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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 March 2007, 09:40 GMT
Slave honoured on postage stamp
Youssou N'Dour with one of the stamps
Musician Youssou N'Dour with one of the Royal Mail's design
A former slave whose book highlighted the trade to 18th Century Britons is honoured on a commemorative stamp.

Olaudah Equiano's autobiography drove home the plight endured by people taken from Africa into slavery.

Royal Mail has issued six stamps to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the British slave trade.

MP William Wilberforce, abolitionist Granville Sharpe, campaigner Thomas Clarkson, writer Hannah More and trader Ignatius Sancho are also depicted.

'Fitting tribute'

Mr Equiano features on the first class stamp and Mr Wilberforce - the MP for Hull who led the campaign in Parliament to abolish Britain's involvement in the slave trade - is on the second class version.

Julietta Edgar, of Royal Mail, said: "The work of the abolitionists galvanised thousands of people from all walks of life, and their long and dedicated struggle against slavery culminated in the 1807 Act of Parliament.

"The stamps will be seen by millions of people around the world and, I hope, make a fitting tribute to the men and women who dedicated their lives to bringing slavery to an end."

More than three million Africans were shipped across the Atlantic in the 18th Century, before Parliament passed the 1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, banning the trafficking of Africans as slaves.

However Britain's act to abolish slavery itself was not passed until 1833.

The role of Olaudah Equiano was played by Youssou N'Dour in the film Amazing Grace.


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