5 Ways to Honor Martin Luther King, Jr.


5 Ways to Honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Martin Luther King, Jr.

Celebrate the Legacy with the MLK Association

The MLK Association of Asheville and Buncombe County is hosting a Peace March and Rally on Monday at 11:30 am and a Candlelight Ceremony at 6 pm. The earlier event opens with speeches and music at St. James AME Church (44 Hildebrand St). The march begins at 12 noon and heads to the City-County Plaza at Pack Square. The Candlelight Ceremony features speaker Rev. Clark Olsen (named one of Asheville's Living Treasures in 2015) and poet Jaki Shelton Green, a 2014 inductee into the NC Literary Hall of Fame. 

Give Back to Your Community Through Service

In the spirit of King's legacy, take some time to give back to Asheville. Consider stopping by a local food pantry or soup kitchen to donate food or time, or make a donation to a local organization or your favorite cause. Check out Asheville Cares for a list of local charities. 

Visit a Historic Cemetery


The South Asheville Cemetery was an African American cemetery from the early 1800s to the mid-20th century. It started as a slave burial ground owned by William Wallace McDowell and maintained by slave George Avery in the latter half of the 19th century. Over 2000 African Americans are buried in the two-acre burial ground, many in unmarked graves. 

Listen to History Come Alive

After  visiting the South Asheville Cemetery, head to UNCA's Ramsey Library and check out the South Asheville Colored Cemetery Oral History, a collection of interviews with African American residents of Asheville about the people buried there. Materials in the archive were primarily collected in the late 1980s. Then check out the rest of the Heritage of Black Highlanders Special Collection, which holds fascinating archival materials.

See a Film at UNCA

UNCA will be screening Selma in the Highsmith Union Grotto at 8 pm on Monday. The screening is free and open to the public. The award-winning film takes as its subject the march for voting rights helmed by King in 1965. The screening is free and open to the public.