How Phillis Wheatley captured the attention of the world - Charita Gainey
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The Massachusetts Historical Society has a biography of Phillis Wheatley, a picture of her writing desk, and many original manuscripts of Wheatley’s poems published online.
Scipio Moorhead was an enslaved, young African artist who created the only known image of Phillis Wheatley that appears on the cover of her book. Wheatley wrote a poem about Moorhead whom she knew personally because he also lived in Boston. Contemporary African American artist, Kerry James Marshall, features Moorhead and Wheatley in his painting, Scipio Moorhead, Portrait of Himself, 1776.
Several African American poets have written about Phillis Wheatley. She is a recurring figure throughout African American literature. June Jordan wrote an essay and poem about Phillis Wheatley titled, “The Difficult Miracle of Black Poetry in America.” Jordan’s essay and poem marvel at the “difficult miracle” that was Phillis Wheatley and her poetry.
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