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The East End/Valley Street

Neighborhood Association 

stands with

Black Lives Matter

and will fight to end racism

and unfair unjust treatment

of Black people.

Racial prejudice changes when hearts change.

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Neighborhood Association

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The East End is Rising!

East End/Valley Street is the oldest and most historically significant African-American neighborhood in Asheville. Once the center of African-American life in Asheville, the neighborhood is connected to The Block (Eagle, Market Streets) and Valley Street (now South Charlotte Street), which was the heart of the neighborhood until Urban Renewal. The Block — home of the historic YMI Cultural Center, a pharmacy, law offices, other businesses and recreation — was once a draw for African-Americans from the entire region where renowned celebrities and musicians from across the country performed.


It is in East End/Valley Street that almost all of the first African-American churches of various denominations were located—St. Matthias’ Episcopal, Nazareth First Missionary Baptist, Calvary Presbyterian, St. James’ AME, Hopkins Chapel AME Zion, and Berry Temple Methodist Episcopal. It is here that the city’s first school for black students was established—at St. Matthias’ in 1867. It was here that two of the most significant schools for African-Americans in the city were located—Allen High School, a private (Methodist) school for girls, and Stephens-Lee High School, a public school that became something of a community center and a center for black culture and education for the whole region in the mid-Twentieth Century.

In the 1970s, Asheville’s urban renewal projects changed everything. Long ignored by the city, the neighborhood’s infrastructure and many homes were in code violation. At that time a significant portion of the neighborhood was razed, not only changing the face of the neighborhood, but connections between families and friends were unalterably changed. Residents were dispersed all across the city — some never to return. Read more about East End/Valley Street and urban renewal here: Crossroads.

The neighborhood has recently seen a surge in development with infill building of apartments and single-family homes. For sale signs are popping up on parcels no one ever expected to be developed. That development, and closeness to town, has brought about a shift in demographics from predominately African-American family homes to many white families moving in. Located within a few minutes walk from downtown, the East End has become a location of choice for people looking for the “Asheville lifestyle.”

Reestablished in 2010, the East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association has re-constituted itself. 
Old and new residents are now working side by side in a concerted effort to re-create that lost sense of community, preserve and protect our rich African-American heritage, re-connect the two parts of what was once a single unified neighborhood, and make sure that the neighborhood and its residents are actively involved in any decisions affecting their future. Once again, as the Association’s motto boldly proclaims,“The East End Is Rising!”

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Soul Food
at Stephens - Lee

February 22, 2024

In the late 19th century, the church became a gathering place for Black communities and impacted 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 a century since Stephens-Lee High School opened its doors at this dinner sponsored by school alumni and the East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association with down-home cooking passed down through generations. Advance registration is requested to help with planning. Please call (828) 350-2058 for more info.

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Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park Work Day

February 16, 2024

There will be a community work day at the Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park on Friday, February 16 from 2:30pm to 5:30pm. 

The park is located at 30 George Washington Carver Avenue. There is parking in the Stephens Lee Recreation Center parking lot. Kelly Applegate, from Bountiful Cities, will be guiding us. We will have some extra tools for folks to use as well as hand sanitizer, but any gloves, loppers, pruners or weeding tools you can bring are much appreciated. Masks are welcome but not required. 

Every month we focus on mulching, light tree and shrub pruning, picking up trash and clearing invasives. We occasionally do some planting depending on the season and what’s available. We will include a hands on demo of each technique as well as a tour of the park. Come give your time and support to Asheville's first edible forest ecosystem! We look forward to seeing you!

The community workdays being presented for the residents of the City of Asheville are in partnership with the City of Asheville.

For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park Facebook Page:


Community Activities for Everyone to Enjoy

East End/Valley Street residents are close-knit and special. The goal of the East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association is to enhance and improve the lives of the people who live here, worship here, or call it "home". Join us!

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East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association Meeting

March 14, 2024

Please come to our official  first meeting of 2024 on Thursday, March 14 at 6pm pm

St. James Church Fellowship hall, 44 Hildebrand Street. 

We look forward to seeing you there!  If you have something important to share with the neighborhood, please reach out to us at We'll do our best to accommodate your request and add you to the agenda. Your safety is important to us. While masks are optional, you're welcome to wear one if it makes you more comfortable. Your participation is crucial in building a strong community. Mark your calendars and make an effort to attend the meeting.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at

Thank you, and we hope to see you there!

East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association
PO Box 7341
Asheville, NC 28802

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The East End is Rising!

Executive Board
President - Renée White
Vice President - Gwen Jones
Secretary - Laura McPherson
Treasurer - Roberta Allen
Assistant Treasurer - Jim Abbot
Assistant Treasurer - Sharon Greene
Member-at-Large - Jené "Lupie" Blake
at-Large - Nick Dugan
at-Large - Garland Walker
Member-at-Large - Helen Lindberg

Editor - Vera Williams 

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