There have been a few articles related to racial diparities and our collective historical memory that have come out recently that I believe are really worth your time to read. Two feature Dr. Dwight Mullen, two feature Dr. Darin Waters, and one features them both. I am grateful to these UNC Asheville professors for all they are doing to raise awareness and impact change in our community.
dr dwight mullen and dr darin waters asheville

Here’s a list – click on the article titles to read:

Democracy and consequences
Asheville Blade, by David Forbes

Excerpt: “’It would be considered a state of emergency if you were seeing the same outcomes with white people,’ UNCA Professor Dwight Mullen says, sitting in his office. ‘It seems to me that all you have to do is take off racial blinders for people to see how serious it is in the African-American community in Asheville regarding public policy outcomes. The disparities are shocking, and they’re more shocking than they used to be. They used to be shocking, and now they’re beyond that.’”

The ‘unsettling’ of black Asheville
Asheville Citizen-Times, by Beth Walton

Excerpt: “I tell the students, ‘The stats you are looking at, these are the stats of my family, of my background. We are not specimens. We are people suffering from racial disparity.’ I want them to feel the personal effect, Mullen said.”

“By the numbers:
• 69 percent of black students nationally graduated from high school in 2012, while 86 percent of white students earned their diplomas
• 20 percent of black students in grades 3-8 at Asheville City Schools achieved proficiency in mathematics in the 2012-13 school year; more than 75 percent of white students reached that bar
• Blacks owned a mere 1.7 percent of businesses in Buncombe County in 2010—just 517 of some 29,500 firms
• Black mothers were three times more likely to deliver stillborn babies than white mothers in Buncombe County in 2012
• 3 percent of the student population at UNCA identified as black in January 2015; 87 percent identified as white”

Effort pushes for new monument recognizing WNC’s African Americans
Carolina Public Press, by David Forbes

Excerpt: “Rabbi Batsheva Meiri tied the effort to the necessity, in the Jewish tradition, of keeping memory alive and dealing with the reality of history. ‘Our memories reveal who we are and who we need to become,’ she said. ‘This endeavor is about more than setting history straight, it’s about making ourselves, citizens of this city now, more whole. Remembering that fellow human beings were ever treated as property, right here, by people just like us, is both a cautionary tale of conscience and the unfinished business of our own time.’”

America’s Interminable Identity Crisis
Urban News, by Darin Waters, Phd

Excerpt: “The only way to truly address and ultimately dismantle the white-supremacy narrative of our past is to first recognize the pain and trauma that the ideology of white supremacy has left on our individual and collective psyches. From there, we must be willing to have a real national conversation about how that shared narrative has been constructed.”

Kenilworth honors King’s legacy with discussion of civil rights and modern racism
Mountain Xpress, by Carrie Eidson
Note: article includes Dr. Water’s suggested reading list and recordings of the talks

Excerpt: “’The end of the Civil War, the Reconstruction era was marked with violence…you’re talking about chain gangs, incarceration, lynching,’” Mullen said. ‘And you say where’s the parallel with that? Excuse me. Excuse me! Let us talk about incarceration being higher than it ever was in this country’s history, let us talk about rates of poverty as forms of violence…You start putting it together and you say, ‘The police are killing more African American men and women than were lynched at the height of the lynching era.’”

Photo by Carrie Eidson for Mountain Xpress

Let me know what you think after reading these articles! And please share!