Phillis Wheatley Research Paper

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Phillis Wheatley: An Outstanding Poet
Phillis Wheatley is an African-American poetess. Although she was an African slave Wheatley was one of the best known writers in the middle years of the 1700’s. Wheatley impressed everyone she met, proving to the world that the color of one’s skin indicates one’s intelligence. She was born in Africa, but was kidnapped and shipped to the United States on a boat named “Phillis” thus giving her name. A wealthy man named John Wheatley purchased her. John accepted Wheatley as a part of the family. Which was unusual at the time, because slaves were supposed to just be a worker that had no meaning to their owners. His daughters treated Wheatley as a sister. Her masters soon realized her talents and gave her privileges almost none or to a few slaves had, which was to read and write. After Wheatley was given these privileges, it took her less than two years to master English and she went on to learn Greek and Latin. Wheatley was able to become the first black American to have her book published. Wheatley also got recognition for her compliments to George Washington through the poem “To His Excellency General Washington”. George Washington invited Wheatley to his headquarters at Cambridge, Massachusetts. Even though they only met for about an hour Washington’s kindness and respect that he showed to
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Wheatley mentions in the poem that people view her race as a “diabolic dye” thus providing us with the knowledge of knowing the hate she would endure at the time. Wheatley also uses biblical allusions in the poem. For example, “Remember Christians; negroes, black as cain may be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train” this gave “negroes” hope that they will be saved. She also showed people that the color of your skin doesn’t limit your abilities, so a lot more African-Americans began to write despite the hate they

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