19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest The American Experience
Interpreters recreate enslaved men picking vegetables in The Sankofa Heritage Garden

This image shows culinary historian Michael Twitty (l) and historic interpreter Robert Watson (r) recreating a first at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation: two members of the enslaved community pick case-knife beans at night by the light of the full moon and a burning torch in the Sankofa Heritage Garden. This garden is a collaboration between Michael Twitty and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation that illustrates a garden grown by enslaved peoples in the 1700s. Michael Twitty and Historic Garden Supervisor Eve Otmar carefully researched the cultural, culinary, and agricultural history of enslaved gardens and gardeners to develop the Sankofa Heritage Garden in honor of local enslaved communities. Since most of the enslaved spent their days laboring for owners - the only time they had to cultivate their own gardens was on their day off (Sunday) or at night. This photograph portrays a small aspect of what enslaved people had to do to supplement their diet and provide for their families.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 09.2021
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: Williamsburg, Virginia, United States of America
Camera: NIKON D850
Copyright: © Tracey Gulden