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

1773

Equiano on expedition to find an Arctic passage to India.
March 5

1774

Equiano tries unsuccessfully to save his friend John Annis from a vengeful former master. Annis is tortured to death in the West Indies. Equiano sails for Spain and has a vision of Christ.
March 5

1775

Travels to the Mosquito Coast, Central America, with Dr. Irving to establish a plantation and to Christianize the Indian population.
March 5

1776

Returns to London. American Declaration of Independence signed.
March 5

1783

Equiano informs abolitionist Granville Sharp of Zong massacre (1781), which adds further emotional reactions to the anti-slave trade movement.
March 5

1784

Equiano sails for New York.
March 5

1785

Equiano in Philadelphia.
March 5

1786

Equiano appointed commissary to Sierra Leone recolonization expedition on the Committee for Relief of Black Poor in London.
March 5

1788

Equiano presents anti slave trade petition to England’s Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III. Abolitionists petition British Parliament to end the slave trade.
March 5

1787

Dismissed from Sierra Leone expedition. Helps organize Sons of Africa in London. Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade formed in England.

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