Relevance of Olaudah Equiano Birthplace

The autobiography of Equiano is a recognized source of historic information about slavery and slave trade in the 18th century. It is one of the few ancient write-ups written in proper English by a person of native African origin. It is also one of the first written narratives about slavery by a person who had experienced it wrath in first hand. Through his narrative, Equiano gives a detailed background description of himself and his background. In his narrative account dubbed “the middle passage” Equiano describes his childhood background in Africa. Critics however suggest that he may not have been born of Africa after all but in South Carolina. Critics have gathered evidence to support these presumptions. Historians and critics are divided on the matter (Stein 543). This paper evaluates whether alteration of Equiano’s birth place would change how his memoir is evaluated and whether it would affect its viability as a slavery source.

            According to Carey (229), the birthplace of Equiano has been couple with controversy much later after it was published. The best known critics on Equiano’s origin were proposed by Vincent Carretta, a scholar from Maryland University. The scholar suggests that Equiano was born in South Carolina. He argues his case citing the 1759 baptismal documents which shows his birthplace as South Carolina. Alteration of Equiano’s birthplace would however not make much effect on how his memoir is evaluated. The only part of Equiano’s memoir that would receive significance backlash in evaluation is the introduction part. This part basically describes the events on how the author was captured and his journey to slavery. The birthplace of Equiano has…”

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