By Frances Weller | April 24, 2021 at 9:27 AM EDT – Updated April 24 at 11:41 AM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – A virtual telethon to raise money for a bronze sculpture honoring the United States Colored Troops who fought during the Civil War Battle of Forks Road is underway at the Cameron Art Museum.
The fundraiser is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 24.
Donations will fund a sculpture of the troops created by artist Stephen Hayes of Durham. N.C. who is at the Cameron Art Museum for the telethon. An unveiling of the sculpture is scheduled for November.
“I think this work is extremely important because it’s here to not only talk about the history, but bring to light today’s issues as well as far as how people had to fight for the rights of their bodies,” Hayes said. “This monument for the colored troops that marched to Wilmington, these men were actually here fighting for the rights of their body for the freedom of their bodies.”
Hayes was able to cast the faces of 11 African American men connected to the site and its story to create the life-size bronze sculpture. This includes United States Colored Troops descendants, re-enactors, veterans and community leaders, according to the Cameron Art Museum.
“Having them be a part of this monument is super strong, not only conceptionally, but seeing it in person because they may still have the same features that their relative had,” Hayes said. ”It’s just telling a story through their eyes or through their DNA.”
If you would like to make a donation now, click here.
Click here to join the telethon.
Copyright 2021 WECT. All rights reserved.