Olaudah Equiano, also known as Gustavus Vassa, died in 1797, after living less than 60 years. Yet, his resilience and his desire to help his own people left a huge impact during his lifetime and continues to inspire others. The author, Emily Maurits, has done an excellent job of condensing his life’s story into a compact book. During his life, he endured much abuse, persecution and discrimination.
As a young boy, Olaudah Equiano grew up with the great hope of being a leader in his African tribe but was kidnapped when he was eleven by African slave traders. He was sold to white slave traders who took him to the West Indies plantations. He was resold and travelled to America and then resold again onto an English naval ship. After much difficulty and struggle, he eventually obtained his freedom in his early 20s, but discrimination against people of colour kept him in bondage for many more years. The book also explores his faith journey and how he came to truly understand God’s grace.
I would have loved to have heard a little more about his joy at being married and having children since his story contains so much hardship. However, the real joy is knowing he is now eternally at rest.
There is good study material at the back of the book, including a timeline, summary, a ‘thinking further topics’ which would be particularly helpful for those interested in exploring Christian themes. There are also some explanatory notes from a historical perspective.
Overall, an engaging overview of Olaudah Equiano’s life.
Thanks to Christian Focus for providing a free book for review.