Olaudah Equiano

Olaudah Equiano was a counter-counter culture figure in the late 18th century. Olaudah Equiano was a very unique person because, although he was once a slave, he earned his freedom, and even learned to read and write. He was fortunate enough to have a master that taught him about commerce, and on the side Equiano earned enough money to buy his freedom while still completing tasks for his master. Equiano travelled to England after he bought his freedom to spread his horror story of the atrocities of slavery.

“No black voice before Frederick Douglass spoke so movingly to American readers about inhumanity, and no work before Douglass’s own Narrative had such an impact.”

Equiano was so far from the norm because the majority of slaves were uneducated, and had no means to earn their freedom. Olaudah Equiano, however, learned to read and write prominently. He used his gifts to speak out as an activist against slavery, something very few Africans had the opportunity to do in White Europe. Equiano spoke all throughout England, and his movement was influential enough to impact Parliament’s Slave Trade Act of 1807, which abolished slavery in England.

This entry was posted in American Literary Studies, Colonial Literature, Honors English III, Slavery. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Olaudah Equiano

  1. Livy P says:

    It’s very interesting how a black man made such an immense difference on slavery in those times. When we think about slavery and the treatment of the black person before the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, we don’t normally expect an African American to have made a worldly difference.

  2. Larke Nimocks says:

    The fact that Olaudah’s story was spread with the purpose of informing the other parts of the world to know about the slavery cruelty taking place in America was nothing of the norm. Most slaves do not know how to read or write, therefore conveying this story would have been a bigger struggle, but using his literary capabilities he told his story to help protest slavery on a higher level than just within the country.

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