American Antiquarian Society’s wonderful virtual evening with Camille T. Dungy.
In Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden, poet and scholar Camille T. Dungy recounts the seven-year odyssey to diversify her garden in the predominantly white community of Fort Collins, Colorado. When she moved there in 2013, with her husband and daughter, the community held strict restrictions about what residents could and could not plant in their gardens.
Dungy’s research on what grew in and around her garden led her to the work of a nineteenth-century botanist named Thomas Nuttall, who lived and worked in North America from 1808-1841. Consulting the taxonomical names for scores of North American species, Dungy began to see Nuttall’s imprint and legacy in her garden and the surrounding landscape.
In resistance to the homogenous policies that limited the possibility and wonder that grows from the earth, Dungy employs the various plants, herbs, vegetables, and flowers she grows in her garden, many of which were named by or for Thomas Nuttall, as metaphor and treatise for how homogeneity threatens the future of our planet, and why cultivating diverse and intersectional language in our national discourse about the environment is the best means of protecting it.
Please visit their website to register.