You’ve probably read or overheard “black thumb,” treated like a paddle ball game. Black thumb, returning to the final paddle on its string of white privilege shatters like glass on concrete floor (today!). Why?
No one has thumbs that are black, however, due to white supremacy culture and complacency, (buzz) words lacking substance loom over communities of color, similar to drones currently surveilling landscape illegally.
No one has thumbs that are green (either). The word green can easily be replaced by white, especially in settler colonialism. White dress, white swan, white walls in a gallery space are not simply aesthetic choice, nor serve as mere display of minimalism. White washed walls in contemporary cafes are extensions of ideology used to popularize enclosures. The 45th president wants a wall, and if it was white it would probably convince him not to run for re-election. White skin, white collars, white frivolity.
Care-taking for plants is a responsibility, special and unique. In order to provide quality care for green life one must grow their resources, confidence, and understanding of roots + shoot systems. Soil composition, water, sunlight, hardiness zones knowledge will enrich your home and community.
As you transition into a new year, consider removing colloquial terms rooted in white supremacy and dominator culture from your vocabulary.
Follow @blackwithplants via Instagram to improve your relationship with plants.
Black w/ Plants is an interactive multi-year, multi-media project managed by D’Real (Editor at Keep Ypsi Black, Co-founder of Radical Washtenaw). Said project will surface content to encourage black plant care-takers to decolonize their practice.