If Phillis Wheatley was the Mother of African American literature, there's a sense in which Thomas Jefferson can be thought of as its midwife. Why does Gates consider Jefferson the "midwife" of African American literature? Jefferson's support of Wheatley's work brought forth further African literature. Jefferson's criticisms of Wheatley's work brought her further fame and fortune. Jefferson's support of Wheatley's work brought her publication to the world stage. Jefferson's criticisms of Wheatley's work brought forth further African literature to dispute his views.

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If Phillis Wheatley was the Mother of African American literature, there's a sense in which Thomas Jefferson can be thought of as its midwife. Why does Gates consider Jefferson the "midwife" of African American literature? Jefferson's support of Wheatley's work brought forth further African literature. Jefferson's criticisms of Wheatley's work brought her further fame and fortune. Jefferson's support of Wheatley's work brought her publication to the world stage. Jefferson's criticisms of Wheatley's work brought forth further African literature to dispute his views.

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I'd say the last one, because Jefferson's thought of their role in literature were the strongest motivation for the blacks to create a body of literature that would prove implicitly Jefferson wrong.

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