By James Walvin
The autobiography of Olaudah Equiano, a famous African in past due 18th-century Britain, is quoted, anthologized and interpreted in dozens of books and articles. greater than any unmarried modern, Equiano speaks for the destiny of hundreds of thousands of Africans within the period of the transatlantic slave alternate. This research makes an attempt to create a rounded portrait of the fellow at the back of the literary photo, and to check Equiano within the context of Atlantic slavery.
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Additional info for An African's Life: The Life and Times of Olaudah Equiano, 1745-1797
What gives Equiano's memory of Africa its strength is not its precision of recollection, nor its verifiable detail of this or that fact, but its resonance. It is a story which speaks for millions of other Africans whose voices were silenced by slavery itself. Historians have become very skilled in reconstructing the history of Atlantic slavery from the raw data of that massive commercial system. The attraction of Equiano is that he gives voice to those statistics. It is a voice of compelling strength, then as now.
The regions, cultures and history of the Igbo people in all their shifting nature can best be approached through the work of Elizabeth Isichei: The Ibo People and the Europeans (London, 1976); A History of the Igbo People (London, 1976). I have also benefited by conversations with Dr Peter Yearwood on this issue. 7 Historians have, until recently, imagined that this region was relatively untouched by the eighteenthcentury slave trade. , p. 27. 8 Interesting Narrative, p. 34. , p. 37. 10 On heathenism see Winthrop D.
As they sailed north, heading for that other major slave economy, Virginia, their treatment improved: 'we had plenty of rice and fat pork'. 28 They were presumably somewhere along the meandering network of water systems which drain into the massive expanse of Chesapeake Bay. The settled lands around the edges of this river system formed the centre of the tobacco industry. As early as 1620 tobacco had established itself as the region's crucial export crop (after earlier unsuccessful experiments with other commodities).