When Equiano arrived in London he found a thriving African community of upwards of 40,000 people that rapidly intermarried with the working class population, making a significant contribution to the mixed and colourful gene pool we call 'English'. Below are some typical stories from the time.
Enslavement in Africa ..
This passage from the autobiography of Equiano's friend Ottobah Cugoano is a classic example of how people were initially taken into slavery.
Life in the Colonies ..
The Narrative of Mary Prince postdates Equiano by some thirty years, but as this gruelling account shows not much had changed in the English colonies since his time.
Life In England ..
Not all Blacks who washed up on the streets of London achieved the notoriety and financial success of Equiano. Much more typical is the story of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw. He came to Britain after escaping slavery in America, and settled in London. He married a widowed weaver, one of the vast mass of poor whites. Their lives were spent scratching for money to support his children and stepchildren. This is a particularly brutal story from his autobiography.