Autistic Culture
The Autistic Culture Podcast
Washington, DC is Autistic (Episode 05)

Washington, DC is Autistic (Episode 05)

Washington DC--a beautiful and symmetrical city--was designed by an Autistic Black architect named Benjamin Banneker.
Listen to Autistic podcast hosts discuss: Washington, DC is Autistic | Autistic celebrities. Autism Podcast | Benjamin Banneker and Thomas Jefferson displayed autism symptoms in adults through their social advocacy, knowledge acquisition, and attention to detail. Join us as we discuss Benjamin Banneker, a Black Autistic icon in American history.
A: Yeah, dude liked books, had a real big library, wanted to read all the books, too busy to talk to you. Matt: The library is the life of our people.

In this episode of The Autistic Culture Podcast:

Two Autistic celebrities, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Banneker, were instrumental in the design and layout of the beautiful (and symmetrical) Washington D.C.

Benjamin Banneker was a self-educated African American mathematician and astronomer who was brought in by Jefferson to help survey and plan the city. His logical, systematic approach resulted in the orderly grid layout of streets and quadrants that makes navigating D.C. straightforward (if you can see the pattern).

Jefferson and Banneker connected as fellow Autistics and Banneker challenged Jefferson to take action against slavery and promote racial equality. Though Jefferson was sympathetic, he did not take bold action due to political considerations.

“But Autistic people often will see the—I don't know—genius, or the skills, or the talents of other Autistic people.” —Angela

The podcast hosts analyze how Autistic traits are evident in the accomplishments and personalities of both men, like intense focus, pattern recognition, and a strong call to social advocacy. They highlight Autistic giftedness and the empathy that Autistics can have for each other (“the double empathy problem”), as well as the difficulties masking and fitting in can cause.

“Yeah, this is a common, allistic, erroneous belief because studies have shown that allistic researchers, when interacting with autistic people—because they misread our natural body language, they misread our natural tone, they misread our Autistic accents—they erroneously believe that we don't have empathy because it turns out, they did not have empathy for us.”

Banneker and Jefferson shared special interests and supported each other’s careers despite years of fighting about the key social justice issue of the time—ending the enslavement of fellow humans.

On this virtual culture trip, the #ActuallyAutistic hosts conclude that D.C.'s logical design and early influences make it an inherently Autistic city.

Do you have Autistic justice sensitivity? How has it impacted your relationships? Tell us about it in the comments!

Biography on Banneker

Roberta Grimes on Jefferson, Asperger’s, and Race

Letter to Jefferson from Banneker

Want to learn about another Black Autistic celebrity? Check out: Questlove is Autistic
Want more about groundbreaking Autistic contributions? Check out: Apple is Autistic

Ready for a paradigm shift that empowers Autistics? Help spread the news!


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Autistic Culture
The Autistic Culture Podcast
Welcome to the Autistic Culture Podcast. Each episode we dive deep into Autistic contributions to society and culture by introducing you to some of the world’s most famous and successful Autistics in history!
Whether you are Autistic or just love someone who is, your hosts, Dr. Angela Lauria, the Linguistic Autistic and Licensed Psychological Practitioner, Matt Lowry, welcome you to take this time to be fully immersed in the language, values, traditions, norms, and identity of Autistica!
To learn more about Angela, Matt, and the Autistic Culture Podcast visit