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Special Report: Artist Empowers Neighborhood Kids

Updated: Tuesday, April 21 2015, 11:18 AM EDT
Special Report: Artist Empowers Neighborhood Kids story image
West Asheville's Burton Street community is a different neighborhood today.

"It wasn't a place that was safe for me, my family, and my mom so what can you do about it?" says Dewayne Barton, who's also known as B-Love.

He's taken on part of the responsibility of making his neighborhood and the world a better place with a mountain of trash inspired by his concern and creativity. "Take trash and bring in back to life with a message that effects people all over the world," B-Love explains.

He calls on local kids to learn from his garden. "What always catches them is the people along the fence, do you know who that person is?" he says, referring to paintings of people like Martin Luther King, Jr. "This space is supposed to talk about the environment and social justice all in the same breath."

Donovan Spencer says it all make sense. "He collected all this stuff to teach us about our heritage," Spencer tells us.

B-Love mentors young people to care about the environment. He co-founded Green Opportunities to give them job training. "That's why we started Hood Huggers International so that we can teach them the opportunities that exist in their own communities," he says.

"I think it's better for not only the neighborhood, but the whole world. We wanna go global," Donovan says.

The Gulf War veteran hopes they'll grow to know their own strength.

"Do you know your power, do you know who you are?" B-Love wonders.

He hopes some of that knowledge is cultivated in this garden.

The Burton Street neighborhood is celebrating 100 years of community. If you're interested in helping with trash pick up or garden maintenance click here.
Special Report: Artist Empowers Neighborhood Kids
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