The Extraordinary Life of Equiano: From Slavery to Abolitionist

TLDR Equiano, a former slave, recounts his experiences as a slave, his journey to freedom, and his commitment to the abolitionist cause in 18th century Britain. His book becomes popular and helps shift public opinion against the slave trade.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 This episode continues the extraordinary life story of Equiano, a black abolitionist, who recounts his experiences as a slave and the humanity he encounters along the way.
04:38 Equiano, after being involved in the seven years war and believing that his bravery would lead to his freedom, is sold again to Captain James Doran, which he finds incomprehensible and feels betrayed by Pascal, his previous owner.
09:02 Equiano works as a clerk for King, who treats his slaves well but still instills fear in them, and takes Equiano to the West Indies where he witnesses the horrors of plantation slavery for the first time; Equiano also becomes a trader and starts making money, which he sees as his ticket to freedom.
13:11 Equiano becomes a successful trader, saves up money, and is able to buy his freedom from King.
17:33 Equiano, now a free man, feels no loyalty towards King and experiences the fragility of his freedom when he is confronted by a slave owner who demands he be flogged for defending himself against another slave, highlighting the value and vulnerability of freedom.
22:00 In 18th century London, a former slave experiences a warm welcome from his old family and begins his education and apprenticeship, highlighting the position of freed slaves in the city.
26:11 In 18th century Britain, there is a small and poor population, including a small black population living in legal ambiguity, in a filthy and stinky London, but still a place of freedom, where a former slave becomes a merchant adventurer and travels the world, experiencing different cultures and hardships.
30:36 Equiano experiences a harrowing journey to the Arctic, becomes more committed to Christianity, considers running a slave plantation in Jamaica, but ultimately resists enslavement and convinces the captain of his freedom.
34:56 Equiano becomes deeply committed to the cause of abolition in the 1770s, writing articles, speaking from pulpits, and becoming a key voice in the anti-slavery movement, fueled by events such as the Lord Chief Justice's ruling in 1772 that slavery was not legal in England and the Zong massacre in 1781.
39:21 Equiano presents a petition to Queen Ann, pleading for the end of slavery and questioning the morality of the slave trade, becoming a key figure in the British abolitionist movement.
43:18 Equiano's book, which aims to promote the abolitionist cause, becomes popular and helps shift public opinion against the slave trade in London in the 1780s.
Categories: History

The Extraordinary Life of Equiano: From Slavery to Abolitionist

61. The Black Abolitionist
by Empire

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