Project seeks to recreate history of Asheville's Southside
A Resident And A Mapmaker Re-Create The Sometimes Painful History And Stories Of Asheville's Lost Southside Neighborhood
By Rob Neufield
You wish you had a photo of this: Several dozen African-American families, forced to leave their homes in Southside, carrying their belongings to the apartments that the city built for them on Erskine Street with urban renewal money.
“It was like a wagon train — without wagons,” Priscilla Ndiaye, manager of Southside’s Remapping Community project, says of the experience. She was 9 at the time.
“That would make it 1970,” her 7-year-old grandson, C.J., calculates. “When disco started.”
“He’s an old soul,” Ndiaye says of C.J., then continues with her story.
“We had to move our furniture from 477 South French Broad up through the trail to our new apartment. Everybody was carrying their furniture, dragging their furniture. We didn’t have trucks.
“The only trucks that came around were the trucks with the people who told community members, ‘Put your old furniture out. Don’t worry about it. We’ll come and pick it up for you.’ And they did — and put it in the antique shops,” Ndiaye says.
“I remember that. I was dragging chairs, too, up through the path.”
Read the remainder of this article at the Asheville Citizen-Times.