Fulfilling Two-Year Promise, Senate Passes Funding for Freedom Park, African American Monuments on Capitol Grounds

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After Gov. Cooper Vetoed Funding in 2019, Senate Allocates $4 Million to Honor Contributions

Raleigh, N.C. — Making good on its 2018 promise, the North Carolina Senate tonight passed $4 million in funding for Freedom Park and monuments honoring the contributions of African Americans in North Carolina at the State Capitol in Raleigh.

The funding for the park and monuments was part of the state budget Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed in 2019. In 2018, the N.C. Historical Commission recommended adding contextual signage to the monuments already on the Capitol grounds and adding other monuments honoring the lives and contributions of African Americans in North Carolina. Senate leaders committed to those recommendations.

An amendment to the Senate Bill 803 provides $2.5 million for the signage and monuments on the Capitol grounds and $1.5 million for Freedom Park between the Legislative Building and the Governor’s Mansion. The allocations are identical to the state budget passed in 2019. The park would recognize the enduring roles of African Americans in the struggle for freedom in the state, and commemorate the historic and ongoing struggles for freedom.

Sen. Harry Brown (R-Onslow) said, “The N.C. Historical Commission’s recommendations to add context to the monuments currently standing and adding new monuments were well-thought-out and well received. For centuries African Americans in North Carolina have made countless contributions to our state and have changed the fabric of our society. We must recognize them and it is past time that we do so.”

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