The man who survived

George Washington Carver

1864/65.  Not an easy start to life.  George is born into slavery in Missouri.  Is it not known who his father is.  One night a band abducts his mother and sells her.  The baby grows up in family Carver’s home living in the poorest of circumstances, not to mention that he has a weakened body and suffers from a chronic Bronchitis.  The expectation that he will make it in life is non-existent.  But George wants to learn, and learn a lot.  Where does this orphan get this knowledge-thirst from?

The audio book published by the Aussaat Verlags lasts seven hours.  My wife and I are driving northwards on the autobahn.  The traffic jams we encounter suddenly do not seem to matter.  We have both dived into a totally different world ages ago.  As spectators we are witnesses of a saga that is happening in America’s Southern States.  But this unique story is not Hollywood-grown.  It is a true story.

The individual chapters are gripping and staggering.  George Carver fights against seemingly insurmountable obstacles and all the social disadvantages resulting from his black skin colour.  The miracle enfolds in the years of the American Civil War.  This chanceless boy turns into an excellent chemist, botanist, inventor, painter, physiotherapist and pianist.  But the greatest achievement of this universal genius and devout Christian are his incredible efforts in educating black farmers.  Finally his selflessness bestowed self-confidence upon the Southern Afro-Americans and gave them a meaning to life.

Wikipedia writes: On July 14, 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated $30,000 for the George Washington Carver National Monument west-southwest of Diamon, Missouri, the area where Carver had spent time in his childhood.  It was the first ever National Monument that was dedicated for an Afro-American in the USA, the first person-related National Monument that was not dedicated to an American President and shows the immense importance attributed to Carver.

The seven hours of this audio book are an ideal recipe against self-pity and resignation. ISBN 978-3-941888-28-9/KDJ

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