Celebrating Black Botanists and Black Houseplant Enthusiasts
In the United States, we’re only given 28 days in February to celebrate Black History Month which is not nearly enough. During that month, people often highlight and turn their attention to the Black community, and, once it’s over, Black content creators, educators, etc, are buried until the following February. Instead of spotlighting the Black community for one month, the Houseplants! Discord server believes in amplifying Black voices all year round.
Within the hobbyist (and professional) botany community, there appears to be a lack of prominent or well-known Black voices. Fortunately, some organizations are working to change that, namely, BlackBotanistsWeek — an organization focused on providing a safe space for not only the Black community but the BIPOC community as well. As we celebrate Juneteeth, we want to reflect on the history and advancement of the Black community and highlight some fantastic Black botanists, Black houseplant enthusiasts, and Black farmers.
TWITTER & BLOGS:
● blkbotanistswk — First organized in 2020 to promote, encourage, and Black people (and BIPOC) who love plants.
● T_Marie_Wms — Dr. Williams studies some of the following topics: Plant ecology, evolution, conservation, and climate science. She is also a part of #BLACKBOTANISTSWEEK.
● themorgantrail — Dr.Trail is a Molecular Biologist, Botanist, and Microbiologist based in New York City. Is also a co-founder of #BLACKBOTANISTSWEEK.
● Itumeleng_M Itumeleng Moroenyane is a Ph.D candidate working on plant-microbe interactions. You can read more work here.
Instagram is a good source for hobbyists all over the world. Here are some Black houseplant enthusiasts that generate great content:
● blackforager — Well known for her TikTok, Alexis Nikole posts extremely informative and entertaining content about foraging and more.
● smarterbynature — Small-Scale Farming business, Kip and Angelique are working to help build a better community through food security while helping others grow for themselves. Don’t forget to subscribe to their YouTube channel.
● theblackplanter — With over 11.2K followers, Amanda Olivia is documenting their botanical journey with some outstanding photographs!
● plantkween — We feel as if Christopher, the kween behind houseplants, needs no introduction! From TV appearances to teaming up with NYC-based plant startup, Hey Horti!, Christopher posts super positive and encouraging photos for fans everywhere.
● blackwithplants — Mutual Aid and Relief Collective. Follow their IG to see some mouth-watering veggies and to check out when they’ll be at their local farmer’s market.
● unknownsucculents — From memes to succulent care tips, James has it all! For fellow succulent fans, James’ IG is definitely one to follow. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out the website for merch here.
● botanicalblackgirl — Stephanie’s posts are so stunning and well photographed, you’ll be reaching for that PIN IT button on your Pinterest with the quickness.
● terracottahotties — Katura bills themselves as “Your favorite plant auntie” and we can see why. From plant care tips to advice, Kautra has all your plant needs covered!
● bloomandplume — Can Maurice Harris please be our friend? Mainly showcasing their love and the beauty of flowers, Maurice has a majorly entertaining IG.
● soulsistaplants —Lucrecer is on a mission to, “help you jungle the f*ck out of your space with plants” and we are here for it. From giveaways to informative posts, Lucrecer is definitely an insta-follow!
Last, but definitely not least, we want to shout out Black People With Plants, an Instagram that serves as a love letter to Black people with plants, for more wonderful Black plant fans.
SHOPS + PRODUCTS:
You can also help support the Black community by shopping at Black-owned establishments. Homesteadbrooklyn has a page that features a spreadsheet of Black-owned houseplant establishments to shop (you can submit your own if you think of more). Download and start shopping!
Lastly, don’t forget to check out Plant Salon Chicago — https://instagram.com/plantsalonchicago. Nika Vaughan runs a beautifully crafted store located in, where else, Chicago, with some healthy-looking plants and super unique pottery!
One last note: Beronda L. Montgomery recently released a book in April this year entitled Lessons from Plants. Lessons from Plants delves into the botanic experience and shows ways in which we can improve human society by learning to appreciate plants and how they achieve their own purposes.
As the year progresses, remember as you help your houseplants grow to help the Black community grow in the houseplants space. Encourage your friends to follow, like, and support Black content creators and shop at Black-owned houseplants establishments. The Houseplants! Discord server is working towards fostering a safe, inclusive space for all and hopes to amplify the voices of Black amateur and experienced botanists everywhere.