THE EAST END/VALLEY STREET NEIGHBORHOOD
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 was connected to The Block (Eagle, Market Streets) and Valley Street (now South Charlotte), which was the heart of the neighborhood. 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: Twilight of a Neighborhood
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.”
Established 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!”
The East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association
Black Lives Matter
and will fight to end racism and unfair unjust treatment of
Racial prejudice changes when hearts change.
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!
September 12, 2020
There will be free Covid-19 testing in the Stephens-Lee parking lot
(30 George Washington Carver Avenue) on Saturday, September 12 from 2pm to 6pm. Medical staff from MAHEC will be administering the Covid-Tests and volunteers from the East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association and St. James AME Church will be on hand to assist. You may drive through or walk up. The East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association will be distributing food and supplies to everyone being tested. Voter registration applications and absentee ballot request forms will be available. If you live in East End/Valley Street and need a ride call (828)273-2242 the day of testing. If you have any questions, please write to EastEndValleyStreet@gmail.com. If you would like to volunteer, please meet in the parking lot at Stephens-Lee on Thursday September 10th at 4pm with a mask on. Volunteers will be practicing social distancing.
Neighborhood Association Meeting
September 10, 2020
There will be an
East End/Valley Street
Neighborhood Association Meeting
held on Thursday, September 10, 2020
at 6pm via conference call. The phone number to call is 1-602-610-2079,
and the code is 259858.
We look forward to hearing from you!