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Equiano Influential and Inspirational According to his famous autobiography written in 1789 Olaudah Equiano c 1745-1797 was born in what is now Nigeria Kidnapped and sold into slavery in childhood he was taken as a slave into the New World As a slave to a captain in the Royal Navy and later a Quaker merchant he eventually earned the price of his own freedom by careful trading and saving Coming to London he became involved in the movement to abolish the slave trade an involvement which led to him writing and publishing The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa the African a strongly abolitionist autobiography Equianos autobiography is remarkable in the account he gives of his African days because his re-creation is a mix of primitive idealism and realistic detail in which he never expresses shame or inferiority regarding his African heritage Africa is an Eden-like place whose inhabitants follow their own cultural traditions religious practices and pastoral pursuits Although Africa is a happy childhood land for Equiano he is not blind to the evil events that lately have befallen his people The Europeans have entered to plunder enslave and introduce the despicable inventions of modern technological warfare Equianos story is one that has influenced many beliefs opinions and especially literary works For Equiano staying in England meant working towards his goals through British culture With Equianos reformative intent for the novel his combination of culture and upbringing and the intended audience to hear his reformative cry his best bet to reach this audience was mostly by means with which they were familiar British means The features of his book are an interesting step in the evolution of British Literature African-American Literature and American Literature for it was influenced by and wound up influencing all of these bodies of literature Equianos great autobiography is strong enough that it even has influenced several popular schools of personal writing current in
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