Phillis Wheatley, First Published Black Poet, Honored in New Play


Scipio Moorhead, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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(AURN News) — Phillis Wheatley, an African American poet and historical icon who overcame the shackles of slavery to become the first African American to publish a book of poetry, will be commemorated in an upcoming play titled “Phillis In Boston.” The production is set to grace the stage in Boston, shedding light on an important portion of Wheatley’s remarkable journey.

The play delves into Wheatley’s return to Boston in 1773 after a transformative visit to London. During her return, she grapples with her complex relationship with her enslaver and navigates the harrowing realities of slavery in New England, ultimately championing the cause of abolition.

Penned by Ade Solanke, the play promises to offer a poignant and captivating portrayal of Wheatley’s enduring legacy, contributing to today’s ongoing dialogue on race, history, and resilience.

“This play is an entertaining memorial to a remarkable woman who overcame huge odds to create art and become the founding mother of both a nation and a vibrant, global literary tradition,” Solanke said in a statement.

“I’m grateful to the entire Boston community who’ve so generously shared their ancestral ‘heroes’ with me,” she added.

Scheduled to run from November through December, the timing of the play aligns with the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, a pivotal event in American history. The play will be hosted at the Old South Meeting House in Boston, a venue significant to Wheatley as she was a member of the congregation.

Click play to listen to the AURN News report from Jamie Jackson:

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