Haitian Revolution

On The Fourth of July, Thank the Most Important Founding Father: Haiti’s Jean-Jacques Dessalines

by Pascal Robert

The United States owes a large portion of its continental size to Haitian freedom fighters that defeated Napoleon’s army at the turn of the 19th century. Had the Haitian’s not succeeded in liberating their island from the French, Napoleon’s New Orleans-based forces might have reconquered Britain’s former colonies on the eastern seaboard. The Louisiana Territories were, in a sense, purchased with Haitian blood.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of November 9, 2015

A Movement in Need of Vision and Ideology

Hundreds of activists will converge on Philadelphia’s Temple University, January 8-10, under the banner “Reclaiming Our Future: The Black Radical Tradition in Our Time.” Conference keynoters include Angela Davis, Cornel West, Alicia Garza and Robin D.G. Kelly. “We’re in the throes of an emerging and intensifying movement,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, one of the conference organizers. “The most visible part of the movement is anti-police state violence, but it includes the struggle for schools, for jobs, the struggles against gentrification. So we have this proliferating set of movements without yet a clear vision or ideology. What we hope to do is help develop a vision of the future, about what the fight is, and where to target the fight.”

U.S. Slavocracy vs. Haitian Revolution

The triumph of George Washington and his white settler rebels “was, in many ways, a triumph of the slave trade,” which “tipped the demographic balance against the European settlers in Haiti,” said Dr. Gerald Horne, the prolific professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston and author of Confronting Black Jacobins: The U.S., the Haitian Revolution, and the Origins of the Dominican Republic. The Black Republic defeated the militaries of Britain Spain and France, causing the latter to sell the Louisiana Territory to the United States. For several generations, U.S. slaveholders feared the Haitian example would inspire rebellion among slaves in Dixie – and they were right.

Food and Self-Determination

There’s a lot more to food sovereignty than just having enough to eat, said Beverly Bell, co-director of Other Worlds, part of the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance. “Food sovereignty looks at global systems of food, and considers the right to eat, the right of farmers to produce, the right of people to live on their land, and the right to control the riches of nature, including the water they need to irrigate,” she said. The 2015 winners of the Food Sovereignty Prize are the U.S.-based Federation of Southern Cooperatives and the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras.


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