Letter to Thomas Jefferson from Benjamin Banneker (August 1791)
Actor Christopher Jackson (Hamilton) evokes the restrained passion of free black mathematician and scientist, Benjamin Banneker, in his reading of his now famous letter to Jefferson, in the Federal Hall Grand Rotunda.
Banneker challenged Jefferson and the framers of the Declaration of Independence on their hypocrisy regarding slavery, and the general perpetuation of prejudice against African Americans. He used Jefferson’s own words, “that all men are created equal,” to implore him and others to “wean yourselves from those narrow prejudices which you have imbibed with respect to” African Americans.
Use of this video was made possible by Christopher Jackson and Ham4Progress.