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In the late 18th century, slave poet Phillis Wheatley impressed everyone she met, proving to the world that the color of one's skin does not indicate one's intellect.
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While she contacted various publishers, she was unsuccessful in finding support for a second volume of poetry.
A strong supporter of America's fight for independence, Wheatley penned several poems in honor of the Continental Army's commander, George Washington. It's not certain whether Washington ever read her work.
Phillis Wheatley died in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 5, 1784.
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They are the famous African-American writers who have fearlessly examined cultural stigmas, provided intimate life details, presented new ideas and created remarkable fiction through literary works. For their prophetic genius, these men and women have received Pulitzer Prizes, NAACP awards and even Nobel Prizes, among other honors. Our list of prominent African-American authors includes Toni Morrison, who has detailed the lives of black characters who struggle with identity amidst racism and hostility; Langston Hughes, a founder of the Harlem Renaissance; and Maya Angelou, who has eloquently chronicled various eras of her life through her autobiographies.
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