Cam MacQueen, Dr. William Barber, Carmen Ramos-Kennedy

NAACP Leaders, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II & Carmen Ramos-Kennedy Stop by TBob!

THE BLOCK off biltmore (TBob) may not be open yet, but we’ve had some very special visitors stop by the space.

Last weekend, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, architect of the Moral Monday Movement and President of the NC NAACP State Conference and Ms. Carmen Ramos-Kennedy, newly elected Asheville-Buncombe County NAACP Branch President, visited TBob after the opening gala of Americans Who Tell the Truth (AWTT) at the YMI Cultural Center where TBob is located. TBob owner Cam MacQueen thoroughly enjoyed visiting with Dr. Barber, Carmen, and other friends new and known. Cam especially appreciated the opportunity to share delicious vegan food with Dr. Barber!

On September 19th, the fabulous Robert Shetterly’s Americans Who Tell the Truth exhibit opened at the YMI Cultural Center with an inspired gala featuring a portrait unveiling of the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II.

The portrait of Dr. Barber is the 216th in the collection, 50 of which are now on display in the YMI Cultural Center through November 7, after which the exhibit travels Greensboro’s International Civil Rights Center & Museum and Guilford College. Also on display is “Courage in Our Midst,” AWTT’s youth exhibit featuring student portraits of local “heroes.” (*Please note Dr. Barber will be in Asheville again this weekend  – see info at end of post.)

Over the past 18 months, TBob owner Cam MacQueen has had the pleasure of working with Dr. Barber and attending Moral Monday events in Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Shelby, Asheville, as well as crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma during the 50th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” with Dr. Barber leading the march.

This time, Cam especially appreciated the opportunity to share tasty vegan food with Dr. Barber. Given the rush of Sunday’s festivities, Dr. Barber had not had a chance to eat and so Cam picked up a homemade vegan tempeh “bacon” sandwich for him from the beloved French Broad Food Co-Op.

Dr. Barber enjoys tempeh sandwich

The Rev. Dr. William Barber, II caught in the act of enjoying a delicious tempeh “bacon” sandwich from Asheville’s French Broad Food Co-Op. Also pictured here (l-r): civil rights attorney Al McSurely, Isaac Coleman, founder of Read to Succeed and candidate for Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, District 1 seat, and TBob owner Cam MacQueen gets a good chuckle

Not only did Dr. Barber enjoy the sandwich, but he actually directed the audience’s attention to Cam, noted an advantage of having a multi-cultural gathering was being introduced to “vegetable bacon,” and declared it was good! (With good humor, Dr. Barber agreed to let us print this silly sandwich story. We hope it will inspire him and others to try more plant-based food options.)


Robert Shetterly and Cam MacQueen

Robert Shetterly, the talented artist behind the fascinating Americans Who Tell the Truth portrait project and Cam



Surrounded by local school children and artists, Dr. Barber receives the “Peacemaker of the Year” award from WNC 4 Peace founding member, Rachael Bliss



Newly-elected Asheville-Buncombe County NAACP Branch President, Carmen Ramos-Kennedy and Secretary, Elaine Lite. Congratulations to you both! These two were part of the outstanding organizing team that helped bring AWTT to Asheville. Thank you for your amazing efforts!

After the AWTT gala, Dr. Barber and Carmen Ramos-Kennedy stopped by TBob to see how things were shaping up at the space. What an honor! Both look forward to TBob being open soon.

Dr. William Barber and Carmen Ramos-Kennedy

Rev. Dr. William Barber II and Carmen Ramos-Kennedy at TBob


Asheville folks gather for Robert Shetterly's exhibit

After the exciting Americans Who Tell the Truth Opening – (l to r) – Rev. Diana Christopher, Daniel Barber, Esther Joseph, and Cam

*****Please note that Dr. Barber will be back in Asheville this weekend for the Daily KOS events. Dr. Barber will speak Friday, September 25th at 12:15 PM in the historic atmosphere of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church to kick-off the event. Then Saturday offers a full day’s agenda of presentations and panels. No registration is required for Friday events, but registration is required for Saturday’s events. Get more info and register via the Daily Kos event page.

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