Honoring Black Space Pioneers: Benjamin Banneker
February 15, 2023
Today we’re honoring a true forgotten founding father, Benjamin Banneker.
Banneker was the first Black astronomer in the United States. Largely self-taught, his work contradicted that of well-known mathematicians and astronomers at the time.
He predicted the positions of the Sun, the Moon, and the planets in 1791. Despite challenges getting his work published, he authored this *accurate* prediction in the first series of almanacs in America.
His fight for equality began when he sent his 1791 Almanac to Thomas Jeffersion, including a letter fiercly denouncing slavery and Jefferson's participation in it. He later published their correspondence in his 1793 Almanac, making him one of the first published Civil Rights Activists.
Benjamin not only our understanding of space and astronomy, but he also helped start a movement for justice that we still continue today. Without him, we'd have far less knowledge, insight, and compassion for our world and everything around it.