Central Park honors the Exonerated Five by unveiling the new name of the 110th Gate.
Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, and Raymond Santana Jr. celebrated life during their Central Park gate unveiling ceremony. They laughed, hugged, and shared stories of courage and resilience. "This is the first time returning to this side of the park since it all happened," Raymond exclaimed, holding back tears. These remarks, amongst others, are a chilling reminder of what it means to be a black boy and black man in America. Although Antron McCray and Korey Wise could not be in attendance, they were indeed there in spirit.
Central Park has officially named its 110th Street entrance gate in honor of Exonerated Five, who were wrongfully convicted of the 1989 rape of a jogger in Central Park. The gate was unveiled on December 19, 2022 in a ceremony attended by three of the five members. Keith Wright and New York State Senator Cordell Cleare excelled as hosts, keeping the flow and overall spirit high. Prominent Political leaders, Reverend Al Sharpton, Gale Brewer, Jumaane Williams, Alvin Bragg, and Keisha Sutton-James were just a few in attendance to stand with the exonerated. Mayor Eric Adams put an ' official stamp' on the event by dropping his current plans to attend this momentous moment . "The exonerated five is the American black boy-man story, they stood firm, they stood tall.", Mayor Adams remarked.
Community Board 10 played an instrumental role in bringing this event to fruition. The Board worked with local elected officials and the Central Park Conservancy to make this culturally significant moment a reality.
This was a critical moment to recognize the injustice they experienced and the courage they showed in fighting for freedom.