Today is Independence Day in the USA.
I will however talk to you today about a different struggle for Independence which took place in 1811 down in what became the state of Louisiana. This is a story of a little known slave rebellion whose aim was the establishment of an independent Black Republic. This was the largest slave rebellion in US history.
The Slave Rebellion Web Site writes:
During this revolt about 500 enslaved Africans, armed with pikes, hoes, axes and a few firearms, marched on the city of New Orleans with flags flying and drums beating. Many of the slaves had participated in the Haitian Revolution. This revolt was led by Charles Deslondes, a mulatto from Saint Dominique, Haiti. They were well-organized and used military formation dividing themselves into companies commanded by various officers.
In his book on the revolt, historian Daniel Rasmussen wrote:
These three men, each with different insights and abilities, had planned their insurrection and spread word of the uprising through small insurrectionary cells distributed up and down the coast, especially at James Brown's plantation, the Meuillion plantation, and the Kenner and Henderson plantation.
Their heads were stuck on poles and placed along the river levee from New Orleans to LaPlace in an attempt to discourage similar rebellions.
""It was really brutally put down," said Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, a New Orleans author and historian who is now an adjunct history professor at Michigan State University. "It was incredibly bloodthirsty in the way the elite put it down, cutting people into little pieces, displaying body parts."
The heroic struggle for freedom of these slaves is a chapter of history which we much remember and we must never forget. This isn't easy since most people have, of course, never even heard of it. Today many groups are doing what they can to overcome the concerted attempt to make the facts of the many slave revolts disappear from our history. The following is from the San Francisco Bay View.
by Leon A. Waters
A New Orleans based non-profit is working to rebuild libraries in Haiti. The organization is called Bibliotheque Parrainage (BP). It means Library Patronage. Bibliotheque Parrainage assists libraries in Haiti through the country’s National Library, Bibliotheque Nationale. Founded in 2011, the goal of Bibliotheque Parrainage is to provide resources to the National Library that will be of assistance to public libraries across the country.