This is the month to celebrate our African-American heritage. What are you doing to celebrate?
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All About Love: Favorite Selections from In The Spirit on Living Fearlessly
by Susan L. Taylor
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Phillis Wheatley (c.1753–84)
1770 An Elegiac Poem, on the Death of the Celebrated Divine ... George Whitefield
1783 Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral
Poet. Born c. 1760 possibly in Senegal, Africa. Wheatley was sold in slavery to the John Wheatley family of Boston, Massachusetts in 1761. The family educated her, even teaching her Latin and Greek, and by the age of 13 she was composing poems so sophisticated that many people charged she could not have written them.
In 1778, she was sent to London with the Wheatley's son, where she was received in society and published her first volume of poems. After returning to Boston, she was freed, married, and had three children, none of whom survived her. A collection of her poetry and prose, Memoirs and Poems of Phillis Wheatley, was printed in 1834. Although her poems are now regarded as generally derivative in their Neoclassical manner, they were often cited by those pointing out that African-Americans needed only to be educated in order to become the equal of their fellow Americans.
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