The celebrated freed slave, Olaudah Equiano, visited Ireland in 1791-2 and was welcomed particularly in Belfast.

Long-standing radical rhetoric about the political slavery of Ireland was now, and in the context of the Rights of Man applied specifically to oppressed peoples, whether black or Catholic. And yet Belfast's commercial and industrial advance, a major trigger of radical self-assertion, was intimately linked to trade and connections with the slave economies of the West Indies.

Nini Rodgers with her wide ranging interest in the history of slavery and its role in the Atlantic economy, is well equipped to move beyond the black and white simplicities of a purely parochial portrayal of Belfast s role in slavery issues.

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