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Olaudah Equiano

Olaudah Equiano Question: What is Equiano’s argument against the charge of African inferiority?(Hint: think about Hume’s criteria for inferiority) Many non-African’s believed that Africans were inferior to other races and cultures. A famous person to have a belief of the inferiority of Africans was David Hume. In fact, Hume wrote a famous essay which included his reasons for African inferiority. Although many people agreed with him, people of African descent obviously did not. One African, Olaudah Equiano, wrote about his experiences with slavery and also spoke against other races, especially whites’, negative views toward the African race.

David Hume wrote about many ways in which Africans were inferior to other races, and one of his reasons for inferiority was for the Africans’ “lack of arts”. Equiano begged to differ. In his writing, Equiano gave examples of how Africans did, actually, have involvemnet with the arts. During a celebration, for example, Equiano wrote of how song and dance played an important role in the celebration. Both song and dance are forms of art. Other races looked down as Africans as unintelligent and unskillful, when in fact many Africans(in their home land) were skillful and intelligent.

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Equiano spoke of priests and magicians who also acted as doctors and helped people get better if they were ill, as well as advise them if they had a problem. If those African priests and magicians did not have any intelligence, then they would not have the ability to help people as they did. Therefore, Africans did, in fact have intelligence, although they were accused of not having intelligence. In his writing, Equiano proved to the public that Africans were not inferior to other races and he gave valid examples to back up what he had to say. English Essays.


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