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Transcript of Olaudah Equiano
Born in the region of Essaka, modern day Nigeria. Olaudah Equiano was the youngest of seven children, only having one sister. At the age of 11, Equiano and his sister was kidnapped and sold into slavery. He traveled through The Middle Passage to American.
Personal Life Cont...
In Virginia he was sold to a Royal Navy officer, Lieutenant Michael Pascal, who renamed him 'Gustavus Vassa' after the 16th-century Swedish king. Equiano traveled the oceans with Pascal for eight years, during which time he was baptized and learned to read and write.
Pascal then sold Equiano to a ship captain in London, who took him to Montserrat, where he was sold to the prominent merchant Robert King. While working as a deckhand, valet and barber for King, Equiano earned money by trading on the side. In only three years, he made enough money to buy his own freedom. Equiano then spent much of the next 20 years traveling the world, including trips to Turkey and the Arctic.
Born 1745? - 1797
Region of Essaka, Near Niger River
Son of a Chief
Kidnapped by Kinsmen
At 11, was sold into Slavery
Bought his freedom in 1766
Equiano is most famously known for his Narrative,
The Interesting Narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African.
Time of Life
Equaino was born during the eighteenth century, when slavery and the slave trade was a big influence on the culture of life... at the same time Britain was fighting the Seven Year War with France, Also known as the French and Indian War.
Slave to Michael Pascal, an officer in the Royal Navy
Renamed Gustavus Vassa
learned to read and write at a school in London
Traveled the world on ships under Pascal's command.
Fought for the British
Sold to a Quaker named Robert King
Traveled to the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean
Trained as a gauger (someone who gauges weights and measures)
Slave to Robert King
Slave to Michael Pascal
From Slavery to Freedom
While Equiano was in Montserrat he witnessed the worst tortures imaginable being inflicted on his fellow slaves and this experience, he tells us, gave him an added incentive to achieve his freedom.
after three years working in Philadelphia under Robert King, in 1766, he saved up £40 equivalent to $67 now, the price of his own freedom, then traveled to back to England.
As a Slave
Equiano worked as the personal servant to Michael Pascal
Worked as a Gun Powder Carrier or 'powder-monkey' as he was known on the board ship.
He fought for the British during the war (was cheated out of his prize money).
Worked as a Gauger, under Robert King
As a Free Man
Went on voyages as a hairdresser or steward.
Became involved in the political and legal efforts to outlaw slavery and the Trade.
Traveled back to the Caribbean and anointed himself a Christian Missionary.
Worked as a servant on a couple of cruises
as an active abolitionist. He lectured against the cruelty of British slave owners. He spoke out against the English slave trade. He worked to resettle freed slaves.
1789 wrote his Autobiography
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano
In 1786 in London, he became involved in the movement to abolish slavery. He was a prominent member of the 'Sons of Africa', a group of 12 black men who campaigned for abolition.
In 1789 he published his autobiography, 'The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African'. He travelled widely promoting the book, which became immensely popular, helped the abolitionist cause, and made Equiano a wealthy man. It is one of the earliest books published by a black African writer.
In 1792, Equiano married an Englishwoman, Susanna Cullen, and they had two daughters. Equiano died on 31 March 1797.
Joanna Vassa and Anne Marie Vassa
Equiano's gives amazing details as he tells his story of life before and after slavery. The reader is able to paint a mental picture of how life was for Equiano, due to his descriptive writing style.
Equiano begins his narrative with important information about his family and his upbringing, to give the reader a view of the man he was before his capture. The quality of life he had, his culture and their beliefs.
In his writings Equiano appeals to a Christian audience. His references to Christianity remains constant, Equiano relied on his faith to give him strength to survive his ordeal. He uses vivid descriptions of the violence of Slavery including beatings, starting with the moment he was kidnapped. Equiano describes traveling the Middle Passage as a Hellish Nightmare, providing details of the condition of the ship he traveled.
There are two primary themes in Equiano's writing. First, is the struggle for freedom, he describes how he worked hard to buy his own freedom. the second theme is his curiosity for the world. As Equiano stated, ' he knew nothing of the sea nor white men', until the day he was taken. Equiano's narrative is a first hand account of how he interpreted everything he first encountered as and Slave and a freeman in the New World.
This Narrative was a success story that inspires, Equiano's fight for freedom and the end of Slavery came short after he pasted away.
"Copy of The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself. Vol. I.." The Project Gutenburg ebook. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2014. <http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15399/15399-h/15399-h.htm>.
"Lecture notes ." NCSU. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2014. <http://www4.ncsu.edu/wdlloyd/equianonotes.htm>.
"Summary of The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself. Vol. I.." Summary of The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself. Vol. I.. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2014. <http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/equiano1/summary.html>.
Who was Equiano's Second Owner?
Equiano had two daughters named:
Vivian and Emily Vassa
Joanna and Anne Marie Equiano
Joanna and Vivian Equiano
Joanna and Anne Marie Vassa
Equiano was Kidnapped along with whom?
What did Equiano compare African Slaves to in his narrative: