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Two Men, Two Worlds, One Goal: how Josiah Wedgwood and Olaudah Equiano progressed the abolitionist cause by Annette Oliver

Abstract: In the eighteenth century, two men rose from their very different worlds to fight for the anti-slavery cause. Josiah Wedgwood, a potter from Burslem, a man famed for his enterprise, curiosity and Unitarian religious beliefs, took the emblem of the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade and turned it into an iconic jasperware cameo medallion. Olaudah Equiano, an African from Benin, who was sold into slavery, triumphed over such adversity to write his memoirs, outlining his life from slavery to becoming a successful author of The Interesting Narrative. In this study, I compare Wedgwood’s anti-slavery medallion produced in 1787 and Equiano’s memoirs published in 1789 and explore the different ways they supported and promoted the anti-slavery movement and show how they both cleverly harnessed the power of contemporary fashion to deliver their message in a way very difficult to ignore.

Date created: 
Monday, June 6, 2022
Attribution for this resource:
Two Men, Two Worlds, One Goal: how Josiah Wedgwood and Olaudah Equiano progressed the abolitionist cause by Annette Oliver, All rights reserved.
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