In case you missed it, the Asheville Citizen-Times recently ran a feature story about Hood Tours, “Hood tours revisit Asheville’s black landmarks.” Hood Tours offers “Hood Tours is an interactive tour focusing on Asheville’s African American resilient history and future in the arts, environmentalism and entrepreneurship.” I’ve posted a few excerpts from the article below. I encourage you to click the link and read the entire article, then head on over to hoodhuggers.com and buy a ticket for a tour!
The transformative possibilities of Hood Tours are immense.
“The tour package includes the Hood Huggers Green Book, highlighting current black-owned businesses as part of Asheville’s Buy Local ethos. The pamphlet echoes the Negro Motorist Green Book published by Victor H. Green from 1936-66, directing African-American travelers and tourists to friendly businesses, restaurants and hotels during the era of segregation. ‘We need to show people where they can connect now,’ [DeWayne] Barton said.”
“While Pisgah View is known to many only as the location of publicized crimes, [Sir Charles] Gardener wants others to see his neighborhood in a more positive light. ‘We grow food here in our gardens, there are a lot of talented clever people here, music producers, owners of janitorial services, entrepreneurs making soaps. People can see that we’re just not the type of animals they portray us to be. It’s a family here.'”
“The human costs of urban renewal are still being counted. [Cliff] Cotton’s family house on Fayetteville could be slated for destruction if the I-26 Connector widens through West Asheville. It’s not just houses, but churches like the old Wilson Chapel, which are threatened by the construction of eight lanes of the future I-26 through a rich African-American past. But the tours aren’t just a trip down a long lost memory’s lane. ‘What was before is all gone,’ Cotton said. ‘This is about what’s going on now. This tour is about looking to the future and the ways we can grow.’”
photos by william woody