Poems by Phillis Wheatley (1753 - 1784)

Phillis Wheatley was the first African American poet to be published. At about the age of 7, She was enslaved and taken to America in the slaver "Phillis", after which she was re-named. After her poems were published and praised, she was freed by her Boston owners, the Wheatley family. She stayed with the Wheatleys until her former master died. slave. People were so sceptical that a slave woman could write such poetry, that she had to prove authorship of her work in a daunting examination by a group of powerful men including the Governor of Massachusetts.