There are few stories that have been recorded in history that can rival the story of the African-American. It is a story where various races of colored people were sold to the highest bidder and were legally treated as animals for 100’s of years. As I write this, I feel saddened, because I know that though I am an African-American, and I have attended an historically black college & university, and I have read a few books or articles on black history, and I have watched a few movies on African-American slavery… I know for a fact that my knowledge is poor on this subject and my thoughts and opinions do not compare to the actual truth.
It is now February 2018. President Trump just gave his first State of the Union speech just last week. The Philadelphia Eagles just won the Super Bowl last night. My fiancee is pregnant with my child and is soon expecting. And, it’s Black History month.
So, what did I think about when I sat down on the couch last night, after I came home from spending a weekend with my fiancee? I was up thinking about black history. So, I decided to study up on a black historical figure… George Washington Carver.
I already knew that Carver was a well-known scientist and botanist who was recognized by the top scientists, business entrepreneurs, as well as the President of the United States for his agricultural research and achievements. But, what I didn’t know was that he was born a slave, orphaned from his family who were killed or died due to persecution of slaves during that time. And, that he was castrated as a boy by his slave master. After reading this, it just blew my mind!
Now… here’s a man who had every excuse to live a bitter life and curse God for placing him in his life situation. He was born a slave without even a family! He was even denied the ability to reproduce and enjoy sexual relations with women! But, throughout it all, he achieved success in life. He still worked hard to educate himself even when denied opportunities due to his race. He still maintained good personal and professional relationships with whites throughout his life, and he still was a devout Christian.
Out of all of his achievements, I value his creativity and his ability to overcome struggles more than anything. Most people don’t have the mental strength or fortitude to remain positive and live a life of excellence despite poor circumstances. George Washington Carver should be a hero and an example to all races and people.
Everyday I see people of all races, including mine, who identify African-Americans as a poor people. People label us as ignorant. They don’t do business with us because of the stereotype that we don’t know how to manage money. People go as far as to assume that the African-American race is filled with thugs, drug addicts, and thieves… with a sprinkle of a few professional sports athletes and musicians. Though I will never experience the extreme racism of the Civil War (1800’s), Jim Crow ( early 1900’s), and Civil Rights (1960’s) eras, where I feel my life is in danger… it’s sad to say that I know many people still do.
I do believe all people were created equal… but I also know that all people are NOT treated equal.
I hope this story of George Washington Carver helps to relay the truth that you do not have to be what you were born into.
I pray that people take time to learn about black history during this month of February. And I hope that this blog brought some light into the eyes of everyone who reads it. As my only intent is to bring knowledge, give encouragement and spread hope for a better future.