The first African American woman to have her work published, legendary poet Phillis Wheatley didn’t have an easy road to success.
She was the first African American woman to have her work published and one of the first published female poets in the United States. But legendary poet Phillis Wheatley didn’t have an easy road to success.
At seven years old, she was captured and sold into slavery. She was sold to John Wheatley, a wealthy Boston merchant and tailor, who bought her as a servant for his wife Susanna. By the age of thirteen, Phillis had already started writing brilliant poetry – something that many white people didn’t believe was possible for an African slave.
Despite her growing reputation as a poet, Phillis Wheatley was forced to defend herself in court as the author of her own poetry. Thankfully, she won.