BBC Radio 4 is currently broadcasting a series about Britain’s Black past. In the fifth programme, Professor Gretchen Gerzina explores the life of the best-known black person in 18th century Britain, Olaudah Equiano. A former sailor and slave, he was a world traveller who bought his own freedom.

Painting of Olaudah Equiano.
Olaudah Equiano wrote his biography at 73 Riding House Street.

Equiano lived at 13 Tottenham Street in 1788 and then in 1789 at 73 Riding House Street (previously 10 Union Street) where he wrote his autobiography.

Today a green plaque marks the site of his Riding House Street home. He is also featured in a mural on the side of the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Centre in Goodge Place.

Listen to the broadcast: BBC Radio 4 – Britain’s Black Past, Olaudah Equiano.