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Benjamin Banneker’s Almanac

Science

Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806) was a Renaissance man of the early American Republic. Said to be a descendant of the Dogon people, Banneker was born to free Black parents in Baltimore, Maryland. He was self-educated on a variety of topics on which he would become a renowned expert, and spoke out on racism and the injustice of slavery, though he battled discrimination and doubt that a Black man could have knowledge of astronomy, Banneker published multiple annual almanacs that document a wide breadth of scientific knowledge, challenging preconceptions about Black men of his era. Banneker’s heritage put him in a long lineage of African astronomers, and his work as an early African American scientist makes him the grandfather of many innovators in the 20th and 21st century.