Statue of Phillis Wheatley, The Boston Women's Memorial.
 Bergmann, Meredith, 1955-

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Title:Statue of Phillis Wheatley, The Boston Women's Memorial
Notes:"Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant; save the child of your serving girl." -- Psalm 86:16

In the scripture texts for today, both from Genesis and from Psalms, the need for God's intervention is powerful in the lives of servants/slaves. This sculpture of the country's first African-American poet reminds us that Hagar's journey is one that has been repeated through millenia.

Phillis Wheatley was born in Gambia in 1753. She came to the United States as a slave and was purchased by a Boston family who generously educated her. She became an accomplished writer and published a book of poetry, the success of which won her acclaim and soon after, her freedom. She married and had three children, none of whom survived infancy.

    "Against thy Zion though her foes may rage,
    And all their cunning, all their strength engage,
    Yet she serenely on thy bosom lies,
    Smiles at their arts, and all their force defies."
    -- from the poem, Isaiah LXIII
Artist:Bergmann, Meredith, 1955-
Building:Commonwealth Avenue
Object/Function:Sculpture, freestanding
Country:United States

Scripture:Genesis 21:8-21
Psalm 86
Lectionary links:AProp07
Library of Congress Subject:Wheatley, Phillis, 1753-1784

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Copyright Permission:This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial ShareAlike 3.0 License. In short: you are free to use and to share the file for non-commercial purposes under the conditions that you appropriately attribute it, and that you distribute it only under a license compatible with this one. For uses other than the above, contact the Divinity Library at
Attribution:Bergmann, Meredith, 1955-. Statue of Phillis Wheatley, The Boston Women's Memorial, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved September 22, 2020]. Original source:
Record Number:53991 Last Updated: 2011-01-24 16:05:13 Record Created: 2008-04-28 17:57:54
Institution:Vanderbilt University Unit: Collection: Art in the Christian Tradition