Ignatius Sancho – Google Doodle celebrates UK Black History Month 2020
Today the search engine Google has shared an interactive Google Doodle celebrating British writer, composer, business owner, and abolitionist Ignatius Sancho. This illustration has been made by UK-based guest artist Kingsley Nebechi,the first person of African descent to cast a vote in a British general election.
Charles Ignatius Sancho (c. 1729? – 14 December 1780) was a British composer, actor, and writer. He is the only Briton of African heritage known to have been eligible and voted in an 18th-century general election through property qualifications.
He got fame in his time as “the extraordinary Negro”, and to 18th-century British abolitionists he became a symbol of the humanity of Africans and immorality of the slave trade.
The Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho, an African, edited and published two years after his death, is one of the earliest accounts of African slavery written in English by a former enslaved person.
Born Charles Ignatius Sancho
on a slave ship in the Middle Passage, Atlantic Ocean
Died 14 December 1780 (aged 50–51)
London, Great Britain
Occupation writer, composer
Known for influence over abolitionists, his published correspondence
Spouse(s) Anne Osborne
Children Frances Joanna (1761–1815), Ann Alice (1763–1805), Elizabeth Bruce (1766–1837), Jonathan William (1768–1770), Lydia (1771–1776), Katherine Margaret (1773–1779), William Leach Osborne (1775–1810)
Charles Ignatius Sancho was born on a slave ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean, in what was recognized as the Middle Passage.
His mother left her body not long after in the Spanish colony of New Granada, consistent to current Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela.
His father reportedly took his own life rather than living as a slave. Sancho’s owner took the young orphan, barely two years old to England and gave him to three unmarried sisters in Greenwich, where he lived from ca. 1731 to 1749.
A skilled writer, Sancho confined a large volume of letters, many of which limited criticism of 18th-century politics and society. Newspapers printed his expressive calls for the abolition of slavery, which provided many readers their first contact to writing by a Black person.
The multi-talented Sancho also available four collections of music arrangements and opened a grocery shop with his wife in Westminster. As a financially independent male homeowner, he was trained to vote—a right he historically exercised in 1774.
Sancho was very well known and his shop became a meeting place for some of the most famous writers, artists, actors and politicians of the day. As a financially-independent householder, he became the first black person of African origin to vote in parliamentary elections in Britain (1774 & 1780).
Sancho’s extensive collection of letters was published posthumously in 1782, garnering huge readership and widespread attention to the abolitionist cause.
Thank you, Ignatius Sancho, for your courageous fight in the name of freedom and equality.
Read more on wikipedia