Benjamin Banneker Essay

576 Words3 Pages
Benjamin Banneker Thomas Jefferson presented passionate convincing arguments against Britain’s unjust repression of Colonists; little did he know that his own words might be used to plead with exceptional logic that he and his fellow founders of the United States should stop repressing black Americans. Banneker uses both logical and ethical arguments to develop his claim that Jefferson now needs to use his eloquence to speak out for all African-Americans, who are suffering “the injustice of a state of slavery” in the very country that had itself only fifteen years earlier been freed from enslavement. Creating a carefully structured argument based on an extended analogy, Banneker uses repetition for emphasis, direct and forceful word choices, a serious and straightforward tone, and a fitting biblical allusion to challenge Jefferson to confront his own hypocrisy and to atone for it by working to rid America of slavery. Banneker begins his argument by straightforwardly addressing Jefferson, “Recall to your mind that time in which the arms and tyranny of the British Crown were exerted to reduce you to a State of Servitude.” He continues to develop this analogy between Jefferson and his fellow Revolutionary War partners as victims of British tyranny and Banneker and his fellow black Americans as victims of whites’ tyranny. The first sentence of the second paragraph begins with a reference to a time in which Jefferson “clearly saw into the injustice of a state of slavery” and the first sentence of the third paragraph, likewise, begins with a reference to a time in which he valued “liberty and the free possession of those blessings to which you were entitled by nature.” That time to which Banneker continually alludes by repetition is the time in which Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, of course. By thus confronting Jefferson with his own eloquent

More about Benjamin Banneker Essay

Open Document