Jupiter Hammon Analytical Essay by Master Writers

Jupiter Hammon
A biography of the life and works of the black poet Jupiter Hammon.
# 16532 | 1,333 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2002 | US

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This paper discusses the life and poetry of Jupiter Hammon, born a slave, sometime around 1720 and who was owned by the Lloyd family who lived on Long Island, New York. It examines how he learned to read and write, wrote several poems which later, after his death, were complied into books of poetry that are still in print today. It reviews some of his works and how he wrote not only about religion, but also about slavery and his feeling that all slaves should be freed from bondage. In his works, he was also the first black author to encourage other African-Americans to create their own nation and take their lives into their own hands. While at first his life seems to be a paradox, Hammon turned his life into a plea for freedom, peace and religious salvation. He died some time around 1800, and his burial place is unknown.

From the Paper:

"Jupiter Hammon is extremely significant to American literature and poetry because he was long considered to be the first published Black American author. Many historians gave this honor to Black poet Phillis Wheatley, who published her first book of poetry in 1773. However, Hammon's poem "'This was An Evening Thought. Salvation by Christ, with Penetential Cries: Composed by Jupiter Hammon, a Negro Belonging to Mr. Lloyd, of Queen's Village, on Long Island, the 25th of December, 1760,' was printed as a broadside in New York, evidently in 1761" (Brawley), which would date it at least 10 years before Wheatley's work. Today, while Lucy Terry, who wrote "Bar Fight" in 1746, has superceded Hammon as the first Black poet, he is still the first Black man to publish poetry in the United States."

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