2007 was the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in England. Across the country people have celebrated their cultural heritage through recognition of links with slavery in order to raise awareness of the abolition movement and the beginnings of human rights.
During the 18th century, the small Cambridgeshire town of Soham was a thriving market town. On 7th April 1792, the leading black abolitionist Olaudah Equiano, known as Gustavus Vassa, The African, married a spinster of the parish named Susannah Cullen at St. Andrew’s Church. Both of Olaudah’s daughters were baptised at the same church, and sadly only four years after their marriage his wife was buried there.
Olaudah’s autobiography begins in the 1740’s in Africa, and tells the story of Olaudah’s experience as a slave and of life as a black man in a world ruled by white men. When it was published in 1789, it created mass interest in the plight of slaves and helped to persuade influential people to join the abolition movement.
Olaudah spent most of his life at sea, and his taste for adventure took him to the very top of the world. ‘The Interesting Narrative…’ was a diary, a travelogue, and tale of adventure. This book is an accessible retelling of an amazing life story.