Olaudah Equiano 's Influence On African Diaspora History

1941 Words Nov 30th, 2014 8 Pages
In 1745, Olaudah Equiano was born in Eboe, which is now Nigeria. When he was about eleven years old, he was kidnapped and sold to slave traders heading to the West Indies. Though he spent a short time in the state of Virginia, much of his time in slavery was spent serving the captains of slave ships and British navy vessels. One of his masters, Henry Pascal, the captain of a British trading vessel, gave him the name Gustavas Vassa, which he hardly used throughout his life. Paul Lovejoy, Canada Research Chair in African Diaspora History stated:
He claims that when his master, Michael Henry Pascal, gave him the name Gustavus Vassa at age 12 while crossing the Atlantic in 1754, he ‘refused to be called so.’ He apparently had not objected to the names he had been given earlier – Michael on board the slave ship, and then Jacob in Virginia – and he could not possibly have known who his namesake was in 1754 (Lovejoy).
One would say that his obvious lack of enthusiasm is perhaps a literary device to make the point that his fate was already made. Through many years, he worked and made enough money to buy his freedom. He married and had two daughters. In 1797, he died in London. At the beginning, the author (Equiano) gave an apologia, stating why he had chosen to write his narrative. He did not wish to be senseless, which is the danger when writing about one’s self. Somewhat, he wished to celebrate God, for God had made him a favorite and presented him with a great deal of favor,…
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