Wheatley was remarkably intelligent, a child prodigy. She was more than just a slave, but a companion to John Wheatley’s wife, Susannah. Susannah was very sympathetic towards her and taught her how to read and write. This was considered a privilege in those days, considering very few white women received an education. Through this education, she was able to read Latin and learn the Bible well, which lead to her poems. Only twelve years after she arrived in America, her poems were published. These poems brought her recognition and respect, which contributed to Wheatley’s sense of personal identity. Although Wheatley earned respect, recognition, and public attention through her poems, what obviously made life challenging was the fact that she was and always would be a black slave born in Africa. However, she was freed from slavery when Susannah died, which Wheatley seemed to have hoped would give her the power to help free all slaves. The common goals of American independence and abolition of slavery are what unite Wheatley, Douglass, and
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Slavery in the United States, Wheatley, John Wheatley