Where are the Benjamin Bannakers?

Benjamin Banneker lived at a time of little opportunity. He was descended from slaves. He worked as a tobacco farmer. He had no formal education. And yet…

he was a passionate learner and respected Mathematician. He helped survey the land around Washington DC. He studied the stars and wrote an almanac. He corresponded with Thomas Jefferson, and was a voice for racial equality.

What about Benjamin Franklin?

One of 17 children, with only 2 years of formal schooling, apprenticed at age 13 to a printer, and yet…

He played a key role in the founding of our nation. He discovered electricity. He was a diplomat, a printer, and almanac writer, and a scientist.

What about Thomas Edison? Albert Einstein? Nicolas Tesla? Bill Gates? Jane Austen? Alexander Graham Bell? Andrew Carnegie?

None of these people had a traditional education. They were not college graduates. Yet they were world changers.

We live in a day and age and society of amazing educational opportunity, but where are the men and women such as these?

Is what we consider education, really education?

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2 thoughts on “Where are the Benjamin Bannakers?”

  1. Great thoughts. I think perhaps the common thread is that in times past, children were given the tools to go make something of themselves – and they did. In our culture we pretty much assure children that whatever they need will be done for them… JV

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