Tag Archives: Toussaint

To Toussaint L’Ouverture

Toussaint, the most unhappy of men! Whether the whistling Rustic tend his plough Within thy hearing, or thy head be now Pillowed in some deep dungeon’s earless den; – O miserable Chieftain! where and when Wilt thou find patience? Yet die not; do thou Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow: Though fallen thyself, […]

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Haiti: The Black Jacobins

CLR James’ The Black Jacobins, first published in 1938, was a forbidden book in South Africa until the recent dismantling of apartheid. It’s not hard to see why. Scott McLemmee, “CLR James: A Biographical Introduction,” American Visions (April/May 1996) First of all, James cast doubt on the assumption that the revolution would take place first […]

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Haiti: Robeson

Yes, and a French general named Le Clerc was also sent against Ho Chi Minh, but like the blacks of Haiti, the plantation workers of Indo-China have also proved unconquerable. Paul Robeson, “Ho Chi Minh is Toussaint L’Ouverture of Indo-China,” Freedom (March 1954) Paul Robeson was keen to make a film, but wanted one which […]

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Haiti: Madame Toussaint, Empress Dessalines

The widow of the unfortunate Toussaint has just landed upon our continent. Her account of her own and her husband’s sufferings, from Bonaparte’s tyranny, would be incredible, were they not already equaled by the Corsican’s former atrocities. “An Account of the Wife of Toussaint L’Ouverture,” The Christian Observer (1804) Josephine Dessalines is humane, good-natured, and […]

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Haiti: History

It is on ancient record, that negroes were capable of repelling their enemies, with vigour in their own country; and a writer of modern date has assured us of the talents and virtues of these people; but it remained for the close of the eighteenth century to realize the scene from a state of abject […]

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Haiti: Democracy

The Haitian Revolution truly deserves the title of repetition of the French Revolution: led by Toussaint L’Ouverture, it was clearly “ahead of his time”, “premature” and doomed to fail, yet, precisely as such, it was perhaps even more of an event than the French Revolution itself. Slavoj Zizek, “Democracy versus the people,” New Statesman (August […]

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