Olaudah Equiano
July 17, 2003 6:09 AM   Subscribe

Olaudah Equiano, or, Gustavus Vassa, the African. 'According to his famous autobiography, written in 1789, Olaudah Equiano (c.1745-1797) was born in what is now Nigeria. Kidnapped and sold into slavery in childhood, he was taken as a slave to the New World. As a slave to a captain in the Royal Navy, and later to a Quaker merchant, he eventually earned the price of his own freedom by careful trading and saving. As a seaman, he travelled the world, from the Mediterranean to the North Pole. Coming to London, he became involved in the movement to abolish the slave trade, an involvement which led to him writing and publishing The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African (1789) a strongly abolitionist autobiography ... '
Of interest :- Ignatius Sancho: African Man of Letters; Quobna Ottabah Cugoano: a Former Slave Speaks Out; American Slave Narratives ('From 1936 to 1938, over 2,300 former slaves from across the American South were interviewed by writers and journalists under the aegis of the Works Progress Administration'); Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938; Excerpts from Slave Narratives.
posted by plep (8 comments total)
Is this the guy who keeps emailling me, asking for my bank account numbers?
posted by jpburns at 6:13 AM on July 17, 2003

I'm feeling the urge to serenade you again, plep.

The stuff on Olaudah Equiano/Gustavus Vassa is a fantastic trove of info about a fascinating guy I'd never heard of before. Thanks.
posted by eyebeam at 8:06 AM on July 17, 2003

jpburns, were you born an idiot or did your dad teach you?
posted by Frasermoo at 8:20 AM on July 17, 2003

My god, what must it be like to save up to buy your own freedom? I can't even put enough away to get a washing machine.
posted by gottabefunky at 8:28 AM on July 17, 2003

Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is a good (though depressing) read too. Women had the worst of it, I'd say.

I know I have Equiano's book somewhere, but I don't think I've read it yet. Thanks, plep.
posted by tyro urge at 8:36 AM on July 17, 2003

jpburns, were you born an idiot or did your dad teach you?

I learned by watching others...
posted by jpburns at 9:11 AM on July 17, 2003

tyro urge :- thanks for that link!
posted by plep at 11:06 AM on July 17, 2003

plep rules.
posted by jokeefe at 12:33 PM on July 17, 2003

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