Black History Spotlight: George Washington Carver

William FedererBy William Federer2 Minutes

George Washington Carver (1864?-1943) was born a slave during the Civil War. He worked to put himself through school, eventually earning a Masters Degree from Iowa State in Agriculture. He accepted Booker T. Washington’s invitation to teach at Tuskegee Institute.

Carver is credited with discovering and/or popularizing hundreds of uses for the peanut, soybean, sweet potato, pecan, cowpea, wild plum, and okra, which helped to revolutionize the South’s economy.

Carver addressed Congress and met with Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and Franklin Roosevelt. He was offered jobs by Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, and received correspondence from business and world leaders.

In 1939, George Washington Carver was awarded the Roosevelt Medal, with the declaration: “To a scientist humbly seeking the guidance of God and a liberator to men of the white race as well as the black.”

Carver stated November 19, 1924: “God is going to reveal to us things He never revealed before if we put our hands in His … Without God to draw aside the curtain, I would be helpless. Only alone can I draw close enough to God to discover His secrets.”

What Is the Key to Success?

In 1928, Dr. George Washington Carver explained: “Human need is really a great spiritual vacuum which God seeks to fill … With one hand in the hand of a fellow man in need and the other in the hand of Christ, He could get across the vacuum … Then the passage, ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me,’ came to have real meaning.”

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