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Phyllis Wheatley: A Brief Biography

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In 1773, there were slaves all over colonial America working in plantations, and cleaning their masters houses. It wasn’t common for a slave to be writing poetry with their owners consent. Phyllis Wheatley’s success as the first African American published poet was what inspired generations to tell her story. It was her intellectual mind and point of view that made her different from others, both black and white. Phyllis’s story broke the barrier for all African American writers, and proved that no matter the gender or race, all human beings are capable of having an intelligent state of mind. Her arrival in America in 1761, at the age of eight is what started the story of a legend. When Phyllis was captured from West Africa, she knew nothing besides her home language and culture. Arriving in Boston, she was purchased by John Wheatley, who wanted a personal a personal slave for his wife Susanna. Her life with the Wheatleys was nothing ordinary, as they were strangely compassionate slave owners and weren’t hesitant to show it.…show more content…
This was what started her on the road the poverty. After being freed, she married another free man who didn’t make as much money either,which wasn’t much help to her already bad situtaion. They had three children who tragically died in infancy and that hurt Phyllis even more. She spent most of her life being sick and with all of these depressing events, Phyllis died at the age of thirty-one in 1784. Even though her story came to a tragic end, her legacy was not forgotten. She showed all African American women and men that they can achieve the impossible and have an intelligent mind like everyone else. Even African American poets from today like Alice Walker found her as an inspiration. In one of her poems about being brought to america, she perfectly summarizes what the struggle was being a slave that is equal to everyone
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