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What Did He Say?

Read the excerpts from Benjamin Banneker's letter and answer the questions below. The language is different from what we use today, and some sentences are long. If you get confused, break the sentences into phrases and read them slowly.

1. In the first paragraph, what words does Banneker use to describe the view of "the world" toward African Americans? write on line write on line write on line

2. The third paragraph is both a statement of pride and of gratitude. What makes him proud and what makes him grateful? write on line write on line write on line

3. In the fourth and fifth paragraphs, what words does Banneker use to show the parallel between the Revolutionary War and African Americans' pursuit of freedom? write on line write on line write on line

4. In the fifth paragraph, what famous words of Jefferson's does Banneker use to make a case for African American freedom? write on line write on line write on line

5. In the fifth paragraph, how does Banneker contrast Jefferson's stated ideals or beliefs with the reality of Jefferson's treatment of African Americans? write on line write on line write on line

6. In the sixth paragraph, what does Banneker recommend that Jefferson do to "relieve" his "brethren" of their burdens? write on line write on line write on line


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