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Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
Colonial America (1492-1776)
Black Literature Leaders



Black Literature Leaders
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.6

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    slave, devout, unjust, capacity, wealthy, slavery, scornful, newly, dealt, colonial, directly, impressive, writing, mankind, uneducated, gain
     content words:    Long Island, New York, Jupiter Hammon, When Jupiter, Evening Thought, Penitential Cries, Christmas Day, Miss Phillis Wheatly, Winter Piece, United States


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Black Literature Leaders
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Many slave owners in colonial times believed in keeping their slaves uneducated. It was their belief that it was a waste of time to teach these newly arrived Africans how to read or write. They had no capacity to learn, anyway.
 
2     Some slave owners taught their slaves basic reading skills. It was their belief that they could turn these "heathens" into Christians. They wanted their "property" to be able to read the Bible. This was the way to their salvation. It would also civilize them.
 
3     Fortunately, there were slave owners with a much more open point of view. They believed that slaves could and should be educated. The Lloyd family of Long Island, New York, was one such family. Jupiter Hammon was born around 1711. He was sold to the Lloyd family as a very young boy. Jupiter was a slave for four generations of the Lloyd family. They sent Jupiter to school to learn to read and write.
 
4     Jupiter had much more freedom than many slaves. He could tend his own garden and sell the produce for spending money. When Jupiter was twenty-two, he purchased his own Bible from the Lloyd family. He was a devout Christian.
 
5     Jupiter Hammon learned quickly. He loved to read, and he loved to write. His writing shows his deeply religious belief. The first published poem was named "An Evening Thought, Salvation by Christ with Penitential Cries." The word "penitential" used here has to do with asking forgiveness. That's quite an impressive title for someone who many thought could not be educated. This piece was published on Christmas Day of 1760. Two of his later pieces were called "An Address to Miss Phillis Wheatly" and "A Winter Piece."

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Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
             Black History and Blacks in U.S. History


Colonial America (1492-1776)
             Colonial America (1492-1776)


United States
             United States


    American Government  
 
    Black History and Blacks in U.S. History  
 
    Children in History  
 
    Government Careers  
 
    Hispanic Heritage  
 
    How Can I Help?  
 
 
    Immigration  
 
    National Parks and Monuments  
 
    Native Americans  
 
    Presidents of the United States  
 
    Women's History  
 


United States History
    A Nation Divided
(1840-1861)
 
 
    A New Nation
(1776-1830)
 
 
    After the Civil War
(1865-1870)
 
 
    American Revolution  
 
    Cold War
(1947-1991)
 
 
    Colonial America (1492-1776)  
 
    Lewis and Clark
(1804-1806)
 
 
    Pearl Harbor  
 
    Spanish American War (1898)  
 
    The 1890's  
 
    The 1900's  
 
    The 1910's  
 
    The 1920's  
 
    The 1930's  
 
 
    The 1940's  
 
    The 1950's  
 
    The 1960's  
 
    The 1970's  
 
    The 1980's  
 
    The 1990's  
 
    The 2000's  
 
    The Civil War
(1861-1865)
 
 
    The Great Depression
(1929-1945)
 
 
    The United States Grows
(1865-1900)
 
 
    The War of 1812  
 
    Wild, Wild West  
 
    World War I
(1914-1918)
 
 
    World War II  
 


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