Press release from City of Asheville:
Throughout the year, the City of Asheville and its partners share unique stories, rich cultural events, and opportunities to connect with neighbors that make the city a special place to call home. In February, all community members are invited to reflect on local Black history, heritage, and hope as Asheville Parks & Recreation (APR) hosts events to celebrate Black History and Legacy Month.
“Each February, the Asheville Parks & Recreation team finds creative ways to recognize, celebrate, and highlight the struggles, successes, and contributions of Black people right here at home and throughout the nation,” according to D. Tyrell McGirt, APR Director. “This year, we’ve focused on the idea of connections – how personal conversations, photographs, food, and personally-created art can shine light on moments, whether prominent or lesser known, that define our past experiences and provide inspiration for the future. Parks, community centers, and recreation programs provide fertile ground to create new memories in our community each day, but it’s important to share and honor stories of the past to provide greater context of how Black Ashevillians played a major role in shaping our city.”
Black History and Legacy Month Highlights
All events are free, but advance registration is recommended as space may be limited.
Feb. 10, 1-4 p.m. – Shiloh Storytelling and Reflection at Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center
Shiloh Community Association members, friends, and neighbors honor those who helped build the Shiloh community through storytelling and reflections about its past, present, and future. Please call (828) 274-7739 for more info.
Feb. 16, 2:30-5:30 p.m. – Edible Park Work and Learn Day at Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park
Did you know one of the nation’s oldest community food forests is located in Asheville? With over 40 varieties of fruit and nut trees, a butterfly habitat, and annual vegetable garden, maintaining this space named for inventor and agricultural scientist Dr. George Washington Carver is a year-round job for volunteers. Please call (828) 350-2058 for more info.
Feb. 16, 6-7:30 p.m. – Stumptown Story Night and Dinner at Tempie Avery Montford Community Center
Reminisce, tell stories, and learn the rich history of Stumptown, a tight-knit Black neighborhood previously located on the grounds of the community center. Anyone with a familial or other tie to Stumptown is invited to share pictures, fond memories, and good times with friends and community members while enjoying a delicious meal. Please call (828) 253-3714 for more info.
Feb. 16, 6-7:30 p.m. – Burton Street History at Burton Street Community Center
Join for an exciting presentation and discussion about the legacy of the Burton Street neighborhood and its founder, Edward W. Pearson. Light refreshments provided. Please call (828) 254-1942 for more info.
Feb. 16, 6-8 p.m. – Black History Through the Eyes of Art Opening Reception at Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Community Center
Examine how local artists acknowledge and celebrate Black heritage in fascinating ways through different mediums. Reception features light bites with artwork on display during regular center hours through Feb. 29. To showcase your art pieces, register online or call the center at (828) 259-5843.
Feb. 22, 6-8 p.m. – Soul Food Supper at Stephens-Lee Community Center
In the late 19th century, the church became a gathering place for Black communities and impacted the development of what’s now considered soul food. Fried chicken, fried fish, sweet potato pie, sweet tea, black-eyed peas, cornbread, and more were served during Emancipation celebrations and church gatherings. Celebrate a century since Stephens-Lee High School opened its doors at this dinner sponsored by school alumni and the East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association with down-home cooking passed down through generations. Advance registration is requested to help with planning. Please call (828) 350-2058 for more info.