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Documentary shows how racial covenants segregated Asheville neighborhoods

Asheville neighborhoods as we know them didn’t just happen. Racially restrictive covenants that barred the sale of homes to people of color have been among the many racist barriers to Black home ownership here. When Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity discovered such a covenant on a property it intended to develop, it decided to raise the profile of the issue by producing an 18-minute documentary. Watch the film here.

“We hope this film expands peoples’ knowledge of how past laws and practices shaped the current housing landscape,” said Ariane Kjellquist, Habitat’s communications director. The film includes interviews with Buncombe County Commissioner Al Whitesides; Drew Reisinger, of the Buncombe County Registry of Deeds; Kel Compton, a Habitat homeowner; Sophie Dixon, of the Shiloh Community Association; Sarah Judson of the University of North Carolina at Asheville; and Parker Smith of Pisgah Legal Services. — B.D.

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