A Narrative from the Inside: Hendersonville’s 9th Avenue School

Tue, Jun 6, 2023
6:00 pm
This event has already occurred.
University Quadrangle, 1 University Heights #5000, Asheville, NC 28804, USA
Trevor Freeman

Join the Asheville Museum of History Thursday, June 8 at 6pm for this special program. This hybrid event is held in-person at OLLI and livestreamed via Zoom. It will be recorded.

Hendersonville’s 9th Avenue School—a union school merging grades 1-12—served African American students from Polk, Transylvania, and Henderson counties from 1951-1965. When the Brown v Board decisions eventually went into effect, the school finally became integrated in 1966, bringing great change and some challenges.

The presentation will share information from both the students and teachers perspective about: busing from surrounding counties, education expectations and what has been learned from the teachers’ perspective, their education qualifications, where they were from and where they resided while teaching at the 9th Avenue School, and what happened after integration.


About the Speaker:

Ronnie Pepper grew up in Hendersonville and attended the 9th Avenue School. He served in the U.S. army before becoming a Head Start teacher. In addition to researching and telling the story of the Happy Land Kingdom, Ronnie serves his community on numerous boards. He also serves as the Chair of the Black History Research Committee of Henderson County. He has travelled abroad representing Henderson County groups, and has won several awards for his work including the Spirit of Diversity Award by the Latino Advocacy Coalition of Henderson County and the Scholastic Early Childhood Professional Award. Ronnie is currently a librarian at the Hendersonville County Public Library, and a storyteller in the region.

Tickets: $5 for AMoH and OLLI members/ $10 for General Admission. We also have no-cost, community-funded tickets available. We want our events to be accessible to as many people as possible. If you are able please consider making a donation along with your ticket purchase. These donations are placed in our Community Fund, which allows us to offer tickets at no cost to those who would not be able to attend otherwise.

Viewing: Registrants will receive a Zoom link with which to view the program. It will also be recorded and later available on our website.

(Images: The newly-completed Hendersonville 9th Avenue School and first incoming class, in The Tiger [Yearbook], 1952, courtesy Henderson County Public Library)