Olaudah Equiano

Olaudah Equiano (c.1745–97) was a writer and abolitionist. Born in the Kingdom of Benin (now southern Nigeria), he was enslaved and taken to America, where he was put to work in several positions, including as a valet to a lieutenant in the Royal Navy during the Seven Years’ War. He was able to purchase his freedom in 1766, and went on to pen an exposé of the horrors of slavery in his memoir, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.