Hey everyone, so today is another bitesize history lesson & its a very informative one so I suggest you read after this line..
Equiano was a freed slave who educated himself to write his experiences that inturn led to a profound effect, initiating the process towards the abolition of slavery across Britain and Europe.
Equiano was from the, Eboe province, in the area that is now southern Nigeria ( Igbo are an ethnic group native to the present-day south-central and southeastern extraction from the eastern part of present day Nigeria).
Now we all know about the British colonial rule. Slavery was seen as a common occurrence during this time, this was not only done by the British but many countries who conquered for e.g the Dutch & French too.
Equiano was with his sister at around the age of 11 when he was kidnapped. He was sold off to slave traders they were both separated. Can you for one moment imagine what he went through, that horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach when you have no idea where you are or where you’re going. You dont have your parents to protect you and no reassurance of ever returning home.
He was sent far away across the Atlantic Ocean to Barbados & then to Virginia. Now I shall have to research further into this but I believe that at one point he did travel in a slave ship. The conditions were not top-notch & many were shackled. True horror stories, as their wounds would be doused in salty water. Imagine suffering a gash from the whip,cuts with skin tearing from the shackles only to be sprinkled with salt on top. Excruciating! One cannot fathom the pain they experienced.
In Virginia, Equiano was bought in 1754 by Michael Pascal, a lieutenant in the Royal Navy. He returned to England with his owner and was his valet during the seven years war. During this Equiano learnt the ways of battle at sea loading gunpowder. He was favoured by his owner who sent him back to England at his sister in law’s house where he could attend school ,hence educating himself to read and write.
Not all was bright for Equiano as he was sold a further two times. His final owner was Robert King. He worked as a deckhand, valet & barber for King, as his owner stated he could buy his freedom if he found a way to pay the sum of £40 pounds (equivalent to £4,900 in 2015). If this man who was a slave earned his freedom it means we are capable of anything!
Heres some wiki love:
1786 in London, he became involved in the movement to abolish slavery. He was a prominent member of the ‘Sons of Africa’, a group of 12 black men who campaigned for abolition.
In 1789 he published his autobiography, ‘The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African’.
Equiano’s personal account of slavery, his journey of advancement, and his experiences as a black immigrant caused a sensation on publication. The book fueled a growing anti-slavery movement in Great Britain, Europe, and the New World. His account surprised many with the quality of its imagery, description, and literary style. Some readers felt shame at learning of the suffering he had endured.
His biography details his voyage on a slave ship, and the brutality of slavery in the colonies of West Indies, Virginia, and Georgia.
Its amazing how he informed the people of his experiences hence this percolated through the ranks of society which inturn brough about a huge change. If it wasnt for Equiano speaking out maybe it would have took much longer. So please sometimes one must speak out, indicating to others how they feel for else it might be too late!
Absolutely no one should be a slave, whether it’s at work, at home or in your society. Unfortunately slavery is still common in some countries where people refuse to educate underprivileged children or take advantage of those who are not as well off as others. Do not let people bring you down or make you feel as though you are worthless for this story is true & Equiano made it, he bought his own freedom.The immense depth of suffering is probably one that we can not even imagine. He was treated as an object not a living, breathing human. If you have watched 12 years a slave one has an insight as to how barbaric the treatment was. Please raise future generations to respect people regardless of colour, race, ethnicity, status or religion. And never give up on your freedom because that is truly something that’s yours !!
Love your Prin ❤
P.s please watch the movie Belle by Amma Asante – trust me , you wont regret it as its a stunning movie with an even more beautiful meaning to life ❤