Sir, suffer me to recall to your mind that time in which the arms and tyranny of the British Crown were exerted with every powerful effort in order to reduce you to a State of Servitude, look back I entreat you on the variety of dangers to which you were exposed; reflect on that time in which every human aid appeared unavailable, and in which even hope and fortitude wore the aspect of inability to the conflict and you cannot but be led to a serious and grateful sense of your miraculous and providential preservations; you cannot but acknowledge that the present freedom and tranquility which you enjoy you have mercifully received and that it is the peculiar blessing of Heaven.

[An excerpt from Benjamin Banneker's letter to Thomas Jefferson, written 8/19/1791, America's First Publicly Documented Protest Letter]

 

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A Memorial to Benjamin Banneker

 

The Washington Interdependence Council invites you to join in on the national movement to establish a world class memorial to colonial American hero, Benjamin Banneker. This is an exciting time in the history of American historic preservation. For the first time in the nation's history, there are commemorative initiatives on the table which call for paying homage to the contributions of African-Americans. Up until October, 2011, African-Americans were the only ethnic constituency without a commemorative presence within the monumental core of the nation's capitol., until the MLK Memorial was officially dedicated after 26 years in the making.

 

The Benjamin Banneker Memorial offers the country a tremendous opportunity to remedy this historical oversight and to tell the story of one of the most prolific contributors to American history. Won't you join us, with your support, in helping to honor the legacy of America's most unsung hero. You can make a difference. Do your part. Be a part of the solution. You'll be making history too!

Ode to Benjamin Banneker

 

Poem by Susanna Hopkins Mason
Written in 1796
[The following poem will be etched on the pedestal base
of the Banneker Memorial.
]

 

 

On record now thy name's enrolled.
And future ages will be told,
There lived a man called Banneker,
An African astronomer.
Thou need'st to have a special care.
Thy conduct with thy talents square.
That no contaminating vice
obscure thy lustre in our eyes.
Or cast a shade upon thy merit.
Or blast the praise thou might'st inherit.
For folly in an orb so bright,
Will strike on each beholder's sight.
Nay, stand exposed from age to age,
Extant on some historian's page.
Now as thy welfare I intend,
Observe my counsel as a friend.
Let fair example mark thy round
Unto thine orbit's utmost bound.
"The good man's path," the scriptures say,
"Shines more and more to perfect day."

 



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Copyright, Washington Interdependence Council, 2014