Black History Minute
Shabazz K. Morton…..Eddie Murphy
Shabazz K. Morton: Hello, my name is Professor Shabazz K. Morton. In 1895, at the Tuskagee Institute in Alabama, a black man named George Washington Carver developed a new method of soul.. soil.. improvement through crop rotation.. [ a couple of audience members snicker at Murphy’s blooper, causing him to break character ] So I messed up – SHUT UP! [ adjusting his shades so he can read the cue cards ] Stop clapping before y’all make me smile! [ back in character ] ..to end the South African cultural dependence on cotton alone. As a result, Carver came up with hundreds of industrial uses for the peanut. Sure, industrial uses.
Meanwhile, one night, he’s having a few friends over to his house for dinner. And one of them leans over and says to Dr. Carver, “Excuse me, George? What’s that your putting on your bread?” Carver says, “Oh, that’s nothing but a butter substitute that I made from peanuts. I can’t digest all that animal fat, you know.” So the other fellow tasted it, and he says, “Hmm.. this pastes pretty.. this tastes..” [ the audience again laughs at Murphy’s blooper, causing him to break character again ] Yeah? Keep on smiling. [ back in character ] “This tastes pretty good, man. Mind if we take a peek at the recipe?” And Dr. Carver says, “Take a peek? Man, you can have it. Who’s gonna eat butter made out of peanuts? No, I’m working on a method to compress peanuts into phonograph needles.”
So, Professor Carver’s two dinner guests.. [ Murphy removes his shades for better cue card reading ] ..Edward “Skippy” Williamson and Frederick “Jif” Armstrong – two white men – stole George Washington Carver’s recipe for peanut butter, copyrighted it, and reaped untold fortunes from it. While Dr. Carver died penniless and insane, still trying to play a phonograph record with a peanut.
This has been “Black History Minute”. I’m Professor Shabazz K. Morton. Good night.