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Africa’s Progeny Cast upon American Shores

  • Wilma King

Abstract

“Your image has been always riveted in my heart, from which neither time nor fortune have been able to remove it; so that, while the thought[s] of your sufferings have damp[en]ed my prosperity, they have mingled with adversity and increased its bitterness,” wrote Olaudah Equiano, also known as Gustavus Vassa, as he reflected about the fate of his beloved sister. In 1756, one woman and two men raided Isseke, Equiano’s village in present-day Nigeria, while the adults were working in a common field nearly an hour away by foot. The raiders kidnapped Olaudah, whose name means “the fortunate one,” and his sister. He was eleven years of age at the time.2 The children, descendants of a slaveholding Ibo chief, were aware of a previous battle between the Ibos and “their enemy.” The warfare resulted in taking prisoners who were kept within the community or sold away. Fighting among different ethnic and language groups was not unusual in this part of West Africa, and it probably intensified with the increased European demand for slaves.3

Keywords

Dust Posit Bark Fishing Nigeria 
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Notes

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Copyright information

© Wilma King 2005

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  • Wilma King

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