Tag Archives: Middle Passage and Enslavement

Wheatley, Phillis

by Jenny Liou and Claire Morgan (2022) WHEATLEY, PHILLIS (c. 1753-1784). Phillis Wheatley was the first African American, and one of the first women, to publish a book of poetry in the American colonies. As is the case with many Continue reading & text links

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Yang, Jeffrey

by Jaehyun Jeong (2015) YANG, JEFFREY (1974-) Jeffrey Yang is an American poet, translator, and editor best known for his books of poetry An Aquarium (2008) and Vanishing-Line (2011). Born in Escondido, California, Yang attended the University of California San Diego. With an initial interest Continue reading & text links

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Wilson, August

by Sarah Dohan (2016) WILSON, AUGUST (1945-2005). August Wilson, a prominent American playwright, was born Frederick August Kittel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on April 27, 1945 to Frederick Kittel, a German baker, and Daisy Wilson Kittel, an African American cleaning woman. Continue reading & text links

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Whittier, John Greenleaf

by R. D. Madison (2000) WHITTIER, JOHN GREENLEAF (1807-1892). A Quaker abolitionist and poet, John Greenleaf Whittier epitomizes the poet of rural life. With his New England contemporaries, however, he had little relish for straying far from the reach of the Continue reading & text links

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Nelson, Marilyn

by Kelly Bushnell and Christian Loriel Lucas (2022) NELSON (WANIEK), MARILYN (1946—). Poet and translator Marilyn Nelson (Waniek) was born in Cleveland in 1946. She received her BA from the University of California, Davis, her MA from the University of Continue reading & text links

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Mayo, William S.

by Christina L. Wolak (2000) MAYO, WILLIAM S[TARBUCK] (1811-1895). Born in Ogdensburg, New York, William S. Mayo was a successful physician and author of popular adventure fiction. His mother’s family had been in the whaling industry for generations, and his father Continue reading & text links

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Kincaid, Jamaica

by Olivia Raymond (2022) KINCAID, JAMAICA (1949 – ). Jamaica Kincaid is an award-winning author and essayist of Caribbean descent. Born Elaine Potter Richardson in St. John’s on the island of Antigua, she moved to the United States in 1965 at Continue reading & text links

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Hayden, Robert

by Fred M. Fetrow (2000) HAYDEN, ROBERT [EARL] (1913-1980). A long-neglected African American poet, Robert Hayden (born Asa Bundy Sheffey) climaxed his career with two successive terms as consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress (1976-1978), the position now Continue reading & text links

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Haley, Alex

by Robert Shenk HALEY, ALEX (1921-1992). Alex Haley joined the Coast Guard as a “mess boy” at seventeen after two years of college. During World War II, aboard the cargo ship U.S.S. Murzim, he sent story after story to national Continue reading & text links

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Freneau, Philip

by Ted Olson (2000) FRENEAU, PHILIP [MORIN] (1752-1832). An “occasional” poet born in New York City, Philip Freneau during his long life wrote lyric and narrative poems on a wide range of subjects. Since he spent many years working on Continue reading & text links

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Equiano, Olaudah

by Arnold Schmidt (2000, rev. 2021) EQUIANO, OLAUDAH (1745-1797). By the time he died at the end of the eighteenth century, mariner, author, and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano had likely become the wealthiest and most famous Black man in the Atlantic Continue reading & text links

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Douglass, Frederick

by Susan F. Beegel (2000) DOUGLASS, FREDERICK (1818-1895). Abolitionist, orator, social reformer, editor, author, and consul general to Haiti, Frederick Douglass was born into slavery as Frederick Augustus Bailey. He spent the early years of his childhood in Talbot County, Continue reading & text links

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Coker, Daniel

by Richard J. King (2000) COKER, DANIEL (1780-1846). The son of a white servant and a black slave, Daniel Coker was born in Maryland as Isaac Wright, changing his name when he escaped to New York. After buying his freedom, Continue reading & text links

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Bridge, Horatio

by John B. Hattendorf (2000) BRIDGE, HORATIO (1806-1893). A naval officer, Horatio Bridge is most famous for his close friendship with Nathaniel Hawthorne, for whom he found a publisher for Twice-told Tales (1837) and to whom Hawthorne dedicated The Snow Image (1851). Born in Continue reading & text links

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