SLAVES' NARRATIVES

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Cugoano, Quobna Ottobah,THOUGHTS AND SENTIMENTS ON THE EVIL OF SLAVERY Edited with an introduction and notes by Vincent Carretta.   Notes, app, bib, xxxvi, 198pp UK. PENGUIN BOOKS USA, 0140447504 1999 PB GBP7.95 Born in present-day Ghana, Quobna Ottobah Cugoano was kidnapped at the age of thirteen and sold into slavery by his fellow Africans in 1770; he worked in the brutal plantation chain gangs of the West Indies before being freed in England.

Equiano's Travels (Olaudah Equiano, Paul Edwards editor) London 1986

'Olaudah Equiano: Representation and Reality' - An International One-Day Conference, 22 March 2003 - Kingston University. Academic study of Olaudah Equiano has been energised in recent years by arguments asserting that some aspects of The Interesting Narrative (1789) may not represent Equiano's personal experience. In particular, the critics S.E. Ogude and Vincent Carretta have cast doubt over Equiano's account of his birth and upbringing in Africa, his kidnapping, and his experience of the Middle Passage. While Ogude's argument is based in textual analysis, Carretta's evidence emerges from archival work - yet both reach similar conclusions: that Equiano probably never visited Africa, and that the early parts of his Narrative are most likely rhetorical exercises, largely 'based on oral history and reading, rather than on personal experience'. As yet, Ogude and Carretta's findings have not been fully tested by the academy, nor have all the possible implications been explored. The many students and general readers of Equiano are invited to read the early Narrative as unproblematic, while professional critics and historians, even when reading the text as 'literary' or 'rhetorical', tend to accept that its underlying narrative reflects Equiano's actual childhood experience. This conference invites scholars to assess the state of Equiano studies after Ogude and Carretta's essays, and to point the way for further research. Contributions from all disciplines are welcome, as are contributors with all points of view. In addition to reading Equiano's work in the light of Ogude and Carretta, we hope also to find room for more general discussion of the historical, interpretative, biographical, rhetorical, and literary issues arising from our reading of The Interesting Narrative.

Walvin, James, An African's Life, The Life and Times of Olaudah Equiano, 1745-1797,Continuum, London and New York, 1998 and 2000.

Montejo, Estaban Autobiography of a Runaway Slave, World Publishing Co. (Cuban Slave describes life on a large sugar estate)

Sancho, Ignatius, The letters of the late Sancho 1782 ed P. Edwards 1968

Haenger, Peter, Slaves and Slave Holders on the Gold Coast,  Towards an Understanding of Social Bondage in West Africa,  Edited by J.J.Shaffer and Paul E.Lovejoy,  Translated from the German by Christina Handford,  Introduction by Paul E.Lovejoy,  Basel (P.Schlettwein Publishing), 2000, 213p., ill., index.  ISBN 3-908193-04-4 "Peter Haenger has used the rich and textured source material contained in the Basel Mission Archives to penetrate the curtain of cultural specificity that often hides the complex ways in which people interacted beyond the gaze of outsides. Haenger lets the life histories of individuals - missionaries, converts, slaves, pawns, slave owners, males and females - reveal the ways in which slavery and debt bondage were interwoven into the fabric of African society on the Gold Coast in the nineteenth century, and how people tried to determine the pattern of social interaction through the uncertain and changing times of the precolonial and early colonial eras." Paul E.Lovejoy