Olaudah Equiano (1745–1797)
DOI link for Olaudah Equiano (1745–1797)
Olaudah Equiano (1745–1797) book
Gustavus Vassa, more popularly remembered as Olaudah Equiano, was a pioneering black abolitionist who visited Ireland and Britain at a time of revolutionary turmoil across the world. After Frederick Douglass, he is probably the best-known abolitionist to tour these countries. During Equiano’s lifetime, there were accusations that he was not the author of the Narrative, with suggestions that a white person had been involved. Unlike later generations of visiting abolitionists, Equiano lived at a time when the slave trade was still being practised by the major transatlantic powers, including Britain and America. Equiano was unique in a number of ways, most notably that he was a ‘first-generation’ slave who had been born in Africa, kidnapped and enslaved. Consequently, he was able to devote a large part of his narrative to writing about the customs and traditions of Africa and the brutality of the ‘middle passage’.