The Trials of Phillis Wheatley: America's First Black Poet and Her Encounters with the Founding Fathers

The Trials of Phillis Wheatley: America's First Black Poet and Her Encounters with the Founding Fathers

5.0 1
by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In 1773, the slave Phillis Wheatley literally wrote her way to freedom. The first person of African descent to publish a book of poems in English, she was emancipated by her owners in recognition of her literary achievement. For a time, Wheatley was the most famous black woman in the West. But Thomas Jefferson, unlike his contemporaries Ben Franklin and George

Overview

In 1773, the slave Phillis Wheatley literally wrote her way to freedom. The first person of African descent to publish a book of poems in English, she was emancipated by her owners in recognition of her literary achievement. For a time, Wheatley was the most famous black woman in the West. But Thomas Jefferson, unlike his contemporaries Ben Franklin and George Washington, refused to acknowledge her gifts as a writer—a repudiation that eventually inspired generations of black writers to build an extraordinary body of literature in their efforts to prove him wrong.

In The Trials of Phillis Wheatley, Henry Louis Gates Jr. explores the pivotal roles that Wheatley and Jefferson played in shaping the black literary tradition. Writing with all the lyricism and critical skill that place him at the forefront of American letters, Gates brings to life the characters, debates, and controversy that surrounded Wheatley in her day and ours.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Deseret News
“There's a wealth of history here… Gates has brought this absorbing information together in an accessible but comprehensive way.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786728992
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
04/29/2009
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
144
File size:
144 KB

Meet the Author

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University. His books include Colored People, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man, and In Search of Our Roots. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Trials of Phillis Wheatley: America's First Black Poet and Her Encounters with the Founding Fathers 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago