Of On Being Brought From Africa To America By Phillis Wheatley

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Phillis Wheatley’s poem “On Being Brought from Africa to America” is a message about Christianity and salvation. The audience of Wheatley’s message is her fellow Christian slaves, a reminder that salvation is attainable regardless of race and stature. “On Being Brought from Africa to America” opens with a recount of Wheatley’s experience on being introduced to Christianity, the religion that opened her eyes to the possibility of salvation. Wheatley continues the poem by reminding her audience that contrary to the views and beliefs of the slave-owners, people that consider the slaves as “diabolic,” that even their race were able to find redemption through Christianity (Wheatley 6). In the poem “On Being Brought from Africa to America,” Phillis …show more content…

The poem begins with Wheatley’s statement that is “Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land / Taught my benighted soul to understand / That there’s a God, that there’s a Saviour too” (Wheatley 1-3). In the first of these lines, Wheatley accredits her journey from her home in Africa into slavery in America to the personification of “mercy” with an appreciative tone (Wheatley 1). This tone is due to Wheatley’s realization that this transition “taught her benighted” about the redemption that once she “never sought nor knew” (Wheatley 2; Wheatley 4). Africa, the “Pagan land” that Wheatley is taken from, never offered her with the possibility of redemption because there was no Christianity, so if Wheatley had never been taken to become a slave in America she would have never learned about God (Wheatley 1). Wheatley expresses gratitude towards the people that removed her from her home into slavery in an unknown country because it opened her darkened soul to the possibility of redemption through her acquired knowledge of God through …show more content…

This audience is certainly Wheatley’s fellow slaves, as she states that “Some view our sable race with scornful eye, / ‘Their colour is a diabolic die” (Wheatley 5-6). Wheatley referral to her audience as “our sable race,” meaning our black race, demonstrates that she is addressing her fellow slaves through this poem, as well as the quote from the slave-owners that mentioned their “colour” (Wheatley 5-6). Furthermore, Wheatley states in the poem to “Remember, Christians, Negroes, black as Cain, / May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train” (Wheatley 7-8). In these last lines of the poem, Wheatley shows that she is addressing those slaves that have embraced the religion of Christianity, and as long as they believe this religion and know God, they will be able to “join th’ angleic train” (Wheatley 8). This is the ultimate message of the poem “On Being Brought from Africa to America” to remember that Christianity offers salvation and redemption even to those of Wheatley’s “sable race,” black slaves (Wheatley

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