Hi I’m Jordan, I’m Selena’s youngest son and I am your guest writer for today. I’m a freshman in high school and my interests incude music, Christian rap, art, and history. I chose to write about George Washington Carver because of how he stood out in black history but also because of how little is really known about him.
George Washington Carver is one of the most interesting and inspiring men I have ever studied. He was born in Diamond, Missouri, and it’s believed that he was born in January 1864, though this is not known for certain, because most slaves did not have a record of their birth. It is known that he was freed a year after his birth. While he was still an infant, Confederate bushwhackers kidnapped him, and his mother, but since his master considered them family and treated them as such, he hired a union scout to find them, giving him a horse worth 300 dollars. Though George’s mother was never found, George was found and returned, and the following year he and his older brother, Jim, were emancipated. Even though they were ‘free’, they were still children, and they were loved, valued and raised by Moses Carver (who was previously his master) and his wife. Though Moses was not their father he treated them as sons and he and his wife educated them. When George was a kid he gained much interest in art and plants, painting pictures of plants, and planting his own garden and tending to it. Goerge found success in both hobbies. We learn from his life that we can discover, while we are children, the direction God plans for us to go based on what we enjoy and have a natural interest in.
In the pursuit of further learning, George traveled to a school for black children 10 miles away from his home. He would also learn at some other schools before he got his diploma at Minneapolis High School. He applied to and was accepted into Highland College in Highland, Kansas, but when the school administrators learned that he was black they denied him admission. So instead of attending the school he spent his time doing biological experiments and gathering a geological collection. He began to study art in 1890 at Simpson College, but soon being convinced that art was not in his best interest, he was persuaded to study botany at the Iowa State Agricultural College, making him the first black student at Iowa State. It was there he got his bachelors and masters degree, and proved to be a brilliant botanist. In 1896 Booker T. Washington convinced him to come teach at the Tuskegee Institute, and under his leadership the Tuskegee agricultural department reached national renown for it’s research and teaching of ways to produce crops in hard conditions, and showing farmers and black sharecroppers cash crops other than cotton, such as soybeans and sweet potatoes. He also ran a mobile class in a wagon, by which he would travel around to different areas and farms to teach farmers.
In his research and experiments he discovered many uses for and made hundreds of products from peanuts, sweet potatoes, soybeans and pecans such as plastics, dyes, paints, a type of gasoline, and yes peanut butter. Though Carver was a considerably distinguished scientist, he was first a Christian and this was displayed in his character and his approach to science. He said concerning nature, “I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.” And this is truly how he approached science; he would speak to, he would “ask God questions”, and he said God would speak back and give him the answers he was searching for. This man truly seemed to have “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength,” and, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” down to a science. He died on January 5, 1943 at the age of 73, and with all the amazing awards he received, one such as being made a member of the British Royal Society of Arts in 1916, and receiving a museum, and also a memorial after his death, he never lived for that. He said, “It is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobile one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success.” I figure learning about history is useless unless one learns from history, so learn from this man who came from humble beginnings and who stayed humble, and being a servant was elevated in God’s timing.
I hope you’ve gained interests not only in George W. Carver, but even some of his contemporaries, like Booker T. Washington and others. I also hope you’ve learned from his story, that all you need to be great is to have a servants heart. So tomorrow you will be hearing from my brother Isaiah! Thanks for reading my post, and share what you have learned with others.