Phillis Wheatley

1753 - 1784

First ever African-American female poet published, Phillis Wheatley was kidnapped in West Africa when she was 8 years old and brought to Boston on a slave ship. There, she was purchased by a tailor called John Wheatley to be his wife’s servant. The Wheatleys acknowledged Phillis' talents and allowed her to learn to read and write. Her first book was published in London in 1773.