Benjamin Banneker Took His Pro-Black Stance Directly To A Founding Father

statue of benjamin banneker
Via historyhit
Tremain Prioleau II
May 15, 2023

Banneker wrote a now famous letter to then presidential candidate and claimed founding father Thomas Jefferson in 1791. The letter was a scathing criticism of Jefferson’s stance on freedom for Black people.

Banneker wrote: “However variable we may be in Society or religion, however diversifyed in situation or colour, we are all of the same family, and stand in the same relation to him.” Banneker was referring to God. He felt that we were all equal and anyone in opposition of that didn’t respect God or his people.

Thomas Jefferson replied to Banneker’s letter but it wasn’t the response he expected. Jefferson wrote that he wished to see Black people free, especially if they exhibit the talents of Banneker. Sounds nice but it reduces Black people to what we achieve. We deserve humanity without conditions.

Jefferson then went on to write to Marquis de Condorect, a French Mathematician whom Jefferson sent Banneker’s almanac to. In the letter, he wrote about how worthy and respectable the free Banneker was. Clearly Jefferson was shook that an educated Black man would dare challenge him.

Benjamin Banneker stood tall against one of America’s elite politician’s all in the name of freedom for his people. Banneker’s actions teach us to never stand by when injustice is being done. Always speak up. The very survival of our community depends on it.

We have a quick favor to ask:

PushBlack is a nonprofit dedicated to raising up Black voices. We are a small team but we have an outsized impact:

  • We reach tens of millions of people with our BLACK NEWS & HISTORY STORIES every year.
  • We fight for CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM to protect our community.
  • We run VOTING CAMPAIGNS that reach over 10 million African-Americans across the country.

And as a nonprofit, we rely on small donations from subscribers like you.

With as little as $5 a month, you can help PushBlack raise up Black voices. It only takes a minute, so will you please ?

Share This Article: