Monday, August 3, 2015

Revolution in Haiti

The Haitian Revolution: How The People of Haiti Ended their Slavery and Defeated Three Empires

    Haiti is today one of the poorest countries in the Americas. Thus most will doubtless be surprised to learn that it was once the richest possession in the French Empire and was far more valuable then the the United States had been to England. Today Haiti has become a laboratory of Neo-Colonialism and humanitarian imperialism. This is only the latest chapter in America's imperialist adventures in Haiti from Woodrow Wilson's invasion and occupation of the island, The Brutal CIA backed Duvalier regimes, and two US sponsored coups against president Aristide for daring to care about the plight of the poor majority in his country. Worse Haitians suffer genocide in the other half of their once united island in the dominican republic a genocide that has roots in the 1930's and doubtless before.. Amidst all the suffering US imperialism has brought to the island few today remember the glorious origins of the nation of Haiti. If America were not still a racist society the tale would no doubt long ago have been told on movie screens and Toussaint L'Ouverture would be as well known today as Malcolm X. After all what black youth has not wished at some time or other that our Ancestors had violently revolted and ended slavery with their own hands. Popular resistance by slaves during the civil war helped end slavery but this has all been erased from history. In Haiti for the first time in history the slaves successfully rose up and liberated their whole nation. However this was not an isolated incident and in many places in the Americas slaves rebelled formed their own free communities and fought off attempts to re-enslave them for decades. However all this is eliminated from the history books although radical historians periodically unearth it all. Yet I grew up ignorant of this history even though long before I was born black historians had already revived this history. Instead the history of slave revolts are completely suppressed from the public consciousness and the Haitian Revolution is largely forgotten. This forgetting is a crime meant to further the crimes of empire in Haiti by the US and the "International community" because if everyone knew of Haiti's glorious history the people of the world would never tolerate the current situation.

Thus I write this to remind the world of Haiti's heroic history which had consequences far beyond the island nation. For example the recent Fascist murder spree in Charleston was used by Abayomi Azikwe  to remind people of the story of Denmark Vesey who tried to organize an ambitious slave revolt in South Carolina which terrified the slavocracy of the antebellum south. This Rebellion was inspired by the Haitian Revolution. This is only the beginning of it's significance Eduardo Galeano relates how it was Haiti alone which aided Simon Bolivar in his bid to free Latin America from the Spanish Empire. All Haiti asked in return was his promise to abolish slavery. Thus Haiti helped free a continent from both colonialism and slavery. Even the french revolution would not have survived if Britain hadn't been bogged down in a disastrous attempt to conquer the island and reinstall slavery there as C.L.R. James reveals. Thus Europe owes it's democracy such as it is to Haiti. Of course the defeat suffered by the British their greatest losses between the time of Elizabeth and World War 1, or the debt Europe owes to Haiti have both been forgotten. Thankfully however the Haitian Revolution attracted the attention of C.L.R. James and he hoped the story might help to inspire the liberation of Africa then still under colonial domination. Thus he wrote the Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution. Amazingly he wrote it while in Spain during the Civil War, and it is both a literary and historical masterpiece which I highly recommend you read for yourselves.  In it he tells the amazing tale of how Haitians not only liberated themselves from slavery but defeated the Spanish, the French and English empires in the process securing their independence. I write this in order to revive the memory of both the Haitian Revolution and this classic book.

    C.L.R. James begins his account by describing life in San Domingo as Haiti and the Dominican Republic were then called. He describes the Spanish conquest with these classic lines:

    The Spaniards, the most advanced Europeans of their day, annexed the island called it Hispaniola and took the backward natives under their protection. They Introduced Christianity, forced labour in mines, murder, rape, bloodhounds, strange diseases, and artificial famine (by destruction of cultivation to starve the rebellious) These and other requirements of higher civilisation reduced the native population from an estimated half-a-million, perhaps a million to 60,000 in 15 years.

    Thus Haiti history began with genocide like everywhere else in the "new" world. After a a long series of fights between the european empires the island was divided between the Spanish and french empires. It's rich soil made it perfect for agriculture and the island would have been a paradise if it's entire society had not been based on the enslavement of africans. The blacks made up the majority of the population. James thus begins his account by giving a vivid picture of the horrors of slavery. The Slaves worked from before sunrise to long into the night and if they dared to rest for even a moment they instantly felt the lash of the whip. Often they only received enough food to last for half a week and went hungry the second half of the week. They were kept in line with the utmost barbaric cruelty and their masters seemed to delight in devising a hundred and one methods of torture. Slaves  were buried up to their necks their faces covered in honey so they would be devoured by ants. They were loaded with gunpowder and exploded. Women who had failed to produce children were forced to wear heavy Iron collars until they gave birth. All these torments were so common that the masters had a whole vocabulary of slang to describe all these punishments Including a score of different ways to administer whippings. To sum up they suffered, hunger, exploitation, torture, rape and murder. It was cheaper to simply import new slaves from Africa the trade in which the entire economy of Europe was the geared around then to bother caring about the lives of ones property.

On the other end of the Scale there were the whites who formed two classes. There were the rich slave holders and the so called small whites who only had a few slaves. They were thoroughly corrupted by living in a place where there every whim was catered to by slaves. For example even a barber didn't actually cut your hair or shave you he had 4 slaves to serve you and the only work he did was to beat them. Drinking, gambling, and promiscuity seemed to be their major pass times. All they wanted was to make enough money to go to back France to show off their riches. Of course as James points out those who really made the big profits were back in France and he gives a fascinating description of the growth of the maritime bourgeoisie who made their fortunes indirectly off the slave trade, or from serving the colonies. Many famous french towns owe their growth to this "colonial trade." San Domingo was France's most valuable possession at the time and the constant envy of the British. In fact the British funded the anti-slavery movement because the massive profits France were making from the island were a threat to the dominance of British capitalism, with the loss of it's colonies in north America it was turning to the cheap labor of India. One of the virtues of James' book is that it examines Haiti in the context of the global economy and geopolitics of the time. He also highlights the forgotten impact that the economic importance of Haiti had on the French Revolution. He was an expert in ripping off the humanitarian mask of Europe and revealing the cynical imperialist reality beneath a skill more useful now then ever.

There was a third group in Haitian society the free people of color, what James calls the Mulattoes. Apologies if my use of this archaic term offends you however the current bi-racial,  interracial, or multi-cultural fails to convey the way in which they were their own special caste in colonial society like the mestizos of latin america. Since like Obama I am one I hope I can be forgiven for using the terminology of the time as James did. The Mulattoes were of mixed blood and in the racist colonial society they were ranked in 128 separate categories depending on the exact proportions of white to black in their ancestry. Thus they formed their own hierarchy with the lighter mulattoes despising the darker. They were hated by the whites especially the "small" whites. However despite all the discrimination they faced they had the right to own property and some of them began to amass fortunes. Unfortunately they also made their fortunes off slavery. They would play an important role in the Haitian revolution as some of them were well educated and many sent their children to be educated in France where some of them received military training that would prove invaluable and some even fought in the american "revolution." All of them were required to serve in the islands internal armed forces acting to suppress slave revolts and capture runaways and they thus all had valuable military experience. Their efforts to be granted equal rights by the revolutionary french government would play an important role in provoking the Haitian revolution.

Thus Haiti was a powder keg made up of these three elements. It was the french revolution that would set off the explosion. As James points out it was the rising bourgeoisie in France who had made their fortunes largely off this slave society, who now decided to do away with their feudal masters and run France in their own interests who were behind the revolution. But this revolution would ironically inspire the Haitian revolution that would end slavery. You'll have to read the book to get the full complexity of the events but to simplify the french revolution would inspire 3 separate and very different revolutions that would later merge as events evolved. First it split the whites into monarchists and pro-revolution factions. However the pro-revolution faction were completely racist and reactionary and chiefly dreamed of slaughtering the mulattoes and taking their property. The mulattoes on the other hand hoped that they would be granted equal rights with whites while they would both continue to exploit the slaves. In other words they wanted equality for free people regardless of race. Fortunately their leaders were both inspired by the revolutionary principles of the french revolution and forced by the stubborn racism of the whites to ally with the slaves and came to fight for their freedom. Their greatest leader was named Rigaud.

  Lastly there was the revolution inspired among the black slaves. Although denied an education rumors began to pass around them that over in France the people had risen up and killed their masters and they decided to do the same. James explains that their had been other attempts at Slave rebellion before and they had already learned that they must act in unison if they were to have a chance of success. For example they had nearly succeeded in a plot under Mackandal a leader of the maroons (escaped slaves who had their own independent territories) to poison their masters and rise in rebellion. The initial leader of the black slave revolt was the voodoo priest Boukman. African religion would serve throughout the revolution to inspire tremendous bravery in the former slaves. Many of them believed if they died in battle they would awake in Africa. Initially completely outgunned facing cannon and muskets with only pitchforks or whatever other improvised weapons they could find it was only their fierce determination that permitted them to overcome the impossible odds against them. In the beginning they arose with a destructive vengeance they killed their masters and burned the Sugar Cane fields that they had been enslaved in. Their former masters responded with their typical practiced savagery killing every black they could lay their hands on even slaves who hadn't rebelled but were still working obediently or rebels driven by hunger to surrender. They chopped off heads and put them on display including the initial leader of the rebellion Boukman . All this backfired however for it only caused the ranks of the rebellion to further swell forcing even those hesitant to risk revolt into joining.

   First I should take a step back and discuss some of the political maneuvering of the Haitian and French revolutions. Initially conflict arose because the mulattoes had representatives in France able to put the question of their equality before the paris convention. They had the spirit of the enlightenment on their side but were opposed by the representatives of the white colonists. In addition their were big economic interests against them what James calls the maritime bourgeoisie initially they opposed any such promise of equality since it might give the slaves ideas. However they began to change their mind once the slave revolt began and they realized that only an alliance between whites and mulattoes could restore "order" (slavery.) However back in Haiti the whites hated the Mulattoes too much and just as they were about to conclude an alliance with them some whites ruined the whole plan by lynching a rich mulatto and launching a surprise attack on the mullatoes in general. In retaliation the Mulattoes decided to lead the slaves in revolt enrolling them in their army. Rigaud was their most famous leader and he would for a time rule the whole south of the island submitting only to Toussaint. He and Beauvais another of their generals had both served in the American "revolution" (Historian Gerald Horne has argued that it was really a counter-revolution fought in defense of slavery) Their third important leader was Pinchinat a politician and a powerful writer.

Meanwhile three new leaders had emerged among the slaves. They were the Jean Francois who had joined the maroons before the revolt had begun, the tough and daring Biassou, and the brutal Jeannot who Jean Francois later had killed for his excessive cruelty. Serving under Biassou was Toussaint L'Ouverture who would one day rule the entire island. Since the Bourgeoisie back in France were blocking all attempts at addressing the issue of slavery the leaders of the slaves formed an alliance with monarchist Spain. It was during this period that Toussaint rose to prominence as he captured more and more of the island for Spain. Jean Francois and Toussaint had surprisingly a very tolerant attitude towards whites and monarchist white officers joined their forces becoming what we would call today military advisers helping the former slaves turn their forces into well trained conventional armies that would be a match for anything sent against them.

  It was a a new stage of the french revolution that would alter the dynamics of the Haitian revolution. The Girondins who ironically had before coming to power been advocates of abolition were reliant on the "maritime bourgeoisie" who were reliant on the profits of slavery. Thus the Girondins had done a disgraceful reversal and kept the issue from being debated. However they fell and Robespierre came to power and his alliance with the sans culottes meant that the revolution might briefly act according to it's principles. The Paris radicals of the time despised what they called the aristocracy of the skin and many refused to drink coffee since it was cultivated by slave labor. Thus to it's credit the French Revolution produced figures like Laveux and Sonthonax who would be sent to the island where they became close allies of Toussaint and fierce enemies of slavery. Of course later the French revolution would shift to the right first trying to stir up trouble for Toussaint with plots during the Directory then under Napoleon it would send an army to try and reinstall slavery.

   Which brings us to another factor that shifted the direction of the Haitian revolution the British invaded attempting to seize the valuable island for themselves and plotting to reinstall slavery in a scheme masterminded by the same Pitt who had earlier set in motion the British anti-slavery movement when that had suited Britain's imperial interests. The British invasion proved such a disaster that Britain was unable to act decisively against the french revolutionary government back in Europe. To skip ahead again Toussaint would in the end push them off the island by winning 7 battles in 7 days. The british lost 80,000 troops in the war with 40,000 dead an incredible defeat inflicted by Toussaint and the former slaves on the mighty British empire. To sum up by agreeing to abolish slavery the french republic won the loyalty of Toussaint who even in his "monarchist" period had used the slogans of the french revolution and he had been inspired by the enlightenment thinker Abbe Reynal who had predicted the rise of a black Spartacus to free the slaves. By fighting the english on behalf of the French republic he proved his worth to the French and He steadily rose in their esteem. In addition he rose to power because he alone had the respect of the three main factions. He alone could command the respect of the former slaves. The whites turned to him for protection from reprisal and he protected their lives and even their property. He also had the grudging respect of the Mulattoes with Rigaud their leader loyal to him until in a later period french plots would pit them against each other. Thus it wasn't long before he was the only one who was capable of running the country and though he worked closely with the first two commissioners sent by the republic who were supposed to be his superiors it wasn't long before he had achieved defacto independence and was the true ruler of the island. His power was based on his army of former slaves which had first beaten the slaveholders then chased the british from the island. Eventually he would also conquer the Spanish half of the island uniting what was then known as San Domingo. As a commander he earned the loyalty of his men by braving every hardship with them and was fearless in the face of danger often leading the decisive charge himself. Like Napoleon he relied on speed and surprise to achieve his victories. Also like Napoleon he was a tireless administrator and brilliant organizer. As James mentions their contemporaries described both men in very similar terms. Yet Napoleon was to become his fiercest enemy partly because he was a racist who had persecuted Dumas one of the mulatto heroes of the french republic but mostly because he wanted to restore the immense profits the island had produced under slavery.

Once again I must backtrack to trace the worsening relations between Toussaint and the french government. First let me go back to the beginning some respect must be paid to two Frenchmen genuine revolutionaries who helped free the slaves. First there was Sonthonax while Paris was still stalling on the issue of slavery Sonthonax had been forced by circumstances to decree their freedom. This was because the white colonists despised him for his principles and supported his reactionary rival Galbaud against him. The dispute erupted into civil war and so Sonthonax had ordered the slaves armed and declared the abolition of slavery. The nearby slaves already in revolt joined forces with newly freed slaves. The slaves help proved decisive and Sonthonax proved victorious. Toussaint who followed events back in Paris closely continued his alliance with the spanish until the convention actually voted for the abolition of slavery with the rise of Robespiere and the mountain. There was also Laveaux who would become great friends with Toussaint who would win many victories for France once he had allied with the french. He would serve as Toussaint's mentor. Allied with these two men Toussaint began his steady rise to power until eventually it was he who was truly in charge. Laveux went back first and He and Toussaint remained lifelong friends. Sonthonax created some problems for Rigaud which caused tensions with Toussaint. However the real cause of their final split remains a mystery. Toussaint claimed that Sonthonax advised him to massacre all the whites. James however dismisses this idea. The important thing is that with their departure Toussaint became de facto ruler. I also wish to say that the two men stood head and shoulders above such hypocrites as Thomas Jefferson and deserve to be remembered unlike many in France they did not betray their principles once the political balance of power shifted. They remained steadfast supporters of freedom for the former slaves. The next commissioner sent Hedouville was a completely different story he was concerned mainly with plotting Toussaint's downfall. He managed to convince Rigaud to betray Toussaint. This sparked a war between Rigaud and the Mullatoes in the south and Toussaint. Toussaint won and suppressed the rebellion with ruthless executions very different from his usual merciful methods. Basically Toussaint was very concerned to maintain good relations with the whites in order to counterbalance the Mulattos. Since the mullattoes had their own educated class they could have ruled without white help. This bloody war occurred while meanwhile Napoleon was plotting back in France to conquer the island and install slavery. Rigaud decided to go into exile back in France rather then make peace with Toussaint on the way back he suffered shipwreck but eventually managed to reach France where with other Mullato generals he plotted his return.

   Napoleon was only waiting for peace with Britain so that he could crush the Haitian revolution and reinstall slavery. His plan was a masterpiece in Machiavellian ruthlessness and would be the envy of a Kissinger or a Brzezinski. To carry it out he assembled a 20,000 strong army made up of veterans of his victorious campaigns in Europe. Among it's officers were more then a few heroes of the Napoleonic wars. Also returning with the force were the mulatto exiled who napoleon had ordered should be betrayed as soon as convenient they were to be exiled to Madagascar as soon as they were no longer needed to command their forces. He put his brother in law Leclerc in charge of the whole expedition and to him alone did he reveal his plan. Leclerc alone knew the plan to reinstall slavery the truth was hidden from the officers and men. They believed that they were fighting to depose a tyrant Toussaint traitor to the revolution in the pay of priests and the British. They were fighting on behalf of freedom and democracy in other words just like the dupes of today. Just like the dupes of today they were really fighting on behalf of imperialism and exploitation. The whole plan depended on escalating stages of deception and betrayal. Initially Leclerc was to make all sort of concessions to Toussaint while he landed his troops. Once they were properly established Toussaint was to be called in to swear his loyalty then immediately arrested and deported. Eventually all black officers were to be deported along with all the white women who had slept with blacks since the revolution. The black army would eventually have been disbanded and slavery reinstalled. The only way to carry it out would be to kill all of the blacks and mulattos and start from scratch by importing new slaves from Africa. These new slaves would be without the memory of a successful revolution and without the experience of winning battles. Thankfully Napoleons master plan would meet with disaster.

   Toussaint's downfall was his love of France. His protection of the whites from reprisal would earn him the enmity of some of the other black generals. The war with France would eventually lead to the rise of a new leader Dessalines who foresaw that Haiti would have to achieve real independence if it was to secure it's freedom. However despite his love of France Toussaint was shrewd enough not to trust the French although even he didn't suspect how low they were prepared to sink. Nonetheless when Leclerc landed Toussaint decided there was no choice but to resist. Unfortunately some of his commanders were also sympathetic to the french and in the days before electronic communication many were cut off and unsure what to do allowing the French to get a foothold. However in the initial phase of the war there were fierce battles in which the blacks managed to inflict heavy losses on Napoleons army. Toussaint ordered a scorched earth campaign to deny the french supplies and knew that in a couple months the rainy season would bring malaria to the french army. The Black army proved match for Napoleons as James writes " they combined all the order and discipline of a trained army with all the tricks and dodges of guerrilas" Unfortunately one of Toussaint's top Commanders was trapped by the French and forced to switch sides and Toussaint foolishly decided to cut a deal. He agreed to resign and return to his own estate. He was not defeated but rather thought he could make a deal from a position of strength. In exchange he received a promise that the officers of the black army would all keep their posts. He knew that so long as the Black army remained intact Slavery could never be reimposed. However Dessalines was already plotting against him spreading rumors among the french that Toussaint couldn't be trusted. Dessalines knew that Toussaint would never agree to the ruthless measures necessary for Haiti to win it's independence and so wanted him out of the way. Toussaint was arrested his property stolen he was sent back to France Napoleon kept this fact under strict secrecy. Napoleon didn't dare to have him executed so he had him murdered through ill treatment. For example he was denied a doctor on the grounds that blacks had a different physiology and so a doctor would be useless to him. Subjected to cold, hunger and humiliation he would eventually die. It reminds me of the recent attempt to Murder Mumia Abu Jamal through medical malpractice. However on the very day of his death San Domingo's declaration of independence was signed and 7 months later the french were forced to flee.

   Once again I must jump back in time again to Leclerc the seeming victor after having arrested and deported Toussaint. In a story that recently repeated itself in Iraq, in Libya the fall of Toussaint solved nothing for Leclerc. Instead he faced a constant series of insurgencies. Low level officers sensing that the fall of Toussaint meant the french had evil plans for the island began to rebel slaughtering their former masters. Leclerc was forced to delay arresting and deporting Toussaint's generals as he needed their help to suppress the rebellions.  Dessalines convinced him he was loyal even as he plotted rebellion. The rainy season began and Leclercs men already having suffered heavy losses battling Toussaint began to die of Malaria in ever growing numbers. Leclerc himself slowly grew sicker and sicker. James qoutes Leclerc's own letters full of pride and self pity as he steadily describes his downfall. To late he realized Dessalines was plotting against him. Dessalines was about to arrested when a servant warned him and he managed to escape just in time as soon as he was on his horse he shouted "to arms"  he already had begun putting the revolt in motion before the attempt to have him arrested. Soon Leclerc died of malaria. Now in command of the french was Rochambeau and his rise marked the start of a full on war of attempted genocide by the french. He ordered troops he captured to be sent to his fleet to be drowned on mass. He imported 1500 hunting dogs to track the blacks and tried to kill off all the mulattoes and blacks he could find. He was trying to put Napoleon's plan to wipe out the entire nonwhite populace so that they could be replaced. The Blacks and Mulattoes fought back fiercely ruthlessly burning everything to deny it to the french waging a peoples war. Even those not in the army waged a guerrilla war and the former slaves proved experts in psychological warfare playing all sorts of tricks on the french to keep them in a constant state of terror. In the end thanks to the able leadership of the Generals and the heroic resistance of the people and army the french were completely defeated and forced to flee for their lives. Those few survivors who hadn't starved, died of disease, or been killed in battle were immediately captured by a waiting British fleet and lived out their lives in captivity  poetic justice for the attempt to reinstall slavery. James wrote his account before the great victories of the Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese revolutions so it is remarkable how much his account seems a description of say the victory of the vietnamese over the Japanese French and Americans. Thus we must forever celebrate this mighty victory of the Haitian people over first the British and then the french. Toussaint it should be remembered had  inflicted the greatest defeat the British were to suffer for centuries. Now the Haitian people under the leadership of Dessalines had humbled a napoleonic army.

   Our story sadly ends where it began with another genocide. Ruthless Great britain was to blame. In exchange for promises of trade and protection they demanded that all the whites would be killed. Thus opened this early glimpse of Neo-colonialism. The british feared the valuable colony might again fall under french influence and the mass murder was meant to drive a wedge between Haiti and France. The french half of the Island of San Domingo was renamed Haiti after independence. The spanish had regained control of their half of the island after the fall of Toussaint and Dessalines attempt to re-unite the island by force failed and the spanish half  eventually became todays Dominican Republic. The Haitian revolution inspired by the french revolution would once again mirror it when Dessalines was declared emperor with the support of his new allies Britain and the United States which had hypocritically backed the Dessalines against the french in the hopes of profiting from trade with the once wealthy island. Of course there was nothing the US feared more then that their own massive population of slaves would imitate their Haitian brothers and fight for their freedom. As I mentioned at the beginning Denmark Vesey's attempted slave revolt was inspired by the Haitian Revolution. The Emanual AME church which saw a recent mass murder by a fascist was burned to the ground back then in reprisal and it operated underground until after the civil war.

   The Haitian Revolution had many consequences. It lead to the liberation of Latin America, it Helped the French revolution prolong itself. C.L.R. James himself would go on to play an important role in history he was involved in the liberation of Africa! He ended the second edition of his book with the Essay "Toussaint L'Ouverture to Fidel Castro" which is a masterpiece in it's own right and describes the incredible evolution in consciousness taking place in Africa and the Caribbean. He describes the birth of the Pan-African movement and James himself helped advise such important figures as Jomo Kenyatta and Kwame Nkrumah long before they ever came to power. As we enter the 21st century we are still living under the fallout of slavery and the apartheid system that followed it in my country. Thus I hope James book can help inspire a new generation of black revolutionaries in the americas, the Caribbean in Africa. I hope that this article will help inspire people to look at the long history of resistance to slavery and genocide by the people of the americas of which the Haitian revolution is merely one glorious chapter. Long live the memory of Toussaint L'Ouverture. Long live the memory of the heroic Haitian people who defeated three mighty empires. Let their victory be not only an inspiration to blacks but to all the peoples of the world resisting imperialism. We must end the shameful occupation of the island this attempt to deny them their independence. The people of Haiti have proven they can settle their own affairs. Yet American imperialism wants to keep the island in neo-colonial enslavement a source of cheap labor which is why it overthrew Aristide twice then used the excuse of the earthquake to launch a full scale occupation. The story of Haiti's more recent history will have to wait for another day however. For now let me say one more time long live the memory of the Haitian revolution. United by a fierce will to resist there is nothing the people cannot accomplish.        


I relied almost entirely on C.L.R. James masterpiece the  "Black Jacobins Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution". I highly recommend you read it for yourself as I was forced to offer a somewhat simplified account. As I write it is Black August a month dedicated to celebrating the history of resistance to slavery and Mass incarceration here is a great article on it's origins

I suggest you celebrate by reading more on slave rebellions. First I suggest Eduardo Galeano's Memory of fire Trilogy. (See My Novemeber 2014 article Recommended Reading for more on Eduardo Galeano) Also Gerald Horne is doing a great deal to reintroduce this history and I recommend his book "The Counter-Revolution of 1776" you can find some great interviews and lectures with him by doing a quick youtube search.

Abayomi Azikwe on the Charleston shooting and Denmark Vesey listening to his podcast is a great way to learn about black history. Check out my June 2014 article Alternative Media Spotlight 2 for more information about his sites. It is thanks to him that I first heard of C.L.R. James.

An article by Abayomi Azikwe on the Charleston massacre and the current crisis of capitalism

   An article on the Current occupation of Haiti in context the 100 recent year anniversary of Woodrow Wilson's invasion

A hilarious expose of the racism and ineptitude of the red cross in Haiti

An article on a US Murdered Haitian activist

The Legacy of Fascist Trujillo's genocide against Haitians continues in the Dominican Republic today.

An Article on African resistance in the Americas


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