Black History Month: Who Do You Admire?

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.” –George Washington Carver

This George Washington Carver quote hangs on the bulletin board over my desk as a reminder of the man I first read about while in elementary school. Our church had a library with a significant collection of biographies of famous people — ones who are well known and those who made significant contributions to society — and I was a voracious reader who devoured them all. That’s how I met Florence Nightingale, Lou Gehrig, and many others.

Carver was the peanut man. To a peanut butter loving 10-year-old, his countless uses for the abundant legume found in the south was fascinating. His story was an inspiration that never left me. When I think of Black History Month, I always think of George Washington Carver, someone I admired while growing up.

Other black leaders in American history include Frederick Douglass, Dorothy Vaughan, Mark Matthews and Buffalo Soldiers … that’s just a drop in the bucket.

Please share in the comments the African-American leaders you admire in our country’s history.