Upcoming “History Matters”: Who Are You, Phillis Wheatley?
What can we learn about the passions, personality and humanity of the Boston poet who rightfully should be considered among our nation’s Founding Mothers? On Monday, February 24, 2019, author Richard Kigel will speak on his book, Heav’nly Tidings from the Afric Muse: The Grace and Genius of Phillis Wheatley (Paragon House, 2017). This book tells the story of a unique young woman who survived the horrific Middle Passage as a child and arrived in America as a lowly slave. By the time she turned twenty Phillis Wheatley became the most famous person of African descent in the world. In a culture dominated by white supremacy, she forced those around her to acknowledge her humanity and confront the inequity of her status as a slave. Heav’nly Tidings From the Afric Muse shows how Phillis Wheatley wrote her way to freedom.
Richard Kigel, who taught in Brooklyn public schools for thirty years, is author of two other books: Becoming Abraham Lincoln: The Coming of Age of Our Greatest President (Skyhorse 2017) and On the Wings of the Wind: The Untold Story of History’s First Flight (Synergy Books, 2009), a fictional narrative by a young slave who escaped to freedom on a homemade flying machine, a story of courage, ingenuity, and perseverance in the face of the most oppressive conditions, a triumph of human spirit.