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It challenged the popular belief of the time that African Americans were intellectually inferior to whites. In the preface of Banneker's 1796 almanac, the white editor issued this statement:
The labours of the justly celebrated Banneker will likewise furnish you with a very important lesson, Courteous Reader, which you will not find in any other almanac, namely, that the Maker of the Universe is no respector of colours; that the colour of the skin is no way connected with the strength of mind or intellectual powers; that although the God of Nature has marked the face of the African with a darker hue than his brethren, He has given him a soul equally capable of refinement...
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He was a social critic of slavery. In an attempt to promote change, he sent a copy of his first Almanac to Thomas Jefferson, who at the time was Secretary of State under President Washington. He enclosed a letter in which he wrote about the inconsistency of Jefferson's position on the equality of all men while at the same time owning slaves...
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