African American Memorial planned for Capitol site

African American Memorial planned for Capitol site
November 05
00:00 2015

Special to The Chronicle

RALEIGH—The North Carolina Historical Commission voted unanimously to proceed with planning a memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol to commemorate the contributions of African Americans to the life of the state.

“We must begin to tell the story of the great contributions African Americans have made to North Carolina,” Gov. Pat McCrory said.

The vote came after a recommendation of McCrory to Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz. The endorsement follows a 2010 study of monuments both inside and outside the Capitol and concurrent recommendations for developing additional memorials.

The Historical Commission joins the African American Heritage Commission in seeking to fully represent the diversity of North Carolina’s history. Those backing the proposal commend the work of the North Carolina Freedom Monument Project and seek to complement, not supplant, its ambitious plan for a public art project two blocks northeast of the Capitol.

The planning committee is charged with site selection and identification of one or more designers to be placed before the Historical Commission for final selection.

The first step will be identification of a suitable space on the State Capitol grounds with consideration of the northwest, southwest and southeast corners. The Vietnam Memorial occupies the northeast corner and offers the prime model for scale.

As to thematic elements, a host of potential subjects will be made known to prospective designers.

The first meeting of the planning committee is set for January 2016.


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