When Dr. George Washington Carver went to Tuskegee Institute back in 1896, he went with a mission to train African Americans and also to improve the lot of both Black and White poor farmers. The boll weevil had invaded the land and was devastating cotton crops all across the South. He taught farmers how to rotate crops and discovered nearly 300 products from what they grew. Back then, free slave labor was making slave owners wealthy. Some felt the crop-killing boll weevil was God’s judgment for the way slaves had been treated. They said that because they knew God controls rain and drought, fertility and famine, blessing and destruction. Long ago, the prophet Joel called God’s people to repent of their wickedness or face the destruction of their crops: grain, grapes, and oil. Even though locusts had already caused widespread crop loss from fire and famine, Joel’s message was that more judgment was coming unless the people truly repented of their sins. And repentance is not just feeling sorry, weeping and mourning. True repentance involves repairing the damage our actions inflict on others.

Photo Credit: Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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