LESSON STUDY
OLAUDAH EQUIANO AUTOBIOGRAPHY

I. OVERVIEW:

At the completion of the combined lessons on Equiano our group expected the students to be able to answer two questions: 1) What does Equiano’s writings tell about the experience of Africans as part o the Triangle of Trade?; and 2) Why is Equiano included in the study of American history?

The lesson presented here concerns the triangle of trade or “cycle of trade,” a more accurate description of the multiple trade routes. It is designed to provide the context necessary for future in depth reading and comprehension of Olaudah Equiano’s “journey” to America, which is featured in the same chapter used for this lesson. We hoped that in learning the processes involved in the “Middle Passage” and the cycle of trade, of the commodities exchanged and the various participating countries and colonies, the students would be more equipped to place Equiano and his life experiences within a historical timeframe and understand him as a historical agent, as a human being who has been transferred and purchased for profit (and whose enslaved labor produces more profit).