"The Block" Asheville Urban Trail Historical Marker
This historical marker is part of the Asheville Urban Trail and includes both a historical marker and bronze wall sculpture. The wall sculpture depicts Eagle Street, the original name for the roadway upon which the marker is placed, as the local hub of African-American cultural and social/economic endeavors. The marker and the sculpture make reference to the YMI Cultural Center, one of the oldest African-American formal institutions, and the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist church, a historically significant local African-American religious community. The marker and the associated sculpture were placed in their current location by the Black Business and Professional League of Asheville, North Carolina, in 1996.
Backstory and Context
Currently, the YMI Cultural Center is home to multiple exhibits featuring: African-American tribal masks, drawings of African-American artist Charles W. White, and multiple local/regional historical displays. The organization has also broadened its scope to include a more multicultural and multiethnic spectrum of events
Mt. Zion is a religious institution founded in 1880 with their formal gathering hall built in "the heart of the black commercial district" in 1919. The church has funded, under new pastorship, a large non-profit organization intent on revitalizing "The Block" as a place of cultural, spiritual, and industrial/economic growth both for and about local African Americans. The inclusion thereof in "The Block" sculpture is in respect and veneration not only of the financial contribution the church has made towards revitalizing "The Block" area of town but also for the importance of the congregation and its long history in the community.
Dickinson-Stephens Leadership Institute. YMI Cultural Center. 2018. Accessed October 01, 2018.
History. Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Asheville. 2018. Accessed October 01, 2018. https://www.mtzionasheville.org/history.
History of the YMI. YMI Cultural Center. 2018. Accessed October 01, 2018. http://www.ymiculturalcenter.org/about/history/.
Mt. Zion Baptist Church. National Park Service. 2018. Accessed October 01, 2018.
Wilcox, Michael C. "The Block". The Historical Marker Database. 2016. Accessed October 01, 2018. https://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=98367.