Welcome to our sixth Anniversary Issue! It has been our blessing to serve you with the mission of Garden Spices:
…to explore and celebrate differences through the lens of people of various ethnicity, beliefs, genders, physical and mental abilities in hopes of finding the core of understanding and realization that we are all part of a universal garden.
Our mission has sustained so much this past year. Not only did we feel the brunt of a pandemic, with so many health processes, transitions, and loneliness, but as a country, we were stifled in the grips of injustice and chaos. What a blessing to be able to see so much of our endurance of health issues as a past reflection. Although we have so much more to do within the throes of our total recovery, we are ready for transformation.
The art world is transforming, and Garden Spices consistently reflects the tide turning for artists of color. Our cover features Carole Morisseau, a prominent Detroit artist that has heeded the call for art activism. In The “Visual Rhythm” of Carole Morisseau, (page 2), her Healing Wall depicts the pain of loss, all that we have suffered due to police lynchings of Black folks. We hear a similar voice from artist Tara Banfield, (page 2), who crowns the heads of women with flowers to symbolize our blooming against all odds. And we hear the screams of rage from art and racial activist and poet, Lee Murkey, in Artist/Activist: Rage, (page 2)
Transformation also comes in the form of a bill that commemorates Juneteenth as a federal holiday, and Stepping Stones captures the women that led celebrations in Florence, AL. Camille Bennett, Unique Morgan Bankston, Airon Shaw, Melissa Hardin, and Sha’na Gatrey. We have also given a shout-out for Black Joy, with a poem by activist, Angela Curry. Beyond Juneteenth, the work continues. We are still on a world quest for what we already have within us – a peaceful existence.
Our contributors help us find our way through navigating all the challenges we meet. Family and friends play such a vital part in our support. Ask Marlon Hayes. In Keep Swimming, he shares his navigation through family crises. In Our Plates are Full, by Dr.Joyce Brown and Walking It Through, by Rev. Dr. Robert Yarbrough, we are invited to cherish our time spent with those we love. Through We are Built to Endure, by Susan Peters, and Endurance for Social Change, by Dr. Robert V. Gerard, we learn we can endure social upheaval. Educate, (page 2)by Tekla Syers and Challenging Roadblocks (page 2), by William Leroy Kennedy speak to education and obstacles that we must and may encounter. And of course, love holds us in the balance.
Dr. Wanda Gail Campbell Recognizes good policy and perception in Her Name is Debra, and Richard MacKay laments social and earth change in My Heart Cries. (page 2)We learn it is important to love ourselves with In Your Body, by Frank Malaba. Relaxation takes us to the exquisite La Maison, Midtown Houston, and to the warmth and healing of the Lott’s sun porch in Gather Round.
Last, but not least, all of our bodies crave the deliciousness of Janis Gipson’s grilled veggies, Julis Gibs’ Jack Fish, and Carla Renae’s Pork Dopiaza. (All on page 2). This, we can endure! Come on in…