Macy Ave. bet. Lafayette Ave. and Kosciuszko St.
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Banneker Playground is named in honor of Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806), a noted African-American writer and mathematician. Born a free man in Maryland, Banneker worked much of his life on the family farm. By the age of twenty-two, Banneker had become known for occupying himself with mathematical puzzles, and he had already built an accurate clock entirely of carved wooden parts. When he was twenty-eight, Banneker took responsibility for the farm as a result of his father’s death, and he did not retire from farming until he was fifty-nine. Although he had always had an interest in mathematics and the mechanical workings of the natural environment, it wasn’t until the end of his farming career that he took up serious studies, using books he borrowed from others.
Learn about the trials and triumphs of the black experience in the United States and how New York City honors black history in our parks today.