Join us from 6-8 pm on Friday, September 10th for the opening reception of Black in Black on Black: Making the Invisible Visible in North Carolina, a visual conversation about the lives and contributions of Black/African American communities in Western North Carolina (WNC). This event is free, accessible, and open to all.
Black in Black on Black was curated by Ameena Batada, Dr.PH., Associate Professor of Health & Wellness, UNC Asheville, Je’Wana Grier McEachin, Executive Director of the Asheville Buncombe Institute of Parity Achievement (ABIPA) and LINKS Chapter Member, and Jill Fromewick, Sc.D., Assistant Professor, UNC Gillings School of Public Health. The exhibition was organized by UNC Asheville’s Center for Craft Partner Gallery Faculty Advisory Committee.
Bringing together stunning artwork and historic accounts by WNC-based artists Ann Miller Woodford, Viola Spells, and Ronda Birtha, with social science data and stories, this exhibition invites audiences into an often invisible history of our region. As Woodford states, “My emphasis has been on people who have dedicated their lives to humanity, but have been overlooked, ignored, and often forgotten.” In Western North Carolina, the percent of the population that is Black/African American ranges from 0.2% to 10% at the county level, and is about 4% overall. In this unique exhibit, deeply personal art is integrated with charts and quotes from the Heart of Health: Race, Place, and Faith in Western North Carolina project. Heart of Health is a three-year community-participatory research study that seeks to better understand the role and impact of race and racism on health through secondary data analyses and interviews, and is co-led by researchers and community partners. Visitors to the exhibit, both in person and online, are invited to a multi-sensory and interactive experience. The exhibit also invites visitors to learn about the ways in which African Americans and others in WNC are working to reduce racism and build community through grassroots and organizational efforts.