Asheville Parks & Recreation is celebrating Black History and Legacy Month this month with special programming at area community centers.

“February is a time to recognize, celebrate, and highlight the struggles, successes and contributions of Black Americans,” said to D. Tyrell McGirt, APR director. “Through art, food, movies and more, the community is invited to pay tribute to the legacy of achievement in the context of Asheville’s and the nation’s pasts and shine a light on inspirational moments happening in the present that will define our futures. Everyone is invited to celebrate and thoughtfully reflect at one or more of these opportunities.”

Black History and Legacy Month Highlights

All events are free, but advance registration is recommended as space may be limited. In addition to these special events, many community centers will display youth projects emphasizing Black historical figures and literary heroes throughout the month.

Feb. 4, 5-8 p.m. – Black History Month Celebration at Burton Street Community Center

Join Burton Street friends and neighbors for food, drinks and a viewing of “Becoming,” Nadira Hallgreen’s documentary following Michelle Obama’s travels and work through her book tour for her memoir of the same name. 828-254-1943 for more information.

Feb. 16, 2-4 p.m. – Celebrating Black Asheville at Harvest House Community Center

Learn about important moments in local Black history from guest speakers who lived through the journey, followed by a group discussion. 828-350-2061 for more information.

Feb. 17, 6-8 p.m. – Southside Presents: Black History Through the Eyes of Art Opening Reception at Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Community Center

Examine how local artists acknowledge and celebrate Black heritage in ways through different mediums. Reception will feature light bites with artwork on display during regular center hours through Feb. 28. To submit art pieces, register online or get more information, call the center at 828-259-5843.

Feb. 23, 6-8 p.m. – Soul Food Supper at Stephens-Lee Community Center

In the late 19th century, the church became a gathering place for the Black community and affected the development of what’s now considered soul food. Fried chicken, fried fish, sweet potato pie, sweet tea, black-eyed peas cornbread, and more were served during Emancipation celebrations and church gatherings. Celebrate 100 years of Stephens-Lee High School at this dinner sponsored by school alumni and the East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association with down-home cooking that’s been passed down through the generations. Advance registration is requested to help with planning. 828-350-2058 for more information.

Feb. 23, 2-4 p.m. – Pie Baking Contest at Grove Street Community Center

A staple throughout Black culinary history, pie recipes are often a closely-held secret only handed down when the time is right. To enter a pie, register online or for more information, call 828-350-2062.

Feb. 24, 3:30-5:30 p.m. – Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park Work and Learn Day at Stephens-Lee Community Center

One of the oldest community food forests is located in Asheville. With over 40 varieties of fruit and nut trees, a butterfly habitat and annual vegetable garden, maintaining this space named for the famous inventor and agricultural scientist is a year-round job for volunteers. 828-350-2058 for more information.

For the latest updates, follow the department on Facebook @aprca and Instagram @ashevilleparksandrecreation or visit

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