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Essay: Phillis Wheatley

Introduction

❶She began writing poetry around the age of thirteen; her earliest surviving poem is generally agreed to be "On Being Brought from Africa to America.

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Her works differ from the writers to follow because she does not openly discourage slavery. As a child Phillis showed that she had a great aptitude, her owners took an interest in her education and began to teacher her to read and write. She was a fast learner and soon began to study Latin and literature.

Her early education is reflected in her complex works, even at a young age she mimic Pope and Milton in her writing style. Her first poem was published when she was just twelve years old. Her writings shocked white America and spoke for itself. Although she did not advocate for the freedom of her people. She had laid the ground work in displaying that African American were just as capable and in her case more of being as intelligent as anyone else.

However publishers refused to acknowledge Wheatley and denied that she had actually written her own poems. Although she finally received the credit she was unable to find a publisher who would publish her works in America.

She also refers to Africa as a Pagan land and insinuates that that its inhabitants were not able to learn and to function. She actually addresses slavery in a positive light because it introduced her to Christianity.

The fact that she was able to publicly denounce slavery is evidence of influential voice as an African American during this time. Wheatley combined the influences of religion and neo-classicism in her poems. She articulated the theme of freedom in many of her works.

For instance, Phillis Wheatley made political comments supporting American freedom from Britain. Her numerous elegies suggest a conscious poetic escape from slavery. She celebrates death and the rewards and freedom of an afterlife. Wheatley used poetry to escape to a world of imagination, but never neglected to reveal the factual plight of her people.

The conflicts of society inspired Phillis Wheatley to compose poems on the tragic events she witnessed. I admire the work of Phillis Wheatley. Her poetry illustrates the humbleness, dedication, and perseverance that is characteristic of many African American women.

It also characterizes the state of America during slavery and during a time when so many African American women, men, and children were robbed of their dignity and their pride. Her contributions to American literature concerning the war and slavery have made it evident that she has successfully represented the feelings of anger, frustration, and impatience of African Americans during that era.

She has made clear to us all her feelings concerning the plight of the African American people as well as her belief that the African American people have suffered critical setbacks in their quest for equality. When I think of Phillis Wheatley I can not help but to think of all of the strong African American women I grew up around as a child in the rural South.

Though my Great-Grandmother, Grandmother and my mother, as well as most of my Great-aunts and Aunts were either mildly literate or not literate at all, I can remember seeing in them the same charisma and determination that many must have seen in Phillis Wheatley.

Growing up around these women, I have always known about the strong women of our past. My Great-Grandmother practically raised me on the stories of the slave trade. These women embodied what all other African American women of that era did: They were strong, they took matters into their own hands, and they were very successful. Because of the accomplishments of women like her and faith in my Creator, I am able to return to school and work towards a degree.

Phillis Wheatley has not only touched me, but many of the other strong African American women of my era: People like Rosa Parks and Dr. When color mattered so much, and was the determining and dominating factor as to how one was perceived, Phillis Wheatley did not let hers hold her back.

She proved to White America that African Americans, if given the opportunity, are capable of not only learning the art of reading and writing, but of mastering it and becoming famous and successful while doing it.

Phillis Wheatley received her freedom and married a Black man in but, despite her skills, was unable to support her family.


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- Phillis Wheatley Phillis Wheatley was America's first black poet. She was born in Senegal, Africa in and she was sold into slavery at the age of seven to John and Susannah Wheatley of Boston. Phillis was soon accepted as a member of the family, and was raised with the Wheatley's other two children.

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SOURCE: "Phillis Wheatley and the Black American Revolution," in A Mixed Race: Ethnicity in Early America, edited by Frank Shuffelton, Oxford University Press, , pp. [ In the essay that follows, Erkkila emphasizes the revolutionary power of Wheatley's use of republican and religious figurations of enslavement and redemption.

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Essay: Phillis Wheatley Phillis Wheatley, one of America s most profound writers, has contributed greatly to American literature, not only as a writer, but as an African American woman, who has influenced many African Americans by enriching their knowledge of and exposure to . Phillis Wheatley essays Phillis Wheatley was born in West Africa around the year She was only a few years younger than Thomas Jefferson, yet her life was very different. Phillis Wheatley was kidnaped and sold into slavery at age seven to a wealthy Boston family, Mr. and Mrs. John Wheatley.

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Phillis Wheatley was an exceptional student and is said to have mastered English, including reading and writing, in less than two years time. After mastering English, she went on to learn both Greek and Latin. According to the readings and obvious by her works, Phillis Wheatley was . Phillis Wheatley Essay Words | 10 Pages. Introduction The illustration that Phillis Wheatley portrays in history is an African-American woman who wrote poetry. Her life goes more into depths that what is perceived, however. Phillis Wheatley uses her poetry as a unique way to get out the truth.