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Black History Month Myth – Peanut Butter & Potato Chips

It’s February again. Time for the media and public schools to drag out those nauseating black history month myths.

Peanut Butter:

Original Myth, which is now widely admitted to have been a hoax.

It’s February. Once again public schools, public libraries, and even your local media are  promoting fallacies in the name of “black history.” False black “history” concerning alleged inventions by blacks are tantamount to defamation against the actual inventors.

George Washington Carver and Peanut Butter. George Washington Carver was a black scientist at Tuskegee College in Alabama. While he was a competent educator and would rightly be considered a giant among black scientists, most of what is now attributed to him are fabrications. While Carver did take out a large number of patents, they were all just his own processes for making things that already existed. None of Carver’s patents ever became a commercial success.

The claim that Carver invented peanut butter is possibly the oldest black history myth in America and one of the easiest to disprove. It would take anyone a quick search on Google to disprove it and for that reason black history mythologists have moved away from the peanut butter myth over the past few years and begun claiming that other patents for processes filed by Carver are in fact his inventions.

The truth is that peanut butter was made in various forms in Central America hundreds of years before Carver was ever born. If anyone could be called the “inventor” of peanut butter it would be the Aztec, Mayans, or one of the other cultures in that region. Several patents for commercial peanut butter making processes had already been filed long before Carver first experimented with a peanut.

Numerous commercially successful peanut butter making patents were filed by white Americans and at least one white Canadian in the 1880’s and 1890’s. One of the most important was by J.H. Kellog in 1897. J.H. Kellog has a cereal company named after him today. Carver filed his patent about ten years later and his process was never used in the commercial industry.

New Myth: A black man invented the potato chip.

Since it has been admitted by some black history mythologists in recent years that Carver did not in fact “invent” peanut butter, it seems the mythologists have focused on something else. I laughed when the other day I saw a local ABC news anchor say “an African American invented the potato chip.”

Like the peanut, the potato is indigenous to the Western Hemisphere. So it is most likely that the first people who ever made a potato chip of any sorts was American Indians long before the United States was a country. Think about it! Are we to believe that for hundreds of years Indian tribes ate potatoes and not a single person ever cut one into little pieces and fried it?

Now if we look for the first instance of a potato chip being marketed as a unique product, we find a restaurant in Saratoga Springs, NY who called them Saratoga chips. No blacks were employed at the restaurant and, Crum, the chef credited for the dish was part Caucasian and part American Indian who later opened his own commercially successful restaurant. The first three commercially successfully potato chip making processes were filed by three different white guys in the 1920’s. The most famous was by H.W. Lay who’s name is now part of the Frito-Lay company.

Picture of Crum, the Saratoga chef, exist. In my online research I found that Black history mythologists claim that the picture of Crum (left) depicts a black man. While the man’s face is partially obscured and the picture is dark, you can clearly see that the man has the very typical high cheek bones of an Eastern Woodlands American Indian. The man’s nose, jaw, lips, and facial hair exhibit no Negro features whatsoever. The thick mustache would suggest that he had some Caucasian admixture.

A drawing of Crum, of unknown origin, depicts an exaggerated American Indian caricature in a chef’s hat holding a dish of potato chips.

Should we all denounce the black history mythologists as “anti-Indian racists” for claiming credit for Chef Crum’s Sarasota Chips?