The Fifth Annual African Americans in Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia Conference offers scholars and the community an opportunity to illuminate the African American experience in Southern Appalachia. The three-day event from Oct. 18-20 will feature a variety of topics, including race in education, social justice, and history while highlighting regional African American culture, with a theme of “Making the Invisible Visible.”
The conference will begin with an opening reception on Thursday, Oct. 18 at the YMI Cultural Center, scholarly presentations and community panels Oct. 19-20 at UNC Asheville, and an awards night at The Collider on Saturday, Oct. 20 to conclude the weekend.
On the schedule this year are a roundtable discussion on Crafting Affrilachia, in partnership with The Center for Craft and led by Marie T. Cochran, founder of the Affrilachian Artist Project; black-owned business panels and exhibits in partnership with Mountain BizWorks; a performance in tribute to Jacob Lawrence at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center; and the announcement of The City of Asheville Visiting Artist. Our partnership with the CoThinkk Awards Night at The Collider returns, along with the Jesse and Julia Ray Lecture, given by Appalachian studies scholar William H. Turner.
A brunch in celebration of Asheville’s Allen High School and Nina Simone will be held on Saturday morning, and an exhibit of historic photographs from the school will be on display in UNC Asheville’s Ramsey Library through Oct. 31. The exhibit is co-sponsored by Special Collections at UNC Asheville and the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection at Appalachian State University and is free and open to the public during regular library hours. Read the conference press release here.
African-Americans in WNC: Annual conference celebrates legacy (The Blue Banner, 2018)
Finding Affrilachia (WUNC 91.5, 2018)
UNC Asheville Awarded $700,000 Mellon Foundation Grant for Public Humanities and Community Engagement (UNC Asheville, 2017)
Conference Ties African American Past with Future (Mountain Xpress, 2017)
Third Annual African Americans in WNC Conference uncovers hidden black history (Mountain Xpress, 2016)
African Americans in WNC Conference uncovers overlooked history (Mountain Xpress, 2014)