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This plant lover is on a quest to show Black men have green thumbs too

This plant lover is on a quest to show Black men have green thumbs too Stay-at-home restrictions allowed 31-year-old Barry Greene more time for his passion: plants. It's a passion he hopes catches on with more Black men.

Barry Greene, a local plant enthusiast, reminds us that some of the best hobbies are discovered at the intersection of passion and purpose.

Greene, 31, recently launched Greene Thumbz — all puns intended — a plant-related Instagram page educating followers and sharing stories behind his longtime interest. While all are welcome, Greene is specifically hoping that his efforts help reshape society’s view of what interests Black men. 

“My whole idea with the Greene Thumbz page was to give a positive perception of Black men and plants,” he said. “I think it’s a big misconception that plants are just for women.  We were farmers before we were ballers and businessmen, so it’s weird that we have that complex now.”


Gardening is a family interest. As a child, he developed a green thumb after his mom introduced him to the world of plants. He drew on those experiences, and a previous job watering plants at a Lowe’s home improvement store, to revive his interest once he relocated from Brooklyn, New York, two years ago.  

Greene is a frequent visitor of Malone’s Nursery in Charlotte. With most people now sheltered in place due to coronavirus-related restrictions, Greene used the downtime to lean into his plant hobby. His collection has grown from two plants to 15 since the pandemic hit.