‘A new time period’: Sit-in held at Hugh MacRae Park to change park name
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Demonstrators held a sit-in at Hugh MacRae Park Wednesday afternoon in an effort to raise awareness of social and racial injustice in the city of Wilmington.
Wilmington residents Diamond Bentley and Karimah Bradley organized the event.
Bentley says she wanted to hold a peaceful event where people could educate and motivate each other to fight against racial injustice. A big part of that, she says, includes the push to change the name of Hugh MacRae Park.
“It should bring attention to changing the name of the park because again, that time is over,” Bentley said. “That stuff is over. It’s a new time period. We’re glorifying all types of people of color, of race, of gender.All types of stuff. So why is that name even a thing?”
At the sit-in people, there were several musicians and speakers including a historian talking about the history of the park, a mental health expert and Councilman Kevin Spears.
Several local organizations also came out to show there support, passing around a petition to change the name of the park.
The League of Women Voters of the Lower Cape Fear was also at the sit-in, helping people register to vote.
Bentley says she coincidentally chose to hold the sit-in at Hugh MacRae as a place of common ground. When she later learned the history behind the park’s name, she said it was the perfect place to hold the event.
“Yeah we could sit here and stand on the park now, but it’s still named after somebody who did that to us,” she said. “No. The significance is so crazy. We’re sitting in and protesting on the park years from now. Still, years from now for something that needs to get changed.”
Bentley says the country has come so far, but still has a ways to go. She says she wants to see the name of the park changed to someone who was a positive influence.