An Invitation to Take Root

Radicle is the fertile ground for your personal germination.

This story was originally published in the first issue of Radicle, our interactive print publication which centers Black voices and perspectives in sustainability and the environment. Radicle explores a range of topics including environmental justice, indigeneity, sustainable homebuilding, and plant-forward home cooking. The publication was designed to spark curiosity and celebrate community, all while healing our people and the planet.

rad·i·cle
/ˈradək(ə)l/

  1. The first shoot to emerge from a seed during the process of germination.
  2. The part of a seed embryo that becomes the plant’s primary root.
  3. A foundational structure that eventually grounds a seedling as it sucks up water, sends out leaves, and begins photosynthesis.
  4. A magazine by Earth in Color that invites you to take root.

In botany, the radicle is a catalyst. It is the first sprout to appear when a seed is developing into a plant. The radicle anchors the seedling in its infancy and becomes the plant’s primary root system, providing stability and supporting the plant’s health and longevity.

In homage, we offer Radicle, an invitation for you to take root.

Radicle is the manifestation of Earth in Color’s philosophy, which grew out of my experience being a Black woman studying environmental sustainability at Stanford University. I felt like I was stuck in the rift between the Black community and the environmental movement. I didn’t see myself, my culture, or my community present in those healthy and sustainable futures that were being imagined in my college courses and in the broader environmental movement. Not only did I feel like the movement was missing valuable members (i.e., us), I felt like we were being robbed of the opportunity to heal through a deep connection to the natural world and I wanted to change that. 

Racism, oppression, and systemic injustice have partially severed our historical connection to the natural world. The nourishment and liberation found in nature have been replaced with painful histories and inherited fear, telling us that “Black people don’t go camping,” that “Black people don’t eat kale,” that conservation, preservation, nature engagement, and land stewardship aren’t a part of Black identities and livelihoods. We know that is not true. We know that we are deeply connected to our natural environments. Radicle exists to remind us of this truth. It reminds us who we come from, where we come from, and how we’ve been living. This is really why Earth in Color exists—to turn inherited environmental apathy into what I like to call Earth curiosity, our innate connection to the Earth. Through these pieces, we are deepening our cultural ties to the land and regenerating our kinship with the natural world, knowing that this will not only heal our bodies, but it will also heal our families, our community, and the Earth we inhabit.

Radicle is the fertile ground for your personal germination. The art, stories, activities, and recipes in this inaugural issue were created to spark joy and make our collective transformation and growth pleasurable. The dynamic pages of Radicle are waiting to be written on, spattered with sauce, mulled over, and revisited. As you take root, Radicle will be your tool kit, your workbook, your guide, and your companion.

Let the germination begin!

—Darel Scott
Founder, Earth in Color
Editor-in-Chief, Radicle Magazine

@earthincolor.co