“[F]or roughly half a century, two YWCAs operated in Asheville, operating the program that is the YWCA. And during all these years parallel programs were operating in our city,” says Thelma Caldwell, in her 1981 speech at the YWCA’s annual meeting.
On October 24, 1970, Virginia Bailey, president of the Asheville YWCA, shared with the Asheville Citizen the most common complaint the organization received following the announcement: “‘We want our white Y; it is as important to us as the South French Broad branch is to the blacks.’”
On Monday, September 29, 1969 at 9:15 a.m., around 200 African-American students walked out of Asheville High School.
Conversations about the East Riverside Urban Renewal Project began in the mid-1960s. The project’s goal was to provide more public housing in Asheville. It wouldn’t be until 1977 that the plan would go into effect. The government-funded project sought to build 1,300 new homes on 425 acres. However, in order to accomplish this, many residents […]
In 1965, Thelma Caldwell became the Executive Director of the Central YWCA in Asheville: the first African-American in the South to hold the position.
In 1956, Eleanor Roosevelt announced a planned trip to Asheville to speak on the U.N.’s behalf. Her visit to Asheville, however, depended upon the city’s willingness to have an integrated audience.
“I would like to ask you, the editor, what is the purpose of a newspaper? Is it not to report the news, to give its readers a full account of all important events, as soon as possible after they have taken place?” writes Anne Hunter Jenkins of Fletcher, N.C. in her 1949 letter to the editor.
The Asheville YWCA’s African American division, the Phyllis Wheatley branch, began as an informal weekly meeting of women who worked to support and aid each other in finding employment opportunities. It officially opened in 1921.
Local writer Marla Hardee Milling’s latest book, Legends, Secrets and Mysteries of Asheville will be released on Monday, June 26. Malaprop’s is hosting an event with Milling to celebrate the new work.