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Slave Narratives of American Slaves - Book Report/Review Example

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Slave Narratives of American Slaves

He authored his autobiography and gave detailed and comprehensive accounts of slavery. As a young man, he was enslaved. However, he successfully bought his rights and privileges and started working as a merchant and a traveler in several regions such as United Kingdom, Artic, American colonies, etc.
Olaudah Equiano was born in the year 1745 in Nigeria. At the age of eleven, he and his sister were abducted and sold as slaves within their local slaveholders. However, Equiano was later sold again but this time to white Europeans, who were involved in the slave trade. Beneath the deck of the ship, the slaves were placed in a confined room, where they could bare sit. The room was small, moist and very hot and it did not have any fresh air. Equiano was whipped and severely beaten for the first time in his life when refused to eat his meal. His hands were restricted by one white man and the other one whipped him severely (Equiano, 48).
After being sold to several different people, Equiano was moved to Virginia, where he was bought by Michael Pascal. His new owner decided to assign him a new name. It should be noted that assigning new names to slaves was a common and widespread. Throughout his life, he had been given several new names but this time he retaliated and informed his owner that he would like to be known as Jacob. Olaudah Equiano asserts that his rejection and refusal earned him a cuff and that he was brutally treated and ultimately had to accept and embrace his new name.
From his narrative, Equiano has given a clear picture and illustration of the brutal treatment of slaves during that time in Virginia. His narrative gives a clear picture that slaves were severely punished and "iron muzzle" was used in order to ensure that they do not voice their opinion or eat (Equiano, 50). In such a hostile environment, he experienced fear and horror. Living in such a hostile environment, he believed that a clock was documenting his each and every move and that portraits could easily locate him.
As a slave of British Naval officer, he was trained as a seaman and he had the privilege to travel with his master (Equiano, 53). He was also an active member in the Seven Year's War. He enjoyed being his master's favorite and therefore he went to Britain in order to attend school. Although Equiano was given special attention, he was not awarded for his services, which he had provided in War. His owner had assured and gave him his word that he would free him. However, Equiano was not freed.

Equiano's Freedom
Equiano was bought by Robert King, who was engaged in trade and commerce. He came from Philadelphia. In the year 1765, King made a promise to Equiano that he would free for a price of forty pounds. Furthermore, he also taught Equiano to read and write. He also assisted Equiano in religious teachings and also gave him the permission to engage himself in trade. This assisted Equiano to buy his sovereignty and freedom (Equiano, 69).
Contribution in Freeing American Slaves
After earning his freedom, Equiano went back to London for two caused. First of all, he became politically and legally active in order to illegalize slavery and the trade associated with it. In the year 1773, his friend John Annis, who was a ...Show more


The European Slave Trade concentrated on selling Africans to different parts of the Western World. Once sold as slaves, they were subjected to inhumane and brutal treatment. In order to raise voice against slavery and to abolish it, several reformers such as Olaudah Equiano, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, etc emerged in order to fights against slavery…
Author : ygoyette
Slave Narratives of American Slaves essay example
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