Ottobah Cugoano was born around 1757 in Ghana, he was kidnapped as a slave at around thirteen. He came to England from Grenada in 1752 and was set free. He was advised to be baptised to avoid being resold into Slavery he took the name John Steuart. He had close association with Oloudah Equiano and Granville Sharp. In 1786 when a black man called Henry Demane was kidnapped, it was Ottobah Cugoano who alerted Sharp who then rescued Demane.
The following year he published ‘Thoughts and Sentiments on
The Evil and Wicked Traffic Of Slavery”and “The Commerce of The Human Species”. The book sets about demolishing the arguments for slavery. It was ground breaking in its content because Ottobah Cugoano declared that the enslaved Blacks had both the moral right and the moral duty to resist their masters.
If any man should buy another man…and compel him to his service and slavery without any agreement of that man to serve him, the enslaver? is? a robber and a defrauder of that man every day.? Wherefore it is as much the duty of a man who is robbed in that manner to get out of the hands of his enslaver, as it the duty of any honest community of men to get out of the hands of thieves and villains.
Ottobah Cugoano dared to take a stand, and publicly demand the abolition of the slave trade and the emancipation of the slaves. It was ideas such as Cuganno’s which paved the way for the beginning of Pan Africanism.