History is not my specialty nor my passion, but since this blog is about educating others about The Real Haiti, I did some research about the Haitian holiday Dessalines Day, celebrated on October 17th (the day of his assassination).
Jean-Jacques Dessalines is referred to as one the founding fathers (or Emperor) of Haiti, but many don't speak of him because of the controversial violent massacre of thousands of "white Haitians," also known as native French people. Read more about the 1804 Haiti Massacre here.
A Haitian educator, Louis Mercier, once said, "Whatever the means he employed to accomplish his ends, Dessalines remains the most powerful spirit in our history....One cannot be a real Haitian unless one is a Dessalinian." With gaps in the historical information, Haiti still celebrates Dessalines Day on October 17. Read more about the Haitian Revolution, Haiti's Independence here.
May is Haitian Heritage Month! What better way to honor our heritage than by looking back to the father of modern Haiti—François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture, also known as Toussaint L'Ouverture or Toussaint Bréda. As the leader of the only successful slave revolt in modern history, L’Ouverture helped form Haiti’s constitution and win its independence from France. L’Ouverture declared black, white, and mixed residents of Haiti to be socially equal and paved the way for the United States to orchestrate the Louisiana Purchase from France.
Here are five ways to celebrate L’Ouverture, one of Haiti’s most legendary residents, by exploring his mention and history through contemporary culture: