The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano
By Himself

Olaudah Equiano was given this name at birth by his parents. Olaudah

Equiano’s name definitely fit him due to the fact that the Ibo, people always saw

fit to name their off springs based on their religious belief or either the vicissitude

of a person who could be either feared, or adored amongst the Ibo tribe.

Ola means “ring” a symbol of good luck, and ude a pleasing sound. Olaudah, in

Ibo language signifies or fortunate; also on favored and having a loud voice and

well spoken. Modern Nigrian novelist Chinua Achebee interests the name

Equiano as “if they agree we shall stay” signifying a person whose fate is

controlled by others. Which is another significant point in case why Oladuah

Equiano’s name fit him perfectly, due to the fact that when Olaudah Equiano was

around the tender age of 11 he and his little sister were kidnapped by Aro

Tribesmen while the elders were out working in the fields. He would never see

his parents and was soon there after separated from his sister. Gustavus Vassa,

given to him by his European master, is also prophetic. Gustavus Vassa is rich in

unintended irony, recalling Swedish nobleman who led his nation’s revolt against

Denmark in the 1520s was held as “The Deliverer of His Country.” Both the

Swedish and Ibo names signifies and illustrates the varied paths he would travel

and the life he would survive to not only write about but take actions to help

others learn and understand the enslaved life of a freed slave, whose own

parents were owners of African slaves.

Olaudah’s accounts reveals many aspects of the Eightieth-century Western

world, throughout his life and others slaves, masters, Christians persons he

would encountered throughout his day to day enslaved trails and tribulations . It

is more than a autobiography of protests against brutality or a record of survival.

In my opinion the reason Olaudah Equiano wrote this interesting narrative of his

life endeavors was to show and tell the not only the good/bad Englishmen what is

it is meant to honor and treat African American slaves with humanity and dignity

although they were slaves they are humans too.) And to also educate those of

us who knew nothing of what was deeds were being done to the African slaves

during his lifetime. He offers detailed accounts of the African cultural life and

society as he knew it prior to the European encroachment. Olaudah Equiano’s

felt as a little boy growing up in Africa was the land of the rich and fruitful whose

inhabitants were simple, noble, and in love with his young life in general.

Olaudah stated “we were almost a nation of dancers, musicians, and poets,” this

beautiful rose like memory was a bright and humane one for him as a young boy

living in Africa. Later to follow by the descriptions he illustrates so eloquently in

words the agonies that was brought on by the encounters while serving in the

British Navy, and the fearsome Europeans during the Seven years’ war from

1756 - 1763. Olaudah sums it up best when he ask ; that his readers

indulgence and conclude, “I am far from the vanity of thinking there is any

merit in this narrative, I hope censure will be suspended, when it is considered

that it was written by one who was as unwilling as unable to adorn the plainness

of truth by the coloring of imagination.”

In closing Olaudah Equiano’s account of his sometime uncivilized treatment

of his life story stresses the experiences of the voiceless millions who also made

the journey from Africa to America. The importance that still holds true today that

is so near and dear to the majority of the African American, society that through

hard work and our faith in God, we will over come our agonies and press on with


Edited with an Introduction