Asheville, NC’s African American Heritage Trail

Photo by @matty.media

Asheville’s African American Heritage Trail is expected to be completed late next year, and organizers are seeking public input on the specific sites and stories that will be showcased. The goal of the walkable trail, which has been initiated by River Front Development Group, is to highlight the unsung heroes and underrecognized achievements of Asheville’s Black community. 

In development since 2019, the trail will grow to include 19 physical markers beyond downtown, including The Block, in the East End/Valley Street neighborhood, Southside and South Slope areas, and the Depot Street and River Arts District areas. The project will also have a digital component that includes a map of the trail and additional photos, videos, and oral history recordings. 

To educate the public about the sorts of topics the trail could showcase, a series of online and in-person viewing sessions have been held throughout September, with the final webinar scheduled to take place on Zoom Tues., Sept. 28 from 6-7 p.m. Wanna learn more? Register for the webinar here

For folks who want to offer feedback, there’s an online survey to share input and make suggestions on the local figures, stories + sites they think should be included on the trail. Some of the ideas already suggested include: Black student activism + desegregation, convict labor, and the Asheville Royal Giants baseball team. Once this round of feedback closes, there will be another round of community input in the early or mid-2022.