Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ayuba Suleiman Diallo (1701–1773)

Ayuba Suleiman Diallo (1701–1773),
was a famous Muslim slave who was a victim of the Atlantic slave trade. Born in Bondu, Senegal West Africa, Ayuba's memoirs were published as one of the earliest slave narratives

While in captivity, Ayuba used to go into the woods to pray. However, after being humiliated by a child while praying, Ayuba chose to run away. He was captured and imprisoned at the Kent County Courthouse. It was there that he was discovered by a lawyer, Thomas Bluett, traveling through on business.

The lawyer was impressed by Ayuba's ability to write in Arabic. In the narrative, Bluett writes the following:

Upon our Talking and making Signs to him, he wrote a Line or two before us, and when he read it, pronounced the Words Allah and Mahommed; by which, and his refusing a Glass of Wine we offered him, we perceived he was a Mahometan, but could not imagine of what Country he was, or how he got thither; for by his affable Carriage, and the easy Composure of his Countenance, we could perceive he was no common Slave."

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