Phillis Wheatley Elementary

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School Profile:

Phillis Wheatley Elementary School is located at 1801 Northwest 1st Place in the residential neighborhood of Overtown. The school was built in 1952 on approximately a two acre lot. The school services grades Pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade. Over the years, Phillis Wheatley has educated generations of Black leaders and prominent citizens. Phillis Wheatley has a rich heritage of promoting excellence and pride. Our school also has been part of a renovation project. Beginning in 2000, our media center was renovated and a new addition was built to house our new art and music suite.

The schol was named after Phillis Wheatley (May 8, 1753 – December 5, 1784) was both the second published African-American poet and first published African-American woman. Born in Senegambia, she was sold into slavery at the age of 7 and transported to North America. She was purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write, and encouraged her poetry when they saw her talent.

The publication of her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773) brought her fame both in England and the American colonies; figures such as George Washington praised her work. During Wheatley's visit to England with her master's son, the African-American poet Jupiter Hammon praised her work in his own poem. Wheatley was emancipated after the death of her master John Wheatley. She married soon after. Two of her children died as infants. After her husband was imprisoned for debt in 1784, Wheatley fell into poverty and died of illness, quickly followed by the death of her surviving infant son.


















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