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Henry B. Lovejoy

free black of the Lucumí nation, second sergeant of Havana’s Battalion of Loyal Blacks, and leader of the famous Mutual Aid Society of the Lucumí Nation of Santa Bárbara, remembered among modern-day practitioners of Cuban Santería as Ṣàngó tẹ̀ dún, was born around 1773 into a Yoruba-speaking family in the Bight of Benin hinterland.

During the expansion of the kingdom of Oyo, which had been consolidating its control of the internal slave trade to the coast at Porto Novo, Prieto was enslaved when Oyo raised a powerful coalition, including Dahomey, to destroy the port of Badagry in September 1784. The Dahomey army then marched the boy down the beach to Ouidah where he was sold to British slave ship captain Joseph Frayer, who forced Prieto along with 650 others on board the Golden Age This ship was owned and operated by some of Britain s most notorious ...