Phillis Wheatley was brought to Boston from Senegal as a slave child who spoke no English. She was purchased by John Wheatley as a personal servant to his wife. The Wheatleys educated Phillis, who mastered English, Latin, and Greek. Her volume of English poetry, published in 1773, is the earliest known publication by an African-American writer. [This rare portrait from Revue des Colonies in Paris shows her full face and wearing an evening dress and jewelry.]
Phillis Wheatley (May 8, 1753 – December 5, 1784) was the first African-American poet and first African-American woman to publish a book. Born in Senegambia, she was sold into slavery at the age of 7 or 8 and transported to North America. She was purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write, and encouraged her poetry when they saw her talent.
Phillis Wheatley was both the second published African-American poet and first published African-American woman. Born in Senegambia, she was sold into slavery at the age of 7 and transported to North America. Wikipedia