The Life of Omar Ibn Said


In this student-produced mini-documentary, Richard Wright students provide historical reference and insight into the process of acquisition, digitization, and conservation of the Library of Congress’ most recent acquisition, “The Life of Omar Ibn Said,” the only known autobiography still in existence written by an enslaved person in the United States in 1831.

Omar Ibn Said was a wealthy, Muslim scholar captured in West Africa, forced into slavery in the U.S., and wrote his manuscript in Arabic while he was enslaved in Fayetteville, North Carolina. This rare manuscript is one of 42 original documents in “The Omar Ibn Said Collection” now available online to the public through the Library of Congress.
The collection provides an even deeper and more comprehensive look into the historical, cultural, social, political, theological, and economic context of that time, and across continents.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here