You Should Know Their Names - Jupiter Hammon
Do you know the name Jupiter Hammon? When we think of Black men and women who lived through slavery and were able to write about their experiences, we tend to think about great historical figures like Frederick Douglass or Sojourner Truth. They made great strides in early movements for African American rights and proved their intelligence to whites, but they were hardly the first to be great Black writers. About a century earlier, during the 1700s and the American Revolution, Jupiter Hammon was a great Black writer too.
Jupiter Hammon was an enslaved man from Long Island, New York who grappled with difficult ideas about his place in the world as an ageing slave. He wrote many essays and poems, some uplifting to his community and some controversial, but regardless he proved that a Black man could be just as intelligent - if not more intelligent - than any white man. He gives us a strong perspective on the cruel origins of this country, setting the stage for Black resistance for years to come.
Creds Laura Babiak