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Black History Month Bio: George Washington Carver

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George_Washington_CarverYou may be hungry one night and decide to whip out that loaf of bread you had in your pantry for a few days, some grape jelly, and a jar of peanut butter. As you spread the creamy peanut butter you think about how delicious it truly is. You have George Washington Carver to thank for that. However, though G.W. Carver is most known for his invention of peanut butter, he has left an impact on the world with his plant-based discoveries and his innovative inventions.



The exact birthday of George Washington Carver is unknown but it is said that he may have been born in January of 1864. He was born into slavery to Giles and Mary under the enslavement of Moses Carver. The week after his birth, his mother, sister and he were kidnapped from the estate. However, the only person to be recovered was George himself.




When the Civil War ended, slavery was abolished. Moses Carver and his wife, Susan, decided to bring in George to educate him. During this delicate time, the schools in Missouri wouldn’t take black students; Susan taught George to read and write.




As a slave under Moses, he was known as “Carver’s George” but when he grew to tour, he took on ‘Carver’ as a last name, making him George Carver. Though he was accepted into Highland College in Kansas, he was denied any admission due to his being black. Instead, he conducted freelance biological experiments and cataloged them into a collection. He then enlisted in Iowa State Agricultural College where he implemented his knack for drawing, specifically plants.




He then turned his focus on botany and earned a master’s degree from Iowa State. In 1896, he was put in charge to head the agricultural program for the Tuskegee Institute. The program received much acclaim under Carver. Carver headed some groundbreaking researches and found new uses for the peanut, sweet potato, and pecans, and even invented products like paints, dyes, and even a form of gasoline.




Throughout his life, he used his fame to publicize his scientific research and experience. Carver died on January 5, 1943 and was honored by Harry S. Truman with the erection a national monument.

Jonathan Silva is a graduate and current student at Full Sail University going for his Master's Degree in Journalism. When he isn't writing for film blogs like Get The Big Picture or listening to music, he's either watching movies or playing video games. His love for all things entertainment shine through in his writing.