Benjamin Banneker: A Tribute

by Mary Jo

February is Black History Month in the US and Canada.  I understand that the UK has a similar celebration in October.  February was chosen because both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass were born this month, on the 12th and 14th respectively.

Until last fall, I had only the vaguest awareness of Benjamin Banneker–that he was an early BenjaminBannekerAfrican American scientist of some sort.  And that was the extent of my knowledge.

Then a friend visited and the Mayhem Consultant suggested I take her to see the Benjamin Banneker Museum , which I'd never heard of.  Situated in a very rural area of Baltimore County, I was surprised to find that the museum is a handsome building that is the centerpiece of the 142 acre Benjamin Banneker county park.  Moreover, the park is located on the site of Banneker's own farm.

What I learned in the museum, including a short movie about his life starring Ossie Davis, was that Banneker was a true prodigy.  He was a remarkable astronomer and mathematician who did the complex calculations to produce an almanac, which was published Almanaccoverfor several years, and he was also part of the team that surveyed the District of Columbia, future home of the capital of the United States. At the age of 21, he built an accurate and long-lived clock entirely of wood, using a pocket watch as a model.  He was also an abolitionist who corresponded with Thomas Jefferson.  

According to the movie of his life, Banneker's grandmother, Molly Walsh, was a Welsh servant who lost a pail of milk when the cow she was milking kicked it over.  Accused of theft, she was sent to the American colonies as an indentured servant, which was usually for a term of seven years.  Not much is known about her, but after she finished her period of indentured servitude, she earned enough money to buy a piece of land and buy two black slaves.  She promptly freed them both and married one of the two, an African born man named Banneka. 

Their daughter Mary, a free black, also married a freed African born slave named Robert and they had several children, including Benjamin.  His abilities were recognized early and he was aided on his path by several Quakers, who were abolitionists and believers in equality.  One of them started a nearby school and allowed Benjamin use of his personal library.  Benjamin had formal schooling only until he was old enough to work on the family farm.

There were more Quakers in Benjamin's future.  The three Ellicott brothers moved down from Philadelphia after deciding that the Patapsco River was an ideal site for developing a gristmill.  The Banneker farm was nearby and sold them food.  Impressed by Benjamin's abilities, the Ellicotts encouraged his studies and became lifelong friends.  One of the brothers, Major Andrew Ellicott, was the man who enlisted Benjamin as part of the surveying team for the District of Columbia.  (The community of Ellicott Mills is now the charming town of Ellicott City.)

BBCottageBenjamin never married, but he lived to the ripe old age of 74, doing some farming and more scientific studies.  He lived in a tiny log cabin. It burned down on the day of his funeral, along with most of his possessions and papers.  (One of the museum staff said arson was not involved.)

This is a replica of Banneker's cottage, built in the same location and dimensions.  It's–very small!  The museum is much larger, with exhibits and educational programs, and the park has numerous trails and nature programs.  Benjamin Banneker was a remarkable man, and I'm glad he is remembered and commemorated today. 

Another African American icon born in Maryland was the amazing Harriet Tubman.   HarrietTubmanBorn into slavery, she escaped to the north and conducted African Americans to freedom along the Underground Railroad, never losing a "passenger."  During the Civil War, she was a nurse, a spy, and led an armed raid that freed 700 slaves.  Did I mention "amazing?"

Since it's Black History Month, are there any historical African Americans you particularly admire?  In honor of the month, I'll give away a copy of my book, A Distant Magic, which is built around the 18th century British abolition movement, to one person who comments between now and midnight Tuesday.
DistantMagic2
Mary Jo

135 thoughts on “Benjamin Banneker: A Tribute”

  1. Fascinating. Maryland seems to be a fertile place for intelligence and equality. Thank you for another interesting read with my morning tea.

    Reply
  2. Fascinating. Maryland seems to be a fertile place for intelligence and equality. Thank you for another interesting read with my morning tea.

    Reply
  3. Fascinating. Maryland seems to be a fertile place for intelligence and equality. Thank you for another interesting read with my morning tea.

    Reply
  4. Fascinating. Maryland seems to be a fertile place for intelligence and equality. Thank you for another interesting read with my morning tea.

    Reply
  5. Fascinating. Maryland seems to be a fertile place for intelligence and equality. Thank you for another interesting read with my morning tea.

    Reply
  6. I have always admired Marion Anderson. In school, during Black History Month, we were asked to research and write about the life of a black person. I loved music and opera and was already dancing several years, so I enjoyed great singing and dancing artists.
    I admired her courage and that of Eleanor Roosevelt who supported Anderson in singing at the Lincoln Memorial by removing herself from the DAR.
    Anderson had a beautiful alto voice, deep and resonant.

    Reply
  7. I have always admired Marion Anderson. In school, during Black History Month, we were asked to research and write about the life of a black person. I loved music and opera and was already dancing several years, so I enjoyed great singing and dancing artists.
    I admired her courage and that of Eleanor Roosevelt who supported Anderson in singing at the Lincoln Memorial by removing herself from the DAR.
    Anderson had a beautiful alto voice, deep and resonant.

    Reply
  8. I have always admired Marion Anderson. In school, during Black History Month, we were asked to research and write about the life of a black person. I loved music and opera and was already dancing several years, so I enjoyed great singing and dancing artists.
    I admired her courage and that of Eleanor Roosevelt who supported Anderson in singing at the Lincoln Memorial by removing herself from the DAR.
    Anderson had a beautiful alto voice, deep and resonant.

    Reply
  9. I have always admired Marion Anderson. In school, during Black History Month, we were asked to research and write about the life of a black person. I loved music and opera and was already dancing several years, so I enjoyed great singing and dancing artists.
    I admired her courage and that of Eleanor Roosevelt who supported Anderson in singing at the Lincoln Memorial by removing herself from the DAR.
    Anderson had a beautiful alto voice, deep and resonant.

    Reply
  10. I have always admired Marion Anderson. In school, during Black History Month, we were asked to research and write about the life of a black person. I loved music and opera and was already dancing several years, so I enjoyed great singing and dancing artists.
    I admired her courage and that of Eleanor Roosevelt who supported Anderson in singing at the Lincoln Memorial by removing herself from the DAR.
    Anderson had a beautiful alto voice, deep and resonant.

    Reply
  11. Larisa–
    I’m glad you enjoyed learning about Benjamin Banneker as much as I did. Maryland is indeed a fascinating place–lots and LOTS of history, and balanced between the North and the South. A lot of civil rights history happened here: Thurgood Marshall was a Marylander. It’s a good place for a history buff to live. *G*

    Reply
  12. Larisa–
    I’m glad you enjoyed learning about Benjamin Banneker as much as I did. Maryland is indeed a fascinating place–lots and LOTS of history, and balanced between the North and the South. A lot of civil rights history happened here: Thurgood Marshall was a Marylander. It’s a good place for a history buff to live. *G*

    Reply
  13. Larisa–
    I’m glad you enjoyed learning about Benjamin Banneker as much as I did. Maryland is indeed a fascinating place–lots and LOTS of history, and balanced between the North and the South. A lot of civil rights history happened here: Thurgood Marshall was a Marylander. It’s a good place for a history buff to live. *G*

    Reply
  14. Larisa–
    I’m glad you enjoyed learning about Benjamin Banneker as much as I did. Maryland is indeed a fascinating place–lots and LOTS of history, and balanced between the North and the South. A lot of civil rights history happened here: Thurgood Marshall was a Marylander. It’s a good place for a history buff to live. *G*

    Reply
  15. Larisa–
    I’m glad you enjoyed learning about Benjamin Banneker as much as I did. Maryland is indeed a fascinating place–lots and LOTS of history, and balanced between the North and the South. A lot of civil rights history happened here: Thurgood Marshall was a Marylander. It’s a good place for a history buff to live. *G*

    Reply
  16. Wonderful choice, Patricia! As you say, Marion Anderson was a superb singer, and a trailblazer with her talent. Just as Eleanor Roosevelt was a trailblazer in equality.
    My mother was a huge fan of Marion Anderson, and she told us that her mother also resigned from the DAR because of their bigotry. The DAR has progressed since then, and so has our country in general. But there is still much work to be done, which is why I enjoy Black History Month. I always learn new things.

    Reply
  17. Wonderful choice, Patricia! As you say, Marion Anderson was a superb singer, and a trailblazer with her talent. Just as Eleanor Roosevelt was a trailblazer in equality.
    My mother was a huge fan of Marion Anderson, and she told us that her mother also resigned from the DAR because of their bigotry. The DAR has progressed since then, and so has our country in general. But there is still much work to be done, which is why I enjoy Black History Month. I always learn new things.

    Reply
  18. Wonderful choice, Patricia! As you say, Marion Anderson was a superb singer, and a trailblazer with her talent. Just as Eleanor Roosevelt was a trailblazer in equality.
    My mother was a huge fan of Marion Anderson, and she told us that her mother also resigned from the DAR because of their bigotry. The DAR has progressed since then, and so has our country in general. But there is still much work to be done, which is why I enjoy Black History Month. I always learn new things.

    Reply
  19. Wonderful choice, Patricia! As you say, Marion Anderson was a superb singer, and a trailblazer with her talent. Just as Eleanor Roosevelt was a trailblazer in equality.
    My mother was a huge fan of Marion Anderson, and she told us that her mother also resigned from the DAR because of their bigotry. The DAR has progressed since then, and so has our country in general. But there is still much work to be done, which is why I enjoy Black History Month. I always learn new things.

    Reply
  20. Wonderful choice, Patricia! As you say, Marion Anderson was a superb singer, and a trailblazer with her talent. Just as Eleanor Roosevelt was a trailblazer in equality.
    My mother was a huge fan of Marion Anderson, and she told us that her mother also resigned from the DAR because of their bigotry. The DAR has progressed since then, and so has our country in general. But there is still much work to be done, which is why I enjoy Black History Month. I always learn new things.

    Reply
  21. I don’t know enough about black leaders to have a favorite in that department. But I was a fan of the poetry of Paul Lawrence Dunbar from way before I know who he was. (In the serrated schools of St. Louis there was a “black” school named Dunbar, so I knew he was black. What I didn’t know was who that Dunbar was and I also didn’t know that he wrote the poems I was so found of.
    Another black poet also won my admiration before I learn that he was black: Langston Hughes.

    Reply
  22. I don’t know enough about black leaders to have a favorite in that department. But I was a fan of the poetry of Paul Lawrence Dunbar from way before I know who he was. (In the serrated schools of St. Louis there was a “black” school named Dunbar, so I knew he was black. What I didn’t know was who that Dunbar was and I also didn’t know that he wrote the poems I was so found of.
    Another black poet also won my admiration before I learn that he was black: Langston Hughes.

    Reply
  23. I don’t know enough about black leaders to have a favorite in that department. But I was a fan of the poetry of Paul Lawrence Dunbar from way before I know who he was. (In the serrated schools of St. Louis there was a “black” school named Dunbar, so I knew he was black. What I didn’t know was who that Dunbar was and I also didn’t know that he wrote the poems I was so found of.
    Another black poet also won my admiration before I learn that he was black: Langston Hughes.

    Reply
  24. I don’t know enough about black leaders to have a favorite in that department. But I was a fan of the poetry of Paul Lawrence Dunbar from way before I know who he was. (In the serrated schools of St. Louis there was a “black” school named Dunbar, so I knew he was black. What I didn’t know was who that Dunbar was and I also didn’t know that he wrote the poems I was so found of.
    Another black poet also won my admiration before I learn that he was black: Langston Hughes.

    Reply
  25. I don’t know enough about black leaders to have a favorite in that department. But I was a fan of the poetry of Paul Lawrence Dunbar from way before I know who he was. (In the serrated schools of St. Louis there was a “black” school named Dunbar, so I knew he was black. What I didn’t know was who that Dunbar was and I also didn’t know that he wrote the poems I was so found of.
    Another black poet also won my admiration before I learn that he was black: Langston Hughes.

    Reply
  26. Thank-you, that was very interesting, I think it is criminal that we rarely hear about these men and women. I am a 78 year old white woman and understand why it is necessary to have a black history month. We need an update on the history books taught in our schools, maybe it would help to stop this racial tension which seems to escalating in our country.

    Reply
  27. Thank-you, that was very interesting, I think it is criminal that we rarely hear about these men and women. I am a 78 year old white woman and understand why it is necessary to have a black history month. We need an update on the history books taught in our schools, maybe it would help to stop this racial tension which seems to escalating in our country.

    Reply
  28. Thank-you, that was very interesting, I think it is criminal that we rarely hear about these men and women. I am a 78 year old white woman and understand why it is necessary to have a black history month. We need an update on the history books taught in our schools, maybe it would help to stop this racial tension which seems to escalating in our country.

    Reply
  29. Thank-you, that was very interesting, I think it is criminal that we rarely hear about these men and women. I am a 78 year old white woman and understand why it is necessary to have a black history month. We need an update on the history books taught in our schools, maybe it would help to stop this racial tension which seems to escalating in our country.

    Reply
  30. Thank-you, that was very interesting, I think it is criminal that we rarely hear about these men and women. I am a 78 year old white woman and understand why it is necessary to have a black history month. We need an update on the history books taught in our schools, maybe it would help to stop this racial tension which seems to escalating in our country.

    Reply
  31. Oh, there are so many to admire. My mind goes first to contemporaries like Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks. But as brave as they were, when I think of the times that Harriet Tubman or Sojourner Truth lived in – well, I can’t help but admire them even more.

    Reply
  32. Oh, there are so many to admire. My mind goes first to contemporaries like Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks. But as brave as they were, when I think of the times that Harriet Tubman or Sojourner Truth lived in – well, I can’t help but admire them even more.

    Reply
  33. Oh, there are so many to admire. My mind goes first to contemporaries like Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks. But as brave as they were, when I think of the times that Harriet Tubman or Sojourner Truth lived in – well, I can’t help but admire them even more.

    Reply
  34. Oh, there are so many to admire. My mind goes first to contemporaries like Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks. But as brave as they were, when I think of the times that Harriet Tubman or Sojourner Truth lived in – well, I can’t help but admire them even more.

    Reply
  35. Oh, there are so many to admire. My mind goes first to contemporaries like Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks. But as brave as they were, when I think of the times that Harriet Tubman or Sojourner Truth lived in – well, I can’t help but admire them even more.

    Reply
  36. I don’t remember hearing about Benjamin Banneker but I went to school in Canada. I do remember learning about Harriet Tubman when we studied the underground railway. I remember being proud that their destination was Canada. Segregation was a difficult subject for me to understand when I was in school because I just couldn’t comprehend why it existed. I still struggle with the concept of it. But I came of age when we were protesting apartied in South Africa and was shocked that it still existed. I’ve never known if it was just my British and Canadian upbringing or my naivete. I asked my Dad why I couldn’t understand it and he replied, “That’s because we did our jobs (as your parents) right.” I heard myself quoting my Dad to my youngest who came home from grade six and asked what a racist was (His homework). When I explained it, he looked at me blankly and said, “I still don’t get it.” Proud Mummy moment. So thsnk you for sharing another amazing person to learn about. Now at our house if someone asks ehat a racist is, we say someone who goes really fast!

    Reply
  37. I don’t remember hearing about Benjamin Banneker but I went to school in Canada. I do remember learning about Harriet Tubman when we studied the underground railway. I remember being proud that their destination was Canada. Segregation was a difficult subject for me to understand when I was in school because I just couldn’t comprehend why it existed. I still struggle with the concept of it. But I came of age when we were protesting apartied in South Africa and was shocked that it still existed. I’ve never known if it was just my British and Canadian upbringing or my naivete. I asked my Dad why I couldn’t understand it and he replied, “That’s because we did our jobs (as your parents) right.” I heard myself quoting my Dad to my youngest who came home from grade six and asked what a racist was (His homework). When I explained it, he looked at me blankly and said, “I still don’t get it.” Proud Mummy moment. So thsnk you for sharing another amazing person to learn about. Now at our house if someone asks ehat a racist is, we say someone who goes really fast!

    Reply
  38. I don’t remember hearing about Benjamin Banneker but I went to school in Canada. I do remember learning about Harriet Tubman when we studied the underground railway. I remember being proud that their destination was Canada. Segregation was a difficult subject for me to understand when I was in school because I just couldn’t comprehend why it existed. I still struggle with the concept of it. But I came of age when we were protesting apartied in South Africa and was shocked that it still existed. I’ve never known if it was just my British and Canadian upbringing or my naivete. I asked my Dad why I couldn’t understand it and he replied, “That’s because we did our jobs (as your parents) right.” I heard myself quoting my Dad to my youngest who came home from grade six and asked what a racist was (His homework). When I explained it, he looked at me blankly and said, “I still don’t get it.” Proud Mummy moment. So thsnk you for sharing another amazing person to learn about. Now at our house if someone asks ehat a racist is, we say someone who goes really fast!

    Reply
  39. I don’t remember hearing about Benjamin Banneker but I went to school in Canada. I do remember learning about Harriet Tubman when we studied the underground railway. I remember being proud that their destination was Canada. Segregation was a difficult subject for me to understand when I was in school because I just couldn’t comprehend why it existed. I still struggle with the concept of it. But I came of age when we were protesting apartied in South Africa and was shocked that it still existed. I’ve never known if it was just my British and Canadian upbringing or my naivete. I asked my Dad why I couldn’t understand it and he replied, “That’s because we did our jobs (as your parents) right.” I heard myself quoting my Dad to my youngest who came home from grade six and asked what a racist was (His homework). When I explained it, he looked at me blankly and said, “I still don’t get it.” Proud Mummy moment. So thsnk you for sharing another amazing person to learn about. Now at our house if someone asks ehat a racist is, we say someone who goes really fast!

    Reply
  40. I don’t remember hearing about Benjamin Banneker but I went to school in Canada. I do remember learning about Harriet Tubman when we studied the underground railway. I remember being proud that their destination was Canada. Segregation was a difficult subject for me to understand when I was in school because I just couldn’t comprehend why it existed. I still struggle with the concept of it. But I came of age when we were protesting apartied in South Africa and was shocked that it still existed. I’ve never known if it was just my British and Canadian upbringing or my naivete. I asked my Dad why I couldn’t understand it and he replied, “That’s because we did our jobs (as your parents) right.” I heard myself quoting my Dad to my youngest who came home from grade six and asked what a racist was (His homework). When I explained it, he looked at me blankly and said, “I still don’t get it.” Proud Mummy moment. So thsnk you for sharing another amazing person to learn about. Now at our house if someone asks ehat a racist is, we say someone who goes really fast!

    Reply
  41. I’m reading the David McCulloch biography of the Wright brothers. They went to the same high school in Dayton, Ohio that Dunbar attended and were friends with him, which I think reflects well on the brothers that they didn’t have the racial prejudices of many of their contemporaries. There is a high school in Washington, DC named after him, as well as one named after Benjamin Banneker. The story I heard was that when Pierre L’Enfant stormed off in a huff, Banneker remembered the plans for Washington and was able to recreate them. Without him our capital city might not look the way it does.

    Reply
  42. I’m reading the David McCulloch biography of the Wright brothers. They went to the same high school in Dayton, Ohio that Dunbar attended and were friends with him, which I think reflects well on the brothers that they didn’t have the racial prejudices of many of their contemporaries. There is a high school in Washington, DC named after him, as well as one named after Benjamin Banneker. The story I heard was that when Pierre L’Enfant stormed off in a huff, Banneker remembered the plans for Washington and was able to recreate them. Without him our capital city might not look the way it does.

    Reply
  43. I’m reading the David McCulloch biography of the Wright brothers. They went to the same high school in Dayton, Ohio that Dunbar attended and were friends with him, which I think reflects well on the brothers that they didn’t have the racial prejudices of many of their contemporaries. There is a high school in Washington, DC named after him, as well as one named after Benjamin Banneker. The story I heard was that when Pierre L’Enfant stormed off in a huff, Banneker remembered the plans for Washington and was able to recreate them. Without him our capital city might not look the way it does.

    Reply
  44. I’m reading the David McCulloch biography of the Wright brothers. They went to the same high school in Dayton, Ohio that Dunbar attended and were friends with him, which I think reflects well on the brothers that they didn’t have the racial prejudices of many of their contemporaries. There is a high school in Washington, DC named after him, as well as one named after Benjamin Banneker. The story I heard was that when Pierre L’Enfant stormed off in a huff, Banneker remembered the plans for Washington and was able to recreate them. Without him our capital city might not look the way it does.

    Reply
  45. I’m reading the David McCulloch biography of the Wright brothers. They went to the same high school in Dayton, Ohio that Dunbar attended and were friends with him, which I think reflects well on the brothers that they didn’t have the racial prejudices of many of their contemporaries. There is a high school in Washington, DC named after him, as well as one named after Benjamin Banneker. The story I heard was that when Pierre L’Enfant stormed off in a huff, Banneker remembered the plans for Washington and was able to recreate them. Without him our capital city might not look the way it does.

    Reply
  46. Karen–
    I grew up in a pretty homogeneous rural community, and I’ve never really “gotten” racism, either. I find it bizarre that in Maryland, where I live now, there were separate drinking fountains and otehr forms of institutionalized racism. It makes no sense on a visceral level. But it happened. and the effects are still with us and full healing will be a long time coming.

    Reply
  47. Karen–
    I grew up in a pretty homogeneous rural community, and I’ve never really “gotten” racism, either. I find it bizarre that in Maryland, where I live now, there were separate drinking fountains and otehr forms of institutionalized racism. It makes no sense on a visceral level. But it happened. and the effects are still with us and full healing will be a long time coming.

    Reply
  48. Karen–
    I grew up in a pretty homogeneous rural community, and I’ve never really “gotten” racism, either. I find it bizarre that in Maryland, where I live now, there were separate drinking fountains and otehr forms of institutionalized racism. It makes no sense on a visceral level. But it happened. and the effects are still with us and full healing will be a long time coming.

    Reply
  49. Karen–
    I grew up in a pretty homogeneous rural community, and I’ve never really “gotten” racism, either. I find it bizarre that in Maryland, where I live now, there were separate drinking fountains and otehr forms of institutionalized racism. It makes no sense on a visceral level. But it happened. and the effects are still with us and full healing will be a long time coming.

    Reply
  50. Karen–
    I grew up in a pretty homogeneous rural community, and I’ve never really “gotten” racism, either. I find it bizarre that in Maryland, where I live now, there were separate drinking fountains and otehr forms of institutionalized racism. It makes no sense on a visceral level. But it happened. and the effects are still with us and full healing will be a long time coming.

    Reply
  51. Susan/DC, I didn’t know that about the Wright brothers, but as you say, very much to their credit.
    Wikipedia has a link from the Banneker page about myths that have grown up around him, and one is the story of L’Enfant stomping off and Banneker recreating the plans, so that’s probably not true. Nor does it need to me–his real accomplishments are more than enough.

    Reply
  52. Susan/DC, I didn’t know that about the Wright brothers, but as you say, very much to their credit.
    Wikipedia has a link from the Banneker page about myths that have grown up around him, and one is the story of L’Enfant stomping off and Banneker recreating the plans, so that’s probably not true. Nor does it need to me–his real accomplishments are more than enough.

    Reply
  53. Susan/DC, I didn’t know that about the Wright brothers, but as you say, very much to their credit.
    Wikipedia has a link from the Banneker page about myths that have grown up around him, and one is the story of L’Enfant stomping off and Banneker recreating the plans, so that’s probably not true. Nor does it need to me–his real accomplishments are more than enough.

    Reply
  54. Susan/DC, I didn’t know that about the Wright brothers, but as you say, very much to their credit.
    Wikipedia has a link from the Banneker page about myths that have grown up around him, and one is the story of L’Enfant stomping off and Banneker recreating the plans, so that’s probably not true. Nor does it need to me–his real accomplishments are more than enough.

    Reply
  55. Susan/DC, I didn’t know that about the Wright brothers, but as you say, very much to their credit.
    Wikipedia has a link from the Banneker page about myths that have grown up around him, and one is the story of L’Enfant stomping off and Banneker recreating the plans, so that’s probably not true. Nor does it need to me–his real accomplishments are more than enough.

    Reply
  56. After reading _Douglass’ Women_ by Jewell Parker Rhodes, my admiration shifted from Douglass to his long put-upon wife, Anna. Anna was a free woman of color who earned and paid for Douglass’s freedom, bore him five children, and supported him so he could be the “educated man” he wanted to be. She also shared their home with his German-Jewish mistress for many years. Could you do all of that? I couldn’t. But she loved him.
    I also admire Harriet Beecher Stowe for writing _Uncle Tom’s Cabin_. Far from being a stepin fetchit-type, the Tom that Ms. Stowe wrote about was almost Promethean. This book was a major factor in the emancipation struggle, as it lit a fuse under the abolition movement. President Abraham Lincoln, when introduced to Harriet Beecher Stowe, supposedly said, “So you’re the little woman who started the war.” Uncle Tom’s Cabin is riveting reading, and this month would be a great time to read it.
    Literarily, my favorite is Zora Neale Hurston. I loved _Their Eyes Were Watching God_, with its wonderful, witty characters and positive portrayal of a society that had lower lows and higher highs than most of us will ever know. Her use of language, using idiom to quote the characters and then seamlessly shifting to perfect literacy when addressing the reader, is flawless. I also loved her autobiography, _Dust Tracks on a Road_. She was something else! A graduate of Barnard College and acclaimed one of the pantheon of black writers, she was still a black woman in a white man’s world. When she died, friends had to chip in for her funeral, and her grave was unmarked for over 10 years until Alice Walker tracked it down and erected a marker: “Zora Neale Hurston: A Genius of the South.” I couldn’t choose between the two books, I simply recommend them both to you. “Eyes” requires some effort because of the dialect but is very rewarding, if you’re patient. “Dust Tracks” is simply zany. What a woman! She’s the one I’d like to have known.

    Reply
  57. After reading _Douglass’ Women_ by Jewell Parker Rhodes, my admiration shifted from Douglass to his long put-upon wife, Anna. Anna was a free woman of color who earned and paid for Douglass’s freedom, bore him five children, and supported him so he could be the “educated man” he wanted to be. She also shared their home with his German-Jewish mistress for many years. Could you do all of that? I couldn’t. But she loved him.
    I also admire Harriet Beecher Stowe for writing _Uncle Tom’s Cabin_. Far from being a stepin fetchit-type, the Tom that Ms. Stowe wrote about was almost Promethean. This book was a major factor in the emancipation struggle, as it lit a fuse under the abolition movement. President Abraham Lincoln, when introduced to Harriet Beecher Stowe, supposedly said, “So you’re the little woman who started the war.” Uncle Tom’s Cabin is riveting reading, and this month would be a great time to read it.
    Literarily, my favorite is Zora Neale Hurston. I loved _Their Eyes Were Watching God_, with its wonderful, witty characters and positive portrayal of a society that had lower lows and higher highs than most of us will ever know. Her use of language, using idiom to quote the characters and then seamlessly shifting to perfect literacy when addressing the reader, is flawless. I also loved her autobiography, _Dust Tracks on a Road_. She was something else! A graduate of Barnard College and acclaimed one of the pantheon of black writers, she was still a black woman in a white man’s world. When she died, friends had to chip in for her funeral, and her grave was unmarked for over 10 years until Alice Walker tracked it down and erected a marker: “Zora Neale Hurston: A Genius of the South.” I couldn’t choose between the two books, I simply recommend them both to you. “Eyes” requires some effort because of the dialect but is very rewarding, if you’re patient. “Dust Tracks” is simply zany. What a woman! She’s the one I’d like to have known.

    Reply
  58. After reading _Douglass’ Women_ by Jewell Parker Rhodes, my admiration shifted from Douglass to his long put-upon wife, Anna. Anna was a free woman of color who earned and paid for Douglass’s freedom, bore him five children, and supported him so he could be the “educated man” he wanted to be. She also shared their home with his German-Jewish mistress for many years. Could you do all of that? I couldn’t. But she loved him.
    I also admire Harriet Beecher Stowe for writing _Uncle Tom’s Cabin_. Far from being a stepin fetchit-type, the Tom that Ms. Stowe wrote about was almost Promethean. This book was a major factor in the emancipation struggle, as it lit a fuse under the abolition movement. President Abraham Lincoln, when introduced to Harriet Beecher Stowe, supposedly said, “So you’re the little woman who started the war.” Uncle Tom’s Cabin is riveting reading, and this month would be a great time to read it.
    Literarily, my favorite is Zora Neale Hurston. I loved _Their Eyes Were Watching God_, with its wonderful, witty characters and positive portrayal of a society that had lower lows and higher highs than most of us will ever know. Her use of language, using idiom to quote the characters and then seamlessly shifting to perfect literacy when addressing the reader, is flawless. I also loved her autobiography, _Dust Tracks on a Road_. She was something else! A graduate of Barnard College and acclaimed one of the pantheon of black writers, she was still a black woman in a white man’s world. When she died, friends had to chip in for her funeral, and her grave was unmarked for over 10 years until Alice Walker tracked it down and erected a marker: “Zora Neale Hurston: A Genius of the South.” I couldn’t choose between the two books, I simply recommend them both to you. “Eyes” requires some effort because of the dialect but is very rewarding, if you’re patient. “Dust Tracks” is simply zany. What a woman! She’s the one I’d like to have known.

    Reply
  59. After reading _Douglass’ Women_ by Jewell Parker Rhodes, my admiration shifted from Douglass to his long put-upon wife, Anna. Anna was a free woman of color who earned and paid for Douglass’s freedom, bore him five children, and supported him so he could be the “educated man” he wanted to be. She also shared their home with his German-Jewish mistress for many years. Could you do all of that? I couldn’t. But she loved him.
    I also admire Harriet Beecher Stowe for writing _Uncle Tom’s Cabin_. Far from being a stepin fetchit-type, the Tom that Ms. Stowe wrote about was almost Promethean. This book was a major factor in the emancipation struggle, as it lit a fuse under the abolition movement. President Abraham Lincoln, when introduced to Harriet Beecher Stowe, supposedly said, “So you’re the little woman who started the war.” Uncle Tom’s Cabin is riveting reading, and this month would be a great time to read it.
    Literarily, my favorite is Zora Neale Hurston. I loved _Their Eyes Were Watching God_, with its wonderful, witty characters and positive portrayal of a society that had lower lows and higher highs than most of us will ever know. Her use of language, using idiom to quote the characters and then seamlessly shifting to perfect literacy when addressing the reader, is flawless. I also loved her autobiography, _Dust Tracks on a Road_. She was something else! A graduate of Barnard College and acclaimed one of the pantheon of black writers, she was still a black woman in a white man’s world. When she died, friends had to chip in for her funeral, and her grave was unmarked for over 10 years until Alice Walker tracked it down and erected a marker: “Zora Neale Hurston: A Genius of the South.” I couldn’t choose between the two books, I simply recommend them both to you. “Eyes” requires some effort because of the dialect but is very rewarding, if you’re patient. “Dust Tracks” is simply zany. What a woman! She’s the one I’d like to have known.

    Reply
  60. After reading _Douglass’ Women_ by Jewell Parker Rhodes, my admiration shifted from Douglass to his long put-upon wife, Anna. Anna was a free woman of color who earned and paid for Douglass’s freedom, bore him five children, and supported him so he could be the “educated man” he wanted to be. She also shared their home with his German-Jewish mistress for many years. Could you do all of that? I couldn’t. But she loved him.
    I also admire Harriet Beecher Stowe for writing _Uncle Tom’s Cabin_. Far from being a stepin fetchit-type, the Tom that Ms. Stowe wrote about was almost Promethean. This book was a major factor in the emancipation struggle, as it lit a fuse under the abolition movement. President Abraham Lincoln, when introduced to Harriet Beecher Stowe, supposedly said, “So you’re the little woman who started the war.” Uncle Tom’s Cabin is riveting reading, and this month would be a great time to read it.
    Literarily, my favorite is Zora Neale Hurston. I loved _Their Eyes Were Watching God_, with its wonderful, witty characters and positive portrayal of a society that had lower lows and higher highs than most of us will ever know. Her use of language, using idiom to quote the characters and then seamlessly shifting to perfect literacy when addressing the reader, is flawless. I also loved her autobiography, _Dust Tracks on a Road_. She was something else! A graduate of Barnard College and acclaimed one of the pantheon of black writers, she was still a black woman in a white man’s world. When she died, friends had to chip in for her funeral, and her grave was unmarked for over 10 years until Alice Walker tracked it down and erected a marker: “Zora Neale Hurston: A Genius of the South.” I couldn’t choose between the two books, I simply recommend them both to you. “Eyes” requires some effort because of the dialect but is very rewarding, if you’re patient. “Dust Tracks” is simply zany. What a woman! She’s the one I’d like to have known.

    Reply
  61. Before we stopped the legal system part of this nonsense, St. Louis was so mixed up as to be confusing. Our public transportation was not segregated, nor were our drinking fountains, nor public restrooms (Thank Goodness!). But our school systems were. The St. Louis Arch-Diocese (Catholic Church) desegregated their school system before 1948 ( the earliest such move in the St. Louis area. I remember waiting for the bus with two college friends and discussing this. I don’t think any of the three of us were truly racist — but still we were shocked; simply because it had always been like this.
    But even more subtle — we had an unwritten rule about who was employed for what. I remember being shocked (In the late 40s or early 50s0 when I walked into a book store and found out that the black women who waited on me was a sales clerk and not a stocking person!
    And then I was shocked at my reaction and very annoyed with myself. That type of racism is very insidious. But notice — I wasn’t surprised to see blacks and whites working together – only the “higher” status of the black woman.

    Reply
  62. Before we stopped the legal system part of this nonsense, St. Louis was so mixed up as to be confusing. Our public transportation was not segregated, nor were our drinking fountains, nor public restrooms (Thank Goodness!). But our school systems were. The St. Louis Arch-Diocese (Catholic Church) desegregated their school system before 1948 ( the earliest such move in the St. Louis area. I remember waiting for the bus with two college friends and discussing this. I don’t think any of the three of us were truly racist — but still we were shocked; simply because it had always been like this.
    But even more subtle — we had an unwritten rule about who was employed for what. I remember being shocked (In the late 40s or early 50s0 when I walked into a book store and found out that the black women who waited on me was a sales clerk and not a stocking person!
    And then I was shocked at my reaction and very annoyed with myself. That type of racism is very insidious. But notice — I wasn’t surprised to see blacks and whites working together – only the “higher” status of the black woman.

    Reply
  63. Before we stopped the legal system part of this nonsense, St. Louis was so mixed up as to be confusing. Our public transportation was not segregated, nor were our drinking fountains, nor public restrooms (Thank Goodness!). But our school systems were. The St. Louis Arch-Diocese (Catholic Church) desegregated their school system before 1948 ( the earliest such move in the St. Louis area. I remember waiting for the bus with two college friends and discussing this. I don’t think any of the three of us were truly racist — but still we were shocked; simply because it had always been like this.
    But even more subtle — we had an unwritten rule about who was employed for what. I remember being shocked (In the late 40s or early 50s0 when I walked into a book store and found out that the black women who waited on me was a sales clerk and not a stocking person!
    And then I was shocked at my reaction and very annoyed with myself. That type of racism is very insidious. But notice — I wasn’t surprised to see blacks and whites working together – only the “higher” status of the black woman.

    Reply
  64. Before we stopped the legal system part of this nonsense, St. Louis was so mixed up as to be confusing. Our public transportation was not segregated, nor were our drinking fountains, nor public restrooms (Thank Goodness!). But our school systems were. The St. Louis Arch-Diocese (Catholic Church) desegregated their school system before 1948 ( the earliest such move in the St. Louis area. I remember waiting for the bus with two college friends and discussing this. I don’t think any of the three of us were truly racist — but still we were shocked; simply because it had always been like this.
    But even more subtle — we had an unwritten rule about who was employed for what. I remember being shocked (In the late 40s or early 50s0 when I walked into a book store and found out that the black women who waited on me was a sales clerk and not a stocking person!
    And then I was shocked at my reaction and very annoyed with myself. That type of racism is very insidious. But notice — I wasn’t surprised to see blacks and whites working together – only the “higher” status of the black woman.

    Reply
  65. Before we stopped the legal system part of this nonsense, St. Louis was so mixed up as to be confusing. Our public transportation was not segregated, nor were our drinking fountains, nor public restrooms (Thank Goodness!). But our school systems were. The St. Louis Arch-Diocese (Catholic Church) desegregated their school system before 1948 ( the earliest such move in the St. Louis area. I remember waiting for the bus with two college friends and discussing this. I don’t think any of the three of us were truly racist — but still we were shocked; simply because it had always been like this.
    But even more subtle — we had an unwritten rule about who was employed for what. I remember being shocked (In the late 40s or early 50s0 when I walked into a book store and found out that the black women who waited on me was a sales clerk and not a stocking person!
    And then I was shocked at my reaction and very annoyed with myself. That type of racism is very insidious. But notice — I wasn’t surprised to see blacks and whites working together – only the “higher” status of the black woman.

    Reply
  66. I’ve always admired Paul Robeson, who was from my state of New Jersey. He was the son of a former slave, and a true renaissance man, the third black person to attend Rutgers, and the first to join the football team. He graduated as the valedictorian of his class, with letters in several sports, then attended law school. But he became most famous for his singing and theatrical performances, and of course his political activism. His life was so complex, and included so many accomplishments that it’s impossible to list them all. His last home in West Philadelphia is now a museum dedicated to his accomplishments. I visited once, and it was quite interesting.
    Here’s a sample of his amazing voice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9smSP1dq-A

    Reply
  67. I’ve always admired Paul Robeson, who was from my state of New Jersey. He was the son of a former slave, and a true renaissance man, the third black person to attend Rutgers, and the first to join the football team. He graduated as the valedictorian of his class, with letters in several sports, then attended law school. But he became most famous for his singing and theatrical performances, and of course his political activism. His life was so complex, and included so many accomplishments that it’s impossible to list them all. His last home in West Philadelphia is now a museum dedicated to his accomplishments. I visited once, and it was quite interesting.
    Here’s a sample of his amazing voice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9smSP1dq-A

    Reply
  68. I’ve always admired Paul Robeson, who was from my state of New Jersey. He was the son of a former slave, and a true renaissance man, the third black person to attend Rutgers, and the first to join the football team. He graduated as the valedictorian of his class, with letters in several sports, then attended law school. But he became most famous for his singing and theatrical performances, and of course his political activism. His life was so complex, and included so many accomplishments that it’s impossible to list them all. His last home in West Philadelphia is now a museum dedicated to his accomplishments. I visited once, and it was quite interesting.
    Here’s a sample of his amazing voice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9smSP1dq-A

    Reply
  69. I’ve always admired Paul Robeson, who was from my state of New Jersey. He was the son of a former slave, and a true renaissance man, the third black person to attend Rutgers, and the first to join the football team. He graduated as the valedictorian of his class, with letters in several sports, then attended law school. But he became most famous for his singing and theatrical performances, and of course his political activism. His life was so complex, and included so many accomplishments that it’s impossible to list them all. His last home in West Philadelphia is now a museum dedicated to his accomplishments. I visited once, and it was quite interesting.
    Here’s a sample of his amazing voice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9smSP1dq-A

    Reply
  70. I’ve always admired Paul Robeson, who was from my state of New Jersey. He was the son of a former slave, and a true renaissance man, the third black person to attend Rutgers, and the first to join the football team. He graduated as the valedictorian of his class, with letters in several sports, then attended law school. But he became most famous for his singing and theatrical performances, and of course his political activism. His life was so complex, and included so many accomplishments that it’s impossible to list them all. His last home in West Philadelphia is now a museum dedicated to his accomplishments. I visited once, and it was quite interesting.
    Here’s a sample of his amazing voice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9smSP1dq-A

    Reply
  71. Mary M,
    what a wonderful selection of remarkable African Americans–plus the white American abolitionist and writer who did so much to advance the cause of abolition. It’s a pity that Zora Neale Hurston didn’t receive the recognition she deserved in her lifetime, but she is still being read. And good for Alice Walker for finding her grave and erected that marker. Thanks for your post.

    Reply
  72. Mary M,
    what a wonderful selection of remarkable African Americans–plus the white American abolitionist and writer who did so much to advance the cause of abolition. It’s a pity that Zora Neale Hurston didn’t receive the recognition she deserved in her lifetime, but she is still being read. And good for Alice Walker for finding her grave and erected that marker. Thanks for your post.

    Reply
  73. Mary M,
    what a wonderful selection of remarkable African Americans–plus the white American abolitionist and writer who did so much to advance the cause of abolition. It’s a pity that Zora Neale Hurston didn’t receive the recognition she deserved in her lifetime, but she is still being read. And good for Alice Walker for finding her grave and erected that marker. Thanks for your post.

    Reply
  74. Mary M,
    what a wonderful selection of remarkable African Americans–plus the white American abolitionist and writer who did so much to advance the cause of abolition. It’s a pity that Zora Neale Hurston didn’t receive the recognition she deserved in her lifetime, but she is still being read. And good for Alice Walker for finding her grave and erected that marker. Thanks for your post.

    Reply
  75. Mary M,
    what a wonderful selection of remarkable African Americans–plus the white American abolitionist and writer who did so much to advance the cause of abolition. It’s a pity that Zora Neale Hurston didn’t receive the recognition she deserved in her lifetime, but she is still being read. And good for Alice Walker for finding her grave and erected that marker. Thanks for your post.

    Reply
  76. Good heavens, Karein, I’ve certainly heard of Paul Robeson, but had not idea of the breadth of his accomplishments! Rutgers valedictorian and star athlete and so much more. And THAT VOICE!

    Reply
  77. Good heavens, Karein, I’ve certainly heard of Paul Robeson, but had not idea of the breadth of his accomplishments! Rutgers valedictorian and star athlete and so much more. And THAT VOICE!

    Reply
  78. Good heavens, Karein, I’ve certainly heard of Paul Robeson, but had not idea of the breadth of his accomplishments! Rutgers valedictorian and star athlete and so much more. And THAT VOICE!

    Reply
  79. Good heavens, Karein, I’ve certainly heard of Paul Robeson, but had not idea of the breadth of his accomplishments! Rutgers valedictorian and star athlete and so much more. And THAT VOICE!

    Reply
  80. Good heavens, Karein, I’ve certainly heard of Paul Robeson, but had not idea of the breadth of his accomplishments! Rutgers valedictorian and star athlete and so much more. And THAT VOICE!

    Reply
  81. Sue, thanks for sharing these wonderful pieces of history. Like Maryland, Missouri was a border state so it’s not surprising the system was rather confused. I do understand the surprise of seeing a change in the pattern, as when you were startled by the school desegregation and the black sales clerk. Something outside our experience is bound to be startling. (In our days of world wide communication, it takes a lot more to surprise us!)

    Reply
  82. Sue, thanks for sharing these wonderful pieces of history. Like Maryland, Missouri was a border state so it’s not surprising the system was rather confused. I do understand the surprise of seeing a change in the pattern, as when you were startled by the school desegregation and the black sales clerk. Something outside our experience is bound to be startling. (In our days of world wide communication, it takes a lot more to surprise us!)

    Reply
  83. Sue, thanks for sharing these wonderful pieces of history. Like Maryland, Missouri was a border state so it’s not surprising the system was rather confused. I do understand the surprise of seeing a change in the pattern, as when you were startled by the school desegregation and the black sales clerk. Something outside our experience is bound to be startling. (In our days of world wide communication, it takes a lot more to surprise us!)

    Reply
  84. Sue, thanks for sharing these wonderful pieces of history. Like Maryland, Missouri was a border state so it’s not surprising the system was rather confused. I do understand the surprise of seeing a change in the pattern, as when you were startled by the school desegregation and the black sales clerk. Something outside our experience is bound to be startling. (In our days of world wide communication, it takes a lot more to surprise us!)

    Reply
  85. Sue, thanks for sharing these wonderful pieces of history. Like Maryland, Missouri was a border state so it’s not surprising the system was rather confused. I do understand the surprise of seeing a change in the pattern, as when you were startled by the school desegregation and the black sales clerk. Something outside our experience is bound to be startling. (In our days of world wide communication, it takes a lot more to surprise us!)

    Reply
  86. I’m in my 70’s and was, as they say, “born and raised” in Alabama. I grew up in the country and my favorite pastime was reading. My love of historical novels comes from reading everything Frank Yerby wrote during the forties and through the fifties until I went off to college. Not many people who checked out his books in my small southern town realized he was an African American. He is the first African American author to become a millionaire from his writing. Several of his novels were adapted for movies. He must have written from 10 or 12 novels from the mid 40’s to the mid 50’s. Some were set in the antebellum South. He probably wrote 20 more through the years. I enjoyed Frank Yerby’s books. His books are one of the reasons I still love historical fiction.

    Reply
  87. I’m in my 70’s and was, as they say, “born and raised” in Alabama. I grew up in the country and my favorite pastime was reading. My love of historical novels comes from reading everything Frank Yerby wrote during the forties and through the fifties until I went off to college. Not many people who checked out his books in my small southern town realized he was an African American. He is the first African American author to become a millionaire from his writing. Several of his novels were adapted for movies. He must have written from 10 or 12 novels from the mid 40’s to the mid 50’s. Some were set in the antebellum South. He probably wrote 20 more through the years. I enjoyed Frank Yerby’s books. His books are one of the reasons I still love historical fiction.

    Reply
  88. I’m in my 70’s and was, as they say, “born and raised” in Alabama. I grew up in the country and my favorite pastime was reading. My love of historical novels comes from reading everything Frank Yerby wrote during the forties and through the fifties until I went off to college. Not many people who checked out his books in my small southern town realized he was an African American. He is the first African American author to become a millionaire from his writing. Several of his novels were adapted for movies. He must have written from 10 or 12 novels from the mid 40’s to the mid 50’s. Some were set in the antebellum South. He probably wrote 20 more through the years. I enjoyed Frank Yerby’s books. His books are one of the reasons I still love historical fiction.

    Reply
  89. I’m in my 70’s and was, as they say, “born and raised” in Alabama. I grew up in the country and my favorite pastime was reading. My love of historical novels comes from reading everything Frank Yerby wrote during the forties and through the fifties until I went off to college. Not many people who checked out his books in my small southern town realized he was an African American. He is the first African American author to become a millionaire from his writing. Several of his novels were adapted for movies. He must have written from 10 or 12 novels from the mid 40’s to the mid 50’s. Some were set in the antebellum South. He probably wrote 20 more through the years. I enjoyed Frank Yerby’s books. His books are one of the reasons I still love historical fiction.

    Reply
  90. I’m in my 70’s and was, as they say, “born and raised” in Alabama. I grew up in the country and my favorite pastime was reading. My love of historical novels comes from reading everything Frank Yerby wrote during the forties and through the fifties until I went off to college. Not many people who checked out his books in my small southern town realized he was an African American. He is the first African American author to become a millionaire from his writing. Several of his novels were adapted for movies. He must have written from 10 or 12 novels from the mid 40’s to the mid 50’s. Some were set in the antebellum South. He probably wrote 20 more through the years. I enjoyed Frank Yerby’s books. His books are one of the reasons I still love historical fiction.

    Reply
  91. Thank you, Mary Jo! I found your article fascinating and hope the Banneker museum sometime soon. I most ashamedly can’t think of anyone to add to the list of historical figures already mentioned, but I can say that my husband gets pretty jealous when I shush him up anytime there’s a word spoken about, or better yet, BY, Neil Degrasse Tyson!

    Reply
  92. Thank you, Mary Jo! I found your article fascinating and hope the Banneker museum sometime soon. I most ashamedly can’t think of anyone to add to the list of historical figures already mentioned, but I can say that my husband gets pretty jealous when I shush him up anytime there’s a word spoken about, or better yet, BY, Neil Degrasse Tyson!

    Reply
  93. Thank you, Mary Jo! I found your article fascinating and hope the Banneker museum sometime soon. I most ashamedly can’t think of anyone to add to the list of historical figures already mentioned, but I can say that my husband gets pretty jealous when I shush him up anytime there’s a word spoken about, or better yet, BY, Neil Degrasse Tyson!

    Reply
  94. Thank you, Mary Jo! I found your article fascinating and hope the Banneker museum sometime soon. I most ashamedly can’t think of anyone to add to the list of historical figures already mentioned, but I can say that my husband gets pretty jealous when I shush him up anytime there’s a word spoken about, or better yet, BY, Neil Degrasse Tyson!

    Reply
  95. Thank you, Mary Jo! I found your article fascinating and hope the Banneker museum sometime soon. I most ashamedly can’t think of anyone to add to the list of historical figures already mentioned, but I can say that my husband gets pretty jealous when I shush him up anytime there’s a word spoken about, or better yet, BY, Neil Degrasse Tyson!

    Reply
  96. To MJP: Thank you for the correction. I’m sure I’ve lots more such myths stored as facts in my brain. I know that George Washington didn’t actually chop down the cherry tree, and now I know the truth of the Banneker/L’Enfant story.
    As for Paul Robeson, a few years ago I saw a one man play called “The Tallest Tree in the Forest”, which was about him. He definitely was a remarkable, and remarkably gifted, man.

    Reply
  97. To MJP: Thank you for the correction. I’m sure I’ve lots more such myths stored as facts in my brain. I know that George Washington didn’t actually chop down the cherry tree, and now I know the truth of the Banneker/L’Enfant story.
    As for Paul Robeson, a few years ago I saw a one man play called “The Tallest Tree in the Forest”, which was about him. He definitely was a remarkable, and remarkably gifted, man.

    Reply
  98. To MJP: Thank you for the correction. I’m sure I’ve lots more such myths stored as facts in my brain. I know that George Washington didn’t actually chop down the cherry tree, and now I know the truth of the Banneker/L’Enfant story.
    As for Paul Robeson, a few years ago I saw a one man play called “The Tallest Tree in the Forest”, which was about him. He definitely was a remarkable, and remarkably gifted, man.

    Reply
  99. To MJP: Thank you for the correction. I’m sure I’ve lots more such myths stored as facts in my brain. I know that George Washington didn’t actually chop down the cherry tree, and now I know the truth of the Banneker/L’Enfant story.
    As for Paul Robeson, a few years ago I saw a one man play called “The Tallest Tree in the Forest”, which was about him. He definitely was a remarkable, and remarkably gifted, man.

    Reply
  100. To MJP: Thank you for the correction. I’m sure I’ve lots more such myths stored as facts in my brain. I know that George Washington didn’t actually chop down the cherry tree, and now I know the truth of the Banneker/L’Enfant story.
    As for Paul Robeson, a few years ago I saw a one man play called “The Tallest Tree in the Forest”, which was about him. He definitely was a remarkable, and remarkably gifted, man.

    Reply
  101. Oh that fabulous, fabulous voice… I so very much love that voice. We often put on Show Boat just to hear him. Then we turn it off. 🙂 it’s like a gorgeous music video.

    Reply
  102. Oh that fabulous, fabulous voice… I so very much love that voice. We often put on Show Boat just to hear him. Then we turn it off. 🙂 it’s like a gorgeous music video.

    Reply
  103. Oh that fabulous, fabulous voice… I so very much love that voice. We often put on Show Boat just to hear him. Then we turn it off. 🙂 it’s like a gorgeous music video.

    Reply
  104. Oh that fabulous, fabulous voice… I so very much love that voice. We often put on Show Boat just to hear him. Then we turn it off. 🙂 it’s like a gorgeous music video.

    Reply
  105. Oh that fabulous, fabulous voice… I so very much love that voice. We often put on Show Boat just to hear him. Then we turn it off. 🙂 it’s like a gorgeous music video.

    Reply

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