Black lives celebrated: A more inclusive story
A park honoring James Berry, a cherished figure in Arkansas history, also acknowledges the complexities of Civil War events. Benton County citizens fought and died for both the Union and Confederacy; a wall of honor pays tribute to them. Interpretive panels designed by CG present first-person accounts of “a doleful picture of a terrible war.” Loss, destitution and sacrifice are vividly recalled. Other stories recount the remarkable but little-known accomplishments and lives of those formerly enslaved.
There is much local pride in Berry. As governor, his forward-thinking initiatives included pursuing equal justice for all citizens regardless of race, initiating prison reform and creating Arkansas’ first mental health facility. Groundbreaking is expected in March, with completion of construction in late Fall 2022.