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Mint Editions (Black Narratives)

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The Collected Poems and Prose of Jupiter Hammon compiles the works of Jupiter Hammon, America's first published black writer. When his poem "An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ, with Penitential Cries" appeared in print as a broadside in 1761, Hammon unknowingly changed American literature for generations to come. Born into slavery, Hammon was a highly talented poet and preacher whose subtle criticism of slavery employed Christian symbolism and promoted a vision of salvation through determination and faith in God. In 1786, Hammon gave "An Address to the Negroes in the State of New York" at the inaugural assembly of the African Society of New York City. In it, he proclaimed that "If we should ever get to Heaven, we shall find nobody to reproach us for being black, or for being slaves." His message of hope and spiritual uplift employed Christian theology while responding to the needs and desires of enslaved African Americans. In "An Address to Miss Phillis Wheatley," Hammon harnesses the communicative power of poetry to acknowledge and praise a pioneering young poet: "While thousands muse with earthly toys; / And range about the street, / Dear Phillis, seek for heaven's joys, / Where we do hope to meet." Through this shared passion for poetry and belief in life after death, the two poets--who never did meet in life--join in mind and in spirit despite their earthly status as slaves. Through humility and hope, Hammon expresses his solidarity with a kindred soul while igniting and inspiring countless others. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of The Collected Poems and Prose of Jupiter Hammon is a classic of African American literature reimagined for modern readers.

ISBN-13: 9781513282442

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Mint Editions

Publication Date: 05-21-2021

Pages: 66

Product Dimensions: 8.00h x 5.00w x 0.14d

Series: Mint Editions (Black Narratives)

Hammon, Jupiter: -

Jupiter Hammon (1711-1806) was an African American poet and preacher. Born into slavery at Lloyd Manor on Long Island, New York, Hammon was educated by the Anglican Church and developed a talent for reading and writing at a young age. In 1761, his poem "An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ, with Penitential Cries" was published as a broadside, making Hammon the first black published author in American history. During the Revolutionary War, he composed "An Address to Miss Phillis Wheatley," which appeared in print eighteen years after his debut. In 1786, at the inaugural assembly of the African Society in New York City, Hammon delivered a speech titled "Address to the Negroes in the State of New York." At 76 years old, still enslaved by the Lloyd family, he affirmed his faith in heavenly salvation and stated his hope for the freedom of future generations. He lived an astounding life, inspiring many and defying his captivity in subtle acts of resistance. Although his work is limited--four poems and four prose pieces--Hammon displayed a mastery of Christian theology and poetic form while pursuing a message of racial uplift and moral righteousness. Buried in an unmarked grave, enslaved for the entirety of his life on earth, Jupiter Hammon remains an insurmountable force in American history and a pioneer of African American literature.