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Underground railroad historian presents Haitian connections

Black Caribbean Literature (BCL)
Newspaper Article
Publication Date:
Jan 14-Jan 20, 2004
Miami, FL
African American Research Center, Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject Term:
Blacks, Haiti, African Americans, Slavery, Civil rights, Caribbean, Culture, Abolition of slavery, international, Black culture, Minority & ethnic groups, Emancipation of slaves
Although the program has a long, academic-sounding formal tide, "Sugar, Slavery and Imperialism: How Sugar Drove the Forced Migration of Africans to the Caribbean and the Impact of the Haitian Revolution," it is an informal presentation aimed at general audiences. This is a rare opportunity to learn more about Haiti's former status, as the richest, rather than the poorest, country in the hemisphere; about Haitian participation in the American Revolutionary War and aid to other independence struggles; about the brilliant diplomatic and military leadership of Toussaint L'Ouverture, Dessalines, Petion and others, who defeated the forces of Napoleon, Britain and Spain together; about how the Haitian victory caused Napoleon to sell the vast Louisiana territory to the United States, and about the great heroism of ordinary Haitians that was required for victory to be won. (The Louisiana Purchase, which will be commemorated on specially minted nickel coins in 2004, also opened the way for an expanded domestic "slave trade" within the United States, which was even larger than the former Atlantic trade).