Olaudah Equiano was a former slave whose accounts of the horror of slavery helped abolish slavery in Britain. Arguably Olaudah Equiano was as important as William Wilberforce though history books pay less attention to Equiano because he was black.

Equiano's book "Interesting Narative"

Equiano, child of ten was put into a slave ship, tossed up and down to see if he was sound and got into a state of horror because he couldn't understand what was happening. Equiano was mercilessly whipped for refusing to eat, he and others were whipped for trying to jump overboard and other "offenses" [1] The slaves were forced into the hold where the human cargo was overcrowded so slaves had not room to turn round, the stench was intolerable and many died from pestilence. Tubs used in place of toilets were filthy, children fell into them and were nearly suffocated. Chains added to the misery of adults. Shrieks and groans from the captives added to the horror. Equiano despite his youth came to envy the dead and hope he would die. [2]

The 21st Century

People tend to think that slavery is something terrible that happened in the past but unfortunately slavery is still with us in the 21st Century and the conditions of slaves today are every bit as bad as what happened in the past. [3] Various organisations are fighting against modern slavery, see:-