“True heroism…is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” –Arthur Ashe
The other day a woman came to my office to interview me regarding an upcoming forum on MLK that I am hosting in Atlanta.
I have a portrait of George Washington Carver which rest on the wall in back of my desk chair. When anyone enters my office right away you will see this wonderful picture of Dr. George Washington Carver.
George Washington Carver has been and continues even to this day to be one of the greatest blessings in my life. When I was a young stage actor in New York City one night a young white pastor approached me and he told me I was his favorite black stage actor and that he’d seen all of my work in New York.
He went on to tell me he wanted me to write an Off-Broadway play about the life of Dr. Carver which his church would produce; this was a one man show in which I portrayed Dr. Carver.
Once all the contracts were signed and I was paid I began my research on this very gentle black man known as
“The Wizard from Tuskegee”…as I began to go deep in my search for the essence of who this man was and what made him tick, it
BLEW MY MIND!
No American living or dead has overcome more hardships than this quiet humble man. George Washington Carver was born into slavery and was a sickly and frail child most of his life. A boy to frail and sick to work in the fields of the white plantation owners traded young George for a broken down race horse.
One experience that makes me cry even now, George Washington Carver
once walked sixteen miles to go to a school, but when he got there the white school master rejected him because of his black skin.
The next morning George Washington Carver got up and walked seven miles to another school and by the grace of God he was accepted;
his passion for an education would never be denied.
In 1918 the great inventor Thomas Edison offered Dr. Carver $200,000 to come work for him at an annual salary of $100,000.
During World War I he worked to replaced the textile dyes that were being imported from Europe. He ended up producing over 500 different shades. In 1927 he invented a process for producing paints and stains from soybeans.
George Washington Carver had 325 global products made from Peanuts and he had 155 global products made from Sweet Potatoes.
Many people asked Dr. Carver what was the great secret to his massive success; he told them his whole life he got up at five
A.M. in the morning and he prayed passionately to this man