The Equiano Society

The Society was formed in London in November 1996. Its main objective is to publicise and celebrate the life and work of Olaudah Equiano.The society also celebrates and publicises the achievements of Equiano’s contemporaries: Ignatius Sancho, Phillis Wheatley, Ottobah Cugoano, and others who made outstanding contributions to African literary and cultural heritage.

The Equiano Society is not primarily a debating society, nor does it ask itssupporters to become formal members or pay a membership fee. Instead, it organises events in the community to which all are welcome.In November 2007 it organised two Equiano Conferences in London and Birmingham.Speakers include: Dr Helena Woodard (University of Texas, USA), Dr Nini Rodgers (University of Belfast), Dr Alexander X. Byrd (Rice University, USA), Dr Clarice Barnes (Montserrat), Dr Joan Anim-Addo (Goldsmiths College, London), Dr Clive Harris (Birmingham), Burt Caesar (London), and Arthur Torrington (The Equiano Society).

The events were presented in association with Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, Museum in Docklands, and The Drum, and with the support of Awards for All, Windrush Foundation, and Heritage Lottery Fund.The Equiano Society is a partner with Birmingham City Council in The Equiano Project, that features a major Exhibition, an education pack, an Equiano book, and an Equiano website.

OLAUDAH EQUIANO AND HIS WIFE WERE MARRIED ON 7 APRIL 1792 AT ST ANDREW’S CHURCH SOHAM, CAMBRIDGESHIRE

Timeline of Equiano (key dates)

2019
March 5

1745

Olaudah Equiano born in Essaka, in what is now southeastern Nigeria.
March 5

1756

Kidnapped and is sold to various masters within Africa. Then endures the Middle Passage to Barbados and to Virginia.
March 5

1756

Bought by British Naval Officer Michael Henry Pascal and is renamed (against his will) Gustavus Vassa. Taken to England.
March 5

1756-62

Serves with Pascal in the Royal Navy in the Seven Years’ War with France.
March 5

1759

Is baptized at St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey, London.
March 5

1763-66

He is resold to Robert King in Montserrat and works on trading ships in the West Indies and on the mainland American colonies.
March 5

1766

Through petty trading on the side, Equiano saves enough money to buy his own freedom.
March 5

1767

Completing one last mission for his old master, Equiano is shipwrecked in the Bahamas. Sails for London.
March 5

1768

Sails to Italy and Turkey. Slave uprising on Montserrat.
March 5

1772

Granville Sharp gets the Somerset decision, declaring that slavery cannot exist in England and slaves setting foot there are free.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This