Olaudah Equaino was a freedman author whose published writings pioneered the early abolitionist cause during the late 18th century.
As a young child, Olaudah and his sister were kidnapped from their village in southern Nigeria and sold into slavery by pirates. He went through several masters, eventually buying his freedom and migrating to England, where he would remain for the majority of his life. He was one of the early members of the first black political organisation, the Sons of Africa, who campaigned vigorously to bring about an end to slavery in the United Kingdom.
While Equaino sadly never lived to see his goals realised, his writings, which depicted the horrors of slavery, helped to highlight the terrible conditions under which slaves laboured and helped to raise awareness for the abolitionist cause. Just a decade after his death, slavery was abolished in the United Kingdom and across the British Empire under the Slave Trade Act 1807.