NC Freedom Park is open with its beacon standing tall

NC Freedom Park, which serves as a beacon of hope honoring Black North Carolinians, is open to the public in downtown Raleigh.

People looking at the Freedom Park beacon.

There are plenty of spots to sit and soak in the park’s testimonies.

Photo by RALtoday

NC Freedom Park has been in the works since the early 2000s. Now, the one-acre green space with the purpose of honoring Black North Carolinian heritage is open to the public and grounded by its awe-inspiring Beacon of Freedom.

Constructed between downtown government buildings on Wilmington Street, this is the first park in NC dedicated to commemorating the Black struggle for freedom. This notable project was designed by the late architect Phil Freelon, who also led the design team for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

At the park, Raleighites can read Freelon’s inscription: “Anything is possible. Just think about how the forced migration brought us here and all the struggles we’ve faced and continue to face. Look at what we have been able to achieve as a people!”

From civil rights activist Ella Baker to historian Dr. John Hope Franklin, Freelon’s quote stands with the 20 “Voices of Freedom” inscribed along the five walking paths leading to the 45-foot-tall monument.

Freedom Park and it's beacon.

The Beacon of Freedom is visible at night, too.

Photo by RALtoday

The NC African American Heritage Commission, Friends of North Carolina Freedom Park, Raleigh’s Holt Brothers Construction Company, Perkins + Will, the State Construction Office, the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, and other state advisers helped bring this historical space to life.

Park bystanders can enjoy shaded sitting areas, landscaped beds surrounded by quotes of trailblazers and visionaries, and the beacon lit up at dusk each evening.

Before you explore this living testament to the universal ideas of liberty, resilience, and equality, plan your visit.

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