My Black Botanical Legacy

I’m a second generation Black botanist.

My mother was the first.

Actually considering the botanists that were certainly among my enslaved ancestors, this accounting is undoubtedly numerically wrong.

Yet, my mother is the Black botanical legacy and Black botanist that I admire and observed up close and personal.

No, she didn’t formally train in plant biology or academic botany in the revered halls of the ivory tower as did I; yet, she is a botanist extraordinaire.

My childhood home and gardens were the stuff of legends – a virtual plant sanctuary.

If you’ve attended any of my talks or workshops on #LessonsFromPlants on mentoring, you’ve almost certainly heard me wax poetic about her “green thumb” that was a gift to our home and the neighborhood beyond. If not, she (and her green thumb) will make an appearance in the preface of my upcoming book.

Mother is a botanist of the broader definition that I’m FULLY embracing this “Black Botanists Week”:

Screenshot from Instagram post @Beronda_M

I’m eagerly looking forward to learning more about and from Black botanists & the broader botany community during #BlackBotanistsWeek 2020 and much longer thereafter.

I look forward to learning about Black botanical legacies far and wide.

Feel free to connect with me on Twitter @BerondaM and with many in the community at #BlackBotanistsWeek or meet the organizing committee and learn more at

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