Through my friends at Old South Meeting House, I became aware of Dorothy Mains Prince and her remarkable portrayal of African American poet Phillis Wheatley. Old South, where Wheatley worshipped, is the only surviving historic site in Boston connected with Phillis Wheatley and her amazing life. Besides performances at Old South Meeting House in recent years, Prince has also brought Phillis Wheatley to life through a 32-minute DVD titled Make Her Black … and Bid Her Sing and a companion study guide. Both products teach viewers/readers about Phillis Wheatley from the moment she arrived in Boston and was sold into salvery to her incredible achievements as a poet and the first African American author to publish a book of poetry. The DVD and study guide can be purchased from the Old South Meeting House museum shop or from Dorothy Mains Prince at her website DorothyPrince.com. The DVD and companion study guide get my highest praise.
For those interested in learning more about the life of Phillis Wheatley, the Massachusetts Historical Society has an outstanding Phillis Wheatley section in their online exhibit African Americans and the End of Slavery in Massachusetts. Here you can view the desk that Phillis wrote her book of poetry on and see letters and poems written in her own hand along with transcriptions.