This is just a blog post that provides a bit of history of one of my ancestors pertaining to literature! This is something that I was not taught in school, but through research I sought out some informing information. It is inspiring to me as well - especially in my field of work. Her belief system was different as mine, but her accomplishments are recognized.
Phillis Wheatley: Writer/Author/Poet
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The 1773 publication of Wheatley's Poems on , Religious and Moral brought her fame, with figures such as George Washington praising her work. Wheatley also visited England for five weeks accompanying her 'Brother' Nathaniel and was praised in a poem by fellow African American poet Jupiter Hammon. Wheatley was emancipated by her owners after her poetic success.
With the 1774 publication of Wheatley's book Poems on Various Subjects, she "became the most famous African on the face of the earth." Voltaire stated in a letter to a friend that Wheatley had proved that black people could write poetry. John Paul Jones asked a fellow officer to deliver some of his personal writings to "Phillis the African favorite of the Nine (muses) and Apollo." She was also honored by many of America's founding fathers, including George Washington.
Wheatley's book is today seen as helping create the genre of African American literature.
She is honored as the first African American woman to publish a book and the first to make a living[?] from her writing.
There is a building named in her honor at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Phillis Wheatley on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.