Adonis Diaries

Archive for February 12th, 2010

Charters of emancipations by black leaders; (Feb. 12, 2010)

            Toussaint Louverture (1743-1803) revolted against the French troops in the island of Haiti/Dominican and sent Napoleon a respectful letter in 1801 declaring a new Constitution to Haiti and the wish to stay part of French protectorate.  The constitution stated that first, “there cannot exist slaves on the territory of Haiti”; two, “slavery is abolished and all men, regardless of color of skin, are born, live, and die free men”; third, “Any man is admissible to all kinds of jobs and employment”; and fourth, “The constitution guarantees liberty and security to all citizens”.

            Napoleon responded to the letter by dispatching an expeditionary force.  Toussaint was made prisoner and died in France.  In 1802, a lieutenant to Toussaint, Jean-Jacque Dessalines defeated the French troops in “La Verriere” and was appointed Emperor to the Haiti Empire.  The new constitution of 1805 stated that first, “The people living in the island decided to live in a free State, sovereign, and independent of any foreign powers”; two, “Slavery is abolished and no white individual will be permitted to own properties as master”; and third, “Every citizen will be called Black regardless of the color of his skin and will enjoy the same equal citizenship rights”.  That was the first time that Negro or “negritude” was advanced as a culture.

            In 1801, local militants in Guadeloupe pressured the French General Lacross to return to France because he discriminated against colored officers in the army. Louis Delgres (1766-1802) led an insurrection in the island of Guadeloupe but refrained to go on the offensive to keep peace with France. The declaration of emancipation stated:

            “Citizens of Guadeloupe; we are revolting as one people regardless of color of our skin.  Resistance to oppression is a natural right. Even divinity cannot be offended that we are defending a rightful cause: justice and humanity to all.  We will refrain to soil our cause by crimes.  Our forces are to defend your life, properties, and children by all means.  And you, posterity! Accord us a tear to our miseries and we will die satisfied”

            Again, Napoleon sent an expeditionary force in 1802.  Delgres and his 300 militants opted to blow themselves in the town of Matouba rather than fighting a hopeless outnumbered army. Napoleon re-instituted slavery that the French Revolution had abolished.

            Nelson Mandela was sent to prison in 1955 for contributing to the “Freedom Chart” that stated in an abridged form:

            All national groups and races will enjoy equal rights in the State’s organs, courts, and in school.  Land will be distributed to who cultivates it regardless of race restrictions.  Laws will guarantee to all rights to speak, organize, publish, preach, pray, and educate children.  Workers will be free to create syndicates, elect their representatives, and negotiate salary with employers. All citizens will enjoy liberty to settle anywhere they choose to.  Vacant apartments will be at the disposition of the needy.  Man and woman will be granted equal rights to vote and be candidate to any function or post.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

February 2010
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