Skip to main content



  Now usually when I ask people to name a Black writer from the Slavery era they usually, almost exclusively even, say Phillis Wheatley. I don't really find anything wrong with that because I have a vague understanding of why this is. You see I remember reading about Phillis Wheatley in just about every history and English class I ever taken because of the way she ties in with the Revolutionary War and the fact she never really wrote about her existence as a slave but more about the way colonists felt about the British. This essentially means that she is a lot more 'acceptable' for those in Texas who produce most of our nation's textbooks. Before I get even more off track let's look at Olaudah Equiano.

Olaudah Equiano


  Back when I was in High School I read an excerpt from his autobiography (which you can get free here) it was just a great read and I'll probably remember his story forever. (Didn't you have to use Google to remember his name earlier?) Shh. I encourage you to read it but summarize his work, Equiano describes him and his sister being kidnapped in Africa. He becomes the slave for a few different Africans before he is sold to Europeans and brought to the 'New World'. After being taught to read and write by his third European slave master, a Quaker from Philadelphia, he is able to buy his freedom. Shortly after that he moved to England where he became a member of the England abolitionist movement and published his book which exposed the conditions Africans had to go through while on the slave ships and while in America. It wasn't the first book of it's kind but it had the most impact, leading to a growing abolitionist movement in 18th century Europe.

  I think the most interesting aspect of his Autobiography has to be the way he contrasts being owned by Africans with being owned by Europeans. I think that if you ever run into someone who tries the whole "Well, Blacks owned slaves in Africa, Why focus on White people?!!" thing, you recommend this book to them. It could really open their eyes to see that while Slavery was not just White guys running around throwing nets and kidnapping Black people (even though that did happen) the Europeans displayed a level of cruelty and dehumanization that was unheard of. Anyway,  I hope you check out his works and I'll see you tomorrow.

Originally posted to Kunta Jay on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 06:30 PM PST.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges, History for Kossacks, and Black Kos community.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site