by Olaudah Equiano
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
Speech on Slavery
- Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was well known for his opposition to slavery, believing that it went against the core principles of the nation’s Founding Fathers. In this text, Lincoln contrasts slavery with its better counterpart, free labor, and aligns it with the necessity of equality in society.Pair Lincoln’s speech on slavery with Equiano’s account and ask students to compare the two perspectives. How does Lincoln reason against slavery? How does Equiano make his case? Which is more powerful, and why?
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Excerpt from Chapter 1
- Frederick Douglass
In this excerpt from Frederick Douglass' autobiography, Douglass describes the horrifying abuse of Aunt Hester by the slave master.Pair “Olaudah Equiano Recalls the Middle Passage” with this excerpt from The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass to teach students about slavery through first person accounts.
On Being Brought from Africa to America
- Phillis Wheatley
In this rhyme- and rhythm-rich poem, Phillis Wheatley describes being brought to America from Africa and its influence on her religious beliefs.Pair “On Being Brought from Africa to America” and “Olaudah Equiano Recalls the Middle Passage” to further discuss America’s history of slavery. Why is it important for us to read the work of former slaves? How do Wheatley’s and Equiano’s tone and themes differ?
- Edwidge Danticat
In Edwidge Danticat’s short story “Testimonial,” a young woman considers her duties to a sisterhood she is expected to join following her mother’s death.Pair “Olaudah Equiano Recalls the Middle Passage” with “Testimonial” to provide students with additional information about the experiences of enslaved people. How do the horrors depicted in “Testimonial” compare to the experiences of Olaudah Equiano during the Middle Passage? Ask students to discuss how the experiences of slaves would go on to affect their ancestors. How does this help readers understand the purpose of the sisterhood?
From Africa to America
- Eric Arnesen
In the informational text “From Africa to America,” Eric Arnesen discusses the transportation of Africans to America to work as slaves.Pair “Olaudah Equiano Recalls the Middle Passage” with “From Africa to America” to provide students with an excerpt from an autobiography written by a former slave. How does Equiano describe his experiences being taken from Africa and forced to work in another country? How does Equiano’s account help students better understand the cruelty that African slaves faced? Which details from the text “From Africa to America” support the experiences that Equiano shares in his autobiography?