Phillis Wheatley was born in Gambia, around 1753, and was sold into slavery at 7 years old. She quickly mastered English and also learned Latin and Greek. At the age of 13, she published her first poem, and by 1773, at the age of 20, she became the first African American and one of the first women in America to publish a book of poetry, titled "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral."