On September 8th, 2018 The Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum
held an artist reception for their current show that I have artwork hanging in…
Benjamin Banneker — author, scientist, mathematician, farmer, astronomer, publisher and urban planner — was descended from enslaved Africans, an indentured English servant, and free men and women of color. His grandmother, Molly Welsh, was an English dairy maid who was falsely convicted of theft and indentured to a Maryland tobacco farmer. After working out her indenture, Welsh rented and farmed some land, eventually purchasing two African slaves whom she freed several years later.
Young Benjamin grew up in Baltimore County, one of two hundred free blacks among a population of four thousand slaves and thirteen thousand whites. He was taught to read by his grandmother Molly, and briefly attended a one-room interracial school taught by a Quaker. He showed an early interest in mathematics and mechanics, preferring books to play.
While still a young man (probably about age 20), he built a wooden clock that kept precise time. Banneker was encouraged in the study of astronomy by George Ellicott, a Quaker and amateur astronomer whose family owned nearby mills. As early as 1788, Banneker began to make astronomical calculations, and he accurately predicted a solar eclipse that occurred in 1789. In 1791, while working with Andrew Ellicott and others in surveying the land that would become Washington, D.C., Banneker made other astronomical observations. –Encyclopedia Britannica
It turns out Benjamin and I have a lot in common! Both totally interested in astronomy, science, writing… he and I also share a similar background of being of mixed cultures. His story is very inspirational. It shows perseverance through any situation to come out on top and make a better world for everyone.
The show will be up until December 29th, 2018.
Thank you Willa Banks for following your passion for curating this amazing exhibit!