The Fire This Time - Part 1, “The Dear Pledges of Our Love”: A Defense of Phillis Wheatley’s Husband Summary & Analysis

Jesmyn Ward
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Summary

Honorèe Fanonne Jeffers begins the essay by explaining her introduction to Phillis Wheatley. In the 1970s, Jeffers’s school, which was mostly segregated even though segregation was no longer legal, celebrated Black History Month. Each February, Jeffers memorized the names of accomplished African Americans. For Jeffers’s teachers, Phillis Wheatley was “the first of the firsts.” She was one of the most accomplished African Americans and someone for young children to admire. Wheatley was the first African in the United States to publish a book of poetry. By admiring Wheatley, African Americans around Jeffers demonstrated a kind of solidarity and loyalty to their race. Growing up, Jeffers believed Wheatley never married. No one said anything to her about a husband, so she assumed Wheatley, who died young at the age...

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This section contains 2,415 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Fire This Time Study Guide
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