La Twyonia Johnson
La Twyonia began volunteering with Olivewood when she found out about us on Facebook through a group called Paradise Gardeners at Skyline Hills Library. Since joining, she has enjoyed participating in the Field Trip Program and the School-Based Program. She was motivated to volunteer for field trips because she wants kids who grow up in the city to be able to experience gardening and cultivating the land. When asked about the impact Olivewood programs have had in her life, La Twyonia said, “It’s been inspiring to learn and be enlightened about the art of gardening. Learning the different words that describe each process, being able to see the workings of gardening, harvesting the veggies and fruit… It’s very inspiring to see how people can really live off the land.” She goes on to say, “ When I imagine cultivating the land and gardening, it’s an awesome image to see how I can feed myself, my lineage, and some of the people in the community”.
We asked her if she could share with the world one thing she hopes to accomplish individually or as a community in the future and what it would be, and this was her answer: “I would like for the world to know that American history is the story of the Aborigine American Indians. The story of the original people of America continues to change to cover up the truth. I want the identity of the coloreds, negros, black and now so-called African Americans to know they are the Americans. We were reclassified as coloreds and negros by the influence of Walter Ashby Plecker. Today, most Aborigine American Indians who identify as African Americans and black are socio-political constructs (stateless people and people who don’t exist) that should not be interpreted as being scientific or anthropological in nature. These misnomers were used and are still being used to effectively erase “Indian” as our identity. Our identity has been erased through paper genocide, i.e. U.S. Census, U.S. education, mainstream media, books, and job applications. The removal of our identity removed the indigenous people (us) from the land our ancestors once cultivated. My mission is to enlighten the natives of America about who they are. We are the Indians who are the Aborigine Americans in North America. Although we all have the right to self-identify, I want the world and the misclassified indigenous people (the so-called blacks and African Americans) to know they are Aborigine Americans. The Indigenous people of North America. ‘African Americans ain’t Africans!’”
She also appreciates having access to fruits and veggies from the garden every week. Having produce that is free of pesticides gives her peace of mind. She says she appreciates the employees as well. Everyone here at Olivewood is so grateful to have volunteers like La Twyonia who help make our work possible.
Thank you La Twyonia!