There is a fantastic article recently published online by the Washington Post about the achievements of America'. The article gives credence to the theory that much of Banneker's early work on cicadas was largely overlooked (most likely because he was black).
The article talks about how when Banneker first saw the cicadas at the age of 17 (in 1749) he was unsure what they were or why they were suddenly overtaking his property.
“I then imagined they came to eat and destroy the fruit of the Earth, and would occation a famine in the land,” reads an excerpt from Banneker’s journal. “I therefore began to kill and destroy them, but soon saw that my labor was in vain, therefore gave over my pretension.”
17 years later when Banneker again saw the reemergence of the cicada he felt much differently.
When they returned, “I then, being about thirty-four years of age had more sense than to endeavor to destroy them, knowing they were not so pernicious to the fruit of the Earth,” the journal passage continued.
Written by Billy Jean Louis and published originally on May 17, 2021 the article calls on the expert research of Asamoah Nkwanta and his wife, Janet Barber who spent a decade researching the work of Benjamin Banneker.
You can read the whole article here on the Washington Post website.
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