Editor, Color of Asheville
Sasha Mitchell is a local family and community historian. Beginning with her own family history over 30 years ago, eventually she started working for clients doing research, digital photo restoration, archiving and organizing. After moving to Asheville six years ago, she began as a volunteer for YMI Cultural Center, arguably the nation’s oldest African American cultural center, with a focus on the often intertwined family histories of its founders. As a mother of three sons, a foster parent, a quilter and seamstress, and now part of the staff of the South Slope nonprofit, Dogwood Alliance, Sasha keeps a lot of irons in the fire, but underlying it all is a creative drive and a desire to learn and give back to her community. Her website, Color of Asheville, includes a Black-owned business directory and African American History of WNC. Sasha currently serves as chair of the African American Heritage Commission of Asheville & Buncombe County. Her research includes over 3000 individuals, business districts, maps, photos, census records, oral histories, all of which intertwine to form a complex and multi-layered story of Asheville’s African American community. From the beginning and still today, politics, race, class, and economics played a huge role in shaping the community, for better or worse. She is glad to be part of this opportunity for sharing history and dialogue as we look forward together.