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From Igbo Israeli To African Christian: The Emergence Of Racial Identity In Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative

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Chapter Summary

The Interesting Narrative explains Olaudah Equiano's journey from his ethnic past, a past he explicitly equated with the Old Testament, to his African Christian present. This chapter tells the story of Equiano's metaphorical passage from an Igbo Israeli of the Old Testament to an African Christian of the New, a passage from freedom to slavery to a renewed and greater freedom rooted in religious awakening. This had fashioned an identity, which he could strive to transform the lives of residents of villages like that of his birth by bringing the ?truth' of Christianity to them. This new identity would help ?Africans' resist the cruelty and barbarism inflicted by false Christians engaged in the slave trade. Much of Equiano's narrative includes stories, like that of the auction, that became staples of antislavery literature during the nineteenth century.

Keywords: African Christian; antislavery literature; barbarism; Interesting Narrative; Olaudah Equiano



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