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Benjamin Banneker: Life and Career

Who made a big impact on the black community in a way and was mostly self-taught? Benjamin Banneker was a male mathematician, astronomer and was one of the first African American to be noticed in science. He was an inspiring person and encouraged many people from many races to do many things in life. Benjamin was an important person who has a major history in many communities and may have affected society as a whole.

Benjamin Banneker was born a free man in Baltimore County on November 9, 1731 and was raised on a farm and he grew up helping with crops and chores.

He was only born a free man because of his parents. Unlike many other people, he was free. Benjamin had other siblings and his parents were Robert Bannaky and Mary Bannaky. He was very curious and liked to count numbers in his time. He also was also mostly self-taught and couldn’t go to school most of the time.

Benjamin Banneker first accomplishment was his first ever watch. His friend showed him a pocket watch and was so astonished. He decided to make it and the watch stayed within time for almost 40 years, though, the clock was burned as well as many other papers. Benjamin accomplished many things in astronomy, math, and writing. Benjamin could predict star movement using his skills he learned. He also published his book, “Benjamin Banneker’s Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia Almanack and Ephemeris.”

It was about dates of eclipses and how the stars would move.

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He continued to write a book each year for 10 years. He only stopped because it wasn’t physically able to do it anymore. Along with that, after the Revolutionary War, he accurately predicted a solar eclipse on April 14, 1789. Though one of his projects was most likely the reason on why he was popular.

In 1791, Banneker was sent by George Washington to be in an engineering group. He was to help design Washington D.C and was one of the first African American to receive a presidential appointment. The leader of the group was in a argument and left with all the plans in 1792. Though, Banneker remembered all the plans and the capitol was made.

As said, he made impacts in many other instances. He helped with D.C’s capitol and designed a functional watch that was accurate for 40 years. Along with these, he designed a book with mostly astronomy and accurately calculated a solar eclipse. Many people read these books around the world and affected people in many ways.

He sent many pages to Thomas Jefferson about ending slavery and all men were equal no matter what race they were. He even used his book as an example on what free people could do but Jefferson wrote back only stating that his book was impressive but it wouldn’t have much effect on ending slavery or making people equal. Though many other people around the world were impressed by his knowledge as well.

To put it short, Benjamin Banneker was a free black man who had been self taught and was popular for many things. He knew a lot about astronomy, mathematics and he also loved to write. He was remembered for making a clock that stayed with time for 40 years, his book, accurately calculating the next solar eclipse, and knowing and memorizing how the capital for Washington D.C looks. He spoke out and was against discrimination and wanted to end slavery. He was a man with many accomplishments that affected the world in some way and was very smart for his time.

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Benjamin Banneker: Life and Career. (2021, Apr 01). Retrieved from

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