Honoring Haiti's Resilience

Pou Bondye, glwa ak peyi! / To God, glory and country!

Toussaint L'Ouverture (May 20, 1743 – April 7, 1803), Public Domain Image

As Haitian Heritage Month ends, let's remember the birthday of Toussaint L'Ouverture, a general and the most prominent leader of the Haitian Revolution. L'Ouverture fought against France for the cause of Haitian independence. As a revolutionary leader, L'Ouverture displayed military and political acumen that helped transform the fledgling slave rebellion into a revolutionary movement. L'Ouverture is now known as the "Father of Haiti".

Edouard Duval-Carrié, Toussaint L'Ouverture, 2001

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Jacob Lawrence, "The Life of Toussaint L'Ouverture", 1986

Jacob Lawrence's "The Life of Toussaint L'Ouverture" includes a series of prints that trace L’Ouverture's life from birth to his rise as the commander of the revolutionary army to his eventual capture by Napoleon’s men. In the original painted series, Lawrence continued the story through the death of L’Ouverture as a prisoner of war in 1803. Haiti gained its independence in 1804 with the crowning of Emperor Jean-Jacques Dessalines.

I took up arms for the freedom of my color. It is our own - we will defend it or perish.

~ Toussaint L'Ouverture

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