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We have spoken about Ottobah being part of The Sons of Africa, however, we wanted to focus on his story and journey.
He was an African abolitionist who sought justice in the latter half of the eighteenth century.
Born in Ghana around 1757, he was kidnapped by slave traders. “I was snatched away from my native country with about 20 boys and girls.”
Ottobah explains “Some of us attempted to run away in vain but then cutlasses and pistols were introduced. If we tried to flee we would all be dead on the spot.”
He was placed on a ship bound for the West-Indies, he arrived in Grenada where he was sold to a plantation owner.
The cruelty was unimaginable, he spoke of how some of the enslaved people had their teeth pulled out to deter others from eating the raw sugar cane from the fields.
Ottobah remained and survived the Caribbean until he was bought by an English merchant. He arrived in England in 1772, where he was set free and baptised John Stuart at St. James’s Church Piccadilly on 20th August 1773.
An important figure in London’s Black community, he was integral to the case of Henry Demane – a Black man who was kidnapped and about to be shipped to the West Indies as a slave in 1786.
Ottobah contacted Granville Sharp, who managed to get Demane rescued before the ship left the port.
He was soon introduced to William Green and Olaudah Equiano who were two freed Afro Britons. They formed a group called “The Sons Of Africa”, which another 18 men eventually joined.
After Ottobah learnt how to read and write he published an account of his experiences, with the help of his friend Olaudah Equiano. “Narrative of the Enslavement of a Native of Africa.”
Copies of the book were sent to George III, Edmund Burke and other leading politicians.
We at Adeptales, salute you Ottobah Cugoano
Pick up a copy of “I Don’t Mean to Sound Racist But…Examining The Different Faces of Racism” today. Link in the bio…