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African History Equianos Travels Research Paper Equianos Travels Olaudah Equiano called Gustavus Vassa by his white masters became a legend through his words In 1788 England published his autobiographical work The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa the African which set the precedent for anti-slavery literature written by former slaves themselves which would have a profound impact on the abolition movements in the eighteenth century Born in 1745 in a small village in modern-day Nigeria Equiano would travel far before his death in 1797 African slave traders tore him from his family when he was eleven Thus began a series of worldly experiences not matched by many of the most cosmopolitan people -- let alone of an oppressed young black man Equiano offers unique perspective not found in the later works of African-American freedmen like Frederick Douglass for he remembers his native Arican community before enslavement Equiano writes of his struggle to assimilate to the many cultures he became a part of often by force as Ibo slave sailor Englishman and Christian His vivid descriptions and faithful telling of tales allow readers to relate closely to the troubled spirit of one man attempting to forge identity and gain self-empowerment in an adverse world Among the tradition of slave narratives Equianos is considered a remarkable achievement since the autobiographical style was not a well-developed genre in the eighteenth century His narrative has vivid and concrete details and is written in the picaresque style Equiano also provides a detailed account of the his kidnapping his trek through the jungles his arrival at the sea coast and the arduous crossing of the Atlantic in the belly of a slave ship Captured far from the African coast when he was a boy of 11 Olaudah Equiano was sold into slavery later acquired his freedom and in 1789 wrote his widely-read autobiography The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus
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