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This chapter discusses the autobiographical genre as an illustration of the aesthetic narration of liberal emancipation, focusing on The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789), the first autobiography in English by an enslaved African, in which the self-authoring individual is developed out of the collective subjectivity of colonial slavery. Equiano’s Narrative negotiated the voices of abolition and slave resistance, and the logics of coloniality in which trade in people and goods connected Africa, plantation Virginia, the colonial West Indies, and metropolitan England. As the subject writes his life, and comes to possess the meaning of slavery as...

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