TO LEARN FROM THE PAST: Darin Waters, UNC Asheville assistant professor of history, opens the 2016 African-Americans in WNC and  Southern Appalachia Conference at the YMI Cultural Center. This year's event starts on Oct. 19. Photo courtesy of UNC Asheville

Conference ties African-American past with future

The African Americans in WNC and Southern Appalachia Conference returns to Asheville for its fourth year Thursday, Oct. 19, through Saturday, Oct. 21. Originally organized to highlight research on the historical African-American presence in the region, the conference is broadening its scope this year with the theme, “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”