Olaudah Equiano was born in 1745 in a village east of the Niger River in what is now Nigeria. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa the African was published in London in 1789. This is his own account of a remarkable life.
At the age of ten he was captured by slave traders and taken to the southern states of America. He was sold to a planter in the West Indies and worked there and abroad slave ships sailing between the Caribbean and England. At the age of twenty-one he had saved enough money to buy his freedom. He visited the Mediterranean, took part in Phipps’ expedition to the Arctic in 1773 and crossed the Atlantic several times. He was an ardent member of the Movement for the Abolition of Slavery and was appointed Commissary for Stores when the freed slaves were settled in Sierra Leone.
This abridged edition has a new introduction by Professor Ogude of the University of Benin, together with explanatory notes on the text.