Written by Erica Taylor, The Tom Joyner Morning Show Thursday, 14 January 2010 18:00
He was born a slave. He was called a genius of the rebellion. He was an 18th century rebel named Toussaint Breda, a.k.a Toussaint L’Ouverture, and he led the Haitian Revolution to abolish slavery. By the way, translated, L’ouverture means “the opening."
It was through his father, who was once a free African chief, that L’Ouverture learned that a black man could be something more than a slave. As a house servant, he was allowed to be educated and took advantage of the opportunity. He used his education to lead a slave revolt years after legally gaining his own freedom at age 33.
After a few years of fighting in the resistance, L’Ouverture gathered and organized 4 million slaves, leading a battle that resulted in the abolishment of slavery by the French Convention. One of his soldiers was Henri Christophe, who later became king of Haiti.
In May 1797, L’Ouverture was named commander-in-chief of the French Republican Army in Saint Domingue, proclaiming the end of slavery. Soon after, he developed a new constitution, naming himself governor for life so the rulingS would stand.
The leader of the great slave revolt in Haiti is commemorated in monuments worldwide. The airport of Port-Au-Prince, known as the International Gateway, is named after Toussaint L’ouverture.
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