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Africa, America, and Blessed: <p>Black artist history day 25: American poet Phillis Wheatley.</p> <p>Phillis Wheatley was born in The mid-1700s in West Africa and kidnapped to be sold into slavery when she was about seven or eight. She was bought by the Wheatley family of Boston and, unlike many slaves, was actually taught by her masters to read and write, even providing her scholarship in Greek and Latin classics. She received unprecedented classical education for a girl of any race and certainly for an enslaved person. The Wheatley’s encouraged her to pursue poetry when they saw her talent, and she wrote her first poem at age 14.</p> <p>Her poetry often had religious themes and wrote on a few political topics, including writing King George III a letter praising him for repealing the stamp act. He was a fan of hers, along with George Washington, who invited her to meet with him at his Massachusetts headquarters. Her work was also noticed and re-published by Thomas Paine.</p> <p>Her work became popular in both England and the colonies. She became the first published African-American female poet and was eventually emancipated by the Wheatley family and married to a free black grocer. She had a complicated relationship with slavery, believing it to be overall cruel and in need of abolishment, but at the same time seeing it as a hidden blessing for her personally since she was blessed with kind masters and found Christianity through it. Her relationship with race and Faith is expressed in her poem “On being brought from Africa to America”</p> <p>“Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,<br/> Taught my benighted soul to understand<br/> That there&rsquo;s a God, that there&rsquo;s a Saviour too:<br/> Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.<br/> Some view our sable race with scornful eye,<br/> &ldquo;Their colour is a diabolic dye.&rdquo;<br/> Remember, Christians, Negroes, black as Cain,<br/> May be refin&rsquo;d, and join th&rsquo; angelic train.”</p>

Black artist history day 25: American poet Phillis Wheatley. Phillis Wheatley was born in The mid-1700s in West Africa and kidnapped to be ...

Books, Life, and Prince: Neil deGrasse Tyson's list of 8 books every intelligent person should read... 1. The Bible (public library, free ebook), to learn that it's easier to be told by others what to think and believe than it is to think for yourself 2. The System of the World (public library, free ebook) by Isaac Newton, to learn that the universe is a knowable place 3. On the Origin of Species (public library, free ebook) by Charles Darwin, to learn of our kinship with all other life on Earth 4. Culliver's Travels (public library, free ebook) by Jonathan Swift, to learn, among other satirical lessons, that most of the time humans are Yahoos 5. The Age of Reason (public library, free ebook) by Thomas Paine, to learn how the power of rational thought is the primary source of freedom in the world 6. The Wealth of Nations (public library, free ebook) by Adam Smith, to learn that capitalism is an economy of greed, a force of nature unto itself 7. The Art of War (public library, free ebook) by Sun Tzu, to learn that the act of killing fellow humans can be raised to an art 8. The Prince (public library, free ebook) by Machiavelli, to learn that people not in power will do all they can to acquire it, and people in power will do all they can to keep it Tyson adds: If you read all of the above works you will glean profound insight into most of what has driven the history of the western world. <p>Books Every Intelligent Person Should Read.</p>

Books Every Intelligent Person Should Read.