Black On Campus
Higher Education and the African American Experience

Sunday Inspiration: George Washington Carver on the Hero with a Thousand Faces

June 7th, 2009 by Ajuan Mance
George Washington Carver (1864 – 1943)

Our creator is the same and never changes despite the names given Him by people here and in all parts of the world. Even if we gave Him no name at all, He would still be there, within us, waiting to give us good on this earth.

— George Washington Carver


Biographical Notes: George Washington Carver is easily the most famous professor to ever grace the campus of what is now Tuskegee University. Carver was born just prior to the end of slavery, and her worked all of his early life as a farm hand. He was the first African American student admitted to Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1894, from what is now Iowa State University.  He earned his master’s degree in 1896 and, shortly after, became the first African American to serve on the faculty of Iowa State.

As soon as news of the “negro professor” reached Booker T. Washington, he offered him a position at Tuskegee Institute. Carver accepted.

Carver is best known for discovering over 300 uses for the peanut. He patented only a handful of his discoveries, though, believing that nature belonged to everyone, and that it was unethical to “own” a particular use of one of nature’s plants. His discoveries made a significant impact on those states that grew peanuts. Washington also discovered over 100 uses for the sweet potato and 60 uses for the pecan.

To read a detailed biography of George Washington Carver, click HERE.

Posted by Ajuan Mance


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One Response

  1. SerenityLife

    When I lived in Iowa City, I found out about George Washington Carver’s connection to Iowa. However, I never made it to Iowa State nor to Simpson College to see where this genius of a man had a presence. Thank you for always educating!

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