richmond Planet, a Black-owned and operated newspaper in the 1800s to the forefront.
Delving into the story of 13 free slaves who founded the Richmond Planet has given Reggie Carter life.
In fact, for a year and a half, it is what has fueled his passion to get that story told in a unique way: a DMV-issued license plate.
“The Richmond Planet license plate, the bill itself took effect July 1. The governor has signed it into law,” Reginald Carter said. “Right now I'm in the process of meeting with DMV to turn over the paperwork and hand over the proposed design. I have over 600 pre-orders of the 450 that were required. I'm going to give that to DMV and the funds. From there, they are going to move forward with mass producing and work on production.”
CBS 6 first told you about Carter's mission to honor founder John Mitchell who ran the Black-owned newspaper in the heart of the Confederacy for 45 years.
He asked the CBS 6 Problem Solvers to help spread the word of his mission to get license plate created and recognized. Now Carter is thankful to supporters for helping him get to the finish line.
“This is the people's plate, if you will,” Carter said. “It's the plate we've needed for so long. There's been over 250 options now at DMV and none of them none celebrate black history. Now we have the Divine 9, the sororities and fraternities, HBCUs plate, but none inclusively celebrates Black excellence. This is the first one in Virginia's history as well as the 7th in the nation, so thank you. I couldn't have done it without you all.”
Carter said customers should know It will take DMV a few months to produce the plates.
Carter is thrilled that DMV is also considering adding a unique feature, a QR code, on the plate. That way people can scan it with their phones and be take to a website where they can learn about John Mitchell and the Richmond Planet Newspaper.