In Jamaica Kincaid’s article, “Sowers and Reapers”, Jamaica explains why she introduced race and politics into gardens and attempted to expose the hypocrisy of how white Americans have treated African Americans. Kincaid calls on her experiences at Middleton Place, a Plantation well known for its garden and dark past. While there, Kincaid was treated to “black-eyed peas and rice, ribs and chicken and sweet potatoes”, which she believes is “cuisine of black people”. She also heard a “white man imitating the  voice of Louis Armstrong”. It is through Jamaica’s experiences with gardens that she points of the hypocrisy of those she met at the plantation. Jamaica speaks of a Holocaust garden which she once saw. While it was beautiful, it obviously had an extremely dark past filled with death and violence. The white American’s garden, or America, has gone from an hideous place to a beautiful one. They believe that because things are nicer, it’s ok for them to appropriate culture in one of the most insulting places they could. A plantation, where African American people were enslaved and forced to work. As Jamaica says, “the garden is not a place for rest and repose” and so is America. We cannot hide from our past, we must accept it and move on.


CC BY-SA 4.0 Jamaica Kincaid – Race, Politics, and Gardens by Gabriel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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