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"Our LIVES Begin To End The Day
We Become SILENT About Things That MATTER"
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Buncombe Community Remembrance Project: April 2023

Important News/Events/Stories

This e-newsletter shares what the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project is doing and offers other news, events and stories that align with its work. Below are some items that are noteworthy. As always, feel free to share any or all of these items or the entire e-newsletter.

National News

  • The number of maternal deaths in the US is upsetting, for Black women it is terrifying. (CDC maternity report)

State & Local News

  • Do NC school board’s represent our students? (EdNC article)
  • A bill about limiting discussing race in NC schools is moving through the NC General Assembly. (House Bill 187)

Issues in Education

  • The word “woke” is becoming politically weaponized against diversity, equity, and inclusion ideas and advocates. (Proposed FL bill)

History Reminders

  • A quilt tells the story of a former Black neighborhood in Detroit. 
  • Buncombe County’s Freedom Riders exhibit
  • At WCU, Henry Logan opened doors for Black athletes across the south. (A forgotten story)
  • The painful racist legacy of “sundown” towns continues. (note the incident in the article happened 8 miles outside of the town of Salisbury) (Rowan County, NC)


Black WallStreet AVL sponsors a free brunch every Sunday Reserve a spot 
Join us and Tracey Greene-Washington for the April Folding Chair session: Purpose Alignment for Executive Directors. Folding Chair Event 
The YWCA Racial Justice Challenge, is an activity that helps participants discover how racial injustice and social injustice impact their community, connect with one another, and identify action steps to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination. The next cohort begins April 17th and will investigate Disability, Housing, Mental Health, and Music. Click here to learn more and join.

Celebrating the History and Legacy of Juneteenth, Joseph L. Fox, Ed.D., MBA, PHR

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville and Buncombe County has been awarded the 2023 Juneteenth Celebration production contract from the City of Asheville. Read more about the city of Asheville’s celebration of Juneteenth in the past and the events planned for this year’s celebration here.

Are you interested in performing at the Juneteenth Celebration events? Being a food vendor or a merchandise vendor? Click here for more information on guidelines and registration deadlines: Participant and Vendor registration forms.

Community Efforts

The Asheville and Buncombe County Community Reparations Commission 

Commission webpage

  • The Commission’s project page Project page  
  • The Racial Justice Coalition shared an email and survey shortly after the Reparations Commission meeting on March 20th asking for community input on how to address land taken from Black people through urban renewal. Please complete the survey in the next week or so. 
  • The next meeting of the Community Reparations Commission is scheduled for April 24, 2023 from 6pm-8pm at Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Banquet Room:  87 Haywood Street,  Asheville, NC 28801

The Racial Justice Coalition 

The Racial Justice Coalition has a webpage on its website that highlights two of its projects. Go here to get details for Every Black Voice and the Government Accountability Project. Each is open for people to support.

RSAA Reparations Fund

The Reparations Stakeholders Authority of Asheville has created the RSAA Reparations FundHere is information on how people can learn and support this effort organized by the Tzedek Social Justice Fund.

Hood Huggers

Hood Huggers offers a fun way to learn about the history of Black Asheville. They also organize volunteer opportunities at the Peace Garden – there are regular Community volunteer days. The Farm stand is open on Friday’s from 3pm-7pm every week. Get details about how to book a tour, volunteering or taking part in their other community actions here. Also, Hood Huggers recognized for Outstanding Community Partnership with UNC-A

The WNC Racial Equity Collective

The WNC Racial Equity Collective is offering its next virtual Phase I Workshop April 22 – 23.  You can learn more about Racial Equity Institute and Register here.

Building Bridges

Building Bridges: Sign up to receive information about the next nine week session designed to foster crucial conversations around racism and antiracism. Participate in their fundraiser/meal influenced by the African Diaspora, on May 7, 5 – 9 pm.  Register here.

The Color of Asheville

The Color of Asheville’s“Black-Owned Businesses and Community Directory

The Buncombe County Creative Equity Mural

The Buncombe County Creative Equity Mural pilot public art program set to create murals on racial equity, reconciliation, and restoration. Buncombe County art 

Shiloh Resource Center

Supporting an Asheville community Shiloh Resource Center 

Challenges Black Entrepreneurs Face in Asheville

Joe Greene interviews Black business owner Shana McDowell, AVL Cake Lady, about  some of the challenges Black entrepreneurs face in Asheville.

Remembrance Projects Nationally and Locally

The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) has been the important partner not only to Buncombe County but to all communities willing and working to address their history of racial injustice. As in each edition of this e-newsletter, the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project continues to highlight several items from EJI. 

  1. EJI is currently working with nearly 100 communities to advance Community Remembrance Projects. More than half have erected historical markers. You can find out more about the communities that have erected EJI sponsored Community Remembrance Project markers here.
  2. You can view what is on each of the markers for Buncombe County, front and back, here as compiled by the Equal Justice Initiative. To see the markers, go to the following sites: for Mr. John Humphries – College & Spruce Streets; for Mr. Bob Brackett – Triangle Park; and for Mr. Hezekiah Rankin – Craven Street & Emma Road.
  3. The full stories about each of the three men who were lynched are captured in this document
  4. The Equal Justice Initiative shared this webpage of the Historical Markers Installation Ceremony In Asheville on October 30th of 2021.

     Please remember:

  1. That if you want to stay connected to the work of the Equal Justice Initiative? Sign up for updates about their work here.
  2. Every day of the year offers important racial justice history. If you want to get a daily reminder of that history, the Equal Justice Initiative offers this sign-up. Go here to get today’s reminder.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden host the 2021 Arts and Humanties Award ceremony

Recipients of the 2021 National Medal of Arts:

Judith Francisca Baca, artist | Fred Eychaner, businessman and philanthropist | Jose Feliciano, singer | Mindy Kaling, actress | Gladys Knight, singer | Julia Louis-Dreyfus, actor | Antonio Martorell-Cardona, painter | Joan Shigekawa, film producer | Bruce Springsteen, singer-songwriter | Vera Wang:, fashion designer | The Billie Holiday Theatre | The International Association of Blacks in Dance

Recipients of the 2021 National Humanities Medal:

Richard Blanco, poet and author | Johnnetta Betsch Cole, anthropologist | Walter Isaacson, writer | Earl Lewis, social historian | Henrietta Mann, academic | Ann Patchett, author | Bryan Stevenson, advocate for the poor | Amy Tan, author | Tara Westover, author | Colson Whitehead, author | Native America Calling

Pandemic Resources

COVID-19 and its variants remain a concern. 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.

Black WallStreet, book ban, Events, Folding Chair, gender pay gap, hate crimes, House Bill 187, Inaugural John Lewis Awards, Juneteenth, Montgomery Bus Boycott, Racial Justice Coalition, Reparations, stress awareness, WCU, YWCA

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