Equiano, the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man

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University of Georgia Press, Sep 1, 2022 - Biography & Autobiography - 440 pages
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This definitive biography tells the story of the former slave Olaudah Equiano (1745?–1797), who in his day was the English-speaking world’s most renowned person of African descent. Equiano’s greatest legacy is his classic 1789 autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself. A key document of the early movement to ban the slave trade, as well as the fundamental text in the genre of the African American slave narrative, it includes the earliest known purported firsthand description by an enslaved victim of the horrific Middle Passage from Africa to the Americas. Equiano, the African is filled with fresh revelations about this many-sided figure.
 

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Contents

Chapter One Equianos Africa
1
Chapter Two The Middle Passage
17
Chapter Three At Sea
39
Chapter Four Freedom Denied
71
Chapter Five Bearing Witness
92
Chapter Six Freedom of a Sort
119
Chapter Seven Toward the North Pole
135
Chapter Eight Born Again
161
Chapter Ten The Black Poor
202
Chapter Eleven Turning against the Slave Trade
236
Chapter Twelve Making a Life
270
Chapter Thirteen The Art of the Book
303
Chapter Fourteen A SelfMade Man
330
Notes
369
Bibliography
395
Index
419

Chapter Nine Seeking a Mission
176

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About the author (2022)

VINCENT CARRETTA is professor emeritus of English at the University of Maryland. He is the author or editor of more than ten books, including scholarly editions of the writings of Olaudah Equiano, Phillis Wheatley Peters, Ignatius Sancho, and Ottobah Cugoano. His books include Phillis Wheatley Peters: Biography of a Genius in Bondage; Equiano, the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man; and The Life and Letters of Philip Quaque, the First African Anglican Missionary, coedited with Ty M. Reese (all Georgia). He lives in Springfield, Virginia.