THE WORK OF A BLACK NATURALIST, ONE OF THE FIRST CICADA RESEARCHERS, MOSTLY OVERLOOKED
Over the last couple months, billions of buzzing cicadas have descended on more than a dozen states and Washington, D.C. It’s a once-in-17-year event that captures the attention of many subjected to their high-pitched droning. That includes astronomer, mathematician, and early cicada researcher Benjamin Banneker. As a freeman born 1731, he was also one of the first important African American intellectuals. But after studying their life cycles for five decades, much of his work has been overlooked. Special Correspondent Joie Chen takes a look at his discoveries and the continuing struggle for African American intellectuals to have their work recognized.