Via: San Francisco Bay View.
In the Haitian tradition of making a way out of no way, Angelo Meyanse, 13, collects bricks from the ruins of an old church to build a new home for his family six days after the earthquake, on Jan. 18. This is the church in Leogone where the great Haitian liberator Jean-Jacque Dessalines was married in the 18th century. – Photo: Carolyn Cole, LA Times
Haiti, your awesome revolt in 1791 against the revolting barbarity of French enslavement of the Africans was preceded by many revolts of the enslaved African-Haitians beginning as early as 1522. You never accepted that Africans at home and in the Diaspora can be enslaved, can be deprived of their property, liberty and humanity with impunity. African Haitians rejected that crime against humanity and unleashed the “irritated genie of African vindication and liberation.” But you fought alone, dying but fighting back.
I was not there in 1493 when Spain began its extermination campaign against the native Arawaks and enslaved Africans from Guinea, Angola and the Congo in 1508. I was absent when the planters used torture, terror and death to increase your productivity which “supplied two thirds of the overseas trade of France and was the greatest individual market for the European slave trade.” San Domingo “was the greatest colony in the world, the pride of France, and the envy of every other imperialist nation. The whole structure rested on the labor of half a million enslaved Africans. I should have been there when the irritated genie of African vengeance and liberation delivered its swift and awesome response.
I sent no condolences when Makandal, the Guinean, was executed in Limbe, when Boukman was murdered, when Toussaint was betrayed by the “phantom of liberty” and mercilessly starved to death in a French prison on the personal orders of Napoleon Bonaparte. I should have been there when Dessalines chose to take up the “irritated genie” of vengeance and liberation, rejected the deceitful “phantom of liberty” and was later assassinated. Continue reading