“The Interesting Narrative” by Olaudah Equiano
“The interesting narrative” by Olaudah Equiano is a story from the perspective of a crew member on the ship. As a crew member, Equiano enjoys the same privileges other crew members of the ship enjoy. The captives in the ship were destined to go to West Indies where they would be enslaved for the better part of their lives (Equiano & Carey 4). Also, they would have been forced labor and work in plantations for long hours. However, Equiano would experience excellent life as opposed to his contemporaries. He would not experience slavery and forced labor like his other colleagues. As a crew member in the ship, he issued orders to be followed by other slaves destined to West Indies.
As other people were being kidnapped and enslaved, Equiano got an excellent opportunity to work on the ship that would transport slaves to West Indies. He never faced violence, grief, and despair as opposed to other people. These issues were faced by the slaves destined to the Americas (Equiano & Carey 14). As a crew member in the ship, Equiano had a remarkable time onboard. Most crewmen died in the cause of their duties in the ship. However, Equiano survived the calamity that faced most of the crew members. He became one of the best friends of the tyrannical captain who advocated for the mistreatment of kidnapped slaves destined for West Indies. As a crew member of the ship, Equiano had the best voyage from Africa to the Americas.
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As a voyager and crew of the slave ships, Equiano crossed the Atlantic multiple times as a member of the ship’s crew. He traveled from Africa, the Americas, Europe, and the Far East as a free man (Equiano & Carey 8). Equiano had some remarkable privileges as a member of the ship’s crew. While he was undertaking all the travel on the ship, he was a free man, unlike other slaves. Equiano did not have any horror stories as a slave as he did not experience slavery. In fact, he pitied slave trade and the victims that were affected because he believed it was not the best way to treat humans.
The ship served as a place where people confessed the faith they professed. Equiano converted to Muslim in the ship where he would preach to other crew members and slaves on the benefits of joining Islam. As a Muslim, he acquired the baptismal name Gustavus Vassa. He would become a preacher inside the ship convincing people to profess the Muslim faith. Equiano would distribute Islamic literature that promoted the religion (Equiano & Carey 11). He was highly interested ensuring many people converted from other religions to Islam. By the time the ship reached the Americas, Equiano had assisted converting the majority of the people into Islam.
Equiano would later turn against his fellow Africans by advocating for slavery. He did not consider the slaves on the ship as his fellow countrymen. In this regard, he felt he was superior to his contemporaries (Equiano & Carey 7). He became an ardent supporter of slave trade against what most Africans believed. Equiano did not support the abolitionist cause that campaigned for the end of slavery. In the ship, he would advocate for slaves to be given forced labor. He did not consider him to be one of the many slaves on the ship to the Americas and England. Equiano did not believe in abolishing slavery in the ship.
Equiano, Olaudah & Carey, Brycchan. The Interesting Narrative, New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.
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