If you haven’t actually read his biography, I’m fairly certain that you have at least heard of the name George Washington Carver. Am I right?
I’m embarrassed to admit that I was one of those people who knew of this great man, but very little of his life. I was happy to dig into this biography and change that.
You probably already knew that he came up with close to 100 uses for the humble peanut. And maybe you even know about his work with the Tuskegee Institute. But, if you were to stop there, you would be missing out on so much more! His life story is the stuff that epic movies are made of. As I made my way through this book, I was continually amazed and inspired at the tenacity, spirit, and optimistic nature of Carver.
Without giving too much away (because you really should read this for yourself!), let me give you a brief summary, and hopefully whet your appetite for more.
You might have expected that with all of the accomplishments of Carver, that he must have grown up in a privileged setting. Quite the opposite.
George Washington Carver was born into slavery, and very early on, lost his mother. He never knew his father. He was taken into the home of his slaveholders Moses and Susan Carver, eventually taking their last name as well. He was a sickly child, constantly battling respiratory illnesses. As a result, he was unable to participate in the farm work, and he became proficient in those tasks relating to the home and of nature. His fascination with the outdoors led to countless discoveries and developments in the field wherever he found himself, whether at Iowa State, or at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where he worked closely with Booker T. Washington.
Even as time after time, he lived with racial injustices of the time, he never failed to encourage and inspire those who were fortunate enough to come into contact with him. He was and still is, an example of what a person can accomplish even seemingly with the whole world against him, all while giving the glory to God.
His view of the bigotry that African Americans faced, was that it would not be solved by complaining about it, but rather proving that it was false.
Carver stands as a remarkable figure in history, and one whose life story should never be forgotten, but seen for what it is, a “legacy of hope”.
Finally, please note - I received a free copy of Christian Encounters - George Washington Carver in exchange for my honest review of it, with no additional compensation.