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Gundaker, Grey. "African-American History, Cosmology, and the Moral Universe of Edward Houston's Yard." Journal of Garden History 14 (1994): 179-205.
Gundaker begins her article by outlining the historical background of African-American yards, their characteristic modes and recurring themes, their organizing principles and spatial relationships, and how they have been improvised. She also explores in more depth one theme that recurs frequently in African-American gardens, that of the seat. Gundaker contends that, although African-American yards vary greatly owing to the different assortment of objects and plants used, the constraints of the sites, and the makers' aesthetic tastes, there are commonalities that identify African-American yards and set them apart from those created by other ethnic groups (71). The cultural identity of these yards is often dismissed by the casual observer, who may often see them as "junk yards" because of their reliance on what appears to be randomly scattered found objects of American or European origin. But Gundaker believes that this use of everyday objects can be traced to African-influenced traditions of marking space and creating ritual landscapes and finding the mysterious and spiritual in everyday objects. The objects in these gardens are prosaic and may be found in other yards, but African American yards are "coded." They carry a hidden transcript that is only understood by the initiated and is unnoticed by the casual observer. [P. Heavner]