Oklahoma City, OK
For Immediate Release
John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park Announces Hours of Operation
The John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park is now open to the public with winter hours of operation.
The John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation and the Oklahoma Historical Society have been working throughout the construction process to insure the park's completion and opening to the public. The park will be open Thursdays thru Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m. The park charges no admission fee. The three-acre park is located between North Elgin and Detroit avenues across from ONEOK Field in Tulsa.
Reconciliation Park is the result of the 2001 Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. It memorializes the Tulsa Race Riot, called the worst civic disturbance in American history. The Park was constructed to reflect the work and legacy of acclaimed civil rights leader and historian Dr. John Hope Franklin. Franklin devoted his life and work to teaching generations of students how understanding the past can transform lives and communities for the better. The art pieces in the park tell the story of African Americans' role in building Oklahoma.
"Completing this park has been a long journey," said Julius Pegues, Board Chairman of the John Hope Franklin Center. "Our hope is that people of all ages come here to reflect, to learn, and to cast their eyes to a more hopeful future."
The park features two primary art elements, created by Ed Dwight, the first African-American astronaut and prominent Denver artist. They are:
Hope Plaza - The Park entry's 16-foot granite structure contains three larger-than-life bronze sculptures representing actual pictures from the 1921 riot: Hostility - A white man fully armed for assault; Humiliation - A black man with his hands raised in surrender; and Hope - The white director of the Red Cross holding a black baby.
The Tower of Reconciliation - At the center of the Park, the 25-foot-tall memorial tower depicts the history of the African American struggle from Africa to America - from the migration of slaves with Native Americans on the Trail of Tears, the slave labor experience in the Territories, the 7th Kansas Regiment of Civil War soldiers who won the Battle of Honey Springs - to statehood, the immigration of free blacks into Oklahoma and the all-black towns and Greenwood. It honors Buck C. Franklin (prominent black attorney and Dr. Franklin's father) and other early Tulsa black leaders.
More information about the park and the work of the John Hope Franklin Center can be found at www.jhfcenter.org.