Black History Fact Of The Day: George Washington Carver Jr.

Red, Black & Green Elsie Law Logo“George Washington Carver was born in Diamond Groove, Missouri, in 1864. He worked his way through Simpson and Iowa State colleges and completed his masters degree. He accepted a position with Iowa University in Iowa City, the first African American to do so. He received a letter from Booker T. Washington asking to join him as they would work together to educate Blacks in the South. George Washington Carver left the comforts and prestige of Iowa University and arrived in Tuskegee, Alabama, where there was little money, few scientific resources, but two men with a vision.

George Washington Carver inspired his students and continued to do research. He helped farmers around the region to rotate their crops, showing them the importance of replenishing the soil. He developed more than 325 products from the peanut and sweet potato. Presidents called him their friend. Scientists from around the world sought his advice and opinion.

In the early 1900s, Thomas Edison offered to pay him $100,000 to work in a laboratory designed to his specifications if he would leave Tuskegee. Henry Ford matched that figure and offered him a job with the Ford Motor Company. Can you imagine what $100,000 would be worth in today’s figures?…

George Washington Carver chose to stay and was committed to empowering Black people in the South. He thought he could be of greater service at Tuskegee. When he died, he was buried next to his friend, Booker T. Washington.” -From, “Sankofa: Stories of Power, Hope, and Joy”

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