Throughout his life Banneker was troubled that all blacks were not free. And so, in 1791, he wrote to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who had signed the Declaration of Independence. Banneker attacked the institution of slavery and dared to call Jefferson a hypocrite for owning slaves. Jefferson responded. This is the story of Benjamin Banneker--his science, his politics, his morals, and his extraordinary correspondence with Thomas Jefferson. Illustrated in full-page scratchboard and oil paintings by Caldecott Honor artist Brian Pinkney.
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Banneker protested ``the almost general prejudice and prepossession which is so previlent [sic] in the world against those of my complexion'' and criticized Jefferson for holding slaves, detained ``by fraud and violence,'' despite his claim, in the Declaration of Independence, that ``all men are ...| Read Full Review of Dear Benjamin Banneker
Banneker's frustration led him to write to Thomas Jefferson, then Secretary of State, pointing out the statesman's inconsistency in proclaiming that all men are created equal even as he owned slaves.| Read Full Review of Dear Benjamin Banneker