Asheville race relations: 1964 report to the governor

This February 1964 report on the local racial situation was prepared by Asheville’s then-Mayor Earl Eller and a local attorney, William E. Greene, who was chair of the Asheville Area Council on Human Relations. Prepared for the N.C. Mayors Cooperating Committee, the document offers a stark summary of the advances — and ongoing barriers — in the push for desegregation.

That state-level committee was created in 1963 by Gov. Terry Sanford, who grappled with racial progress and unrest at the height of the civil-rights movement. Its objective: to promote an orderly, negotiated end to segregation in the state’s major cities and towns. The Asheville report reflected fewer problems than were reported in other parts of the state, but still noted that much work remained to be done to ensure equal rights for the town’s black citizens. The document offers a snapshot of the state of civil rights in Asheville, circa 1964.

Click here to download a PDF of the document.


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