Category Archives: News

Hood Tours Feature

Thanks to the Asheville Citizen-Times for this terrific feature story, “Hood tours revisit Asheville’s black landmarks.” We highly encourage you to click the link and read the whole article!

dewayne barton of hood tours photo by william woody

Here are a couple excerpts from the story by Dale Neal: 

“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

Bringing it Home WNC

Bringing it Home WNC Conference
bringing it home wnc

Hood Huggers International is a part of the “Bringing it Home: Building a Local Economy for Everyone” conference which will be on Tuesday, March 15 at the YMI Cultural Center. DeWayne Barton is speaking, and there will be two Hood Tours offered. Find out more and register at

Conference description: “Do you need help building your credit? Are you considering buying a car? A Home? This conference will feature workshops with practical tools, financial education, etc., while also introducing attendees to many of the resources available in our region. A special track will look at worker-owned cooperatives and other democratic forms of business, and our keynote speaker, Jessica Gordon Nembhard, will talk about the history of African-American cooperative businesses. FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Bioneers – Conversation on Food, Race, and Justice

Bioneers – Conversation on Food, Race, and Justice
Hosted by Lenoir-Rhyne Asheville University
Master of Science in Sustainability Studies
Monday, March 7th

6 – 7:30 pm
YMI Cultural Center
39 South Market Street in Asheville
Discussion of the Pearson Plan to help build the movement and allow more people to plug in through appropriate means.  

February Events

blove and friends

Hood Huggers Party!
A Hood Hugger is anyone who restores themselves while helping to transform their communities for the good of all. This party is raising funds to support the Hood Huggers initiative. We have a $1500 matching challenge grant for this event, so your ticket purchase will be matched!
Friday, February 5, 7 – 11 pm
The BLOCK off Biltmore, 39 S. Market St.
Click here to purchase tickets.

hood huggers party

Poetry Event
Saturday, February 20, 3 pm
Burton Street Community Center
134 Burton Street

The Art of Resilience (talk)
Ethical Humanist Society Meeting
Sunday, February 21, 2 pm
Asheville Friends Meeting House
227 Edgewood Road


Happy New Year!

We had a beautiful crowd at our Kwanzaa Celebration and closing party for the Art of Resilience show on December 29. Special thanks to Michael Carter, Norma Baynes, Olufemi Lewis, Libby Kyles, Tiffany Flunory, Shuvonda Harper, and Sheneika Smith for speaking on resilience, Ujamaa and their visions for Black Asheville.  It was a powerful night of celebrating collective power, and planting seeds of intention for the new year.

Here are some photos from that night:

First Hood Tour!

Thanks to the Asheville JCC’s Young Adult Jews of Asheville (YAJA) group for taking the first Hood Tour! We visited Southside, “The Block,” Pisgah View Apartments and the Burton Street community. Contact us to book your group for a tour!hood tour group hood-tours-van-asheville walking around the block

BLove Rising

Upcoming events:

“Return to Burton Street” Reading
Hub City Bookshop & Press 
Saturday, November 21, 1-3 pm
Masonic Temple, 186 W Main St
Spartanburg, SC

 NC Climate Justice Summit
Friday – Sunday, November 20 – 22
Greensboro, NC
The NC Climate Justice Summit (NCCJS) enhances the resilience of North Carolinians through exploring community-based approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation. By convening people across lines of difference–different ages, races, classes, geographies, issue areas and strategies–the Summit broadens grassroots engagement in the climate justice movement at the local, regional and state levels.


The Art of Resilience

Affrilachian Artists
Affrilachian Artists

The Art of Resilience exhibit will be on display at the YMI Cultural Center, 39 S. Market Street, between 11 am and 4 pm Monday – Thursday through December 31.

Artist DeWayne Barton will be at the gallery every Tuesday from noon until 3 pm, and by appointment.

Groups are encouraged to contact us to schedule a time for an extended visit with the artist, lunch can be arranged.

Here are some photos from opening night: