Music can teach you so much. Until today I have never heard of Toussaint Louverture but now Michael Gira has written a song inspired by him for the new album I was intrigued.
Born 20 May 1743, Louverture was the leader of the Haitian Revolution; his military genius and political acumen transformed an entire society of slaves into the independent state of Haiti. Despite being imprisoned by the French and ultimately died in 1803, the revolution continued and finally defeated Bonaparte’s Army. The success of the Haitian Revolution shook the institution of slavery throughout the New World.
Schools should be teaching children about important people like Toussaint – is because he is black, is it because he chose to overthrow an oppressive regime? Who knows? Slavery wasn’t abolished in America until 1864, and perhaps it was due to a fear that what happened in Haiti may happen there. History within our educational system is not good at teaching about people who have challenged the system and created a more positive progressive society.
They should also teach that all great people have great hats!
Brothers and friends, I am Toussaint Louverture; perhaps my name has made itself known to you. I have undertaken vengeance. I want Liberty and Equality to reign in St Domingue. I am working to make that happen. Unite yourselves to us, brothers, and fight with us for the same cause.
Your very humble and obedient servant, Toussaint L’Ouverture