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

Buncombe Community Remembrance Project: September 2023

This e-newsletter shares what the MLK Association and its Community Outreach Providing Empowerment (COPE) Program is doing and offers other news, events, and stories that align with its efforts while also emphasizing the work of the Buncombe County Remeberance Project. Below are some items that are noteworthy.

As always, feel free to share any or all of these items or the entire e-newsletter.

2024 MLK Association Prayer Breakfast News

Here is information on sponsorships and souvenir journal advertising for the 2024 MLK Association Prayer Breakfast which will be on January 13, 2024. Links:

Blessings and prayers to our Jewish brothers and sisters.


Registered voters who need an acceptable ID card to vote in NC can get them free at their county board of elections office. 

Calhoun Square in Savannah, Ga, named after John C. Calhoun the noted racist advocate for states’ rights and slavery who was also vice president of the United States from 1825-32, was renamed Susie King Taylor, a Black woman who taught formerly enslaved people to read and write.

National News

Special counsel Jack Smith has charged Donald Trump based on an 1870 civil rights law used to prosecute the KKK. article 

In Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis indicted Donald Trump and 18 others as a criminal enterprise in regard to their actions to overturn the 2020 election. article  

Ministers are seeing a growing opinion among conservative Christians that Jesus was too liberal.  article 

America’s partisan divides are widening. article 

As we become more divided as a society, loneliness in America has become an epidemic. article 

The suicide rate for Black children is outpacing any other racial or ethnic group. article 

Black parents and their children are more likely to experience unfair treatment regarding medical care. article 

The state of Alabama is in court to justify why they deliberately defied a federal court order to create a second majority Black district. article 

The Henrietta Lacks’ family reached a settlement with a biotech company that made billions from using her cells without her consent. They are now suing another company. article 

Hidden history: The DNA of enslaved iron workers in MD show links to over 40,000 relatives. article 

In this report from the Economic Policy Institute, they share how federal policy has created much of the racial economic disparities. 

The National Park Service announces the availability of grant funding through the African America Civil Rights Grant Program. The program will document, interpret, and preserve sites and stories telling the full story of the long struggle for African American civil rights from the transatlantic slave trade onwards across two separate grant funding opportunities. Click here for details.

Students in Ocoee, Florida the site of an infamous race massacre, are fighting against the new state education standards that would distort and dilute the teaching of this important event.

State News

The NC GOP is looking to remove NC Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls, the only black woman on the court, for saying racial bias exists. article 

NC unveils its first park honoring African American history. article 

NC A&T University is the largest HBCU in the nation and has a $2.4 billion-dollar economic impact in NC. article 

Opposition to NC’s proposed expansion of school vouchers is growing. article 

In NC, the New Hanover County school board is considering whether to ban the book Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You.  article 

The NC Appeals Court rules that the town of Louisburg can remove its Confederate monument. article 

For more information go to

Issues in Education

Schools in Arkansas pledge to defy the state law against teaching AP African American Studies. article  

The Tennessee Education Association has filed a federal lawsuit against the state’s education department’s restrictions regarding the teaching of race and gender in public schools. article 

Are the challenges in education going on in Florida a preview for what is to come here in NC? 

Food insecurity among college students is a real problem. article 

In St. George, SC a Rosenwald School has joined the small list of these restored schools, which already includes the Anderson Rosenwald School in Mars Hill. 

Morgan Freeman discusses his efforts to call attention to how the 761st tank battalion, made up of Black soldiers from WWII, is finally being recognized for their contributions to the United States war effort.


The shootings in Jacksonville, Fl, have HBCU’s nationwide grappling with rising fears about safety. article 

Donald Trump’s attacks on prosecutors is based on our nation’s history of racist language and stereotypes. article

The importance of celebrating Juneteenth continues to be ignored. article 

In this blog post from historian Heather Cox Richardson, she shares the history of racial injustice and how it was addressed through the enactment of the 14th amendment.   

Once again, a politician in Oklahoma thinks racism did not cause the Tulsa Race Massacre. article 

Country music is using racism as a marketing tool. article 

The conservative group that was instrumental in the case the US Supreme Court decided on to end affirmative action is looking to end the exemption for military academies and is suing a venture capital fund that supports Black women. 

A white mother is suing Southwest Airlines because a flight attendant accused her of trafficking her biracial daughter. article

Why was the Montgomery Riverboat brawl celebrated by many folks in the Black community? article 

A racist law dating back to 1890 still being enforced that banned people in Mississippi convicted of certain crimes from voting for life was ruled unconstitutional by 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals last month. article 

Racism targeting Black people is entrenched in China’s social media. article 

The story behind “40 Acres and a Mule”

Local Happenings

CoThinkk is accepting video grant applications for projects addressing vexing social issues facing BIPOC, African-American, Native and Latine communities through Sept. 15th. CoThinkk has prioritized connecting people of color to resources as a core value and their video grant application process is meant to create an intentional vehicle to support community efforts. Click here to apply. 

Land of Sky has been awarded a federal grant to create a new nonprofit, the WNC African American Cemetery Coalition, for the purpose of restoring and maintaining African American cemeteries across WNC. article 

The Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Community Center celebrates expansion and new additions to its facilities. article 

Founded in 1887 to educate Asheville’s Black community, Allen School has received historic status and will unveil their NC Historic Site marker on Saturday, October 21st. article 

The Goombay Festival, which celebrated African and Caribbean heritage in WNC, has been held in downtown Asheville for 41 years. It is taking a hiatus this year, but here is a nice look back at past celebrations  

Yes! Magazine offers the article Realizing Reparations about reconciliation and healing. 

Asheville and Buncombe County Community Reparations Comission Commission webpage

  • The Commission’s project page Project page  
  • The next meeting of the Community Reparations Commission is scheduled for September 18, 2023 from 6pm-8pm at Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Banquet Room:  87 Haywood Street,  Asheville, NC 28801

The Asheville Racial Justice Coalition  has issued four ways for people to support reparations in Asheville and Buncombe County. Go here to learn what you can do to support this effort. 

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. 

Black Wall Street AVL works to support Black Businesses in Asheville. Check out their website for more information.

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 Fridays from 3pm-7pm every week. Get details about how to book a tour, volunteering or taking part in their other community actions here

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

The Plant Club Pop Up Market is welcoming to all plant lovers and growers alike. We have plant-centered events in the Canopy Gallery at Art Garden in the RAD each month. The Pop-up Market happens on the 3rd Saturday of each month, features around 10 local plant people, and is free to attend and to vend! Come find plants and plant-goodies from a wide range of local growers and makers, and make new plant friends!

Sat. September 16th 11am-3pm

Art Garden AVL 191 Lyman St, Ste 316 Asheville, NC 28805

Email if interested in vending!

The Annual Historic Community Celebration is September 7th – 11th. The signature event is the Shiloh Legacy Gala, Thur. 9/7 6:30pm – 9:30pm. To get information on how to purchase tickets to the Gala and ato find out more about the other events click here 

The Shiloh Community Association monthly meeting is

This national organization is committed to funding to help small nonprofits across the country fight for reparations for Black citizens and their communities. article

Feeling inspired to voice your concerns? Here is an updated list of print and online media here in WNC and a writer’s guide to writing a well-organized letter-to-the-editor (LTEs) or opinion article can be found here 

Marc Updegrove, the President/CEO of the LBJ Foundation, shares the history of the Civil Rights Act and the end of “apartheid” in the United States on July 2nd, 1964.

Remembrance Projects Nationally & 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.

The NC Black Alliance offers this webpage with a page entitled – “Access to Healthcare: What You Need to Know” along with other pages that have articles and information concerning the Black community.

761st Tank Battalion, African America Civil Rights Grant Program, and You., Antiracism, Black Wall Street AVL, CoThinkk, Donald Trump, HBCUs, Hood Huggers, Land of Sky, Morgan Freeman, New Hanover County school board, New Hanover County school board is considering whether to ban the book Stamped: Racism, Prayer Breakfast, The Shiloh Community Association, Voting

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