Exactly 246 years after the publication of his first book in London in 1773, Philis Wheatley finally received a blue plaque in London.
The historic blue plaque installed at Dorsett City Hotel, the former publisher site of Wheatley, was unveiled on July 16, 2019 by the Nubian Jak Community Trust, an organization that rewards the historic contributions of blacks and ethnic minorities in the Great -Britain.
Tuesday 16th July we installed the first diverse Blue plaque in the City of London. It was a tribute to Phillis Wheatley who in 1773 became the first woman of colour to publish a book in English. It was installed on Dorsett City Hotel, the former site of Wheatley's publisher pic.twitter.com/mu2wEtZEg3
— Nubian Jak (@NubianJak) July 18, 2019
Members of the black community and members of the Nubian Jak Community Trust, Black History Walks, the US Embassy and Dorsett City Hotel sponsored the Blue Plaque and helped make it a reality.
According to the African Central Journal, the event was enriched by a brief history of Phillis Wheatley and a recital of some of his poems. A West African ceremony was also held in honor of its roots at the event.
At the age of 12, after being sold into slavery, Phillis Wheatley wrote his first poem at the University of Cambridge in New England, which was made public. This is the beginning of a career as a writer for the West African slave who, at age 14, saw his first poem “On Messers Hussey and Coffin” published in Mercury, a Newport newspaper. She later traveled to England at the age of 20 in July 1773 with Nathaniel Wheatley, her master and owner, to publish her first book “Poems of Various Subject, Religious and Moral” the same year.
Phillis Wheatley is celebrated as the youngest and first black woman to write or even publish a book. In recent times, his story has been shared again and made accessible to more blacks and African Americans to celebrate those who have paved the way for them.