Benjamin Banneker-Abolitionist, Inventor, and Intellectual by Elizabeth Cohan-Lawson


After his death many looked into the life of Banneker. It was noted that he was never recorded to having been in a relationship in all of his 74 years. This has prompted several theories about Banneker possibly Homosexual, and being a devout Christian, never acting upon it. Though there is no real evidence to this claim, it would explain his alcoholism and isolation throughout his life.


Banneker was immortalized with several dedications. There was a commemorative obelisk erected in 1977 near his grave in Oella, Maryland. Monroe County, Gary, Indiana named a school after him when they finally became desegregated in 1951. The Banneker-Douglas museum focuses on Black arts and sciences in Catonsville, Maryland. There are parks, streets, songs, stamps and schools ame in tribute to him.


Benjamin Banneker was a man of extraordinary talents, constructing the first clock in America, publishing several almanacs, writing a correspondence of letters with Thomas Jefferson, and recreating the blueprints of Washington D.C. from pure memory after L’Enfant quit and took the plans with him. He was a visionary in a time period in which all hope seemed lost for the betterment of the African population in America. He fought that hypocrisy valiantly with innovation and ingenuity and proved that in the annals of American history, the practical man inevitably pulls out for the most righteous and equalizing of causes – the leveling of humanity amongst the whole of mankind.


@ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (2014) Shields – Elizabeth Cohan-Lawson

Elizabeth Cohan-Lawson  – Randolph-Macon College (Student – The Black Studies Program)