Olaudah Equiano, c.1789 © Equiano was an African writer whose experiences as a slave prompted him to become involved in the British abolition movement. In his autobiography, Olaudah Equiano writes that he was born in the Eboe province, in the area that is now southern Nigeria. He describes how he was kidnapped with his sister at around the age of 11, sold by local slave traders and shipped across the Atlantic to Barbados and then Virginia. In the absence of written records it is not certain whether Equiano's description of his early life is accurate. Doubt also stems from the fact that, in later life, he twice listed a birthplace in the Americas. Apart from the uncertainty about his early years, everything Equiano describes in his extraordinary autobiography can be verified.
Related: Black British and Asian History