sumell finishes a garden task, sits down next to me at one of the Marvel Studios I Am Groot Posters Shirt also I will do this courtyard’s many picnic tables, and tells me the story of how she came to be a gardener—and an abolitionist. Herman Wallace spent 41 years in solitary confinement. Around year 29 of his sentence, sumell wrote him asking what house he dreamt of after having spent decades in a 6’ x 9’ cell. His response read: “I can clearly see the gardens and they will be full of Gloxinia, delphiniums, and roses. I wish for guests to be able to smile and walk through the gardens all year round.” So, sumell built him a garden. She had first encountered the late Wallace through a community organizer friend in San Francisco, where she was in her first year of graduate school. “At that point in my life, I was angry, upset, and disappointed with the world—I responded with rage,” she says. But then she saw Robert King speak. King, alongside Wallace, was one of the three residents (“The Angola 3”) of Louisiana State Penitentiary (“Angola”) wrongfully incarcerated and forced to spend decades in solitary confinement. King was the first individual of the Angola 3 to be released in 2001 when his conviction was overturned after 31 years incarcerated, 29 of which were spent in solitary confinement.“I sat in front of someone who had just spent 29 years in solitary confinement for something he couldn’t have possibly done…and he wasn’t visibly angry,” sumell says. She began regularly corresponding with the three men and ultimately moved to New Orleans to be closer to them. Wallace was eventually released, but died three days after experiencing physical freedom. In order to, in sumell’s words, “uphold the life and legacy of Herman,” Solitary Gardens was born.
Marvel Studios I Am Groot Posters Shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater and long sleeve t-shirt
Like her first collaboration with Wallace—a project that came to be known as The House that Herman Built—sumell’s project has gathered communities all over the Marvel Studios I Am Groot Posters Shirt also I will do this US to create public, green spaces designed by individuals currently in solitary confinement. sumell and her team will write to folks who are currently being detained in solitary, inviting them to design a garden that a team of volunteer gardeners on the outside will eventually plant and grow. One solitary gardener, Mike LeBlanc, had not even been home one week when he made his way to a garden to work with other volunteers. While working, he noticed a sign that said Abolition for the People. “While I was incarcerated, at times I would feel that I was lost in 6000 numbers,” he shares over the phone. “That [sign] reminded me of that feeling, knowing there were people on the outside fighting for me.” And while not all gardeners will be able to eventually visit their gardens, their work has been harvested by and even gone on to feed some of their family members. This, to sumell, is at the heart of abolition.