Sir, suffer me to recall to your mind that time in which the arms and tyranny of the British Crown were exerted with every powerful effort in order to reduce you to a State of Servitude, look back I entreat you on the variety of dangers to which you were exposed; reflect on that time in which every human aid appeared unavailable, and in which even hope and fortitude wore the aspect of inability to the conflict and you cannot but be led to a serious and grateful sense of your miraculous and providential preservations; you cannot but acknowledge that the present freedom and tranquility which you enjoy you have mercifully received and that it is the peculiar blessing of Heaven.

[An excerpt from Benjamin Banneker's letter to Thomas Jefferson, written 8/19/1791, America's First Publicly Documented Protest Letter]

WIC's Quarterly NewsLetter

Benjamin Banneker - The Scars of Slavery Run Deep

This month marks the event of colonial American hero, and the only African-American Founding Father of the nation's capital, Benjamin Banneker, setting pen to hand to author his historic letter to then Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson. He expressed his discontent with the fact that the tenets of the Declaration of Independence were not inclusive of African-Americans who were being stolen from their indigenous homelands and brought to the shores of America by the millions to cultivate the land; build the highways and by-ways and governmental edifices; plantations; schools; churches; institutions; farms; homes; infrastructures; ships; capital industries; railways and the nation's capital.
Read More

Banneker's Birthday Celebrated with Dialogue on Race Series

Grand Executive Director Adm. William Sizemore welcomed attendees to the launch of A Dialogue on Race in America series, offered as a community service of the Washington Interdependence Council's ongoing Benjamin Banneker commemorative mission. The event was held at the historic House of the Temple landmark, designed by John Russell Pope. The event featured popular radio and television personalities, authors and scholars, Dr. Boyce Watkins, founder of Black America Speaks, and Dr. Bob Hieronimus, noted author and leading authority on symbolism and secret architecture in the nation's capital.
Read More