If you find yourself in downtown Raleigh between the General Assembly and the Governor’s Mansion, you may see there’s been a new addition to the area. Freedom Park is officially open to the public in downtown Raleigh. The park which sits on an acre of land is the first park in North Carolina dedicated to the African American struggle.
The park features quotes throughout the park from the African American perspective with North Carolina ties. Trust me when I say this, you will be moved and reminded of the deep history and contribution of these legendary North Carolinians in the name of freedom.
There is also a 40 foot metal structure in the center of the park named the Beacon of Freedom. The structure represents a flame that never goes out as a flame to pass on from generation to generation.
The park’s design came from NC State graduate and world famous architect the late Phil Freelon. You may know Freelon’s work for leading the design of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. Phil Freelon’s son Pierce Freelon was at the ceremony as feels the energy from his father throughout the park.
“I absolutely feel my dad’s presence. He is a busy ancestor,” Freelon said. “I don’t just feel my dad’s presence, I feel the presence of the myriad of Black excellence to come out of North Carolina, of which my father is a proud part.”
The opening day ceremony featured members of the NC Freedom Park Board of Directors, community members and leaders along with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, who spoke about what the park means for visitors.
“They will step into a garden that displays the brutal truth and extraordinary accomplishments found in Black history,” he said.