Primary Source Analysis #1: Olaudah Equiano’s Narrative

    For this week, I want you to analyse Olaudah Equiano’s narrative using the readings and the class material (the lecture, the youtube video and the podcast) to answer some of these questions. Here are some specific questions to guide you:

    1. Who is the author? What is his background? Give me a short summary of the narrative (no more than 6-8 sentences). When was the narrative written?

    2. What does the timeline of the publication of this narrative tell us about who it was addressed to? Who is the intended audience? What is the author’s goal in writing this narrative?

    3. What can we learn about various forms of slavery from this narrative? How is chattel slavery in the Atlantic different from other forms of slavery that already existed? How does Olaudah Equiano’s experience reflect these differences? Please use specific examples and cite from his narrative.

    4. What are some of the justifications that Europeans had for chattel slavery? What were some of the historical circumstances that led to the rise of this form of slavery (e.g., economic, religious)?

    5. What are some of the effects of chattel slavery during the 15th-17th century in the Americas and Africa? What are related effects that we can see in the world today?

    The above are a few detailed questions to get you started. Feel free to add anything you find in the narrative to interpret how we think about history and the Atlantic slave trade.

    Class material:

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