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No one could have imagined that the frail, seven-year-old slave girl who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1761 would become the first published African American, achieving fame for her poetry in both America and England. Upon her arrival, Phillis quickly learned to read the Bible and other classic literature, publishing her first poem in 1767 when she was thirteen and a book of poetry in 1773. Her poetry encouraged freedom for all people, and she proved to a doubting generation that intelligence and creativity are not limited to a particular race.
Through Phillis’s story, young readers will learn the importance of trusting God’s plan while standing up for justice and the good of other human beings.