Situated in the French Broad River Valley – home to one of the oldest rivers and one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world – Asheville’s eclectic vibe brings an array of people together. From its renowned restaurant and beer scene to some of the rarest ecosystems found in America, there is no shortage of adventure to be had in Asheville, North Carolina. But hidden in plain sight are the rich contributions of Asheville’s Black community that make this city one of the most sought-after travel destinations in the nation.
Discover The Soul of Asheville
Asheville's Black community is an eclectic one with deep roots that continue to shape the city's spirit. Connect with over 50 Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs through Black Wall Street AVL and vendor market. Get down at events like the annual Goombay Festival and various Juneteenth celebrations throughout the city. And cap your evening off as your party down at Gospel Night at the Double Crown on the last Thursday of each month.
Black Asheville's here for you to experience. Just slide through.
Connect with Asheville's Culture: Past & Present
Visit historically Black neighborhoods, including the Shiloh Community, originally located where Biltmore sits today; Burton Street, home to the Burton Street Community Peace Garden; and The Block, famous for its thriving Black businesses and the YMI Cultural Center. Play a round of golf at the Asheville Municipal Golf Course ("Muni") and learn about the history of Black Golf in Asheville. Or, take a swing with the pros at the annual Skyview Golf Tournament -- one of the largest Black-run golf tournaments in the Southeast. From Black artists in the River Arts District to the Black craftspeople that helped construct Asheville’s world-famous Art Deco architecture that dots the skyline, uncover the history of Black Asheville and how it continues to make an impact to this mountain city today.
A Legacy Built Brick by Brick
Take a stroll through history and learn about the African-American man who helped lay the foundation for Asheville’s success by constructing some of its most impressive buildings. Creating a name for himself during the Jim Crow era, the legend of James Vester Miller lives on through this historical self-guided tour.
Celebrating Asheville's Good Vibes & Black Culture with Phil the Culture
Phil the Culture in AVL
Follow along with positivity promoter Phil the Culture as he soaks up some of Asheville’s good energy and meets a few local folks bringing Black culture and business to the foreground.
Celebrating Asheville's Black Leaders & History
When Matthew Bacoate Jr. speaks, the rich bass in his voice commands your attention, and his aura exudes regality. This strong and distinguished presence - along with his life experience - has made Mr. Bacoate a leader in his hometown community of Asheville for more than half a century.
Born in 1930, Mr. Bacoate was immersed in the entrepreneurial spirit from a very young age. His parents owned a business on Eagle Street in Asheville’s downtown area known as The Block - a famous beacon of Black business ownership. Those lessons he learned on The Block and from his parents would inspire his own journey into entrepreneurship, which he graciously shares in this featurette.
Black Wall Street AVL
J Hackett and Bruce Waller are two individuals who are undaunted by challenges. Instead, they see opportunities for growth and prosperity. Owners of Asheville's first Black-owned coffee shop, they've now set their sights on inspiring other Black entrepreneurs to realize their goals of successful business ownership through Black Wall Street AVL.
Inspired by Black leaders of the past, J and Bruce started Black Wall Street AVL to help grow Black wealth and independence. With the goal of helping to launch and expand 20 Black-owned businesses, this organization has more than tripled that number. And with the recent acquisition of a brick and mortar building that will be used as a retail and event space, there's no limit to how big Black Wall Street AVL will get.
Andrea Clark is a legendary figure in the community of Asheville. An activist, artist, playwright, published photographer and winner of Asheville's Sondley Award, Ms. Clark has added historian to an already impressive resume.
Through the James Vester Miller Trail, Ms. Clark is bringing Asheville's history full-circle and telling the story of how her grandfather - whom the trail is named after - helped build Asheville and some of its most famous structures as a master brick mason. Through the loving dedication of Ms. Clark, celebrate the influential work of her grandfather, and discover the bonds that make both of them Asheville royalty.
The life of Dr. Oralene Anderson Graves Simmons is the that of legends. Born and raised in Western North Carolina, she helped with integration projects as a member of ASCORE (the Asheville Student Committee on Racial Equality) while in high school. At 17 years old, she became the first African American to attend Mars Hill College, now a university. The efforts of Dr. Simmons have led to features in Jet and Time magazines, being recognized as an "Asheville Living Treasure," and even receiving a day in Asheville as a celebration of her life's work. The work of Dr. Simmons continues today as she honors her hero and inspiration, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She founded Asheville's annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast and now leads the Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Asheville and Buncombe County. Hear the incredible tale of Dr. Simmons' life in her own words.