Buncombe Community Remembrance Project: October 2021
Buncombe Community Remembrance Project
Historical Markers Installation Ceremony
The Buncombe Community Remembrance Project Steering Committee has continued to work through the COVID-19 Pandemic towards completion of the Project. The Steering Committee has announced that the Historical Markers Installation Ceremony will be held on Saturday, October 30, at 10 a.m., at Pack Square Park, in downtown Asheville. The public is invited to participate in the recognition and remembrance of the three “individuals of record” that were lynched in Buncombe County during the time period after the Civil War.
(Read this entire article about the Installation Ceremonies here.)
Joseph Fox, Ed.D., M.B.A., PHR
Vice President, MLK Association of Asheville & Buncombe County
Buncombe Community Remembrance Project Coordinator
The Slow Pace of Reparations
Rob Thomas, with the Asheville Racial Justice Coalition (RJC), recently reflected on the slow pace of the City of Asheville’s movement towards reparations. Acknowledging that it has been more than 13 months since the City’s Reparations Resolution committed to the establishment of a Reparations Task Force, he has seen little movement towards actual “repair.” Thomas recognized that one challenge may have occurred due to the upheaval in the Equity and Inclusion Office. He stated, “That should have never occurred; however, this is no excuse for letting the Task Force remain unfilled.”
(Read this entire article about Reparations in Asheville here.)
The video clip “Reconstruction in America” offers the truth about how the hope for reconstruction was dashed as White people responded with terror and violence. This era of racial injustice continues today and needs to be faced by acknowledging the history.
Calls to Action
- Drawing fair districts in NC: Are you concerned about democracy in the United States and in North Carolina? North Carolina is in the process of drawing maps for the NC House, NC Senate and US House districts. Make your views known that you want the maps to be fair and competitive. The Brennan Center for Justice offers these 6 tips about how to give effective testimony, and the editor of this e-newsletter shared his tips here. Go to the General Assembly’s public portal to offer your comments today.
- Learn about the situation of Dontae Sharpe in this documentary. The NAACP and others are fighting to get Governor Cooper to grant a pardon. To share your views, call 919-324-1456.
- Former State Senator Terry Van Duyn wrote this opinion piece in the Citizen-Times asking everyone in Buncombe County to call on the commissioners to replace lost funding to support victims of domestic and sexual violence with funds given to the County from the American Rescue Plan.
- An effort to abolish the death penalty in NC will focus on faith communities the weekend of October 8th – 10th. Here is a toolkit for faith communities to consider to promote this effort.
- The North Carolina Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (NCCADP) offers “Faith and the Death Penalty”, an online conversation about faith with those most impacted by our capital punishment system, October 10th, 4 – 5 pm. Get details and register here.
Support a Trip to Montgomery
Members of the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project are hoping to be traveling to Montgomery, Alabama some time in the next year as invited guests of the Equal Justice Initiative. As part of that trip, the Project would like to include people who want to attend but may not have the financial resources to do so.
The Project is asking members of the Buncombe community to make a tax deductible donation so that everyone may be able to attend. By going to this site offered by the Community Foundation of WNC, gifts will be set aside to make that possible.
Thanks for your consideration.
In this video, Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, describes how lynching is related to the death penalty. He discloses that the states with the highest execution rates are the states that had the highest lynching rates.
This e-newsletter not only covers what the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project is doing but also offers other news, events and stories that align with its work. Here are some items that are noteworthy.
As always feel free to share any or all of these items or the entire e-newsletter.
- As in each edition, here are articles, blogs, audios and videos focused on racial injustice and inequity and efforts to make positive change locally, regionally, statewide and/or nationally. Items are organized into categories to help readers more easily find those that most interest them.
- The keynote speaker for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast in January 2022 has been announced. Go here to learn about Marcia Johnson-Blanco. Her topic will be “Give Us the Ballot Box: The Urgency of NOW!”
- The Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville and Buncombe County recently announced the selection of Jonathan McCoy, M.A., History, as a new board member. Learn more about Mr. McCoy here.
- The Hazel Fox Minority Student Entrepreneurship Scholarship, at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, was originally established by Dr. Joseph Fox to assist justice-involved students with scholarship funding to complete the Entrepreneurship Program. The intent of the scholarship was to assist men and women of a darker hue that had a criminal background in receiving a two-year Entrepreneurship degree, start a business, and employ others in the community. The Entrepreneurship Program has been phased out at A-B Tech; therefore, Fox Management Consulting Enterprises will continue to honor the legacy of Hazel Fox, Dr. Fox’s mother, by partnering with the Small Business Center and A-B Tech to offer the Nonmajority Business Plan Competition. Get full details here.
- On Sunday, September 12th, Dr. Joseph Fox and the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project were highlighted on WLOS. Get the story here.
- The Tzedek Social Fund offers its Brilliance Awards to leaders who have consistently shown up to dismantle systemic oppression in the Asheville, North Carolina region. Get details here. Note the deadline to nominate is October 8th.
- Hood Huggers International offered its Summer/Fall e-newsletter last month. Check out all that is happening and being proposed by this important organization in our area.
- The Wilma Dykeman Legacy is organizing an exciting event focused on legendary WNC native and jazz icon Nina Simone. Dr. Warren Carson, a Simone expert, will be the presenter. The talk is slated for 7 pm on November 11th on Zoom and possibly in-person at the West Asheville Library. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register or to get more information.
On-going or Latest:
- African-American Heritage Trail: Be a part of creating the African-American Heritage Trail in Asheville. Get details in this release including how you can provide input through this survey (deadline October 17th) or sessions, both noted at the end of the release.
- MAHEC e-newsletter: MAHEC provides important information to share with the community about health. Here is their latest e-newsletter from September 20th addressing COVID-19. Please share with others.
- The Western Women’s Business Center is launching a new African American Business Association (AABA) with an emphasis on providing marketing support. This press release gives details on this venture and membership.
Buncombe County has created this webpage that provides information and resources to help our community. The state of North Carolina provides this page as well. Additionally, the NC Black Alliance offers this webpage dedicated to the latest information on COVID-19 for members of the Black community.
African-American Heritage Trail, Asheville Racial Justice Coalition, Dontae Sharpe, Lynching, Marcia Johnson-Blanco, NC Districts, NCCADP, Pandemic Resources, Prayer Breakfast, Reparations, RJC, TZEDEK