African American culture has a heavy influence in the communities that make up the United States of America, and beyond. It is important that African American culture is influencing the people of Western Carolina. Crystal Cauley, a poet and activist, is responsible for a host of events that have taken place in Hendersonville in the past several years. As an African American woman, she is sharing from her cultural understandings and gifts the need for our cultural richness to be highlighted and showcased in the Hendersonville area.
We be black, black, African, American.
We be beautiful, bold. We hold onto culture
organically. We have a particular past, a
particular present, evident of the African
Diasporas we come from – the guitar,
the drum. The compelling storytelling
we use to speak about community. To
express the need for equity, unity. Black
women are the epitome of culture. Their
souls are not to be sold, but used as
instruments for the truth to be told.
Hendersonville, Asheville, all parts of Western Carolina is influenced, whether knowingly or not, by even the earliest people who inhabited the area. Early African American people have left legacies of knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and culture for people like Crystal to share, to highlight, to tell stories about, to showcase in The People’s Museum. We owe it to the people of Western Carolina to talk about, to address, what African American culture means to the communities who need to be informed or educated. Our children, their children, deserve it just the same.
Africa has been in Carolina for a long time.
African people, groups, have regrouped
in mountainous areas to claim their pieces too
of paradise. Of nice soil and clear blue skies.
We live. We breathe. We dream too. We travel,
unravel the magical ways of who we are so
others are enriched, benefit. Culture is a gift.
I am fortunate to know Hendersonville in this way. I am thankful new friends or kindred spirits are sharing their knowledge of the area with me as I soak up everything they know or feel inspired to share. We are storytellers telling stories. We are listeners learning. We are transforming, turning our communities into the places we need them to be, even when there is opposition.
African American culture is a bedrock of our democracy. It is what has shaped this land from Western Carolina, to Vermont, to Kansas City, to California. Western Carolina gets to benefit from a people who are connected to what they know deeply for the sake of justice, as well as equity. Be proud these people can sit you down on a porch or in a natural setting and share happily, proudly what they know. It makes us all better.
Culture is education. It is living truth.
Culture provides us with intellectual power.
Culture is insight. Culture ignites. Culture
connects. The right person, culture will
influence to respect the music, the songs,
the art, the fashion of a people. Culture is
regal. Culture is oratory, how a people, a
person, tells their story.