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Bitter Roots, Delicious Fruits

In the era of plantations, African slaves were given paltry provisions of cornmeal, molasses, beans, and meat. To supplement these meager rations, some slaves tended their own gardens, harvesting vegetables and medicinal herbs by moonlight. To celebrate Black History Month, the Center for Emerging Art will showcase Avant Garden: An African-American Slave Garden in the heart of the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. “We are going to re-create what the slaves had 200 years ago. To begin, we’re going to celebrate with a groundbreaking and an exhibition of art created by the students of Miami Beach Senior High,” says Ava Rado, artistic director of this ambitious project. Rado worked alongside art teacher Frank O’Hare to educate students about the grim realities of the slave trade. At today’s ceremony, visitors can learn more during a lecture by author John McLaughlin and enjoy an Afro-Cuban dance performance by Momentum Dance Company. Stay for a reception at South African restaurant Madiba Miami. The celebration begins at 4:30. Admission is free. Call 305-538-2803, or visit
Sat., Feb. 11, 4:30 p.m.


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