We all have stories or histories connected to plants and gardening, sometimes good, sometimes painful. But not all of those stories are told, written about or taught. Only a few make it into books, have plants named after them, or are passed along in gardening history.
But lucky you if you come to “The Work is In Our Hands” with Abra Lee on Tuesday May 18th. Abra will be discussing how the self-expression and activism of Black women through gardening led to a lasting legacy of community pride.
Abra recently wrote: “Black women in ornamental horticulture have lived without reflection for so long, I wonder if garden historians believe they existed. In the few times their legacy has been acknowledged, it is usually summed up as one word: slave. To condense their life’s work into a title that was forced upon them is beyond a disservice. We can never erase the stain of slavery in the United States. As Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries so deftly wrote, it is “our country’s origin.” What we can do is add to the legacy of enslaved peoples’ lives and honor the women who established our country’s horticultural aesthetics with the professional titles they deserve; show their faces; and make sure their story is never forgotten.”
These are the stories we need to hear and hold space for, especially in gardening. Make sure to read the full article, The Influencers, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s magazine with stories of Ms. Phoebe and the Tidy Swept Yard, Austin’s first Black women’s gardening club, and the importance of container gardening and its history for Black gardeners. https://www.wildflower.org/magazine/people/the-influencers
Registration for Abra Lee’s presentation, “The Work is In Our Hands” is available here: https://beav.es/J89