Olaudah Equiano and Igantius Sancho
Paul Edwards profiles two black men who settled in 18th Century Britain.
Olaudah Equiano and Igantius Sancho are two of the most interesting personalisties among the 18th century blacks who settled in Britain. Sancho, a prosperous trader, was also respected as a writer and we reproduce a letter he wrote to a friend in which his vivid description of the Gordon Riots also throws light on his experience as a black man in 18th-century London. Equiano's autobiopgraphy is a fascinating insight into his life as a slave and then as a freeman and voice against slavery.
The beginnings of Nigerian literature in English are much older than many people realise, going back to Olaudah Equiano's autobiography, published in 1789, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African, written by himself.