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Poems about the life, character, and achievements of the African American inventor, botanist, artist, and teacher. George Washington Carver was born a slave in Missouri about 1864 and raised by the childless white couple who had owned his mother. In 1877 he left home in search of an education, eventually earning a master’s degree. In 1896 Booker T. Washington invited Carver to start the agricultural department at the all-black-staffed Tuskegee Institute, where he spent the rest of his life seeking solutions to the poverty among landless black farmers by developing new uses for soil-replenishing crops such as peanuts, cowpeas, and sweet potatoes. Carver’s achievements as a botanist and inventor were balanced by his gifts as a painter, musician, and teacher.
This collection of poems by award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson provides a compelling and revealing portrait of Carver’s complex, richly interior, profoundly devout life.