Images: African Origins in the U.S.

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Olaudah Equiano

Equiano, Olaudah, The interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African / written by himself. (published 1790), London : Printed for and sold by The Author, 1790.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture / Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division

ID# 485601

Olaudah Equiano

Equiano (c. 1745-1797), the son of a Southeastern Nigerian notable, was kidnapped at the age of 10 and taken to Virginia. A sailor, he bought his freedom and became a writer and abolitionist. Equiano's acclaimed autobiography, Interesting Narrative, published in 1789 had eight British editions and one American publication in his lifetime and 10 posthumously, including Dutch and German translations.

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