UNION DAYS: Approximately 90 workers and organizers of the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees of America, Local Div. No. 128 pose for a picture in April 1913. Despite North Carolina’s status as one of the least unionized states in the country, current-day local union chapters such as ATU 128, have a long history of organizing and advocating for workers’ rights in the Southern Highlands. Photo via the Norh Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Library, Asheville North Carolina

Labor pains: WNC unions at a crossroads

In Western North Carolina and across the country, labor unions seem to be a dying breed these days, and many local residents don’t seem overly concerned about it. Yet WNC’s complex history of unionization stretches back to the late 19th century. From high-profile labor disputes and the emergence of “right to work” laws to the […]

BUILDING CULTURE: From the ancestors of the Ani Katuah to the first European settlers and later tobacco farmers, the evolution of human settlement and existence in the Southern Appalachians can be traced through the structure and buildings they erected to support their ways of life. The Rural Heritage Museum at Mars Hill University documents the evolution of built structures in its latest exhibit, Shelter on the Mountain, on display through May 28. Photo of an open cathedral-like hayloft of the 1951 gambrel-roof barn built by Delbert and Charlie Shelton in the Shelton Laurel community. By Earthsong Photography/ Don McGowan

Rural Heritage Museum highlights history of WNC barns

From the Ani Katuah to white settlers and tobacco farmers, barns and buildings have played a central role in defining the culture of the Southern Appalachians. Shelter on the Mountain: Barns and Building Traditions of the Southern Highlands traces the evolution of local building practices.

TAKING A STAND: Diane DeWitt, left, and Cathy Holt participate in an Asheville protest against the Dakota Access pipeline. In her commentary below, Holt suggests another form of protest: Moving money out of the big banks that are financing the pipeline.

Divestitur­e could help halt Dakota Access pipeline

“Those seeking to profit from extracting the dirtiest of fuels are using their money and power to try to lock in a fossil fuel infrastructure, with no regard for cataclysmic climate change. But we don’t have to let them. Starting right here in Asheville, we can derail those plans by moving our money out of the big banks that are financing the pipeline!”

Kids and parents posed for a group photo at Pritchard Park. Photo by Emma Grace Moon

Children organize Asheville protest against Trump’s policies

While it didn’t rival the Women’s March on Asheville held in January, the Kid’s Protest march in Asheville on Sunday, Feb. 5, also drew a large and passionate crowd of protesters. Organized by the children of local musician Sparrow Pants, the event gave kids an opportunity to share their concerns about the administration of President Donald Trump and its policies.

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