Jupiter Hammon publishes “Salvation by Christ with Penitential Cries”, the first known poetical work of a Black American.
1761 (Dec 15)
Jupiter Hammon, born enslaved October 17, 1711, published Salvation by Christ with Penitential Cries, the first known poetical work by a Black. Hammon's masters had given him a rudimentary education, including religious instruction, and helped to publish his verse. Scholars do not accord much literary merit to Hammon's work, but he is an important figure because of his place in the chronology of Black literature. Hammon is also known for his "Address to the Negroes of the State of New York" (1787), in which he called upon Blacks to be faithful and obedient to their masters. Hammon believed that the race should endure its bondage humbly and patiently until it earned its freedom by honest and good conduct.