It is almost time to bid farewell to the first African-American First Family in the history of the United States. I’m not a super political woman. I more so, prefer to create change in my small corner of the world by being the best neighbor, sister, daughter and cousin that I can be, but I do love seeing our First Black Family. Throughout the last 8 years, we’ve been able to catch small glimpses of what it’s like to be one of the Obamas and my favorite peek into the life of the First Lady in particular has been watching her tend and love on her garden. I know it seems small and maybe even insignificant to some, but for me
Gardening means growth and power.
Every time Mrs. Obama came out into the official Kitchen Garden, it reminded me of the power African-American women once held in the palm of their hands by way of agriculture and meal creation. When I go out into my garden to pick a cucumber or plant a petunia, I think about all the women who tilled the fields, yielded the harvest and prepped the meals before me.
I read an article in Chicago Now about newfound interest in gardening among African Americans that coincides with the entry of our First Black Family into the White House and knew they were talking about me. Since the Obamas have made their historic arrival on Pennsylvania Avenue, I’ve planted tomatoes, chives, day lilies, salvia, Asiatic lilies and zucchini. I recently built a garden bed with my dad, am attempting to start a community garden in my neighborhood and I’ve just found joy in playing in dirt. Watching these plants grow has helped me see the beauty in everyday life and I somehow feel as if I’ve reconnected an ancestral connection that was once lost.