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Fundraising for park to tell black experience stalls

Published:Sunday | August 2, 2015 | 12:00 AM


Supporters of a park that would showcase the black experience in North Carolina are overhauling their efforts, including a possible name change and the addition of a monument that would be more uplifting than others about slavery and Jim Crow laws, as they try to determine why donors haven't embraced the project.

They need to raise US$5 million for the North Carolina Freedom Monument Park, which would be located in downtown Raleigh.

They've raised about US$700,000 so far, but that money was used for planning and development and is not part of the capital needed to build monuments.

"I just have to say I am perplexed as to why we didn't have more people embrace the project," said Kel Landis, former chief executive officer of RBC Centura and a member of the park's campaign committee.

The project began in 2002 at the behest of the Paul Green Foundation, which honours the legacy of the playwright and human rights activist.

Design was completed in 2006, and six years later, the Council of State approved a 10-year lease for the one-acre park that's now the site of a parking lot.