News and Observer
Letter to the Editor
August 9, 2018
In response to the run of op-eds and letters about Confederate monuments, it is a propitious moment for North Carolina to claim higher ground in the swirling national discussion about race, hatred and the proper role of government and its participating citizens. The soil has been prepared for the planting of an important symbol of who we are and want to be as a society with deep Southern roots and an optimistic eye to the future.
On the drawing board of famed architect Phil Freelon is a unifying and fully considered project called the North Carolina Freedom Park – honoring African Americans’ struggle for freedom and their contributions to our state’s economic, cultural and political progress. It has been approved by the Council of State, given a prominent site adjacent to the State Legislative Building, and initially funded by several foundations, credit unions, banks and other businesses, in addition to some generous individuals. It is the fulfillment of the vision of Dr. John Hope Franklin to be a public gathering place “to tell the truth about our Past and to be a beacon of hope for our Future.”
All that is needed is greater public awareness and increased support by civic-minded individuals to accelerate the completion of this new landmark by 2020.
PROFESSOR EMERITUS, DUKE UNIVERSITY
GOLDIE FRINKS WELLS
CITY COUNCIL MEMBER, GREENSBORO
CO-CHAIRS, NORTH CAROLINA FREEDOM PARK