George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver (1864-1943) worked in agricultural extension at the Tuskegee Institute, in Tuskegee, Alabama, teaching former slaves farming techniques for self-sufficiency. His exact birth day (and year) are unknown, yet it is known that it was some time before slavery was abolished in Missouri in January, 1864.

In addition to his work on agricultural extension education, Carver's important accomplishments also included improvement of racial relations, mentoring children, poetry, painting, and religion. He served as a valuable role model for black Americans and others, and as an example of the importance of hard work, a positive attitude, and a good education. His humility, humanitarianism, good nature, frugality, and lack of economic materialism also have been admired widely.

One of his most important roles was in undermining, through the fame of his achievements and many talents, the widespread stereotype of the time that the black race was intellectually inferior to the white race. In 1941, Time magazine dubbed him a "Black Leonardo", a reference to Leonardo da Vinci. Here are a few things that he said:

Most people search high and wide for the keys to success. If they only knew, the key to their dreams lies within.

Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.

Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater.

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.

If you love it enough, anything will talk with you.

Learn to do common things uncommonly well; we must always keep in mind that anything that helps fill the dinner pail is valuable.

No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving something behind.

There is no short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation - veneer isn't worth anything.

1 comment:

  1. I drive by Minneapolis, KS nearly every day & think often of this great man. Carver attended school in Minneapolis and there is an excellent Carver exhibit in the Ottawa County Historical Museum.


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