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30 Degrees of History: The first African-American Woman to have her writings published



Phillis Wheatley experienced what still scars us today. After being brought to America from West Africa when she was around 7 years of age, she began her writing poems. While living in Boston with Mr. and Mrs. Wheatley, they encouraged her to write. How did she read and write when African-Americans weren't allowed to? Their daughter, Mary Wheatley, taught Phillis how to read and write. Phillis often learned from English literature, Latin and the Bible. Her masters would eventually take note of her talent writing poetry and

take her writings to get published. On September 1, 1773, history was made. Phillis Wheatley became the first African-American women to have her poetry published. Wheatley believed that the power of poetry is immeasurable. She managed to make a living off of what she made from her writings.


After getting her poems published, Miss Phillis was emancipated and married around 1778. She also went on to meet George Washington and publish an antislavery letter. She is a giant in the poetry world that many African-American woman stand on the shoulders of.



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