Olaudah Equiano was an African American that fell into slavery. He was forced like many other African Americans during the 17th and 18th century. In the short story about Olaudah Equiano, it tells about his life and what he went through being a slave. The Narrative has some similar things that we went over in class. I am going to discuss a few topics about Equiano and other slaves. First, there was a lot of trading or bartering going on with the white slave owners. They would use their slaves as a material item and not think of them as a person.
They thought of them like a product or money. The trade involved the Americans, the Africans, and finally the West Indies. America mostly traded rum for slaves, Africa traded there own people (which would become slaves to whomever owned them) for sugar and molasses with the West Indies. The West Indies would trade rum, molasses, or sugar to America for slaves. This created a “Triangular Trade. ” It was the most popular and resourceful method to get slaves, rum, or any other thing that a certain country wanted. It worked out for everybody trading except for the slaves.
Equiano was traded for such items in the Narrative. The first person to “own” Equiano was a Quaker named Robert King. He did most of his business in the West Indies. Equiano was eventually traded for sugar cane and was forced to go on a slave ship. The conditions were horrible. Equiano was transported on a slave ship called the “Zong. ” The British Republic owned the Zong. Equiano, as well as the other slaves were stuffed under the cargo area. There was so many slaves that they could hardly breathe. They were always hungry because of the little amount of food and the large amount of slaves.
Disease spread throughout the ship causing many slaves to die. They would also die of hunger and getting beaten so much by the white crew onboard. Equiano had to survive in these conditions for long periods of time. Equiano was from Nigeria and lived in a powerful village called Essako. The British kidnapped him in 1756. He was kidnapped with his sister and dragged away from there home. A lot of the whites would just go into villages and start taking African Americans to be their slaves or to trade them for goods. They treated it like a business. The slaves weren’t seen as a whole person.
They brought the white people a lot of profit at their painful expense like Olaudah Equiano. In Conclusion, you can see how badly the African American slaves were treated. This is exactly how Olaudah Equiano suffered. Millions of slaves could relate to Equiano’s lifestyle. He was given no rights and didn’t have a say in anything he did. Slavery was a horrible event that took place in history and many men and women’s lives were sacrificed for everyday things we buy at the store today. It is too bad that the slaves had to go through all of that pain and suffering just to help out the white people.