WASHINGTON - Maryland Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, released a statement today, recognizing February as Black History Month, by recognizing an important moment in Black history.
“This month, we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the observance of Black History Month,” said Cummings. “However, I find that it is rare that our children are educated with the intricate details that African Americans have woven through the tapestry of our nation’s history. Today is the anniversary of an important date for those of us who work in the nation’s capital. It was on this date in 1791 that an inventor, surveyor, mathematician, and astronomer from Maryland, Benjamin Banneker, began the survey for what would become Washington, DC. Banneker was from a rural area outside Baltimore that would eventually become Ellicott City.
“Banneker’s is not necessarily the best known name in American history, but his work was a critical step in showing White America that African Americans would not always be servants, and could not always be lumped into one hopeless stereotype. His noble, productive, all-American life was filled with success and is a tremendous example to all of those who came after him.”