During the 1700s, slave labor made the French colony of Saint Domingue one of the wealthiest colonies in the world.
However, a steady flow of newly enslaved African men and women resulted in constant rebellion.
The Blacks remembered freedom and were still in touch with their African traditions – they weren’t going down without a fight.
In 1791, Toussaint L’Overture, “The Black Napoleon,” emerged as the leader of the freedom fighters that took control of a significant portion of the island.
Blacks outnumbered whites on the island, and they used their knowledge of the land to gain the upper hand on the French and British armies. This resulted in over 100,000 deaths.
Battles ensued for nearly 10 years until Toussaint and his men took over the entire island of Saint Domingue.
After Toussaint was captured by the French, the revolution continued under Jean Jaques Dessalines, who ultimately led the revolutionaries to victory against Napoleon’s troops in 1803 and named their country Haiti.
After gaining independence, Haiti was punished by the U.S. and European countries, including having to pay France billions in reparations from 1825 to 1947.
Haiti is one of the greatest examples of a Black revolution resulting in freedom – and the premier example of the strategies a white supremacist system will use to suppress that freedom.
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