Maintaining Memory through Poetry

Phillis Wheatley was an American poet who should be remembered as the first African-American to author a published book of poetry. Despite her shortcomings in slavery and lack of background in the English language, she was able to write poems at the age of 12. As an enslaved person, she was supposed to enjoy limited freedoms and rights, but her special talent in writing saw the slave master allowing her time to read and write. Her life paints a picture of a person who rises against all odds to achieve a milestone in poetry (Shields, 1999). Ms. Wheatley is a figure worthy of celebrating in the history of poetry as the first woman and African American ever to write and get her poems published. 

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