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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.

M.A.R.C.H Newsletter: March 2024

The purpose of the M.A.R.C.H. newsletter is spelled out:

“M” is for Memory. The core purpose of this newsletter is remembering, honoring, and learning from the lived experiences of our elders be it here in the community, across the state or nation.

“A” is for Awareness. The purpose of memory is to guide our awareness, so that we understand the context and complexity of the work that is needed regarding achieving racial and social justice.

“R” is for Resilience. Memory and awareness are built on the resilience of our spirit. Racial and social justice work requires one to be mentally, physically, and emotionally strong and the purpose of this newsletter is to build up that needed strength.

“C” is for Community. The purpose of this newsletter is to remind us that our strength to fight for racial and social justice is fueled by knowing that the work is not done in solitude but in solidarity. As Dr. King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“H” is for Hope. We know that racial and social justice is not just going to happen. Our hope is that through our actions of voice, feet, or mind we will get closer to it happening. This newsletter highlights ways folks are working toward the goal of this nation truly being a place of racial and social justice for all.

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. Below are some items that are noteworthy.

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

The 2024 MLK Association’s
Rosa Parks Awards

Tues. March 19th at 5:30 pm 
Black Wall Street AVL
8 River Arts Place 

Down Home NC Voting Guide and Voting Resources

Learn More

Dr. Henry Louis Gates presents “Gospel live!”

  • Rep. Al Green (D-TX) went the extra mile to vote on the House floor. article 
  • Ghana artifacts taken 150 years ago by the British have been returned by a US museum. article 
  • “The Descendants,” family members of noted African Americans like Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, Emmett Till, Rosa Parks, and others met at the White House this past month. article 
  • A 150-year-old stained glass window depicting a dark-skinned Jesus Christ and the woman at the well the “Black Gospel Window” has found a new home in Memphis, TN. article  
  • The person suspected of stealing and destroying the Jackie Robinson statue in Wichita, Kansas was arrested. article 
  • The fear of discrimination and death during childbirth may lead Black women to prefer seeing a Black obstetrician. article 
  • More Black families are securing deeds of landownership so they can keep their land and create generational wealth. article 
  • Most Black Americans see more opportunities than their parents but still see the need for more to be done. article 
  • There is an effort on the way in Tulsa, Oklahoma to rebuild the historic “Black Wall Street.” article 
  • The GOP is making a concerted effort to win over Black voters for Donald Trump. article 

  • Controversial dark money groups are some of the biggest players in some NC 2024 Democratic races. article 
  • Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is running to be North Carolina’s next governor. It appears he doesn’t like all North Carolinians. article 
  • Race has been a factor in NC’s history of jury selections. article 
  • NC’s first Buc-ee’s, a popular convenience store chain, might be built on indigenous land. article 
  • The Underground Railroad in NC. video & article 
  • The 1898 Wilmington Massacre. video & article 

A look at African Americans participation in America’s efforts to go into space.

  • There is a new program aimed at boosting the number of Black cardiologists across the country. article  
  • Ed Dwight was the first African American astronaut. article 
  • About 300 churches in Florida are offering Black history lessons for their communities in the wake of the state’s efforts to restrict the teaching of Black history in schools. article 
  • A Florida school asked parents for permission to have a Black author read to the students. article 
  • The ban on university diversity efforts in Texas is providing the nation a preview of what the future may look like in other GOP-led states. article 
  • Randall Woodfin, mayor of Brimingham, Alabama, is urging athletes to leave Alabama if the state passes anti-DEI initiatives. article 
  • A judge in Texas ruled that the suspension of a Black student over the length of his hair does not violate the CROWN Act. article 
  • Howard University has formed the first HBCU figure skating team. article 
  • Schools are having a hard time hiring Black teachers. article 

  • Hate groups are actively recruiting young people and perpetrating violence in preparation of a coming “race war.” article 
  • African Americans are the largest group of media consumers, but constantly feel misrepresented or underrepresented in mainstream media. article 
  • The CDC pledges $5 million in scholarships to the descendants of the men who unknowingly were part of the unethical Tuskegee syphilis experiment. article 
  • The United Daughters of the Confederacy may be losing their tax benefits in Virginia. article 
  • While promoting a bill to end college diversity initiatives, a state Republican lawmaker in Kentucky told the NAACP that her father was a white slave. article 
  • A state Republican lawmaker in Michigan lost his committee assignment and staff after posting a racist message on social media. article 
  • South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, a potential Republican Vice President candidate, was banned from the Pine Ridge Reservation over her comments about US border security. article 
  • The Lewis woodpecker and 152 other species of birds in North America are being renamed. article 

James Beard nominated chef Ashleigh Shanti’s “Good Hot Fish” restaurant suffered a racist attack two-weeks after opening. article 

The Asheville and Buncombe County Community Reparations ComissionCommission webpage

  • The Commission’s project page Project page  
  • The next meeting of the Community Reparations Commission is scheduled for March 18, 2024 from 6pm-8pm at Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Banquet Room:  87 Haywood Street,  Asheville, NC 28801

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. 

The Asheville Racial Justice Coalition encouraged people to support the Asheville Buncombe Community Reparations Commission’s request for an 8-month extension to do its work. Go here  for an update of the City and County’s response to that request. Here is the Citizen Times article about the report.

Black Wall Street AVL works to support Black Businesses in Asheville. GrindFest 2024 will be May 24-26. Check out their website for more information about this and other events!

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

Calling all poetry lovers! We’re now hosting a monthly Poetry Slam Night with The Pot Stirred in The Canopy. Test out your poetry skills or come to just listen and vibe. Come be a part of Poetry Slam Night every second Sunday of the month starting at 6:30 pm.Sun. March 10th 6:30pm-9pm at The Canopy at Art Garden 191 Lyman St,
Suite 316,  Asheville, NC 28801
$5 to listen, $10 to slam – Pay at the door

The Shiloh Community Association monthly meeting is

The next East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association Meeting is Thursday, March 14, at 6 pm. St. James AME Church Fellowship Hall, 44 Hildebrand St. If you have something important to share with the neighborhood, please reach out to us at We’ll do our best to accommodate your request.

Resources of Interest

The North Carolina State Capitol Historic Site has begun a “From Naming to Knowing” project. The goal of this project is to name and, as much as possible, share the stories of the enslaved men who built and maintained the State Capitol between 1833 and 1865. 

The National Museum of African American History & Culture has 500,000 pages of Freedman’s Bureau records available online. 

The Official mapping Police Violence database – 

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, we will continue to highlight several items from the 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. Do 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.

Asheville, Black Wall Street AVL, Buncombe County, Education, Reparations, Resources, Rosa Parks Awards, Voter ID, Women's History Month

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