The women that led the Haitian revolution and killed it!
Thursday 23rd March 2017 | Patience
Like a lot of history, the victors are the ones who write and tell history they way they want it. Whether that be through the white lens or through a man's eyes.
But thankfully in the age that we live in and with the advancements in technology, so much information is accessible to us, like the stories of Cecile Fantiman and Suzanne Sanité Bélair. Their story and that of the Haitian revolution or Saint Domingue as it was called then, probably wouldn't have got the time of day, otherwise.
It all began with Cecile Fantiman, born to an African mother and a white father, history describes Fantiman as a voodoo priestess, and the spark that started the Haitian revolution. On August 1791, she held a ceremony with Dutty Boukman, and she prophesied that Jean Francious, Bissaou and Jeannot would lead the resistance that would free the people of Haiti from slavery.
This was the beginning of everything!
From 1791 -1804 the enslaved black people of Haiti fought to get back their rightful freedom. Led by former slave Toussaint L'Ouverture. By 1792 the rebellion had spread and the black people of Saint Domingue had control of a third of the island. As they fought for their freedom, the former slaves were met with opposition from all sides.
Saint Domingue was one of the richest countries during the 18th century and it was also a French colony, the economy was based on plantation and the French weren't about to let this power go so easily.
Thankfully, the revolution had a fierce leader in Sanité Bélair. One of the great heroines of the revolution. She quickly rose up the ranks to become a sergeant in L'Overture's army, and she led most of the battles in her hometown of L’Artibonite.
So when the French sent their troops in, each time they did, they were defeated time and time again.
Unfortunately, by 1803 Toussaint L'Ouverture was kidnapped by the French government and later died in prison. His second in command Jacques Dessalines took his place and soon after led the country to independence in 1804.
Making Haiti the only nation in the world to have ever defeated slavery!