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Word Count: 252
Olaudah Equiano later to be known as Gustavus Vassa was born in what today is Nigeria He was kidnapped from his African village at the age of eleven to be sold to a Virginia planter and after ten years of enslavement throughout the North American continent Equiano bought his freedom at the price of forty English pounds At forty-four years old the exceptionally intelligent and well-traveled former slave wrote an autobiography This stagnated in a disinterested culture for two hundred years before becoming widely known not only as a slave narrative but also as a moving portrait of humanity Because of the color of his skin and his bondage Equiano is continually plundered and universally insulted -he craves his freedom with a intensity that is as heartbreaking now as it must have been to its eighteenth century audience In America Equiano is treated with contempt even in Philadelphia a city which had adopted as its maxim The City of Brotherly LoveA disturbing thing to note about Equianos story is that while it would have us believe his freedom was bought with the values that America come to associate with itself hard work perseverance and the acquisition of knowledge- the fact thus remains that his freedom was finally achieved with money It is also interesting to note that after having gained his freedom Gustavus Vassa never set foot on American soil againBibliographyThe Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano o0r Gustavus Vassa
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