Banneker versus Jefferson

 Benjamin Banneker Une image de Banneker debout derri re unTo Thomas Jefferson from Benjamin Banneker, 19 August 1791

From Benjamin Banneker

Maryland. Baltimore County. Near Ellicotts Lower Mills
August 19th: 1791


I am fully sensible of the greatness of that freedom which I take with you on the present occasion; a liberty which Seemed to me scarcely allowable, when I reflected on that distinguished, and dignifyed station in which you Stand; and the almost general prejudice and prepossession which is so prevailent in the world against those of my complexion.

I suppose it is a truth too well attested to you, to need a proof here, that we are a race of Beings who have long laboured under the abuse and censure of the world, that we have long been looked upon with an eye of contempt, and1 that we have long been considered rather as brutish than human, and Scarcely capable of mental endowments. Continue reading

Benjamin Bannaka

Who was Benjamin Banneker and what was he famous for?A Man of Many Firsts

In 1753, Benjamin Banneker engineered the first striking clock made entirely of wooden parts. This invention marked the advent of his rise to fame as people would travel from far and near to witness his remarkable invention. Made entirely of hand carved wood parts and pinions, the clock struck on the hour for over 50 years.

Banneker was the first to track the 17 year locust cycle, a valuable revelation to farmers enabling them to prepare for attacks by locusts on their crops. He was among the first scientific farmers to employ crop rotation and water irrigation techniques. He enjoyed eviable results as a tobacco farmer, and harvested his own food crop.

Banneker was among the first Americans, and the first African-American, to publish almanacs, a valuable tool in an agricultural economy. His almanacs were publicly sold from 1792 to 1799, and did quite well. Continue reading

Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker AlmanacBenjamin Banneker
Scientist, Astronomer(1731–1806)

“The colour of the skin is in no way connected with strength of the mind or intellectual powers.”
—Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker was a largely self-educated mathematician, astronomer, compiler of almanacs and writer.


Benjamin Banneker was born on November 9, 1731, in – what was later named – Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland. A free-born black man who owned a farm near Baltimore, Banneker was largely self-educated in astronomy and mathematics. He was later called upon to assist in the surveying of territory for the construction of the nation’s capital Washington D.C. He also became an active writer of almanacs and exchanged letters with Thomas Jefferson, politely challenging him to do what he could to ensure racial equality. Banneker died on October 9, 1806.

Background and Early Years Continue reading

Review Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures (@HiddenFigures) | TwitterHidden Figures: One official story

By Joanne Laurier, 12 January 2017

Hidden Figures, directed by Theodore Melfi, screenplay by Melfi and Allison Schroeder, based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures
Directed by Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures recounts the story of three brilliant African-American female scientists who made extraordinary contributions to NASA—the National Aeronautics and Space Administration—in the 1960s. The movie is based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.

The film centers on Katherine Goble Johnson (born 1918), a physicist and mathematician who excelled in computerized celestial navigation for Project Mercury, the first US human spaceflight program (including the flights of Alan Shepard and John Glenn) from 1958 through 1963, the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon and the Space Shuttle program. She was also involved in the early plans for a mission to Mars. Continue reading

Screenplay Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures Screenplay

(Based on the book “Hidden Figures” by Margot Shetterly)
by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi – May 12, 2015
2 Based on a true story.

3 Hidden Figures – 5/9/ Shooting Draft – 1. In darkness, the voice of a little girl. Counting. LITTLE GIRL (V.O.) 14, 15, 16…prime. 18, prime. EXT. TREE LINED PATH – DAY A pair of little feet navigates down a gravel path. Kicking a pine cone. LITTLE GIRL (O.S.) 20, 21, 22, prime, 24, 25, Pulling up, we reveal: COLEMAN (8,) a peculiar, quiet, mouse of a child, wearing glasses bigger than her bookish face. Counting to herself. A VOICE (her Mother s) in the distance hollers out: JOYLETTE COLEMAN (O.S.) Katherine! Come on now! Katherine looks up. Sees a car stopped at the end of the path. She runs off. Counting all the way. Titles over: White Sulphur Springs, Virginia EXT. WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS GRAMMAR SCHOOL – DAY A colored grammar school. Small, spirited. Katherine s now between her parents (dad: JOSHUA and JOYLETTE,) holding their hands as they enter. INT. WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS GRAMMAR SCHOOL – DAY – CONT. A long hallway lined with windows. Sitting on a bench, outside a Principal s office, Katherine sketches (in a small notebook) the window panes, highlighting all the geometric shapes she discovers within: YEARS OLD) Isosceles, scalene, obtuse, equilateral, rhombus… On the windows opposite her: the tetris-like patterns of her mind s eye come alive. And on she goes. YEARS OLD) (CONT D) Trapezoid, tetrahedron, octahedron, dodecahedron… Continue reading

Margot Shetterly

Margot Lee Shetterly - WikipediaMargot Lee Shetterly CV Oct 2013

US Mailing Address: …
Mex Address: …
US TEL: … • MEX TEL: …

Hidden Figures, narrative nonfiction work in progress. Hidden Figures is the untold history of the African-American women employed as Human Computers by NACA/NASA from the 1940s through the 1960s. (Represented by Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency)

The Human Computers Project. Multimedia platform archiving the history of NACA-NACA’s African-American Human Computers and their significance in the context of the US Space Program, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the struggle for Gender Equality. Collaborative work in progress with Prof. Duchess Harris of Macalester College.


The Spirit of Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai
From The Green Belt Movement


Wangari Maathai was the founder of the Green Belt Movement and the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. She authored four books: The Green Belt MovementUnbowed: A MemoirThe Challenge for Africa; and Replenishing the Earth. As well as having been featured in a number of books, she and the Green Belt Movement were the subject of a documentary film, Taking Root: the Vision of Wangari Maathai (Marlboro Productions, 2008).

Wangari Muta Maathai was born in Nyeri, a rural area of Kenya (Africa), in 1940. She obtained a degree in Biological Sciences from Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas (1964), a Master of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh (1966), and pursued doctoral studies in Germany and the University of Nairobi, before obtaining a Ph.D. (1971) from the University of Nairobi, Continue reading