Phillis Wheatley was an African slave and one of the best-known poets in colonial America. Her fate and fame came with the help of John Wheatley, the man who saved her from a life of hard slavery. Phillis became not only a household name, but also a living testament to the intelligence of Africans, debunking contemporary stereotypes with her articulate creativity. Wheatley became a face for the abolitionist movement long before it began in earnest. Her works, centering on race, religion, politics, and social commentary, enlightened many people and affected a change in attitudes.