Here is a short story about one of the first superhero collectives – The Sons of Africa.
After escaping slavery or in some cases buying their freedom, these former enslaved men worked together to abolish slavery.
These men were different from the majority of enslaved people as they were educated. They either educated themselves, or were fortunate enough to be educated by their owners.
The Sons of Africa would travel across the UK campaigning to abolish slavery across the country. They would tell the horrors of living in plantations and being treated like an object rather than a human.
The Sons of Africa also articulated their experiences by publishing books. The British elite would read the hardships of the enslaved people and begin to understand the inhumane way these humans were being treated.
Olaudah Equiano’s book, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano became a bestseller and was translated into nine languages.
Although there were many in The Sons of Africa, the history of all members are not as well documented as their two leaders listed below.
The group was led by Nigerian born Olaudah Equiano. Equiano had been taught maths, and how to read and write by his master who was a naval sea captain. Not only that, but he learned how to sail too.
Ottobah Cugoano was originally born in Ghana. He was kidnapped at thirteen and sold to pick cotton at a plantation in Grenada. He was eventually bought by an English merchant in 1772, who took him to England.
Once in England, he was baptised as John Stuart and was then granted his freedom.
Knowing that they could not abolish slavery immediately, the collective worked diligently to improve the conditions for the enslaved people. In 1788 the group rallied their support around MP, Sir William Dolben in passing a bill improving conditions on slave ships.
The other members included Jasper Goree, George Robert Mandeville, James Bailey, William Stevens, Joseph Almaze, Boughwa Gegansmel (also known as Jasper George), Thomas Oxford, John Adams, George Wallace, Cojoh Ammere (also known as George Williams), Thomas Cooper, Thomas Carlisle, Jorge Dent, Daniel Christopher, John Christopher, James Foster, John Scott, and Thomas Jones
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