In 1773, Phillis Wheatley published a book of poetry. It was a great accomplishment that made her very famous.
Only a year before, Phillis had had to take a test to prove that she was the actual author of these poems, because Phillis Wheatley was a slave.
Who would believe that an African girl could be the author of such poetry?
Phillis did! She believed in herself, and took every opportunity she could to make her life better. She believed in the power of her words, and her writing to prove her talent, and used the power of words to change a life.
About the Author
Sean Qualls received a Coretta Scott King Honor award for his illustrations in Before John Was a Jazz Giant by Carole Boston Weatherford, and has published many other acclaimed books. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his family. Visit his website at www.seanqualls.com.
Catherine Clinton earned her undergraduate degree in Afro-American studies from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in history from Princeton. She is the author of many historical works for children and adults, and has taught African American Studies at Brandeis University, Brown University, Harvard University, and Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland . Dr. Clinton lives in San Antonio, Texas, where she's Denman Professor of American History at the University of Texas San Antonio.
"Qualls' terrific mixed-media art...enlivens every page." Booklist Feb 1 2008 Booklist, ALA
"A powerful introduction to the first published African-American poet." Kirkus 3/15/08 Kirkus Reviews
"Qualls' fresh and distinctive acrylic and collage illustrations...imbue [Phillis] with a prim grace and serene beauty." Bulletin, May 2008 Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books