On any given day in Kisangani, Congo, you will pass women carrying fresh bananas, tomatoes, and cassava in baskets on their heads to sell in the central market. In Elmina, Ghana, women dressed in colorful garments sit on chairs under umbrellas, selling fish, yams, and greens.
Across the Atlantic in Haiti, women are the pillars of their communities. Making up a large percentage of market vendors in Pierre Payen, these women sell cabbage, corn, mangoes, and papaya. Venturing south in the Caribbean, Arima, Trinidad is known for its lush natural landscape. Pineapples, passion fruit, guava, and chataigne are among the many fruits grown and sold by women in markets. Nestled in the rainforest, female farmers in Poomeron, Guyana grow coconuts, lettuce, tomatoes, and celery.
Similar to these women, my great grandmother Eleanor sold oranges, grapefruits, and pineapples. She was a single mother who worked hard to secure better opportunities for her children. Women in agriculture face challenges daily but maintain their dignity above all else. Inspired by Harper Bella's award-winning 2018 project, Primitive Wilderness, the #hbmask celebrates the fortitude, grace, and resilience of these women.