SAT® Reading and Writing

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Reader's Inference


Letter to Jefferson

The following is a letter from Benjamin Banneker to Thomas Jefferson.

Banneker, Benjamin. "Letter." Letter to Thomas Jefferson. 19 Aug. 1791. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson.: 6 August 1791 – 31 December 1791 ed. Vol. 22. N.p.: Charles T. Cullen. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1986. 49-54. Founders Online, National Archives. Web. 12 Mar. 2016.

Readers can infer from the following lines: "almost general prejudice and prepossession which is so prevalent in the world against those of my complexion" that


Banneker is African and that prejudice and against his race, or complexion, exists and that it is pervasive and perpetrators are predisposed to such behavior.


people who are already in possession of certain material goods can influence Jefferson's willingness to listen to Banneker's ideas.


Banneker is not a politician, but a member of the general population and he recognizes the challenges inherent in not being a man of power in society.


Jefferson is a high official within the government and unlikely to acknowledge Banneker's argument.