First Park in the U.S. Named After NAACP to Open in Long Beach Tuesday


The grand opening for the newly named NAACP Freedom Park will take place on Tuesday at 10:00AM, the City of Long Beach announced Monday. The public is invited to join Mayor Robert Garcia, Councilmember Dee Andrews and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine in celebration of the occasion.

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It was in October of 2014 that City Council unanimously passed a proposal by Andrews to consider renaming the Sixth District Park after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The Parks and Recreation commission forwarded the recommendation to the Long Beach Housing and Neighborhood Committee, and on December 16 the the council voted to approve the recommendation. Now the 2.8-acre sliver of green in Central Long Beach will be the first park in the United States to bear the name of the civil rights organization founded in 1909.

“For more than 100 years, the NAACP has worked tirelessly to promote equality and inclusiveness for all Americans,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “The NAACP Freedom Park honors the champions of social justice who fought long and hard to ensure that the voices of all Americans would be heard.”

The NAACP Freedom Park provides a much-needed open space in Central Long Beach for residents to relax, according to the release, and is a part of the Pacific Electric Right of Way that the city acquired in 2008 and opened as a park in 2012.

“I am extremely proud that NAACP Freedom Park will be the first park in the United States to be named in honor of this extraordinary organization,” said Councilmember Andrews in a statement. “In Long Beach, and across the United States, the NAACP has helped to make positive change in education and economic development, and has stood for freedom and justice for all.”

NAACP Freedom Park is located at 2300 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

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