Sit-In At Hugh MacRae Park Over Race And Renaming The Park

Jul 1, 2020

With the movement to rename Hugh MacRae Park growing, demonstrators held a sit-in at the park Wednesday to raise awareness of social and racial injustice. The park is named after one of the architects of Wilmington’s 1898 massacre.  It’s estimated that hundreds of Blacks lost their lives in what was the only successful coup d’etat in U.S. History.   

Musicians and a variety of speakers were featured Wednesday, along with discussions about history and race in the Cape Fear Region. Some 200 people attended the event in the center of the facility.

Diamond Bentley was one of the organizers. 

“I just thought to do a sit in, I thought like coming to a park, sitting on a common ground, we just sit down, we listen to different types of ways that people can speak out about heavy issues and topics and things of that nature. We made it happen.”

Dozens of people signed a petition to rename the park. That’s ultimately a decision of the  New Hanover County Commissioners. 

Again, Diamond Bentley.

“I've seen the petitions going around in my own research. And I was just like, it is different because like we're, we're, we're more, you know, active about making sure that it does happen because like it's, it's time for things to change. It's time to change the moral foundation that we stand on.”

Attempts to reach a member of the MacRae family for comment were not successful. Vince Winkel, WHQR News.