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(HK Edgerton) – On Saturday, October 21, 2023, I would be asked to attend what was deemed a “reunion” of the citizens who were once members of the Historic Jim Crowe era Black Community of StumpTown. While StumpTown sits on the boundary of the Montford Historic District and is older than it, it was not included in the City of Asheville’s Historic District Designation. The landscape of StumpTown was given to a former slave, Tempie Avery, by her Master, Nicholas Woodfin in 1868.
I would spend my adolescent years there in a home purchased by mom and dad. While in the United States Army, my folk’s property and that of most of the folks present, became a victim of gentrification and so-called Urban Renewal; tantamount to a planned land grab by the City and its Out of State Developers.
What was once a thriving Black community is now gone. The City and County justification was that the character of a poor Urban area would be changed by wealthier people moving in causing tax revenues to rise.
In 2022 StumpTown Representatives were appointed to the Asheville / Buncombe County Reparations Commission. And here we sat on this reunion day, which I thought was to reminisce about our community of old and do an “interview” about…