Community Resilience: Healing with Houseplants
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Black people, especially in the United States and the Caribbean, have been inextricably tied to the land, gardening, and growing plants. From being forced to grow cash crops through enslavement to growing plants both indoors and outdoors for sustenance, medicine, and spiritual healing, the connection of Black people to plants goes back before written time. However, the field of plant influencers and outdoor enthusiasts are overwhelmingly white. This fact, coupled with popular media’s insistence of tying Black bodies to urban environments would lead one to believe that Black people and plants are a contradiction. Join MoAD as we speak with three Black #Plantstagram influencers and discuss the power of houseplants to provide healing, especially during these anxious times.
After graduating with a degree in Africana Studies and doing a stint of AmeriCorps in Los Angeles, Brittany started one of many blogs. That blog turned into a career and opened up a slew of opportunities. Her passion for digital marketing has taken Brittany from self-employment to corporate work and back many times over the last 13 years. From launching online spaces like Black Moms of Orlando and her #Plantstagram BlackGirlGreenWorld, Brittany’s passion for supporting and creating safe spaces where Black people can be their authentic selves goes deep. She currently works in the social media department of a healthcare organization and despite being vocal online, in real life she’s low-key and enjoys quiet time over being out and about. When she isn’t dreaming up a new business idea or her next solo trip, Brittany is playing with plants and wrangling her little kids in humid Florida with her husband.
Cartreze is a Georgia born, self-proclaimed Aggressively Gay, musical theatre actor and plant enthusiast living and thriving in NYC. When he’s not playing in soil, he’s typically on the road touring with Broadway Shows— he was last seen in the touring company of The Color Purple and playing Stevie Wonder in Motown: The Musical. He strives to bring light and levity in the world through art, music, comedy and gardening.
Shari Watson is a 28-year-old foreign language educator, based in the beautiful island of Barbados. As a teacher, her emphasis is placed on building loving relationships with her students & prioritizing their mental health. She has served as the Creative Director for a mentorship platform for Caribbean students. A lover of the arts, Shari knows 5 Languages and is a watercolor & calligraphy artist. Most recently, she has used her Instagram page @CaribCultivated to educate and inspire others to cultivate joy, peace and community through sharing her culture and her plants. She has also begun virtual & local plant consultations to help others lead a more vibrant life, with the help of plants.