• Black Asheville makes up for less than 11% of the population. This number continues to decrease every year. Hosting Black spaces aims to build a thriving Black community in Asheville
• White Asheville makes up an overwhelming 80%. Our Asheville home is mostly white, this is not accidental.
• Our day to day life is overwhelmingly white, creating Black only spaces is how we resist oppression.
• Asheville systems continue to be rooted in a culture of white supremacy and oppression, which puts Black lives in danger every day.
• Black only spaces are us taking action to reclaim what we have repressed to survive in a white supremacist nation.
• We build relationships with one another that support us thriving, healing and building together
Because of this…
Black Love is a Black autonomous space. As Black people we need places in which we can gather and be free from the mainstream stereotypes and marginalization that permeate every other societal space we occupy. We need spaces where we can be our full authentic selves without white people’s judgment and insecurity muzzling that expression. We need spaces where we can simply be—where we can get off the treadmill of making white people comfortable and finally realize just how tired we are.
Black Love History…
CPC’s Black Love Gatherings have historically been an intergenerational gathering space for people of African descent in WNC to celebrate one another across lines of differences. When the world was shutting down during the pandemic, Black Love brought people together in unity gatherings masked and at a distance. Since then it has grown in new ways, partnering with young professionals to work alongside our staff, bringing in a new demographic of participants. Moving forward, it will continue to collaborate with other organizations whose mission and vision align with ours, keeping our work grounded in love.
In 2016, Asheville’s demographic makeup was not much different. The death of Jerry Williams at the hands of the police rocked the Black Community, leaving Asheville in a state of racial unrest. People gathered at a candlelight vigil to grieve the loss of one of its members, but what they found was another place dominated by white bodies. This led community members of Black Asheville to express a need for safe affinity spaces with others who shared the same racial identity. As survivors of a culture of anti-blackness, white supremacy, and state sanctioned violence, it is vital for Black communities to claim space and take time to heal from the damage caused by racism. Something that is difficult to do in the overwhelming presence of whiteness and unchecked racist policies.
CPC’s Black Leadership Cohort heard the call of Asheville’s Black Community and created a healing space where members could come together to form new, trusting relationships and build community. Members could see themselves reflected across all walks of life – teachers, government officials, business owners – thriving despite the limitations imposed on them. It invited the Black Community to celebrate, network, connect, and learn with and from one another, focusing on topics like mental health, creativity, finances, and more.