In his biography, Olaudah Equiano records that he was born in what is now Nigeria, kidnapped and sold into slavery as a child. He then endured the middle passage on a slave ship bound for the New World.
After a short period of time in Barbados, Equiano was shipped to Virginia and put to work, weeding grass and gathering stones.
Olaudah Equiano wrote an autobiography depicting the horrors of slavery and lobbied parliament for its abolition. His book became pivotal for the abolitionist movement, earning him fame and fortune.
His book was one of the earliest personal accounts of slavery by a black writer, roused public opinion and was an instant bestseller.
The book described near unfathomable horrors of captivity before he purchased freedom around 22 years of age. Life as a free black man in the colonies was dangerous.