Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Black History Month

Although not a fan of the race specific aspects of February's endeavor, I do appreciate the content of character that is highlighted in the biographies that are shown during this month.

Although Dr. Martin Luther King is the usual feature of the month, there is no way to tell how much more positive impact he would have had on our culture if he had not been brutally murdered. It is quite possible that he was already becoming passe to the civil rights movement by the more aggressive promoters of minority civil rights. His peaceful, nonviolent methods were not moving fast enough in the mindset of many up-and-coming leaders. Nonetheless, he did exhibit the content of character that is worthy of honor and emulation.

My favorite hero in this regard is George Washington Carver. His contributions did not touch the political realm, but touched so heavily on the practical world. Henry Ford conferred with him on a regular basis. Thomas Edison offered him a six figure salary. Franklin Roosevelt visited him personally at Tuskegee.

Aside from all his scientific contributions, one commenter summed his life up in the five word sentence, "But George didn't give up." That was the content of George Washington Carver's character. Priceless.


Al said...

I read about him in my reading class in grade school and our Wesleyan Sunday School paper had a serial cartoon of his life. He grew up near Carthage, MO. which I pass by at least once a year.

Your post gives me reason to start a "drum beat" to visit his birthplace next time we go by. "He invented peanut butter" hasn't been cutting it.

Steve said...

Ironically, in spite of his voluminous work with the humble peanut, Carver didn't invent peanut butter. Another doctor in Missouri did that in order to provide a protein-from-meat substitute for patients who couldn't chew adequately.