Spreading Good News (Post 766 – BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Benjamin Banneker – Watchmaker, Astronomer, and Much More)

Spreading Good NewsThe goal of Spreading Good News is for readers to:

GET INSPIRED and/or GET MOTIVATED and/or GET INFORMED and/or GET AWE-STRUCK and/or GET A BREAK FROM ALL THE NEGATIVE NEWS and to tell readers about our good, short books and our online store.


CLICK THE “BE INSPIRED!” BUTTON (ABOVE) TO VIEW OUR BOOKS AND OUR ONLINE STORE!!  In our online store, we have “World Peace” and other great merchandise, as well as “Meaningful Messages,” which are unique greeting cards that address serious issues, including incarceration, terminal illness, and heart-to-heart cards.







Today's Quote





~ Joyce Fields



The Pledge - resizedIt’s FREE and available at http://www.GoodShortBooks.com!  A useful and very effective tool against bullying.

Gives kids something to live up to–their own pledge!



We all should know more about the contributions that African-Americans have made in the fields of science and medicine, as well as art, music, the written word, sports, and just-everyday life.

During “Black History Month,” (February) I will continue Spreading Good News about Black History on Monday through Thursday.  On Fridays, I will keep posting the very popular “Funny Friday” pieces!

I hope you enjoy this piece of Black History!

Benjamin BannekerBLACK HISTORY MONTH:  Benjamin Banneker – Watchmaker, Astronomer, and Much More

On November 9, 1731, Benjamin Banneker was born in Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland. He was the descendent of slaves, however, Banneker was born a freeman.  At that time, the law dictated that if your mother was a slave, then you were a slave, and if she was a freewoman, then you were a free person.  Banneker’s grandmother, Molly Walsh was a bi-racial English immigrant and indentured servant who married an African slave named Banna Ka, who had been brought to the Colonies by a slave trader.  Molly had served seven years as an indentured servant before she acquired and worked on her own small farm.  Molly Walsh purchased her future husband Banna Ka and another African to work on her farm. The name Banna Ka was later changed to Bannaky and then changed to Banneker. Benjamin’s mother Mary Banneker was born free.  Benjamin’s father Rodger was a former slave who had bought his own freedom before marrying Mary.

Benjamin Benneker's InventionAt the age of 21, Banneker’s life was changed when he saw a neighbor’s pocket watch.  He borrowed the watch, took it apart to draw all its pieces, then reassembled it and returned it—running—to its owner.  Banneker then carved large-scale wooden replicas of each piece, calculating the gear assemblies himself, and used the parts to make a striking clock, the first wooden clock in the United States.  The clock continued to work, striking each hour, for more than 40 years.

Driven by this fascination, he turned from farming to watch and clock making. One customer was a neighbor named George Ellicott, a surveyor.  He was so impressed with Banneker’s work and intelligence, he lent him books on mathematics and astronomy.  With this help, Banneker taught himself astronomy and advanced mathematics.  Starting about 1773, he turned his attention to both subjects.  His study of astronomy enabled him to make the calculations to predict solar and lunar eclipses, even correctly contradicting experts of the day, and to compile an ephemeris for his Benjamin Banneker’s Almanac, which he published from 1791 through 1796.  He became known as the Sable Astronomer.

Benjamin Banneker AlmanacIn 1791, Banneker sent then Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, a copy of his first almanac, along with an eloquent plea for justice for African Americans, calling on the colonists’ personal experience as “slaves” of Britain and quoting Jefferson’s own words. Jefferson was impressed and sent a copy of the almanac to the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris as evidence of the talent of blacks.  Banneker’s almanac helped convince many that African Americans were not intellectually inferior to whites.

Also in 1791, Banneker was hired to assist brothers Andrew and Joseph Ellicott as part of a 6-man team to help design the new capital city, Washington, D. C.  This made him the first African American presidential appointee.

Benjamin Banneker Wash DC






He died at the age of 74.


Share your comment about this post.

NOTE FROM JOYCEIf you enjoyed and/or learned from this blog, please leave a comment and send the link to others.  Thanks!!

JourneyIf you’re interested in reading all about “My Breast Cancer Journey,” those posts start with post #334.


~ Joyce Fields



Joyce is an author who has written seven books.  If you enjoy this blog, you will, undoubtedly, enjoy all her books.  Her sister, Anita, is also an author.

BE INSPIRED!  You can read about and order their books AND order merchandise from their online store at this link (or click the “BE INSPIRED!” button above):


Thanks for your interest AND support!!

Contact Joyce at goodshortbooks@yahoo.com.



I visit these blogs and leave comments regularly.  I think you will enjoy them all!

http://www.lenasledgeblog.com  Books, reviews, give-aways, interviews.

http://living4bliss.com  Believing Life Is Set up for Success (BLISS)

http://goss-coaching.com/author/gosscoaching  A professional writer and wellness coach helping people connect thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and action to create optimal health and a vibrant life.

http://www.thebirkineffect.com  Musings of a “want it all” 21st century woman.

http://www.thesweetsensations.com  A baking, entertainment, and lifestyle blog.  Fantastic recipes and food photography, too!

http://www.pennilessparenting.com  A rich life on minimum wage.  Plus fabulous, healthful recipes!

http://www.rumpydog.com  I’m a dog with a unique perspective on human life.

http://www.davidkanigan.com/  Lead.Learn.Live.  David Kanigan:  Inspiration, Ideas & Information.

http://callingoftheheart.wordpress.com  Spirituality, Psychology, and Political.

http://www.petedenton.wordpress.com  Writer of short stories, Flash fiction, and some scripts.

About Line of Serenity (Joyce Fields)

As a thought leader for today's generation, I choose to be part of the solution and am doing things that positively impact people's lives. In addition to being a happy, married (since 1967!) woman, sister, aunt, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, I have over 40 years' experience in "Corporate America": Stenographer, Secretary, Supervisor, Analyst, Office Manager, Executive Assistant. I am also a professional proofreader and the author of 10 books (mostly non-fiction)--http://www.GoodShortBooks.com).
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4 Responses to Spreading Good News (Post 766 – BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Benjamin Banneker – Watchmaker, Astronomer, and Much More)

  1. Sandra says:

    The evolution of his name is very interesting as are his inventions.

  2. Ava Glenn says:

    Hi Joyce!
    You were right, it was an interesting read. I really enjoyed the article. Thank you

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