Poet Phillis Wheatley was born in West Africa, sold into slavery, and eventually freed. She wrote poems at a time when many people argued that people of African descent were so inferior to Euro-Americans as to be fit only for slavery. She is remembered as a preeminent poet of the American Revolutionary period. Unlike most slaves, Wheatley had an opportunity to demonstrate an intellectual talent that her masters were willing to develop. As a result, she received a rather extensive education for the time— something rather rare for any woman, let alone a slave.
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Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection Volume One: Precolonial North America To The Early Republic – Dr. Peg A. Lamphier And Dr. Rosanne Welch, Editors
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