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Rob Thomas has been a chief proponent of the city’s landmark reparations program. He uses his life to illustrate systemic problems related to race.

Asheville Citizen Times

ASHEVILLE – The City Council has voted to stop selling municipally-owned land obtained during urban renewal, a 50-year-old program that levelled Black communities in the name of blight removal. 

Activists and other members of the public praised the 6-1 vote Oct. 27 but questioned an exception given to one company and said profits from that sale should go to the city’s reparations program. 

“What a strong statement it would be if you would take that money, all of it, preferably, at least some of it if not, and put it towards a reparations fund,” said Linda Smith of Candler who called in to the virtual council meeting.

Stopping the sale of once-privately owned land obtained to turn neighborhoods into roads, parks and