The Life of Olaudah Equiano


how can we learn from Equiano's experience dealing with racism and apply it to contemporary issues today?

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Perhaps more than anything else, the work is centered around the destructiveness of the slave trade. Equiano's own life bears testament to how terribly it harms everyone involved. Africans, including children, were kidnapped from their homes and severed from their families. The bonds of mother and child, husband and wife, and brother and sister were destroyed. Slaves were given new names, their identities virtually erased. Any sense of history, culture, tradition, values, etc. were almost obliterated by the dominant society that kept them as chattel. They were subject to the most horrible punishments, delivered for capricious and unjust reasons. The chastity of female slaves was violated. Deleterious behavior resulted from the unnatural elevation of the white man over black. Furthermore, Christianity was perverted. Racism today still includes forms of slavery. The idea of racism is overt in political ideologies (Donald Trump?) that use fear and xenophobia to garner support.