Meet the self-educated black man who designed Washington D.C.

Meet the self-educated black man who designed Washington D.C.

- Benjamin Banneker, now named after scores of schools, streets, businesses, parks and awards was a designer of the US capital Washington DC

- Although famous white architects by names Pierre Charles L’Enfant and Andrew Ellicott had contributed greatly, it is clear Washington DC couldn't have happened the way it did without the massive contribution of Banneker

- Banneker also built what is said to be the first clock in America in 1753

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Benjamin Banneker, an accomplished mathematician, scholar, and astronomer was a man who helped greatly in the designing of Washington, D.C. to become the capital of the United States.

In a report compiled by Face2FaceAfrica, famous white architects by names Pierre Charles L’Enfant and then Andrew Ellicott are usually accorded the accolade of undertaking the project without highlighting the work of Banneker.

It has however come to light that without Banneker, the project wouldn't have happened.

In being a part of the surveying team for the project, Banneker, a free black man in a nation that was still practising slavery, used his skills to debunk the theory that blacks were an inferior race.

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Meet the self-educated black man who designed Washington D.C.

Source: UGC
Source: UGC

Banneker grew up as one of the only 200 free African-Americans among 13,000 whites and 4000 slaves in Baltimore County but grew up to also build what is said to be the first clock in America in 1753.

It is indicated that Banneker’s main role in surveying the new capital was to make astronomical observations to determine the starting point for the survey and to also use his calculations to establish the boundary points for the district.

Banneker’s work grew significant after Pierre Charles L’Enfant in 1791, developed a grand design for the capital but abandoned the project because of some issues with his superiors.

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When he left, he took away all the designs with him, creating confusion for other planners as to how to proceed with the project but that was when Banneker came and rescued everyone.

Banneker produced the plans from memory in two days and the project took off again. The black man got recognition for that and scores of schools, streets, businesses, parks and awards have been named after him.

In another report, a young man by the name William Ansah Sasreku who was born in Anomabo in Ghana in 1736 got sold into slavery and later became a renowned prince in England.

Ghanaianmuseum.com reports that in 1744 when he was only eight years of age, William whose father, Enu Baissie Kurentsir, was an internal slave dealer in Ghana, sent his son to study English in England to enhance the slave activities.

Unfortunately for the Ghanaian father who was known to the British as John Bannishee Corrantee, his son got abducted into slavery in Barbados.

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