The Missouri Botanical Garden honors Black History Month with special activities throughout February that highlight the rich historical contributions of Black people to plant science, horticulture, botany, and society.
On Wednesday mornings, visit the Garden's Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center for activities focused on education and sharing stories. All activities are included with Garden admission. Admission is free for St. Louis City and County residents before noon on Wednesdays and Saturdays (proof of residence required).
Wednesday, February 7
Mr. Kenya Ajanaku, from the Harambee Institute, will share life stories of notable but neglected historical figures, including Hiram Young, who was one of the leading manufacturers of wagons for the Oregon Trail; Clara Brown, community leader and philanthropist; and James Beckwourth, an American fur trapper.
Wednesday, February 14
Learn about Edmond Albius, who discovered the technique still used today to pollinate vanilla when he was 12 years old but was never compensated for his contribution to this multi-million-dollar industry. The Garden's Education team will share his story with engaging activities and takeaways.
Wednesday, February 21
Tyrean “Heru” Lewis of Heru Urban Farming will share his latest endeavors to further his mission of transforming the community’s access to quality wholesome food.
The Garden will screen the documentary High on the Hog which highlights the history of foods native to Africa and foods that came to the U.S. through the Transatlantic Slave Trade and are still part of our current food selections.
Progressive Emporium will provide a book display of black plant scientists, horticulturists, botanists and agriculture.
On Saturday, February 24, the Garden's Black History Month observance culminates with a market featuring Black retail vendors. The Sunshine Cultural Arts Center Dance Troupe, led by Sylvester “Sunshine” Lee, will present a traditional African performance that espouses the core principles of their organization, which is in alignment with the values to empower the African-American community. The market opens at 11 a.m. in the Farr Auditorium.