Do you know the name of the first published African-American woman? Her name was Phillis Wheatley and I didn’t know of her either. Not until I took the 20th Century American Poetry course taught by my college advisor. We studied and deconstructed poems starting from colonial era poet Phillis Wheatley. To the modern 20th century poetry of Robert Frost.
I only knew of such authors and poets like Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison and James Baldwin. And so my limited knowledge of other African-American writers had broadened with the course. For which I was grateful. Especially by the introduction to the life and poetry of Phillis Wheatley. A slave, who with her published works, inspired the belief in the poetic and intellectual potential of her race.