By James Haskins, Jim Haskins, Clinton Cox, Brenda Wilkinson

AFRICAN AMERICAN background involves LIFEDiscover why children everywhere in the kingdom are analyzing the Black Stars biographies of African American heroes. here's what you need to learn about the lives of significant black women and men in the course of the Colonial and innovative battle era:richard allencrispus attucksbenjamin bannekerdaniel cokerpaul cuffeaustin dabneyjames durhamestevanicocatherine fergusonjames fortenlemuel haynesanthony johnson"free frank" mcwortermarie therese metoyerjean baptiste aspect du sabledeborah sampsonpeter salempierre toussaint"The books within the Black Stars sequence are the categories of books that might have relatively captivated me as a kid."-Earl G. Graves, Black firm magazine"Inspiring tales that reveal what can ensue whilst ingenuity and tenacity are paired with braveness and tough work."-Black Books Galore! advisor to nice African American kid's Books"Haskins has selected his matters good . . . catching a feeling of the big hindrances they'd to beat. . . . a few names are prevalent, yet so much are little-known whom Haskins elevates to their rightful position in history."-Booklist"The wide insurance makes this an strange resource-a jumping-off element for deeper studies."-Horn booklet

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In spite of strict laws against interracial marriages, Molly and Bannka married and had a daughter, Mary Banneky (“daughter of Bannka or Banneka”). The name was later changed to Banneker. When Mary fell in love with a slave named Robert, her parents bought his freedom so the young couple could marry. Having no surname, Robert took his wife’s family name as his own. Benjamin was the first of the four children they would have. Benjamin’s first teacher was his grandmother, Molly. She taught him to read and write by using a Bible she had imported from England.

She would have to travel to find them and negotiate their sale. Nearly all their owners were willing to sell them, for cash or on credit. Sadly, she was ✦ MARIE-T HÉRÈSE METOYER ✦ 27 unable to purchase one daughter, Françoise, but she and her heirs managed to buy Françoise’s children. In 1802, at the age of sixty, Coincoin offered to forfeit the annual payment Metoyer gave her in exchange for the freedom of their first three children. Metoyer agreed, and Coincoin at last realized her dream of freedom for her almost entire family.

Banneker continued to make his beloved calculations until a few months before his death on October 9, 1806. Benjamin Banneker’s almanacs contained important information on the movements of the sun, moon, stars, and planets, and helped many farmers determine the best time to plant. ✦ BENJAMIN BANNEKER ✦ 23 MARIE-THÉRÈSE METOYER (1742–1816) ✦ B lacks were entrepreneurs in America from early colonial times. Years before the Declaration of Independence, one of the most successful of all was born. Marie-Thérèse Metoyer took her first breath in Natchitoches, Louisiana, when Louisiana was still a French colony.

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