Slavery In The Life Of Olaudah Equiano

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The effects of slavery are still felt around the world today. In some countries, society treated the majority of people of African descent as second-class citizens up until the 21st century, and many argue that this still occurs today—with police brutality providing damning data showing that prejudice remains ingrained into society. In 2015, 40 percent of the unarmed people shot by police were black men, despite the fact that black men make up just 6 percent of the nation’s population (Lowery 1). Between 1525 and 1866 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World, however, historians estimate that only 10.7 million survived (Gates 1). These 2 million deaths are contributed to deplorable living conditions and savage masters. Published in 1789, The Life of Olaudah Equiano encapsulates the horrors slaves faced and states logical reasons slavery should be abolished. The author, Olaudah Equiano, implements various strategies to…show more content…
Knowing that Europeans often latched onto books describing areas of the world unbeknownst to them helped Equiano successfully sell his book to an audience of people who often saw him as their subordinate. In the 18th century, Equiano was seen by society “as an alien whose assertion of common humanity and civil rights conflicted with some of its basic beliefs” (Samuels 1). If Equiano spent the majority of his book talking about why slavery should be abolished, much of his intended audience would not have listened. So, in order to more effectively communicate his argument, Equiano wrote in detail about the places he visited while enslaved— such as the North Pole, areas of Africa, and various islands of the Caribbean. These vivid descriptions not only added to Equiano’s credibility, but they also held his audience’s attention, allowing him to more effectively express his point, and in turn, persuade his
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