When the Estates General passed the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen in August of , the slaves had reason to hope that emancipation might soon follow. For two long years they grew more and more restless.
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A few small, plantation-wide revolts broke out. The slaves decided to rebel. Geggus , pp. This meeting and the Boukman ceremony were separate but related events. Geggus theorizes that the August 14th meeting had set August 24th for the start of the revolution, but that Boukman moved things up a couple of days after a few of the conspirators had been caught.
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Did he present the speech mentioned above, calling on the slaves to take vengeance on the whites? Geggus presents good evidence that we don't know exactly what Boukman said at that ceremony, and the speech above is certainly bogus, written by a 19th century historian to portray the "feel" of the event. The "Eh! There was some sort of ceremony, likely on the 21st of August , and it probably involved the ritual slaughter of a pig. Beyond that, little can be said to be known.
Yet what is certain is that after that date the slaves' course was set. One of the most notorious of the massacre participants was Jean Zombi, a mulatto resident of Port-au-Prince who was known for his brutality. One account describes how Zombi stopped a white man on the street, stripped him naked, and took him to the stair of the Presidential Palace, where he killed him with a dagger.
Dessalines was reportedly among the spectators; he was said to be "horrified" by the episode. By the end of April , some 3, to 5, people had been killed  and the white Haitians were practically eradicated.
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Only three categories of white people, except foreigners, were selected as exceptions and spared: the Polish soldiers who deserted from the French army; the small group of German colonists invited to the north-west region before the revolution; and a group of medical doctors and professionals. Dessalines did not try to hide the massacre from the world.
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In an official proclamation of 8 April , he stated, "We have given these true cannibals war for war, crime for crime, outrage for outrage. Yes, I have saved my country, I have avenged America. Dessalines regarded the elimination of the white Haitians an act of political necessity, as they were regarded as a threat to the peace between the black and the free people of color.
It was also regarded as a necessary act of vengeance. Dessalines was eager to assure that Haiti was not a threat to other nations. He directed efforts to establish friendly relations also to nations where slavery was still allowed. In the constitution, all citizens were defined as "black". It helped to create a legacy of racial hostility in Haitian society. Girard wrote in the book Paradise Lost that "Despite all of Dessalines' efforts at rationalization, the massacres were as inexcusable as they were foolish.
At the time of the U. Civil War, a major pretext for southern whites, most of whom did not own slaves, to support slave-owners and ultimately fight for the Confederacy was fear of a genocide similar to the Haitian Massacre of This was explicitly referred to in Confederate discourse and propaganda as a reason for secession. Domingo ", was a constant and prominent theme in the discourse of southern political leaders and had influenced U.
As abolitionists loudly proclaimed that "All men are created equal", echoes of armed slave insurrections and racial genocide sounded in Southern ears. Much of their resentment towards the abolitionists can be seen as a reaction to the events in Haiti. In the run-up to the U. Domingo" and said that the election "will determine whether anything like this is to be visited upon our own southern countrymen.
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Abolitionists recognized the strength of this argument on public opinion in both the north and south. Lyon addressed this as a prominent argument of his opponents:. We don't know any better than to imagine that emancipation would result in the utter extinction of civilization in the South, because the slave-holders, and those in their interest, have persistently told us Lyon argued, however, that the experience of emancipation in British colonies in the s showed that an end to slavery could be achieved peacefully.
Philippe Girard, author of Caribbean genocide: racial war in Haiti, —4 , described it as a genocide and stated "when the genocide was over, Haiti's white population was virtually non-existent.
Robins and Adam Jones, authors of Genocides by the Oppressed: Subaltern Genocide in Theory and Practice , cited Girard and described it as a "genocide of the subaltern" in which a previously disadvantaged group used a genocide to destroy their previous oppressors. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Haitian Revolution. Main article: Abolitionism. John, Spenser Retrieved 12 September Upon much reflection i settled on proposing a public art-work to be installed on a square of Fort de France.
They will be layered concentrically on the square and relatively unremarkable since the elements will all be recognizable. It will be difficult to find some local solutions for the elements i envision- but i will rely much on my local helpers. I am grateful to Valerie Cassel Oliver- for her insight- though i believe they will be some New York City blocks apart. Black performance has generally been associated with music, theater, dance, and popular culture.
While the artists in Radical Presence draw on these disciplines, here their work is considered in relation to the visual arts. Some employ photography and video to document their performances.
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Several perform for the camera—in front of an audience or alone—intentionally constructing records of actions and events. The exhibition also presents objects used in performances: costumes, scores, sculptures, and installations, which, depending on when viewers see them, serve as prompts for or traces of performances. Both the live performances and the art objects call attention to the possibilities and limitations of the active body, and the installations reflect some of the myriad ways in which museums have exhibited this ephemeral medium.
Although the artists span three different generations, they share a number of approaches. Many make durational works that unfold over several hours or even days.
The only successful slave revolt in history
Some employ everyday, transitory materials—for example newspapers, food, snow, and bodily fluids. Others intervene into public spaces such as the street, parades, and the Internet to spark interactions between viewer and performer that may range from confrontational to humorous, politically motivated to mystical.
Seen together, the works enable us to trace lines of influence. Some of the artists have worked in close collaboration with one another; others make direct reference to the work of earlier generations. Using their bodies as medium and material—often pushing the limits of their physical stamina—the artists in Radical Presence may experience pain, draw the attention of onlookers, or access otherworldly states.
They channel and challenge a history of performance that includes forms as varied as minstrelsy and contemporary pop, experimental music and improvisational dance.
Engaging viewers, they implicate their audiences as collaborators, breaking down distinctions between spectator and participant, and, like others before them, art and life.