George Washington Carver 20th Century’s Greatest American

“My brother and myself were the only colored children in that neighborhood and of course, we could not go to church or Sunday school or school of any kind.”
–George Washington Carver
(July 24, 1931)

George Washington Carver the world’s greatest agricultural scientist of the 20th century and perhaps the greatest
American of the 20th century. Over the years I have given countless lectures on the life of George Washington Carver and before ending my talks I always remind my audience that in my world George Washington Carver is the most accomplished American of the 20th century.

I speak mainly to black audiences and too often some wanna be black intellectual will take issue with my claim,
this same joker, or these same jokers only know what they have been taught in white schools, white schools that have failed for the past 100 years telling the true history of the legacy of American blacks. These actors have no clue who George Washington Carver was for if they did, they would humble themselves to the truth, which is George Washington Carver has no equal in stature by any man, white or black in the 20th century in America.

Why do I speak with such confidence?
Well, for one thing, I am one of the top scholars in the world on the life of Dr. George Washington Carver, I hasten to add Dick Gregory can tell you anything you need to know about the life of Dr. Carver as well.
Many, many years ago when I was a New York stage actor some people came to me and asked me if I would portray George Washington Carver in a new Off-Broadway play. I accepted the role and during my research on the man, I thought my head would explode. I was transformed!
I continue a life long study of the life of George Washington Carver; I have read every single book ever published on the life of George Washington Carver, I have read thousands of thousands of essays from writers and researchers all over the world. My study of Dr, George Washington Carver has gone on now over thirty years.
So, I speak with a good portion of confidence with facts that don’t need popular approval from talking heads.

The accomplishments of George Washington Carver are really too many to list, but let me try to give you a few things that stand out in my mind:

George Washington Carver had 325 global products made from peanuts alone.
George Washington Carver had 155 global products that were made from sweet potatoes.
George Washington Carver invented shoe polish; shoe wax.
During World War I George Washington Carver worked to replace textile dyes that were being imported from Europe.
George Washington Carver produced over 500 different shades for the U.S. Military.
In 1927 George Washington Carver invented a process for producing paints and stains from soybeans.

George Washington Carver has had a long history of serving his country, why in 1918 he was called before Congress to help save the crops of the Southern farmers; during his talk Thomas Edison was in the audience and afterward Thomas Edison asked George Washington Carver to come work for him. Thomas Edison offered George Washington Carver $200,000 signing bonus and an annual salary contract at $100,000.

George Washington Carver refused the money.

George Washington Carver dedicated his life to teaching and helping uplift black Americans and
Tuskegee Institute was for him home; he taught there for 47 years up until the very day he died.
Today if you were to take a poll and ask who is the most accomplished Black American of the 20th century many would tell you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I stand at the opposite end of the room and as a scholar I would say take a very good hard look at he life of
Dr. George Washington Carver.
Understand, I’m not mad at you for selecting Martin Luther King Jr.
Let’s take a look at the facts of the lives of both men.
First off I say, Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. had great parents, I mean this man had a great mother and a great father.
The resources that were provided to young Martin Lither King Jr. one would be hardpressed to find in any normal upper middle class family.

Young Martin King Jr. never went to bed hungry, he never was without shoes on his feet.
He had great role models to help shape him (Dr. Benjamin Mays) and all the gifts that one bestows on a young King were there for the taking for young Martin Luther King Jr.

Now, let’s take a good look at George Washington Carver’s beginnings.
Let’s see now, he’s born into slavery.
He’s traded for a broken down race horse.
He’s castrated by his white owners.
He’s not allowed to attend white school of church.
He does not have a single role model to follow.
There is no NAACP, No Kennedy Brothers in the White House.
He never knew his mother of father.
George Washington Carver did not even know the actual date of his birth.

How does one overcome such injustice?
All of the crap that can heaped on a life was put upon the shoulders of George Washington Carver and some how this man came out on top. I tell you the truth, George Washington Carver is the most accomplished American this country has ever produced.

Did you know… George Washington Carver is the only American that has two U.S. Naval Ships named after him?
In 1943 the first of two naval ships was named, the first being, Liberty Ship SS George Washington Carver.
The second ship named after him came in 1965; a nuclear powered Ballistic missile Submarine USS George Washington Carver was launched.

Did you know… George Washington Carver is the only American that has two U.S. Postal Stamps in his image;
he has a 3-cent 1948 stamp and then he has 32-cent stamp issued 1996.

George Washington Carver also has a 50-cent coin of his likeness.
George Washington Carver has more schools named after him than any other American living or dead.

When I look at a picture of George Washington Carver I am inspired to be more an do more with my own life.
Today, no young person in America has an excuse not be be what they dream of being.
One only has to look at he life in total of George Washington Carver and if you look good and hard you wil discover that there is always a way to reach your dreams, if there is the will to reach them.

Charles Micheaux
Micheaux Publishing
Atlanta*

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