George Washington Carver
Today’s Black History ModiTimeline feature spotlights George Washington Carver. He was a true trailblazer in his time – and we should celebrate him today. He lived from 1863-1943, but the exact date and year of his birth are actually unknown. Carver is celebrated as being an American scientist, botanist, educator and inventor. Quite a noble list of accomplishments! He was born into slavery and overcame adversity to earn a Master’s degree. He then went on to be the head of the agricultural department at Tuskegee University in Alabama. He was one of the most prominent inventors and scientists of his time, showing that hard work and preservation can be life changing.
He excelled in his studies and had a love for science and arts. He is renowned for his agricultural innovations and for promoting the importance and possibilities of racial harmony. He created over 100 products made from peanuts that provided very useful in a variety of consumer products. He also worked to perfect techniques to improve the soil that was depleted by the repetitive planting of cotton, which is still an important crop to the American economy.
His legacy has lived on and his achievements have come to show that through education someone can rise above even the most difficult of situations to achieve great things. In 1943, a monument on the site of the plantation he lived at during childhood was dedicated to honor Carter. This was the first national monument dedicated to an African American. We can all learn from this great man, a statement to sum up his life mission reads “He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world.”