Honoring Black History Month in Asheville

Celebrate the community through talks and storytelling, education and work, art and poetry all month long.

A side view of the Burton Street Community Center and its mural of community founder E.W. Pearson

The City will host a variety of history-focused events, including at the Burton Street Community Center.

Photo via Asheville Parks and Recreation

Every February, the country marks the history, struggles, achievements, and contributions of generations of Black Americans. From storytelling to music, learning to creating, here are just a few of the ways to honor Black History Month in Asheville.

Hearing history

Exile From Altamont? Race and Belonging in Thomas Wolfe’s Asheville | Tuesday, Feb. 13, Saturday, Feb. 17 | Times vary | Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St., Asheville | Free | Day one of the mini-symposium will include selections from Wolfe’s “Welcome to Our City” as well as a reading of “The Road” by Andrea Clark and a facilitated discussion. On day two, Dr. Darin Waters and Dr. Kevin Young will present on Wolfe’s examination of race. Registration is encouraged.

E.W. Pearson and Burton Street | Friday, Feb. 16 | 6-7:30 p.m. | Burton Street Community Center, 134 Burton St., Asheville | Free | Learn more about the Burton Street community during a discussion about the community’s history and its founder Edward W. Pearson.

Exploring the written word

Filling in the Blanks: Poetry Reading & Book Signing | Saturday, Feb. 10 | 4-6 p.m. | Asheville Art Museum, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville | Free with admission | First Poet Laureate of Greenville, SC and 2023 Poet Laureate Fellow of the American Academy of Poets, Glenis Redmond will share some of her award-winning works and sign books.

Filling in the Blanks: Writing Workshop | Sunday, Feb. 11 | 2-4 p.m. | Asheville Art Museum, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville | $15-$25 | Brush up your poetry skills and refine your art with the help of poet and author Glenis Redmond.

Telling stories

A Night of Black Storytelling on The Block | Friday, Feb. 2 | 5-7 p.m. | The Block, 39 S. Market St., Asheville | Free | This special First Friday event kicks off Black History Month with poetry reading by Kevin Evans, music by Adama Dembele, a history of hip-hop listening session with Nex Millen, community conversations, a maker’s market, and more.

Storytelling and Reflecting | Saturday, Feb. 10 | 1-4 p.m. | Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center, 121 Shiloh Rd., Asheville | Free | Through storytelling and reflection, the Shiloh Community Association members, friends, and neighbors will honor those who helped build the community’s past, present, and future.

Stumptown Story Night | Friday, Feb. 16 | 6-7:30 p.m. | Tempie Avery Montford Community Center, 34 Pearson Dr., Asheville | Free | Those with familial or other ties to the Stumptown community can join for a hot meal, stories, memories, and reminiscence.

The BWS Legacy Award 2024 | Saturday, Feb. 17 | 5-11 p.m. | Black Wall Street AVL, 8 River Arts Pl., Asheville | Free | Hosted by Black Wall Street AVL, the award ceremony will highlight local Black pioneers both young and old, celebrate their work, and honor history.

Composer and musician Sam Waymon is dressed in a black hat, grey vest, and black coat and is sitting in front of a black background.

Pianist and composer Sam Waymon will bring his charming sound to the local stage.

Photo via Warren Wilson College

Experiencing art

Swannanoa Winter Art Series: Figurative Portrait Collage Animals | Saturday, Feb. 3 | 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. | Swannanoa Library, 101 W. Charleston Ave., Swannanoa | In this session for ages 5-7, budding young artists can learn about Romare Bearden and his medium of collage in honor of Black History Month — all materials are provided, but registration is required. Kids ages 8-12 can join in the second session on Saturday, Feb. 17.

Black History Through the Eyes of Art Opening Reception | Friday, Feb. 16 | 6-8 p.m. | Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Community Center, 285 Livingston St., Asheville | Free | Take a look at Black history through the eyes of local artists and how they acknowledge and honor the past. The art will be on display through Thursday, Feb. 29.

Sam Waymon | Friday, Feb. 16 | 7-9 p.m. | Kittredge Theatre at Warren Wilson College, 701 Warren Wilson Rd., Swannanoa | $40 | The award-winning film composer, songwriter, performer, singer, pianist, and brother of the late Nina Simone will celebrate the month and the artist’s WNC roots with both original compositions and reinterpretations of classic tunes.

Freedom Songs | Saturday, Feb. 17 | 10:30-11:30 a.m. | Weaverville Library, 41 N. Main St., Weaverville | Free | Presented by Bright Start Touring Theatre, this play follows the compelling story of the role that music played in the history of Black Americans. All ages are welcome, but the program is ideal for 4th grade through adults. Registration is required.

Sharing a meal

Soul Food Supper | Thursday, Feb. 22 | 6-8 p.m. | Stephens-Lee Community Center, 30 George Washington Carver Ave, Asheville | Free | The East End Valley Street Neighborhood and the Stephens-Lee Alumni Association invite you to come hungry to the annual community gathering.

Don’t see your event on the list? Let us know.

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