The Grind AVL Unveils Southside Urban Renewal Community Mural

Implementation of Urban Renewal was detrimental to Asheville’s African American communities.

“At its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future.” ~ William J. Murtagh

Residents and supporters attended the unveiling of a mural at Grind AVL depicting Asheville’s Black History and the Impact of Urban Renewal.
Residents and supporters attended the unveiling of a mural at Grind AVL depicting Asheville’s Black History and the Impact of Urban Renewal.

Families uprooted and divided, loss of homes and business ownership, and displacement into unwelcoming communities were a massive “root-shock” that continues to have an everlasting impact on employment, criminal justice, economic development, education, health and wellness, and housing. Silenced within those deep wounds are the communities of Asheville’s African American population.

“It’s the reason I tell the stories and encourage others to tell the stories—not for sympathy, but for empathy,” said Priscilla Robinson. “It’s about empowerment; maintaining space, place, and a sense of connection to greater Asheville. It’s about keeping memories of what we value alive. It’s about preserving history and letting people know that our African American forefathers help to build Asheville into what it is today. It’s about showing those who visit Asheville, that, yes, “Black people are here and have been here for centuries,” when they ask, “Where are the Black people?”

“I’m thankful for the diverse interest and support of Asheville and those who come to visit. Asheville has rich African American history harbored throughout the city. People are collectively coming together to tell their stories, to hear the stories, and to engage the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future,” added Robinson.

The recent event held on May 5, 2024 at the Grind AVL, located at 346 Depot Street, confirms that. Please visit Grind AVL and view the mural display of some of Asheville’s Black History and the Impact of Urban Renewal. Please consider sponsoring this ongoing project. Donations accepted at buy.stripe.com/4gwg0a9A40j62VqdQQ.

For more information, go to www.urbanrenewalimpact.org.

 

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