Year of the Watermelon

Why do we feature watermelon in our collections?

This delectable fruit was brought to the Americas by enslaved Africans. After emancipation, many formerly enslaved Americans grew the crop to try to prosper inside their newfound freedom.

Sadly, some Americans maligned watermelon and purposefully associated it with harmful stereotypes like uncleanliness, laziness, and childishness. But white farmers continued to grow and prosper from the crop. Today, only 1.4% of farmers are Black, compared to 14% 100 years ago.

Like many Black people, Kianga loves watermelon but also realizes that there is a negative bias towards Black people and watermelon.

K.Milele is changing that narrative. We are reclaiming the watermelon as beautiful and life-giving. In the same way that the ancestors used watermelon crops to make a way out of no way, Black people have never lacked talent or inner resources to thrive, to create beauty and set the trend.