A profile of Benjamin Banneker, a mostly self-taught astronomer who is best known for a series of almanacs that were published in the late 1700s. Born free, Banneker received a rather limited formal education but built his knowledge through a passion for reading and self-education. He was middle-aged by the time he began studying astronomy but used his knowledge to provide useful predictions for farmers and seamen.
Category: Historical Profile
A profile of Elizabeth Freeman, an enslaved woman who utilized the Massachusetts State Constitution to gain her freedom. She noticed the pride that was exhibited by citizens who were proud to see their colony fighting for freedom. And was motivated to advocate for herself when she heard the new state constitution being read aloud on the street. After seeking out a lawyer, Freeman filed a suit against her owner using the state constitution to contest the legality of her enslavement.
A profile of Hiram Rhodes Revels, an educator and minister in the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church who also served as the first Black U.S. Senator.
A profile of Queen Amina, a Hausa princess who later became the warrior Queen of Zazzau an area in the Kaduna state of present-day Nigeria.
A profile of Granville T. Woods, a mechanical and electrical engineer who received more than 60 patents for his inventions. Despite leaving school at an early age, Woods continued his education by reading, attending night school, and otherwise learning in his spare time. Many of his contributions to improved railroad safety and efficiency are still in use today.