Second Annual African Americans in WNC Conference, Oct. 22 – 23

Not to be missed!

From UNC Asheville’s website:

The second annual African Americans in Western North Carolina Conference will be held Oct. 22-23, 2015 at the YMI Cultural Center and UNC Asheville’s Highsmith Union. The two-day conference is free and open to the public.

The conference starts on Thursday, Oct. 22 at the YMI Cultural Center with a 6:30 p.m. reception and special presentation for community service followed by The Jesse and Julia Ray Lecture given by the Honorable Floyd McKissick Jr. The evening includes a special performance by the LEAF Delta House Jazz Band.

This photo is part of the Isaiah Rice Photography Collection.

This photo is part of the Isaiah Rice Photography Collection.

Friday, Oct. 23 will feature panel discussions in UNC Asheville’s Highsmith Union, as well as details about the unveiling of the Isaiah Rice Photography Collection. The photos have been donated to UNC Asheville by the family of Darin Waters, assistant professor of history and conference organizer.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to organize this conference for a second year,” said Waters.  “Developing a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the history of African Americans in this region of our state is an important part of our efforts to building mutual understanding among the diverse groups that make up our city, state, and region.  For too long the history of African Americans in this region has been hidden, and this conference represents an ongoing effort and commitment by the university to highlight and incorporate the experiences of this region’s African American communities into the larger narrative of our history.”

The morning panel begins at 9 a.m.:

  • “One Family, Black and White: The Saga of a Yancey County Family,” by Kevin Young, Ph.D. candidate at The University of Georgia
  • “When All God’s Children Get Together: A Celebration of the Lives and Music of African American People in Far Western North Carolina,” Ann Woodford, author
  • “Slave and Free: The Complex History of African Americans in a Western North Carolina County,” Barbara McRae, author

The afternoon panel starts at 2 p.m. and is followed by a closing reception at 5 p.m.:

  • “Ears to the Conch Shell, Feet to the Ancestors: Reimagining Asheville’s Goombay Festival” Marcus Harvey, assistant professor of religious studies at UNC Asheville
  • “Fulfilling the One Imperative by Any Means Necessary: Desegregation and Race Politics at the Asheville YWCA,” Sarah Judson, associate professor of history at UNC Asheville
  • “People and Place: The Isaiah Rice Photography Collection,” Gene Hyde, university archivist, and Darin Waters, assistant professor of history at UNC Asheville

The conference is sponsored by UNC Asheville, including the Deans of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Howerton Professor of Humanities, The Interdisciplinary Distinguished Professor of the Mountain South, NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities, History Department, Humanities Program, Africana Studies Program, Office of the Provost, and the Center for Diversity Education; The Wilma Dykeman Legacy; and The YMI Cultural Center.

Here is a PDF of the conference poster: African Americans in WNC