Documenting the American South

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

    Financial and Professional Impact, Durham

  • Type


  • Subjects


  • Creator

    Leah Foushee, Sculptor

    Michael Waller, Sculptor

    Alvin Frega, Sculptor

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    This pedestrian-scale bronze sculpture is the fifth in a series of six monuments documenting “Black Wall Street” in Durham. The sculpture features a chain and gears. It highlights the significance of the investors in Durham, who made it possible for many professionals, including barbers, pharmacists, educators, and artists, to thrive in the Durham area.

  • Inscription

    Financial and Professional Impact in Durham

    John Merrick's admonition, "Let us think more of our employment" guided the development of Parrish Street as the center city address of many ambitious bankers, doctors, lawyers, and accountants whose investments in a growing African American community made it possible for barbers and beauticians, pharmacists, nurses, architects, educators and artists to thrive in Durham.

    Image of the plaque

  • Custodian

    The City of Durham

  • Dedication Date

    October 15, 2009

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.994960 , -78.899060 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Chain: Financial and Professional Impact in Durham," Main Street, Carolina: Historic Parrish Street, (accessed April 20, 2012) Link

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

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

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques


  • Sponsors

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

  • Monument Cost


  • Nickname

    The Parrish Street Sculptures

  • Subject Notes

    This sculpture highlights the importance of Durham’s investors to the growing African-American community in the area. These investors were following the advice of John Merrick, who said “Let us think more of our employment.” Merrick was the founder of North Carolina Mutual Life insurance company

  • 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 commemorating Durham’s African-American history.

  • Landscape

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

  • Former Locations


  • 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.

  • Materials & Assembly Cost

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

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