Meaning of EQUIANO, OLAUDAH in English


born c. 1750, , Benin, kingdom of Benin died , April/May 1797, England west African sold into slavery and later freed, whose autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African (1789), with a strong abolitionist stance and an interesting and detailed description of life in Benin, was so popular that by 1794 it had run through eight English editions and one in the United States. Captured at age 12, Equiano was taken to the West Indies, where he traveled widely with his master and received some education before he was freed. Once in England he became an active abolitionist, agitating and lecturing against the cruelty of British slave owners in Jamaica, and in 1787 he was appointed commissary aboard the Vernon, which was carrying 500 to 600 freed slaves to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to establish a settlement there. Publication of his autobiography was aided by British abolitionists who were collecting evidence on the sufferings of slaves. In that book and in later Miscellaneous Verses . . . , he idealizes his African past and shows a great pride in his race while attacking those Africans who trafficked in slavery (a perspective further shown by his setting forth not only the injustices and humiliations of his fellow slaves but also the kindness of his own master and of English women who befriended him). As a whole, Equiano's work shows both broad human compassion and realism. His autobiography was reissued in 1966 with an introduction and detailed notes.

Britannica English vocabulary.      Английский словарь Британика.