Here are some sources of information about the South Asheville Cemetery and African American history in western North Carolina.
- This website includes links to a map of gravesites in the cemetery that the Warren Wilson College archeology crew generated at the end of the twentieth century by probing the ground and carefully recording the locations of 1,961 bodies in the cemetery. More recently, the archeology crew collaborated with Warren Wilson College's global information system (GIS) crew and Linden Blaisus, a recent WWC graduate, to create a .KML file that allows people to see the grave soundings on Google Earth, while the map also fuses information about what--if any--gravestones marked the site at the time of the initial mapping. View a .PDF of the gravesite soundings via this link. If you have an updated Google Earth plug in and are running Google Chrome as your browser, then you can easily view the interactive GIS map via this website. If you are interested in downloading the .KML file (which will automatically open in Google Earth if you have downloaded Google Earth onto your computer), then you can do so via this link.
- The UNCA Special Collections library includes an oral history collection on the cemetery. In addition, it includes other valuable resources about African American history such as the Heritage of Black Highlanders Collection, while the library also maintains a general bibliography about African American history in western North Carolina.
- The Buncombe County Office of the Register of Deeds includes deeds for slaves, and Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger has been working with many people--most notably Deborah Miles (UNCA)--to promote awareness about these documents and the legacies of slavery in Buncombe County. For information on that project see the short film Forever Free.
- The North Carolina Collection in the Pack Memorial Library is an excellent resource for anyone seeking to learn more about regional history. There is more to be discovered in this library research room. Get out there and make a discovery!
Media Coverage & Independent Websites
- Brian Palmer's "For the Forgotten African-American Dead" appeared in the New York Times in early 2017, and it explored the complexities surrounding restoration efforts such as the one taking place at the South Asheville Cemetery. Palmer described the South Asheville Cemetery project as an exceptional "success story" in its ability to network congregants, community members, and local schools.
- In the fall of 2016, Aaron Adelson produced "Uncovering Asheville's Buried Past," a news story for the western North Carolina television station WLOS that featured interviews with volunteers from Warren Wilson College as well as congregants from St. John "A" Baptist Church, including George Gibson.
- Jake Frankel wrote "Bones and Stones," an outstanding review of volunteer efforts to improve the cemetery at the time of St. John "A" Baptist's centennial celebration in the fall of 2014. Frankel is a staff writer for Asheville's The Mountain Xpress.
- In the spring of 2014, Audie Cornish featured the cemetery on NPR. Listen to her story here.
- The Mountain Xpress ran an extensive story on the cemetery and the South Asheville Cemetery Association in 1998: "If Stones Could Talk" by Paul Schattel.
- The Asheville Citizen-Times ran a story about the cemetery on September 4, 1985, but it is not available online. Here is a link to a recent bit of coverage they did about the Warren Wilson College horse crew dragging downed trees out of the cemetery.
- The North Carolina Digital Collections put online this image of the Civil War Trails marker displayed at the South Asheville Cemetery.
- Nadiya Marrengulye, a student at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, created this website on the life of George Avery as part of a larger college research project.