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HOW DO YOU USE YOUR WORDS?

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A young girl kidnapped from her safe home in the Senegal region at the age of eight, comes to America and defies the odds. She is purchased by a wealthy Bostonian as a maid for his wife Susannah. The young maid is named Phillis and quickly learns how to speak and write in English.

Phillis began publishing her poems while still in her teens. She published a poem in 1770 called”On the Death of Reverend George Whitefield”, which attracted a good deal of attention. Her master John Wheatley freed Phillis in 1773. She then traveled to England where her most famous book “Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral was published.”

It was her dedication of a poem specifically to George Washington that won her an invitation to his headquarters.While she struggled in her personal life, her poetry, gave proof that blacks were in fact equal to whites. She used her words to gently condemn the promotion of slavery, leaving an open door for others to express their feelings through writing in prose.