At first glance, recent scenes of Michelle Obama planting a White House garden were captivating because of the backdrop. The thought of berries, herbs, spinach, okra, cucumbers, radishes and sweet potatoes sprouting from the South Lawn of the “People’s House” is enough, on its own, to capture the public imagination. But there was something even more striking about the White House garden—the fact that it was planted by and for a black family and that among those helping to till it were young children of color from a nearby D.C. school.
“I used to plant,” Mrs. Obama told a fifth-grader from Bancroft Elementary School. “One of my aunts used to have a garden, but we haven’t done it in awhile.”
Think about it. When was the last time you saw a positive, empowered image of a black farmer? What black faces come to mind when you think of the fast-growing and suddenly influential green movement?