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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    A Black Capital for the World to See, Durham

  • Type

    Sculpture

  • Subjects

    Historic African American Figures

    Industry

  • Creator

    Leah Foushee, Sculptor

    Michael Waller, Sculptor

    Alvin Frega, Sculptor

  • City

    Durham

  • County

    Durham

  • Description

    This pedestrian-scale bronze sculpture is the third in a series of six monuments documenting “Black Wall Street” in Durham. The sculpture highlights how institutions such as North Carolina Mutual Life and North Carolina College (now, North Carolina Central University) worked to facilitate black entrepreneurship in the Durham area.

  • Inscription

    A Black Capital for the World to See

    The North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, Mechanics and Farmers Bank, the Mutual Building and Loan Association and North Carolina College were model financial and educational institutions devoted to entrepreneurship and self-help in Durham.

    1910-1945

    Image of the plaque

  • Custodian

    The City of Durham

  • Dedication Date

    October 15, 2009

  • Decade

    2000s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.994960 , -78.899060 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Parrish Street Advocacy Group," City of Durham, (accessed April 20, 2012) Link

      Vaughan, Dawn Baumgartner. “Remaining Parrish Street Markers to be Unveiled,” Herald Sun (Durham, NC), 2010, (accessed April 20, 2012) Link

      Vaughan, Dawn Baumgartner. “Sculptures to Recognize Contributions of Parish Street,” Herald Sun (Durham, NC), 2010, (accessed April 20, 2012) Link

      “Durham Unveils Parrish Street Sculptures,” City of Durham, (accessed April 20, 2012) Link

      “Penny: A Black Capital For The World To See,” Main Street, Carolina: Historic Parrish Street, (accessed April 20, 2012) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze

  • Sponsors

    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Funds granted with the assistance of Representative David E. Price.

  • Monument Cost

    $350,000

  • Nickname

    The Parrish Street Sculptures

  • Subject Notes

    This sculpture honors the contributions of four key institutions in spurring black entrepreneurship in the Durham area. Those four institutions are the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, Mechanics and Farmers Bank, the Mutual Building and Loan Association, and North Carolina College. N.C. Mutual Life was the first black-owned insurance company in the United States. North Carolina College, which would later become North Carolina Central University, was the first public liberal arts university to support black students.

  • Location

    The sculpture sits on historic Parrish Street, which is better known as “Black Wall Street.” It is part of a series of six sculptures each commemorating important pieces of Durham’s history.

  • Landscape

    This sculpture is in downtown Durham. There are a few trees close to the monument.

  • Former Locations

    None

  • Post Dedication Use

    This monument, and the entire series of Parrish Street sculptures, is part of a larger revitalization effort by the city of Durham.

  • Approval Process

    With the help of Representative David E. Price, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development granted $350,000 to the City of Durham’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development for the Parrish Street Revitalization and Historic Commemoration Project. This monument and the entire series of Parrish Street sculptures is part of a larger revitalization effort by the city of Durham.

  • Materials & Assembly Cost

    The entire series of Parrish Street monuments cost $350,000.

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