Spreading Good News (Post 554 – Phillis Wheatley, Poet of Note)

The goal of Spreading Good News is for readers to:

GET INSPIRED and/or GET MOTIVATED and/or GET INFORMED and/or GET AWE-STRUCK and/or GET A BREAK FROM ALL THE NEGATIVE NEWS and to tell readers about our good, short books and our online store.

CLICK THE “FOLLOW” LINK ABOVE TO RECEIVE AN E-MAIL ALERT FOR EACH NEW, DAILY POST!!

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CONSTANT QUOTE

 

 

IT’S BETTER TO DIE CHASING A DREAM NEVER CAUGHT THAN TO DIE NEVER HAVING CHASED THE DREAM.  ~ Joyce Fields

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WISE MEN TALK BECAUSE THEY HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY; FOOLS, BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO SAY SOMETHING.  ~ Plato

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The Candle-Lighter Award and the Sunshine Award

Thank you very much to www.living4bliss.wordpress.com for presenting me with the Candle-Lighter Award and the Sunshine Award.  I truly appreciate the recognition!

Both of these awards are for a blog or post that is positive and brings light into the world.

I started this “Good News” blog in July 2010 because I was tired of and disgusted by all the negative news and information.  I wanted to give people positive news and information.  I’m having a great time looking for, receiving, and posting these pieces!  Stay tuned!!

RULES for the Candle-Lighter Award

Whenever you see a blog or post you think brightens the world, give the blogger the Candle-Lighter Award.

Recipients can accept or decline. What does the recipient have to do?  Simply accept and nothing more!  You can paste this image on your blog, if you wish, and you are done!  If you wish to honor someone else with a Candle, pass it on, anytime and as many times and to as many people as you wish.

Come on and help me brighten up all our lives!

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TODAY’S BLOG

We all should know more about the contributions that women have made in order to make this world a better place.

In honor of “Women’s History Month,” I will be Spreading Good News with frequent posts of informative, educational, entertaining pieces about the contributions and accomplishments of women.

I hope you enjoy this piece!

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH:  Phillis Wheatley, Poet of Note

 

NAME:  Phillis Wheatley

DATE OF BIRTH:   c. 1753-5

PLACE OF BIRTH:   Gambia, Africa

DATE OF DEATH:   December 1784

PLACE OF DEATH:   Boston, Massachusetts (as a result of childbirth)

FAMILY BACKGROUND:   Phillis Wheatley was a slave child of seven or eight and sold to John and Susanna Wheatley in Boston on July 11, 1761.  Her first name was apparently derived from the ship that carried her to America, The Phillis.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  During her life, while it was not common for American women to be published, it was especially uncommon for children of slaves to be educated at all.  Her gift of writing poetry was encouraged by her owners and their daughter, Mary;  they taught Phillis to read and write, with her first poem being published at the age of twelve, “On Messrs. Hussey and Coffin.” The countess of Huntingdon, Selina Hastings, was a friend of the Wheatley’s who greatly encouraged and financed the publication of her book of poetry, Poems.  Obour Tanner, a former slave who made the journey through the middle passage with Phillis also was one of the chief influences and supporters of Phillis’ craft.

She was especially fond of writing in the elegiac poetry style, perhaps mirroring the genre of oration taught to her through the women in her African American tribal group.  Her elegy on a popular evangelical Methodist minister, George Whitefield, brought her instant success upon his death.  She also was well versed in Latin which allowed her to write in the epyllion (short epic) style with the publication of “Niobe in Distress.”

Phillis’ popularity as a poet both in the United States and England ultimately brought her freedom from slavery on October 18, 1773.   She even appeared before General Washington in March 1776 for her poetry and  was a strong supporter of independence during the Revolutionary War.  She felt slavery to be the issue which separated whites from true heroism: whites can not “hope to find/Deivine acceptance with th’ Almighty mind” when “they disgrace/And hold in bondage Afric’s blameless race.”

She often spoke in explicit biblical language designed to move church members to decisive action. She castigated patriots who confessed Christianity yet oppressed her people:

And in an outspoken letter to the Reverend Samson Occom, written after Wheatley was free and published repeatedly in Boston newspapers in 1774, she equates American slaveholding to that of pagan Egypt in ancient times: “Otherwise, perhaps, the Israelites had been less solicitous for their Freedom from Egyptian Slavery: I don’t say they would have been contented without it, by no Means, for in every human Breast, God has implanted a Principle, which we call Love of freedom; it is impatient of Oppression, and pants for Deliverance; and by the Leave of our modern Egyptians I will assert that the same Principle lives in us.”

Phillis is remembered for many first time accomplishments from a woman of her day:

First African American to publish a book

An accomplished African American woman of letters

First African American woman to earn a living from her writing

First woman writer encouraged and financed by a group of women (Mrs. Wheatley, Mary Wheatly, and Selina Hastings.)

 

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What are your thoughts on this piece?

 

NOTE FROM JOYCEIf you enjoyed and/or learned from this blog, please leave a comment and send the link to others.  Thanks!!

If you’re interested in reading all about “My Breast Cancer Journey,” those posts start with post #334.

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~ Joyce Fields

 

ADDITIONAL OFFERINGS FROM JOYCE FIELDS

Joyce is an author who has written seven books.  If you enjoy this blog, you will, undoubtedly, enjoy all her books.  Her sister, Anita, is also an author.

BE INSPIRED!  You can read about and order their books AND order merchandise from their online store at this link (or click the “BE INSPIRED!” button above):

https://lineofserenity.wordpress.com/get-more-inspiration/

Thanks for your interest AND support!!

Contact Joyce at goodshortbooks@yahoo.com.

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SOME OF JOYCE’S FAVORITE BLOGS

I visit these blogs and leave comments regularly.  I think you will enjoy them all!

http://www.lenasledgeblog.com  Books, reviews, give-aways, interviews.

http://living4bliss.com  Believing Life Is Set up for Success (BLISS)

http://goss-coaching.com/author/gosscoaching  A professional writer and wellness coach helping people connect thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and action to create optimal health and a vibrant life.

http://www.thebirkineffect.com  Musings of a “want it all” 21st century woman

http://www.thesweetsensations.com  A baking, entertainment, and lifestyle blog.  Fantastic recipes and food photography, too!

http://www.pennilessparenting.com  A rich life on minimum wage.  Plus fabulous, healthful recipes!

http://www.rumpydog.com  I’m a dog with a unique perspective on human life.

http://davidkanigan.com/  Lead.Learn.Live.  David Kanigan:  Inspiration, Ideas & Information.

 

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About Line of Serenity (Joyce Fields)

As a thought leader for today's generation, I choose to be part of the solution and am doing things that positively impact people's lives. In addition to being a happy, married (since 1967!) woman, sister, aunt, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, I have over 40 years' experience in "Corporate America": Stenographer, Secretary, Supervisor, Analyst, Office Manager, Executive Assistant. I am also a professional proofreader and the author of eight books (seven non-fiction; one children's fiction--http://www.GoodShortBooks.com).
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9 Responses to Spreading Good News (Post 554 – Phillis Wheatley, Poet of Note)

  1. Lord G says:

    That was good!

  2. “whites can not “hope to find/Deivine acceptance with th’ Almighty mind” when “they disgrace/And hold in bondage Afric’s blameless race.”

    Very powerful stuff!

  3. Love all I am learning here this month!

  4. living4bliss says:

    So inspiring.

    Our young generations are rediscovering poetry (although some subjects would make us blush) It is such a beautiful form of expression and Phillis excelled at it.

  5. Ava Glenn says:

    I enjoyed the Phillis Wheatley story, very interesting. Congratulations on the awards, well deserved.BRAVO!!

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