African American Garden: Remembrance & Resilience
Take a brief look at the history of the African American experience in the United States through the lens of plants.
The African American Garden at NYBG’s Edible Academy explores and celebrates Black culture through the lens of plants. It is a three-year project curated by Dr. Jessica B. Harris, America’s leading expert on African foodways. In 2022, the garden reflected on the plants that impacted Black lives in the United States, from rice and okra to cotton and tobacco. And in 2023, it highlighted plants of the Caribbean, featuring bounteous fruit trees and plants found in lush kitchen gardens. When it reopens in June 2024, the garden will engage with the botanical legacies of the African Diaspora, including plants that are food staples, remedies, and sources of inspiration to Black culture in the United States, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
An NYBG Trustee, award-winning author, and historian, Dr. Harris’s book High on the Hog was adapted into a much-praised Netflix series in 2021. The fourth episode of Season 2 features a tour through NYBG’s African American Garden. With appearances by fellow NYBG Trustee and urban farmer Karen Washington, as well as the local culinary innovators of Ghetto Gastro, High on the Hog offers a welcome celebration of our borough.
Learn more about the African American Garden below, and sign up for updates on the 2024 iteration as NYBG and Dr. Harris continue to plant, grow, and explore the foodways that have defined much of the American culinary experience.
Find stories of resilience and resistance, modification and migration, remembrance, reverence, and more told through the plants of the Caribbean region.
Coming in 2024
Stay tuned for updates on the next iteration of the African American Garden, focusing on the African Diaspora in its third year.
The African American Garden is made possible with support from the Mellon Foundation.