The Secret History of Haiti

April 17, 2019

 

The defining movement in the struggle against racism in the world was the Haitian Revolution. Slave owners in the United States became extremely anxious at the possibility of a slave uprising taking place on plantations across the South. The Haitian Revolution began on August 22, 1791 and would eventually lead to complete liberation from the dictator Napoleon and French racist colonialism. The complete removal of white supremacy from Haiti took place in 1804 with the defeat of the French. The black general that would lead this revolution was Toussaint L’Ouverture. This revolt represented the largest slave uprising against white supremacy and slavery in the world and would lead to the German Coast uprising of slaves in Louisiana, in 1811, which was the largest slave uprising in United States history.  The inspiration that the Haitian Revolution gave to the slaves along the Mississippi River was immense. 

         

The enslaved blacks and mulattos that made up the bulk of the Haitian revolutionary army was the result of the insane institution of slavery by French white supremacists. Sugar cane slavery made France rich, but the men and women that cut the cane grew tired of the white supremacist institutions on the island. It is no great surprise that some blacks sold their own people out during the great revolution and some continued to do so even during the Civil War. Despite a few sell-out blacks, the Haitian Revolution was successful and became an independent nation on January 1, 1804 inspiring blacks in this country to rise up and fight against the system of white supremacy that remains a problem today.

         

Before the revolution, Haiti produced much of the world’s sugar and coffee. This made it an economic prize for greedy French white nationalists. What is most interesting is that a number of black women Haitians fought in the revolution against the French. One such woman was Marie-Jeanne Lamartiniere. She fought with such courage at the Battle of Crete a Pierrot that she is known as the founding mother of Haiti. She was able to unite black and mulatto warriors in a bid to end white supremacy on the island. Marie-Jeanne fought with the men, and had no problem being just as brave, if not more so, than the male combatants. The black slaves of a darker skin color also had mulatto fighters of their own that were not duped into supporting the white supremacists in the uprising.  Being of mixed heritage, Marie-Jeanne helped to solidify the unity of darker and lighter skinned blacks in the fight against the white supremacy of the French.  Additionally, Marie-Jeanne may also have been mixed with Native ancestry according to Tucker (2019). The original people of Haiti were the Taino, who were all murdered by Columbus and his racist crew.

         

In the battle a small band of 1500 black and mulatto fighters faced off against 12,000 French soldiers as they attacked a fort that the Haitians fighters were holed up in. According to Tucker (2019), in his book “Marie-Jeanne,” the woman fighter urged the black troops on when she shouted, “We will all die for Liberty.” The French used divide and conquer tactics by using mulattos in the French ranks to fight against the freedom fighters in much the same way that southern racist plantation owners used a small number of house negroes to fight for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Sure, a tiny number of light-skinned blacks, or man-servants, some of whom were the sons of the slave owners, fought for the Confederacy, but the great majority fought for the Union army. You can always get a small number of traitors to defend the evil bosses.

 

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