Compare And Contrast Ben Franklin And Olaudah Equiano

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In the late 1700s, the United States was just forming and Founding Fathers, like Ben Franklin, were just beginning to lay down the foundations of what would become one of the most powerful nations in the world. In 1776, the United States gained their freedom from Great Britain, meanwhile on the other side of the world, people were being taken from their homes and forced into slavery. These two events helped mold the lives of Ben Franklin and Olaudah Equiano. Now you’re probably wondering how these two men are similar seeing how Ben Franklin is white, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States while Equiano is a former African slave, right? Well as it turns out, Equiano based his autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life …show more content…
One of the views that both of these men had was their belief in education and how it can change lives for the better. In Equiano’s autobiography he talks about how, over time, he was able to use his status as a prized slave to his advantage, in order to improve himself by learning. Equiano also says, “I had long wished to be able to read and write; and for this purpose I took every opportunity to gain instruction, but had made as yet very little progress” (368). Skill acquisition such as this throughout his life would eventually lead Equiano to be able to trade and acquire enough money to purchase his freedom from his master, thus bettering his life through …show more content…
This wasn’t the case with Franklin. Even though Franklin was rich, he cared about eliminating slavery and its deplorable conditions, as seen in Equiano’s autobiography. Admittedly, he wasn’t completely against slavery initially but after seeing the effects of schools on African American children, he began to come around. He would go on to call slavery “an atrocious debasement of human nature” (Lopez). He’d eventually joined The Pennsylvania Abolition Society and they “set out not only to abolish slavery, but also to set up programs to help freed slaves to become good citizens and improve the conditions of free African Americans” (Lopez). During the Revolution, he signed a petition that said, “The slave trade were incompatible with the values of freedom of the American Revolution” (Lopez). All these examples show Franklin’s opinion on slavery, are the same as Equiano’s. This is because Franklin’s opinions carried weight, so when he started voicing his opinion about slavery the abolitionist movement to get a foothold. Equiano, being a former slave, joined the movement and tried to influence it with his first-hand

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