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BLACK HISTORY QUIZ
The largest mass movement, of people of Afrikan descent in the twentieth century was achieved by Marcus
Garvey. Born in St Ann's Bay, Jamaica on August 17, 1887, Marcus Mosiah Garvey was raised in a rigidly racist society in Jamaica
which was divided in three groups of people: the white elites, the mulatto middle class and the large and greatly discriminated
against black underclass. Garvey, as part of the black class, resented the lack of opportunity and leadership in his group.He
later travelled around the world particularly in South America where everywhere he met the inferior status of the Negro socially.
On his return to Jamaica, he founded the United Negro Improvement Association, (UNIA)
which aims and objectives display
a comprehensive plan to change the dismal reality of oppressed Afrikan people.
The ability of this man to capture the desires and aspirations of the majority of people of Afrikan
descent makes Garvey a historical figure of great proportions.
Huey P Newton
In 1967, Huey P Newton co-founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPP) to address the exploitation
and oppression of people worldwide by beginning with Blacks in the Oakland community. The BPP established chapters in over
30 states in the US and several international chapters. Huey's first initiative was to arm BPP leadership with knowledge of
the law and citizen's rights. Their knowledge of the law enabled them to defend their community against police brutality.
As the BPP's chief theoritician, Huey foresaw the need for BPP's social programs and their potential for empowerment. BPP's
grassroots movement played a pivotal role in conscientizing Black youth following the sudden deaths of Malcolm X and Martin
L. King, Jr.
Malcolm was a great figure of the Black Nationalist Movement whose untimely death occurred during an evolutionary
phase. Malcolm's untimely death is of great importance because it coincided with his vision of uniting Afrikan liberation
struggles, the African-American Civil Rights movement and the struggle of oppressed people all over the world. Malcolm identified
the civil rights issue faced by African-Americans as a human rights issue. He planned to bring charges against the US at the
UN for the human rights violations of African-Americans. He was assassinated a few months before his presentation before the
Born in 1743 in the Haut Du Cap on the Breda Habitation in Haiti Toussaint would rise from the depth of
slavery to become one of the best and most celebrated black revolutionaries of the Americas. His fight against slavery will
usher in the abolition of slavery in Haiti and the founding of a new nation in 1804 : The Republic of Haiti.
When the revolution broke in Haiti in 1791 Toussaint was the driver of his master, Bayon Libertat. Toussaint did not directly
participate in the north uprising of 1791 although he was among the organizers of that revolt. In November 1791 nonetheless,
he joined the troops of François Biassou, an important maroon leader of the north uprising, as the healer of the army. With
his chief, he worked for the Spaniards in Spring 1793 in Santo Domingo to dismiss the French from the island. Under the guidance
of the Spaniards Toussaint learned how to organize his troops and lead them to victory after victory.
In 1794, however, he decided to leave the Spanish side and fight for the French. In fifteen days, in
1794, he successfully fought the troops of Biassou and Jean François (Spanish) and reconquered for France all the lost lands
of the North and the Centre of St Domingue. Everywhere, he raised the French flag proclaiming freedom for all the blacks.
From 1794 to 1795, Toussaint relentlessly fought both the Spaniards and the Spanish in favor of the French. At the same time,
he actively worked at limiting French authority in St Domingue for the liberation of the blacks. By 1801 he had proclaimed
the island autonomous from France, drawing its own constitutions which nominated Toussaint Governor general of the island.
In 1802 Napoleon sent an expedition to fight Toussaint and reestablish slavery in the colony. After
a bloody war, Toussaint decided to sign a cease-fire with the French troops while preserving his freedom and that of the blacks.
Considerably weakened, Leclerc, the cousin of Napoleon Bonaparte who conducted the expeditionary army in Haiti, accepted the
cease-fire, which was signed between the two generals on May 6th 1802. This cease-fire was not to last long however, as the
French traitorously arrested Toussaint and his family on June 7th 1802.
With his family, Toussaint was deported to France on a ship ironically called "Le Heros", (The
Heros). In setting foot in the "Heros" Toussaint pronounced these famous and prophetic words: "En me renversant, On n'a
abattu a Saint Domingue que le tronc de l'arbre de la liberte des noirs; il poussera par les racines parce qu'elles sont profondes
et nombreuses" (In arresting me, you've only pulled down the trunk of the tree of freedom; it will outgrow from its roots
for they are deep and numerous). Indeed, Before Toussaint's death in France on April 7th 1803 the colony had entered in a
final rebellion against the French which will result in the Independence of Haiti on January 1st 1804 and the abolition of
slavery in the new nation.
The importance of Toussaint in the struggles against slavery lies in him being the leader and military
strategist paving the way to independence for the first Black republic in the world. Under his leadership, Afrikan and Haitian
slaves and ex-slaves fought against and defeated Napoleon Bonaparte's army.
Jean Jacques Dessalines
If Toussaint was considered the great thinker and instigator of the Haitian Revolution, Dessalines was
its great fighter. He is recognized to have been an incredible warrior; his energy knew no bound. He was the one who achieved
the prophetic words of Toussaint along with a union with the mulatto group. His motto was "Libete ou lanmo"
or death) and he went to great length to achieve this belief.
What Toussaint envisioned became a reality under Dessalines' leadership. He completed the revolution
for Haiti's independence following Toussaint's imprisonment by the French.
The founder of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM)
in South Afrika, Steve Biko, was a South
Afrikan lawyer who advocated for the rights of oppressed South Afrikans. Biko's BCM expounded a philosophy that developed
Black pride so as to create greater pride and unity among the oppressed. The BCM philosophy was also important as it made
the oppressed confident in their ability to overthrow their oppressors. Steve Biko provided his people with a voice that would
not be silenced by banning, imprisonment, exile, banishment or murder.
Unquestionably a great revolutionary leader, Amilcar Cabral, started his struggle in the Portuguese colony
of Guinea (modern day Guinea Bissau). Cabral eventually went to Angola where he continued his struggle by founding the MPLA
(Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola)
which was one of the most important national organizations of Angola.
Cabral's MPLA mobilized the countries patriots to struggle for freedom. As a Socialist Cabral was not only concerned with
destroying Western imperialism and neo-colonialism. Rather, as an extremely intelligent internationalist Cabral saw the struggle
of his people as a part in a greater struggle against the forces that oppress the majority of the world's people.
By all means the leaders we have selected may be controversial because of all those who could have
been included. However, we have chosen these leaders as a start in what we consider to be an important process. Namely, the
reconfiguration of the boundaries which have traditionally defined those leaders celebrated in Black History Month. Additionally,
we hope that this short essay will be influential in developing a new paradigm by which we develop our own criteria for selecting
important Black figures.
Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop
Cheikh Anta Diop, a modern champion of African identiy was born in Jiourbel, Senegal on December
29, 1923. At the age of twenty three he journeyed to Paris, France to continue advanced studies in Physics. Within a very
short time, however, he was drawn deeper and deeper into studies relating to the African origins of humanity and civilization.
Becoming more and more active in hte African student movements then demanding the independence of French colonial possessions,
he became convinced that only by reexamining and restoing Africa’s distorted, maligned and obscured place in world history
could the physical and psychological shackles of colonialism be lifted from our Motherland and from African people dispersed
globally. His initial doctorate dissertation submitted at the University of Paris, Sorbonne in 1951, based on the premise
that Egypt of the pharaohs was an African civilization was rejected. Regardless, this dissertation was published by Presence
Africaine under the title "Nations Nègres et Culture" in 1955 and won him an international acclaim. Tow additional attempts
to have his doctorate granted were turned back until 1960 when he entered his defense session with an array of sociologists,
anthropologists and historians and successfully carried his argument. After nearly a decade of titanic and herculean effort,
Diop had finally won his Docteur es Lettres (Ph.D) . IN that sme year, 1960 were published two of his other works, the Cultural
Unity of Black Africa and Precolonial Black Africa. Dr Diop was an avid political activist during his student years. He was
the Secretary General of the Rassemblement Democratique Africain (RDA) from 1950 t 1953. He also participated in hte
first World Congress of Black Writers and Artists held in Paris in 1956. His most important and influential work are “The
African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality, 1974” and Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology, 1981).
Upon returning to his country, Dr Diop became the Director of Radiocarbon Laboratory at the Fundamental Institute of Black
Africa (IFAN) at the University of Dakar. He died quietly in Dakar, Senegal on February 7, 1986
Sundiata Keita (1210?-1260?)
Founder and ruler of the Mali Empire in West Africa in the 13th century. Samanguru was a warrior that
managed to conquer a great deal of West Africa once Ghana was weakened. Samanguru was hostile to the Mandinka people who lived
in the region. His taxes were high, he felt it was his privilege to carry off Mandinka women, and he failed to maintain law
and order along the trade routes.
The griots of West Africa still speak of the story of the sickly young boy who grew up to become a great warrior. Sundiata
was one of 12 brothers who were the children of a Mandinka warrior. Samanguru killed the twelve brothers, but spared Sundiata
because he believed the boy would die anyway. That was a mistake that would lead to Samanguru’s downfall, because the
sickly boy recovered eventually assembled an army to confront Samanguru. Sundiata’s forces killed Samanguru and destroyed
his forces in the Battle of Kirina in 1235.That victory marked the founding of the Mali Empire. After his victory, Sundiata
consolidated his authority among the Mandinka people and established a strong centralized monarchy.
Sundiata then became mansa, or king of a new empire which we know today as Mali, or “where the king resides.”
Sundiata proved himself a great warrior, but he was only interested in removing Samanguru and once again making West Africa
a safe place to travel and trade. He converted to Islam, but only as a gesture of goodwill to the merchants and traders. To
his own people, Sundiata presented himself as a champion of traditional West African religion.
According Ibn Khaldun, a 14th-century North African historian, Sundiata ruled Mali for 25 years. He expanded the state
by incorporating the Ghana empire and the West African gold fields. At its height in the 14th century, Mali stretched
from the Atlantic south of the Senegal to the Songhay empire of Gao on the east of the middle Niger bend. Sundiata built his
capital at Niani, which was in his home region. Mali gained economic strength by controlling the region's trade routes and
gold fields. Under his rule, Mali converted to Islam but the traditional religions were still practiced freely. When Sundiata
died, his son Uli became the mansa, or king, of Mali. His legend is still kept alive today by the griots among
the Mandinka .
Read the full story of Sundiata
Mansa Musa is one of the great rulers of the Mali Empire. He captured the attention of the Arab
world when he left his home in Mali to make a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324. Unlike Sundiata, Mansa Musa truly was a Muslim. Islamic law requires that all faithful Muslims make a pilgrimage, or holy visit, to the city on the Arabian peninsula where
the faith was started. Mansa Musa was said to have taken more than 500 people with him, each carrying a staff of solid gold.
When Mansa Musa passed through Cairo, he gave away so much gold that the price of gold fell and the economy was affected for
more than twenty years.
A scholar, a great economist and a true man of the arts, Mansa Musa is well known for the impact he created with his flamboyant
style. In 1324 he led his people on the Hadj, a holy pilgrimage from Timbuktu to Mecca. His caravan consisted of 72 000 people
whom he led safely across the Sahara Desert and back, a total distance of 6,496 miles. So spectacular was this event that
Mansa Mussa gained the respect of scholars and traders throughout the world. During his reign, Mali was one of the most prestigious
and wealthiest empires in the world. This empire at this time also contained one of the worlds most prestigious universities
The story of Yaa Asantewa of the Ashanti Empire against British colonialism in Africa is one that is woven in the history
of Ghana. According to oral tradition, Osei Tutu, the founder of the Ghana Empire, had been bestowed king upon receiving a
golden stool which became a national symbol for Ghana throughout their history. In the 19th century the British
stole the golden stool from the Empire as well as the asantehe (king) Prempeh. The chiefs then held a secret meeting at Kumasi
to discuss their reply to that attack. Yaa Asantewa, the Queen Mother of Ejisu, one of the heir kings also captured by the
British, was at the meeting. The chiefs were discussing how they should make war on the British and force them to bring back
the Asantehene. Yaa Asantewa noticed that some of the chiefs were afraid. Some said that there should be no war. They should
rather go to beg the Governor to bring back the Asantehene King Prempeh. Then suddenly Yaa Asantewa stood up and reminded
the men of the affront that was just committed on them and of their heroic past. She galvanized them into fighting the British.
For months the Ashantis led by Yaa Asantewa fought very bravely and put the British on a siege in a fort in Kumasi without
water and food. Yet British reinforcements totaling 1,400 soldiers arrived at Kumasi. Yaa Asantewa and other leaders were
captured and sent into exile. Yaa Asantewa's war was the last of the major war in Africa led by a women.
AKHENATON (1375-1358 B.C)
The creator of monotheism, Amenhotep IV, known as Akhenaton was the first ruler in recorded history
to believe in the concept of One God. He also taught this concept to all his citizens. He built a new city in the desert that was dedicated to religion, art and music. This new city, Akhenaton (now Tell el Amara),
with its lush gardens and magnificent buildings is where Akhenaton and his wife Queen Nefertiti changed Kehmet's (Ancient
Egypt) culture so radically that their influence is felt for centuries right up until today.
Commonly known as the Titan of Bronze, General Antonio Maceo Grajales was one of the outstanding guerrilla leaders in 19th century Latin America. He was second in command of the Cuban
independence army. The son of a Venezuelan mulatto and Afro-Cuban woman, Maceo began his fight for Cuban liberation by enlisting
as a private in the army n 1868 when the Ten Years War began. Five years later, he was promoted to the rank of general because
of his bravery and his demonstrated ability to outmaneuver the Spanish army, in 1878, when most of the Cubans generals believed
that their armies could not defeat the slavery. Ultimately he was forced to leave Cuba. He returned to Cuba when war with
Spain began again. His most famous campaign in the War of Cuban Liberation was his invasion of western Cuba when his troops
covered more than 1000 miles in 92 days and fought the enemy in 27 separate encounters. On December 7, 1896 Maceo was captured
and killed as he attempted to rejoin Maximo Gomez forces. His death prompted yet another congressional resolution for belligerent
rights for Cuba.
IMHOTEP: THE WORLD FIRST KNOWN GENIUS
Imhotep was the royal advisor to King Zoser during the Third Dynasty of Kemet (Ancient Egypt).
Regarded as the world's first recorded multi-genius, Imhotep was an architect, an astronomer, a philosopher, a poet and
a physician. As an architect he was responsible for designing the Step Pyramid and the Saqqara Complex. During his lifetime
he was given a host of titles, among them:Chancellor of the King of Lower Kemet, the First after the King of Upper Kemet,
High Priest of Heliopolis and Administrator of the Great Palace. As a physician, Imhotep is believed to have been the author
of the Edwin Smith Papyrus in which more than 90 anatomical terms and 48 injuries are described. This is well over 2,200 years
before the Western Father of Medicine Hippocrates is born. Some 2,000 years after his death, Imhotep was deified by the inhabitants
of Kemet and was known later as Asclepius, God of Medicine, to the Greeks. His very name, Im-Hotep, translates as the Prince
of Peace. His tomb near Memphis became a sacred place and the site of pilgrimages for those seeking a cure. As a philosopher
and poet, Imhotep's most remembered phrase is: "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we shall die." There still remain many
bronze statuettes, temples and sanatoria bearing his name, as is depicted in the picture of the statue above.
Dr. Philip Emeagwali
Who developed the fastest computer on earth? Dr. Philip Emeagwali, an interdisciplinary computer scientist/inventor,
used 65 000 processors to perform the world’s fastest computation of 3.1 billion calculations per second. His design
was inspired by the complex geometries of nature. From geometrical theories, Emeagwali proved that bees use the most efficient
method to construct their honeycombs, so a computer which emulated the honeycomb will be efficient and powerful. Emeagwali’s
computers are currently being used to forecast the wheather and to predict future global warming.
SHAKA: KING OF THE ZULUS (1818-1828)
A strong leader and military innovator, Shaka is noted for revolutionizing 19th century Bantu warfare
by first grouping regiments by age, and training his men to use standardized weapons and special tactics. He developed the
"assegai", a short stabbing spear, and marched his regiments in tight formation, using large shields to fend off the enemies
throwing spears. Over time, Shaka's troops earned such a reputation that many enemies would flee at the sight of them. He
built the Zulus into a nation of over a million strong. He was also sucessful in uniting all the ethnic groups in South Africa
against the despicable vestiges of colonialism.
KING OF NUBIA (710-664 B. C.)
Taharka is probably one of the most famous rulers of Napatan Kush. He was 32 when he became king and
was heir to a kingdom that included not only Kush but KMT(Kemet, Ancient Egypt) as well. He is said to have commanded military
campaigns in Western Asia as far away as Palestine and led expeditions all the way to Spain. Mention of his great campaigns
can be found in the Bible (Isaiah 37:9, 2 Kings 19:9). During his reign, Taharka controlled the largest empire in Ancient
Africa. He was able to initiate a building program throughout his empire which was overwhelming in scope. The numbers and
majesty of his building projects were legendary, with the greatest being the temple at Gebel Barkal in the Sudan. The temple
was carved from the living rock and decorated with images of Taharka over 100 feet high.
Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable
Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable was born in Haiti (then St Domingue) around 1745. His father was a French sea captain.
Du Sable’s mother was an ex-slave. His father took Du Sable to France to be educated. Du Sable later worked as a seaman
on one of his father’s ships. When Du Sable was twenty, he headed toward New Orleans in one of his father’s boats.
While sailing in hte Gulf of Mexico, his boat sank and he was injured. New Orleans at this time belonged to France but was
under Spanish control. Du Sable had lost his identification papers and was almost enslaved. French priest protected him and
he made his way up the Mississipi River to St Louis. Du Sable later settled in an area near Peoria, Illinois.
In the early 1770s Du Sable built a log cabin and owned over 800 acres of land.
The potawatomi indians gave him an indian as bride. He named her Catherine and they later had a son and a daughter. Years
later, Du Sable left the Area and made his way north until he reached the Great Lakes area. The Indians called this land Eschikagou
(Chicago), the “place of bad smells” due to the odor of the swampland. By 1779, Du Sable built the first permanent
home on the north bank of the Chicago River. He also built a trading post. Trappers were well paid for their fur pelts and
Du Sable sold them supplies and tools. A mill, smoke house, dairy, horse stable, poultry house and barn were some of the buildings
on Du Sables trading post. Within a short time, this trading post bevcame the main supply station for trappers, traders and
Indians and was the key route for merchant trading in Detroit and Canada. Among the many things he supplied were furs, meats,
wheat, and bread. However, on May 7 1800, the “Father of Chicago” sold his land and property for a mere $ 1200
and left the area. He moved to St Charles, Missouri and died almost penniless on August 28, 1818.
EMPRESS OF ETHIOPIA (332 B.C.)
Alexander reached Kemet (Ancient Egypt) in 332 B.C., on his world conquering
rampage. However, one of the greatest generals of the ancient world was also the Empress of Ethiopia which had a long history
of being governed by women called Candace. This formidable Queen was world famous as a military tactician and field commander.
Legend has it that Alexander could not entertain even the possibilty of having his world fame and unbroken chain of victories
marred by risking a defeat, at last, by a woman. He halted his armies at the borders of Ethiopia and did not invade to meet
the waiting black armies with their Queen in personal command.
Turner, Nat (1800-1831)
Nat Turner, a black slave and preacher, led the most famous slave revolt in United States history.
In 1831, Turner and 60 to 70 other slaves revolted and killed about 60 whites in Virginia. The victims included the family
of Joseph Travis, Turner's owner.
Turner was born on a plantation in Southampton County, Virginia. His parents and grandmother encouraged
him to become educated and to fight slavery. Through the years, Turner became the property of several other slaveowners. The
son of one of his masters taught him to read and write. Turner became known as a forceful preacher who believed that God wanted
him to free the slaves. This conviction led to his planning the rebellion.
Jacques Roumain: (June 4, 1907 - 18 August 1944
Jacques Roumain is one of Haiti's most highly respected writers. Roumain was
one of the most prominent pan-African poets of the 1930s and 1940s, acclaimed in Europe and Latin America.
Born in 1907, he was educated in Switzerland but returned home to fight for Haitian nationalism.
As president of the Haitian Patriotic Youth League, Roumain was instrumental in ending the U.S. occupation of his country.
Along with Philippe Thoby-Marcelin, Carl Brouard, and Antonio Vieux, in 1927 he founded La Revue Indigene: Les Arts et la
Vie [The Indigenous Review: Arts and Life], a vehicle for new writing in Haiti. Because of his political activity, he was
arrested and imprisoned soon afterward. Nevertheless, Roumain remained productive, publishing several collections of stories
and poetry. After the departure of the U.S. Marines in 1934, he became deeply involved in Marxist politics, which led to his
imprisonment and exile. In his travels in Europe and the United States, Roumain forged close friendships with other writers,
notably Langston Hughes, who translated some of his poetry. He came to believe that the poor were inextricably bound together,
regardless of their color.
With the change in government in Haiti, Roumain was allowed to return to his native country. In
1943 President Lescot appointed him charge d'affaires in Mexico, where his newly found creative freedom permitted him to complete
two of his most influential books, the poetry collection Bois d'ebene [Ebony Wood] and the novel Gouverneurs de la Rosée [Masters
of the Dew]. Although he lived only thirty-seven years, Roumain created some of the most colorful, dynamic, and moving poetry
of his generation.
Pedro Albizu Campos
Albizu Campos, Pedro , 1891-1965, Puerto Rican political leader. After service in an African-American
unit during World War I he developed a lasting enmity for the United States and became the fiery champion of Puerto Rican
independence. His Nationalist party, however, failed to receive popular support in the Puerto Rican elections of 1932. Convicted
of seeking to overthrow the U.S. government, he was imprisoned (1937-43) before returning to Puerto Rico in 1947. His party
made a poor showing in the 1948 election, and in 1950 Nationalists attacked the governor's mansion in Puerto Rico and Blair
House in Washington. Charged with inciting to murder, Albizu Campos was again imprisoned. He was pardoned (1953) because of
failing health, but the next year he was implicated in the Nationalist armed attack on the U.S. House of Representatives,
and his pardon was revoked. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. He suffered a stroke in 1956 and was again pardoned in
Sir William Arthur Lewis
Arthur Lewis was born and educated in St. Lucia up to the secondary Level. He proved during this
time to be quite a scholar. Later he entered the London School of Economics where he distinguished himself as a student of
Economics. His excellence was rewarded, when at the age of twenty-three, he was made a lecturer. During this time he published
numerous papers and pamphlets. Between 1951 and 1957 he was Stanley Jevons Professor of Political Economy at Manchester University.
During this time, he was also adviser to numerous governments and served as adviser on underdeveloped countries. He advised
the Ghana government in 1953 and in 1957. He also served in the same capacity in Nigeria, Trinidad and Barbados.
He had also been on numerous United Nations Commissions.
He won a Nobel Prize in 1979, with Theodore Schultz, for pioneering research on economic development
in emerging countries. He published a book, "The Theory of Economic Growth," in 1954 that is regarded as the seminal study
in the field. In this book he advocates the development of infrastructure, education in all its areas and specialisation in
agriculture and high employment.
Arthur Lewis also served as Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, adviser to the
British Colonial Development Corporation, Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Professor at Princeton University and as
the Chairman of the Caribbean Development Bank. Sir Arthur Lewis died on June 15th, 1991. He is buried on the grounds of the
Guerrilla leader - Born in 1886 in the town of Hinche, Péralte was an officer in the Haitian Army.
He resigned in 1915 and returned to his home in Hinche to become a farmer. When the US Marines, who had invaded Haiti in 1915,
began forcing Haitians into labour gangs to carry out public works, antipathy to the US occupation grew. In 1917 Péralte was
arrested for an attack on the home of a US officer, and sentenced to five years hard labour. He escaped from captivity, and
mobilised several thousand peasant irregulars to fight against the US occupation. This band of peasants called " Cacos" wreaked havoc in the countryside for the better part of two years. The success
of the guerrilla resistance campaign led by Péralte, forced the US to deploy more Marines, but he was still able to declare
a provisional government in the north of Haiti in 1919.
In November 1919 Péralte was betrayed by one of his troops, Jean Baptiste Conzé, who led a small
contingent of disguised marines including second lieutenant Herman Hanneker to Peralte's hard-to-find camp. Peralte was killed
in the short fight that followed. The US Marines took his body to the town of Hinche and attached it to a door in a Christ-like
fashion in order to discourage furhter rebellion. A famous photograph, and also a painting by renowned artist Philome Obin
have immortalized that image which has taken its place as an icon of Haitian nationalism. Peralte's lieutenant, Batraville
continued the fight, but it never regained the impetus it had under Charlemagne.
Vesey, Denmark (1767?-1822)
Denmark Vesey, a black freedman, planned a slave revolt that involved more blacks than any other
uprising in U.S. history. The revolt never took place. But the threat of it caused South Carolina to pass severe laws restricting
the education, movement, and occupation of free blacks and slaves.
In 1822, Vesey organized about 9,000 free blacks and slaves and prepared to attack several South
Carolina cities. But some of the slaves told their owners. Several blacks were arrested and gave information that led to the
capture of Vesey and several other leaders in the plot. Vesey and about 35 followers were hanged. About 35 others were sold
to West Indian plantation owners.
Historians know little about Vesey's early life. In 1800, he bought his freedom from his owner.
He then worked as a carpenter in Charleston, S.C., until he started to plan the revolt.
One of the most famous Haitian maroons was a man named François Mackandal*. He was also a houngan, or voodoo priest,
from Guinea. At night, he would attack the plantations, burning them and killing their owners. During his six-year rebellion,
he and his followers poisoned and killed as many as 6,000 whites. In 1758, however, the French finally caught him and publicly
executed him on the public square of Cap Francais (today Cap Haitien).
*As History goes, Mackandal's followers believed that he was unvulnerable. He was caught in 1758, and he
was to be publicly executed. However, he somehow managed to escape from the flames thereby perpetuating the legend. Nevertheless
he was recaptured later on and that time the French suceeded in executing him.