Seeds of Hills and Hollows: Journeying Home through My Great-Grandmother’s Garden

Amber Chevaughn Johnson (University of Maryland, College Park)

A meditation on memories sheltered in me, my mother, and my grandmother, this critical ethnographic paper traces my return home to soil and seed. Physically and epistemologically displaced from the rural home of my mother and mother’s mothers, I turn to my great-grandmother’s ritual of gardening - for sustenance and medicine - to find and preserve the everyday, seeded knowledges planted by Black women of my maternal lineage. The family garden, then, exists, not as metaphor, but as a geographic reserve of communion, spatial reorientation, and “rememory” (Morrison, 2020) to hold and recover lifeways Black women have cultivated in the hollows of this world (McKittrick, 2006).

Part of 05-05 The Roots and Rootedness of Black Geographies: Where Homes Are Made and Futures Are Grown, Friday, November 03, 10:30 am–12:30 pm