Olaudah Equiano 's ' The Atlantic Slave Trade

Decent Essays

The Atlantic slave trade, from its beginnings in the 1500’s to its end in the 1800’s was in itself the largest forced migration in human history. Slavery was not a new concept to the Atlantic coastal regions of Africa, but the Europeans were able to take hold of an age old tradition and blow it out of proportion. Olaudah Equiano’s story is especially unique, given the wide array of worldviews he came in contact with, as well as the continued evolution of his own worldview throughout all of his experiences.
In the first chapter of Volume I, Equiano goes into amazing detail as to the customs and day-to-day life of the way his home community functioned. This provides real insight into how African communities functioned before significant …show more content…

Equiano made these associations front and center, as to verify the point of Africans being on the same intellectual level as the Jews. He even goes so far as to make the suggestion that his people may be Jewish, by pointing out that the discrepancy in coloring between their races could simply be explained by having lived in a tropical zone for so long. Equiano supports this by citing research of Spaniards becoming “as dark colored as the native Indians...”
Relating the traditions and practices of his native practices to those of Christianity may at first seem like an isolated incident, but throughout the book he continually tries to make a case for the similarities between his people and the Europeans. By doing this, he validates the belief of the abolitionists that Africans are worthy of being treated as if they were humanity, and not as if they were livestock. He even furthers this belief by enabling the reader to emotionally connect with a wide array of Africans throughout the story. Such a strategy results in the (probably European) reader being able to compare the way Europeans and Africans exist on an apples-to-apples level. This may seem like a very basic thing to be able to do, but the reader of the time of publication would have a much harder time as opposed to a modern reader.
Christians were almost

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