Jupiter Hammon

Deceased Person

Jupiter Hammon (born October 17 1711 ¬タモ died 1806?) was a Black poet and the first published Black writer in America. He is considered one of the founders of African American literature. Hammon was a slave his whole life, owned by several generations of the Lloyd family on Long Island, New York. Despite his enslavement, he was allowed to attend school and this formal education influenced his development as a poet. Hammon was also a devout Christian and was influenced by the religious revivals then taking place in 18th century New England. His writing reflects this spirituality. His first published poem "An Evening Thought. Salvation by Christ with Penitential Cries" was written on Christmas Day, 1760 (and published as a broadside in early 1761), making it the first piece of literature published in the United States by a person of African descent. His second extant piece of poetry, published 17 years after the first, honors Phillis Wheatley. Hammon never mentions himself in the poem, but it appears that in choosing Wheatley as a subject, he was acknowledging their common bond. In 1786, Hammon gave his "Address to the Negroes of the State of New York" before the African  ( Wikipedia article )


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