The Father of Haiti
You have probably heard about the cruelty that blacks endured with all the inhumane acts this group of people had to suffer from as slaves. Mind you, this has been understated, that even the stories told about slavery however despicable they may sound, were glossed over. So it is not astonishing that with every chance they got, they tried to escape this hellhole even when it involved losing their lives. Give me liberty or give me death right.
Well, I want to tell you about the one time, that one time where slaves were triumphant in achieving this. “Oh thank God, I was starting to worry you were playing Shakespeare Grandma, Ma says he wrote sad stories and I thought we are celebrating black excellence, ” remarked Ada. We most definitely are child, it takes courage to stand up to your masters and that's what our ancestors did in the Haitian Revolt under the leadership of Toussaint Louverture.
Born in the 1740s to parents Pauline and Gaou Guinou, in Saint- Domingue now known as Haiti. François Dominique Toussaint is believed to have been educated by his godfather, Pierre Baptiste Simon an educated black slave. It's his intellect that got him to lead a successful slave revolt against the French in August of 1791. Its triumph led to the abolition of slavery in the French colonies in 1793. Indeed he was “the opener of the way,” as his moniker “L’ouveture,” meant, for he reunited the entire island, proposed a constitution that ensured equal treatment of all races, and made him governor for life in addition to reviving the plantation economy.
Though he did not live long enough to see Haiti as an independent state as he was captured by Napoleon in June 1802, Louverture had freed his people and planted a fighting spirit. Like he said on the day he was captured, “In overthrowing me you have cut down in Saint Domingue only the trunk of the tree of liberty; it will spring up again from the roots, for they are numerous and they are deep.” For when the French tried to reinstate slavery in 1802, the people rose and fought under the leadership of one of Loverture’s lieutenants, Jean-Jacques Dessalines. They also defeated the French army in the Battle of Vertières in November 1803. And soon Haiti became The first black republic and the second republic in the Western Hemisphere.
Indeed, General Toussaint Louverture was the opener of the way and one of the greatest leaders. Like the London Gazette of December, 12th 1798 said, “Toussaint is a Negro and in the jargon of war has been called a brigand. But according to all accounts he is a Negro born to vindicate the claims of this species and to show that the character of men is independent of color. ” And tomorrow i’ll tell you about another fighter, an activist, Kenya’s Wangari Maathai.