RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Union Square and the North Carolina State Capitol building are centerpieces of downtown Raleigh to visitors and residents alike.
They have been since the building was completed in 1840.
Monuments scattered along the lawn represent the sacrifice the people of the state have made in foreign wars, as well as the Civil War that the divided the nation.
“Looking at these monuments around the Capitol now, you’d think that the only time that mattered was the time during and immediately after the Civil War because Civil War monuments dominate the capitol grounds here,” said North Carolina Democratic Leader Senator Dan Blue.
That is likely to soon change. There is bipartisan support to spend $2.5 million on a monument that represents the African-American experience in North Carolina. The funding is part of this year’s state budget that has not been finalized.
Folks enjoying Union Square told CBS 17 they are glad it’s finally getting done.
“I think it’s a wonderful idea that we finally get a monument to recognize our efforts and our hard work in the community,” said Tina Gause.
“At least, in the interest of balance, it seems reasonable that you’d have the other, but also there’s not really a message of hate or bigotry behind it, so that makes it seem even more reasonable,” another passerby said.
The monument will be bronze and granite like others on Union Square. It will depict slavery, discrimination, and achievement.
“And so, I think that you need to have some balance as to what was going on in North Carolina with black people’s contributions to the development of this state and to the settlement of this state,” Blue said.
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