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My name is Phillis Wheatley, and I am the first black woman in America to publish a book. I was born around the year 1754 and I was 7 years old when slave traders captured me from my home in Africa …

My name is Phillis Wheatley, and I am the first black woman in America to publish a book. I was born around the year 1754 and I was 7 years old when slave traders captured me from my home in Africa and shipped me to Boston. There, Susanna and John Wheatley bought me as a slave.

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  • 1. “She loved Words”
  • 2.  Phillis Wheatley was the first black woman in America to publish a book. She had an extraordinary literary talent. She especially was a great poetry writer. It was said that “She loved words”.
  • 3. 1761 - Slave 1772- Phillis’s 1775 – Writes A traders capture1754 - Phillis Wheatley is first book is poem honoring Phillis Wheatley born in Senegal, Africa. published in General George and ship her to England Washington. Boston. 1778 – Phillis 1778 – Phillis 1784 – Phillis is set free Marries John dies at age 31 from slavery Peters Phillis
  • 4. The boat uponwhich PhillisWheatley wasbrought fromAfrica toAmerica in1761.
  • 5. Today we will welcome Phillis Wheatley, an American hero, and interview her.Hello. My name is PhillisWheatley and I was the firstblack woman in America topublish a book.
  • 6. The sign for the slave auction at which Phillis was sold.Interviewer: Tell us, Ms. Phillis, how did you come to America?Phillis Wheatley: Well, in 1761, when I was about seven, slave traders captured me and put me on the ship “Phillis”. I sailed to Boston where Susanna and John Wheatley bought me as a slave. They named me “Phillis”, after the boat.In: How did you come to be such a great poet under the burden of slavery?PW: I have to say I do owe Mary Wheatley, Susanna Wheatley’s daughter, much of my success. She taught me how to read and write. Besides, I was only given light tasks as a slave.
  • 7. The Old South Church in BostonIn: What else about your childhood can you share with us?PW: I can recall studying geography, Latin, Greek mythology, science, and poetry. My favorite subject was definitely poetry. I remember that I loved poetry so much that Susanna would put a piece of paper and a quill pen next to my bed when I went to sleep, should any ideas come to my mind. As I was learning how to read and write, I got interested in the bible and I read it with great eagerness. Susanna saw this, and she brought me to the Old South Church where I was baptized as a Christian.
  • 8. Phillis’s first bookIn: Was it hard work to publish your first book?PW: Oh yes indeed, but it paid. First, people didn’t believe that a slave and woman could write poetry, so a council was organized to decide whether or not I wrote the poetry in my book. Fortunately, the people at the council finally decided that I had written it, but another obstacle lay in my way. You see, to be able to publish a book, you have to have a certain amount of subscribers. Well, not enough people in the colonies subscribed for my book, so Susanna tried to sell it in England. It was a success! Later, I tried to sell another book, but it failed to sell from a lack of subscribers.
  • 9. In: Did you fight against slavery?PW: Yes. Using my style of poetry, I tried to persuade people that Afro Americans are as much capable of doing things as white men.
  • 10. Phillis’s letter to George WashingtonIn: Did you only write poetry?PW: No, I also wrote letters to important people such as the Earl of Dartmouth, King George’s secretary, and even George Washington! George Washington liked my poem and letter so much that he invited me over to meet him!In: Tell us about your late life.PW: I married the wonderful John Peters, and we had 3 children. Sadly, all of them died.In: Well, thank you for sharing with us, Ms. Wheatley. That’s all for today!
  • 11. The statue made inPhillis’s honor The school named after The boat Phillis Phillis was named after
  • 12. Her Poem “Farwell Her Poem “Hymn to America” to the Evening” Her Poem “Farwell to continued. Soon as the sun America: forsook the Not unregarding, eastern mainSusanna mourns, nor can I see The pealingcan I bear Her soul with grief thunder shook opprest the heav’nly plainTo see the crystal Majesticshow’r But let no sighs, grandeur! FromAnd mark the tender no groans for me the zephyrsfalling tear Steal from her wing, Exhales theAt sad departures hour pensive breast incense of the blooming spring