We begin our observance of Black History Month with a special program featuring well-known literary scholar Vincent Carretta, author of an important new book from the University of Georgia Press, ”Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius in Bondage.” Wheatley was the first English-speaking person of African descent to publish a book and only the second woman of any race or background to do so in America. Carretta’s deep research has turned up more knowledge about Wheatley’s life than we have known, explaining how she managed her freedom from slavery and how she wrote what became a remarkable, iconic work. He also has discovered the earliest poem attributable to Wheatley and included it and other previously unpublished works in this biography. Carretta is professor of English at the University of Maryland and the author or editor of ten books. (jasbro)
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