The Age of Phillis on Film

Virtual Panel

The award-winning book The Age of Phillis by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers works to transform our understanding of 18th century Boston by imagining the life and times of Phillis Wheatley Peters, the first African American woman to publish a book of poetry. Revolutionary Spaces has commissioned a series of short films called Imagining the Age of Phillis, featuring Boston-based actors performing excerpts at the Old South Meeting House and Old State House, sites linked to the poems.

Directed by John Oluwole ADEkoje and produced by Patrick Gabridge of Plays in Place, these films capture the stories of figures like Wheatley Peters, Crispus Attucks, the first to fall at the Boston Massacre, and Elizabeth Freeman, whose petition for her freedom helped end slavery in Massachusetts. The full collection of films will be available beginning the week of June 7.

This online panel brings together ADEkoje, Jeffers, and Gabridge to discuss the films and the relevance of these Revolutionary-era figures today.

This event is generously supported in part by the New England Women’s Club Fund at the Boston Foundation.


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Admission is free.


About the Panelists

John Oluwole ADEkoje is an award-winning playwright and filmmaker. He recently received the Emerging Filmmaker Award for his feature Knockaround Kids at the Roxbury International Film Festival. ADEkoje is also the co-director and director of photography for the digital version of Hype Man (Company One/American Repertory Theatre), and the writer, director, and projection/art designer for the Triggered Life Project (Portland Playhouse).

Patrick Gabridge is a playwright, novelist, and screenwriter whose work has been read and produced around the world. With his company Plays in Place he creates new site-specific plays in partnership with museums and historic sites, including Mount Auburn Cemetery, Boston’s Old State House, Old South Meeting House, and Roosevelt-Campobello International Park.

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is a Professor of English at University of Oklahoma. Her book The Age of Phillis, based on the life and times of Phillis Wheatley Peters, was long-listed for the 2020 National Book Award in Poetry and won the 2021 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry.

Imagining the Age of Phillis Film Series

Watch the short film series directed by John Oluwole ADEkoje that brings a selection of the poems from Honorée Fanonne Jeffers’s book to life and dive deeper into the life and times of Phillis Wheatley Peters.