2018 Schedule

All conference events are free and open to the public. Advance registration is requested online or by calling 828.255.7216.

View the conference schedule below, or download the program here.

Thursday, October 18

What: Opening Reception
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: YMI Cultural Center, 39 S. Market Street

Jesse & Julia Ray Lecture by  Dr. William H. Turner
Community Award Presentation to Keynon Lake
Music by The Ink Well
Catering by Delia’s Tea Time

Friday, October 19

9 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. Presentations (details below)
Sherrill Center, Mountain View Room, UNC Asheville campus

8 - 10 p.m.  The Jacob Lawrence of Jacob Lawrence by Jace Clayton aka DJ /rupture
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, 120 College Street
Purchase tickets at blackmountaincollege.org


9 a.m. Welcome: Dwight Mullen, Ph.D.

9:15 - 11:45 a.m  Morning Panel - African Americans & Education | Moderator: Darin Waters, Ph.D.

  1. Brevard Rosenwald School - Betty J. Reed
  2. African American Mentorship in Western North Carolina: My Black is Beautiful and It's Intellectual - Jeremy James, UNC Asheville
  3. Aid and Education System for African Americans, 1865-present - Florancie Jacques, UNC Asheville
  4. Catching Up: Late Integration of the UNC System, and Lack of Results for UNC Asheville - Ajani Purnell, UNC Asheville
  5. The Shiloh School: Strength in Community - Chris McKoy, UNC Asheville

11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Break for lunch - Find on-campus dining options here

1 - 2:30 p.m. Early Afternoon Panel - Arts, Archives, & Activism | Moderator: Kimberlee Archie

  1. City of Asheville Visiting Artist Announcement
  2. Community History: Residents, Public Media & Universities - William Isom II, East Tennessee PBS
  3. Nina Simone: Music, Identity, Activism, & The Civil Rights Movement - Lauren Bulla, UNC Asheville

2:45 - 4:15 p.m. Late Afternoon Panel - Place & Narrative | Moderator: Gene Hyde

  1. Junaluska, an African American Neighborhood in Boone, NC: An Oral History - Susan E. Keefe, Appalachian State and Roberta Jackson, Junaluska Heritage Association
  2. ‘This is my home’’ defending a black enclave in Appalachian South Carolina - John M. Coggeshall, Clemson University

4:30 p.m. Mullen & James Humanities Hall Building Naming - Available to view on Facebook Live

8 - 10 p.m. The Jacob Lawrence of Jacob Lawrence by Jace Clayton aka DJ /rupture
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, 120 College Street
Purchase tickets at blackmountaincollege.org

About Jace Clayton: As an artist and writer, I use an interdisciplinary approach to focus on how sound, memory, and public space interact. Lawrence’s interest in the socioeconomic structures that contour racial imaginaries while reinforcing real-world inequality formed the starting point for this piece. In it, I collect American newspaper mentions of ‘Jacob Lawrence’ that pre-date Jacob Lawrence, the celebrated artist. Excerpts from those articles, which reach back centuries, form the entirety of the libretto/script.

Saturday, October 20

9 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. and 12:45 - 4:30 p.m. Panels and Film Screening (details below)
Sherrill Center, Mountain View Room, UNC Asheville campus

11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Allen High School and Nina Simone Celebration Brunch
Sherrill Center, Mountain View Room, UNC Asheville campus
Reservation Required

We also invite you to attend this event hosted by our partner CoThinkk:
7 - 11 p.m. CoThinkk Awards Night
The Collider, 1 Haywood Street
Reserve tickets at cothinkk.org


9 a.m. - Welcome: Darin Waters, Ph.D.

9:15 - 10:45 a.m. “Developing Long Tail Ecosystems and Value Chains that Start and Sustain Social Enterprises In Appalachia” in partnership with Mountain BizWorks | Introduction: Tiffany De'Bellott | Moderator: Anthony Johnson

11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.  Allen High School and Nina Simone Brunch
Kimberlee Archie, emcee
Music by Melody and Sharissa
Sylvia Pate, MPA, Allen High School graduate - Class of 1965
Tiffany Tolbert, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Angela Thorpe, NC African American Heritage Commission

12:45 - 2:15 p.m. “Crafting Affrilachia” roundtable in partnership with the Center for Craft
Moderator: Marie Cochran
Poem by DeWayne Barton, Hood Huggers International
Sharon Jones, SJ Studios, LLC
Jd Harrison, CR8 | Studio H Designs
Viola Spells, Zenobia Studio

2:30 - 4 p.m.   Screening of the documentary "What Happened, Miss Simone?" with Larry Reni Thomas

We also invite you to attend this event hosted by our partner CoThinkk:
7 - 11 p.m. CoThinkk Awards Night
The Collider, 1 Haywood Street


"These Are My People": Black Family Photography from the Swannanoa Valley

Dr. Cynthia R. Greenlee, a Duke University-trained independent historian and journalist, will present historic photographs from her family, who hail from Ridgecrest, Swannanoa, and Black Mountain on Friday and Saturday in the Sherrill Center. These images — including amateur photography and studio images — chronicle a large family's intimate and public lives largely from the 1940s to more recent times. A clan of talkers, bootleggers, and lay documentarians who snapped shots of family meals, reunions, funerals, and the quotidian, the Greenlee family photographic archives are an invaluable record of the not-so-hidden history of Black Appalachia.

Allen High School Photo Exhibit

An exhibit of historic photographs from the school will be on display in UNC Asheville’s Ramsey Library through Oct. 31. The exhibit is co-sponsored by Special Collections at UNC Asheville and the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection at Appalachian State University and is free and open to the public during regular library hours.


Black-owned businesses and black-led organizations will have tables on the Sherrill Center Scholarship Deck during the conference on Friday and Saturday.

Black History 101 Mobile Museum

The Black History Mobile Museum is an interactive traveling exhibit that uses historical artifacts to engage folks in conversations about the history of racism in the United States. Founded by Khalid el-Hakim, the exhibit is an award winning collection of over 7,000 original artifacts of Black memorabilia dating from the trans-Atlantic slave trade era to hip-hop culture. It will be on display on Thursday in Highsmith Student Union and Friday in the Sherrill Center, Room 411.