OUR HISTORY AS CHILDREN OF TRUE HEROES

Stamps of Claudinette Fouchard (1960)    

The indisputably worldwide Queen of  Sugar: Claudinette will always be our National Treasure

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In his very first speech to the new Ayitians, January 1st, 1804, “La Proclamation de L’Independance,” our father, General-Emperor Jean-Jacques Dessalines, le Grand, referred to the Palm Tree as our human character.  By this, he meant that we, Ayitians, can bend under heavy pressure, but, for sure, we will never ever fall down flat on our back, unless we are dead. (Read: The Symbol of our Pride & Strength)

This, to translate our matter-of-fact conviction about “Liberty or Death.”

Nobody is obliged to write or read history; and excellent books can be written about the past which are not history. 

But I think we are entitled by convention - . . . - to reserve the word “history” for the serious process of inquiry into the

past of man in society.     Edward Hallett Carr - 1961

Children of Ayiti or of Ayitian decent, your ancestors were true heroes, not cartoon-ish or movie-ish; they were made of blood and flesh, but people with hearts of steel.  They crossed-over the European's invented Hell to give us a nation of our own.  They even bravely crossed-over oceans and mountains to help others taste the syrupiness of Freedom.  You cannot begin to imagine our forefathers' unsung bravery.  Those worldly, non-mythological Heroes of ours, whom History would like to make invisible, so you won't be proud of who you are, were admired and feared even by their foes.  Your ancestors were not only real, but also they accomplished plenty for Humanity.  It is my job to teach you about some of their godly accomplishments. 

I KNOW THAT INTERNET THIEVES AND PROFESSIONAL PLAGIARISTS ARE RUSHING TO STEAL MY PAINSTAKING RESEARCH, BUT FOR YOUR SAKE, FOR OUR COUNTRY’S FUTURE, I WILL SACRIFICE.

These are excerpts from: Ayiti: Africa's First Daughter - Bob Lapierre; © Copyright 1994

If you recall, in the previous page "Our Forefathers," I spoke to you about: Padre Jean, Makandal, Boukman, Toussaint Louverture, Jean-Jacques Dessalines the Great, Henry Christophe, Capois Lamort and Alexandre Petion, etc. There were many more of them, but these ones were on the forefront of our history.  These were the national and international heroes who, in fact, defeated the Spaniards, the British, and the French armies, and gained mastery of the island.

What do you know about slavery?

  I know.  You know zilch!  I met a few of you, in my classrooms, who said to me "I don't care. I was not there."  Some of you even dare to repeat "Let by-gone be by-gone man!"  Ooh! does that hurt!  Guess what, you were taught and coached to say just that.  Yes, you simply cannot begin to imagine what slavery was, as those named above and many more unsung heroes died for you not to experience it.  But, nothing also should prevent you from knowing it, just as the Jewish children are permitted to learn about the holocaust.  You too have the right to know about your own genocidal-holocaust.  That way you will understand the need for you to stay in school, become modern leaders, scientists, thinkers, artists, law-makers, and bring the necessary changes into Humanity.  It is important for you to know why you have no chains on your ankles or around your necks today so that you can prevent it from ever happening again.   That is all I ask in exchange of sharing your true history with you.  I want you to understand the need for you to change your attitude and change Ayiti, if possible the world.  Make our small and beautiful piece of land the envy of the planet.  That is all I ask from you in return for sharing the history you must know.

"Bay kou bliye, pote mak sonje" -

 The Ayitian will not erase from his memory the racial insanities of those who oppressed him. How they invaded his motherlands (Africa) and (Ayiti), divided and conquered his peoples; how they subdued him into slavery. His famous word of wisdom is a serious warning for the predators, "Bay kou, bliye; pote mak, sonje" (the hitter will forget, but the one hit remembers) And so, the Ayitian reflects always on the tortures inflicted upon him:

            When he was disconnected from his relatives, hands, feet and neck chained like a beast, forced to crouch at the bottom of the hold, whipped, and then bathed with salted water that cooked his wounds and burned his skin.

            When the slave-ship's captain poured hot molten lead in the throat of the strongest captive as to discipline the rest of them.  When the dock-workers filled up his kin with gun powder and a wick into his rectum, set fire so the town can watch and cheer as a "nigger" was being blown off.

            When their hands, feet, ears, head were being cut off as punishments. Their teeth were pulled out. They were forced to eat their own ears and excrement, to drink their own urine, and to lick other's spitttal. When they were hanged, nailed by their ears, and hooked on by their flesh. Their lips were sewn together, special muzzles were locked into their head to prevent them from eating the sugar cane. They were forced to rise up before dawn and to rest after sunset. They were not fed unless they were productive, yet they had no right to feel tired or sick. Their sexual organs were mutilated (crushed, cut or burnt). Young white boys organized the drowning of many ebons in captivity. Women were burnt alive after being gang raped; those who where not killed, if later they were found pregnant, were hanged by their toes, their bellies cut open so the fetus would fall on the ground to be crushed under the white man's boots (This illustrates the tragic death of a would-be mulatto). Young boys and girls were raped and sodomized. Many of these boys were threatened into performing the act of pederasty (which was unknown to them); when they refused or resisted these attacks, they were savagely beaten and killed.

            When wives were raped before their husbands . . !

            Parents were forced to witness the butchering of their offspring with machetes.

            When De Caradeux forced their forefathers to dig their own graves, and buried them alive. Others were compelled to stand inside the hole and then buried to their necks. After all this, Caradeux himself anointed their heads with honey, and left them as a feast for the red ants and the scorpions.

            When Rochambeau, the French general, sadistically brought in trained dogs from Cuba and had the Africans eaten alive before his audience of French strumpets who cheered the dogs' performance, and complimented their host. These dogs were especially trained to begin their attacks with the sexual organs. Sometimes, Rochambeau had the male African's penis burnt first. These vicious deeds applied to the females as well.

Father Labatte, a Jesuit priest, had some of the accused Vodoun priests attached to a pole, scourged to death with specially made cow-cods that cut open their skin, and then implanted their wounds with pimento (Hot pepper).

            When two coconut trees were pulled down together, his brothers and sisters attached to them by both their arms, and let go to be torn apart.

            When white scientists experimented on him like they do on rats and monkeys today...!

            When his peers committed suicide . . .!

            When they were branded like animals, rebranded and re-rebranded by each new oppressor. (Branding involves burning one with a red hot iron with the brander's initial.  The whites used to brand humans like they now do on cattle to show ownership).

            When his language, religion and drum (his culture) were taken away from him . . .!

            He was scarred so deeply that his heart-felt wounds are still hurting. It could as well be said that Africa's womb, will forever bleed the blood that "bloody" European bandits spilled of her mother-love's darker children. Her tears will forever flow 'till it floods her white shadow assassins' seeds. The Ayitian, amid his unfortunate brothers, seems to be the only one who remembers it all.

            Whatever is left untold in this panoply of European exercised corporal punishments and tortures against the African, in particular, should now reflect in the miroir-coeur of the modern European, for he carries the legacy of a psychopathic, but shrewd ancestor. After all, he is today's wealthy beneficiary of his forefather's demonic deeds.

WHAT HAVE WE ACCOMPLISHED?


          Plenty.  We have accomplished plenty in History!

Maybe, it's time to really revise the history books as we will attempt to list a number of humanitarian deeds accomplished by the people of Ayiti:

            Shall we begin by observing that the Ayitian took his freedom from a world fiercely dominated by whites.                     -1804

    •   Padre Jean made a mockery out of the Spaniard's armies. -1679
    •   Makandal made the colonists "crap" in their pants. -1756
    •   The Boukman revolution on August 21, 1791, was quoted by many credible historians as being "the most noble   revolution in the history of mankind."
    •  Toussaint Louverture brought Napoleon Bonaparte down to his knees even though he was still in the prime of his glory throughout Europe. The United States benefited largely from Toussaint's diplomatic skills, for Napoleon had no other choice but to sell the land of Louisiana (known in U.S. history as the Louisiana Purchase).
    • A regiment of 1,500 of our ancestors fought in the U.S's war of independence. King Henry Christophe was assumed to be a boy drummer in this war. -1779 (Read:  Lapierre, Bob. Savannah or "Chasseurs Volontaires de Saint-Domingue." 2005. Educa Vision, FL.)
    • Imagine yourself on a horse galloping through cannon balls the size of a soccer ball, defying death to get through your enemy. Your horse is hit, and back on your feet, you stand to cross the enemy's dreadful firing lines. That, Capois Lamort did. He was not a super-hero of fiction, for his fiercest enemy, general Rochambeau, had to stop the fighting to present Capois with his own sword in recognition of his historically unrivaled prowess. - November 18, 1803
    • Emperor Jean-Jacques Dessalines le Grand is one other hero who may remain unparalleled in the history of mankind as a war General. -1804-1806
    • When Venezualian and Columbian vessels met with foreign war boats on high seas, they protected themselves by hoisting the Ayitian flag (red and blue) to which they added the yellow band of the Spanish pavilion. And that is historically how the color of the flag of both these south American countries originated.
    • For his conquest of Peru, Pizarre found his support in Ayiti.
    • Officer Miranda from Venezuela (1792) found help and support from General Dessalines when he attempted to free his country. He failed only because he did not apply Dessalines' formula against the enemy. "Think like them, do onto them as they would do onto you," Dessalines advised him. Obviously, he did not listen.
    • Simon Bolivar (1816-1817) freed his country and subsequently all South America with the uncontested help of the Ayitians. Alexandre Petion (then president of the new Republic) supplied him with men, money, arms, ammunition and food. He did so with the mutual consent that slavery as a whole will be abolished wherever he is victorious throughout South America. And so Bolivar did. In recognition to Ayiti, a statute of A. Petion is erected in Venezuela. Columbia also affirms its gratitude.
    • In 1930, when Belgium occupied Holland, Ayiti was so helpful that the Dutch decided to add to their flag the Ayitian motto "L'Union fait la Force" (Men anpil, Chay pa lou).
  • "Haiti was the first state to admit the Hellenic/Greek National independence on January 15, 1822.  President Jean-Pierre Boyer sent troops and several tons of coffee to help the new nation sustain its newly earned freedom against the Ottoman Empire.  [Haiti and Greek Revolution 1821, Hellenics Never Forget, by Gregory Zorzos, celebrates the 100 black soldiers from Haiti who died helping the Greek fight for Independence.]"
    • August Comte in his positivist calendar proposed the name of Toussaint Louverture amid those to replace the saints from the Gregorian Calendar.
    • Is there any special reason why many of France's greatest authors were as fascinated with the Ayitian?

                    - Vicomte Chateaubriand, alias François August René, in his Mémoire d'Outre-Tombe, accused Napoleon                                     Bonaparte of imitating Toussaint Louverture.

                    - Lamartine (Alphonse-Marie-Louis de Prat) Wrote a poetic drama whereby Toussaint Louverture is the                               hero.

                   - Classical authors such as Abbé Raynal, Rémusat, Abbé Grégoire, Victor Hugo and Von Kleist expressed                           their unrestricted admiration for the indigenous Heroes of Saint-Domingue.

                    - Mariette Martineau's novel is about the life of Toussaint Louverture.

    • Pierre Toussaint, also known as "The other Toussaint," lived and died in New York City as a saint.
    • The general Alexandre Davy de la pailletterie, also known as Alexandre Dumas (the father), was born in Ayiti in 1782 from a slave mother, Cessette Dumas. Napoleon ordered Dumas, then General of the French Army, to go to Saint-Domingue (former colonial name of Ayiti) and to destroy it.  His orders were to destroy the island with all the slaves in it, if possible. Dumas refused, for he not only remembered that it was the land where his mother was buried, but also the land of his birth. He also understood that he could expect nothing special of Napoleon. General Dumas gave this reply to Napoleon "My mother was a negress from Saint-Domingue; Therefore, I am a "negro" of origin. I will not enslave or dishonor those men of my race." (Today, our own "army" of ebon men is doing just the opposite).  His offspring, Alexandre Dumas (the son), the famous author of "Les Trois Mousquetères" (the Three Musketeers), was born in 1802 at Villa Cotterêt.
    • Audubon (John James), the acclaimed artist and ornithologist, author of Oiseaux d'Amerique, was born in Ayiti.
    • Jacques Roumain, the author of Gouverneur de la Rosée, the first classic novel translated into 33 languages, was Ayitian.
    • Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, an Ayitian, founded Chicago, since he built the first house where the actual city is erected.
    • Jean Jacques Dessalines le Grand gave refuge to the Polish and allowed them to settle in the southern part of the island (Fond-des-Blancs) after the destruction of their country in 1795.
    • During World War II, when in Ellis Island, New York, the U.S Immigration office rejected the poor and sick Jews while accepting only the rich ones, Ayiti offered them a home and later a status. At night, the Dutch owned boats would drop them off shore clandestinely, and the next morning, Ayitians greeted them only with a "bonjou Blan!" (good morning white man!) Doesn't anybody remember anymore?
    • Ayiti was the first sovereign country in the Americas recognized by the Pope. Also, it was the first country to have signed an accord with Rome
    • In October, 1966 President François Duvalier wrote a new page in the history of Catholicism in Ayiti. Due to his tireless persistence, Pope Paul VI decreed that a new bishop be named in Ayiti. The first Ayitian Archbishop was Monsignor François Wolf Ligonde, who was assisted by four other Ayitian Bishops.
    • Does anyone else know that the famous Citadel Laferière, built at the summit of the Bonnêt-à-l'Evêque in 1806 by King Henry Christophe (and not the Brooklyn Bridge as they say in New York), is the 8th wonder of the world?
    • André Theard dominated the entire European continent on the running tracks for 5 years in a row during the Olympic games in Rome, 1926 and in 1928, Paris.
    • The first high-tech automatic telephone in the oxidental hemisphere was installed in Port-Au-Prince, Ayiti.
    • Is it necessary to reiterate that Alexandre Petion fathered the Pan-American movement when he initiated the idea of a global liberation of Africans from all imperial claws. Simon Bolivar surnamed him "the father of Pan-Americanism.  A different brand of mulatto, he was.
    • Does anyone know that the "Negritude" movement originated with the pseudo-classics from the Ayitian literature as far back as the 18th century with the Ayitian poets: Boisrond Tonnerre (1776-1806); Juste Chanlatte (1766-1828); Jules Milscent (1778-1842); François Romain Lherisson (1728-1858); Herard Dumesle (1784-1858); Jean Jacques Romane (1807-1858). Aimé Cesaire born in Martinique in 1913, refers to these men as simply, "my mentors."

Ayiti was always that worldly unpraised heaven where the sick, the hungry, the "persecuted" and the "poors" always found refuge. In revanche, she is overly praised by her own children who are worldwidely respected for their intelligence, manners and sophistication. The Ayitian literature is a gardenful of black and white bewitching expressions breaded with savoir faire and full of zesty poetries and proses in an inherited foreign language (French). With their plantation-born language (Kreyòl), one can imagine the writers' pencils rolling like fire-flies flirting with the dark. Former U.S Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) must be turning in his grave, and eating his words for his  racist remark about the Ayitians, saying "Think of it, "Neggers" speaking French". Langston J. Hughes, 1902-1967 (an ebon poet born in the U.S.), from a distance away from Ayiti and Africa, praised all his brothers beloved real unsung heroes. "Not even memories alive save those that history books create,..." He invoked them as "subdueds".

From Queen Anakawona (Queen of the Taïnos, the first Aytians, before 1492), to Claudinette Fouchard (queen of sugar 1960), Getty David (first runner-up Miss Universe, 1972), and Marjorie Judith Vincent (Miss America, 1991), beauty and wit imaged the land of the Ayitians. From Padre Jean to Jean Bertrand Aristide, bravery and honesty illustrate the ebons from Eben (Africa):

        This special page I dedicate to my children: Robert, Lesley, Jessica, Andrew, Denise, Ebony, and Ghabryelle.  It is             my hope that they will fully understand its content someday, for it discloses their concise history as Ayitians who were born and lived in the Diaspora.  To all Ayitian Children, good lecture.

These are excerpts from:

Ayiti: Africa's First Daughter

Bob Lapierre; © Copyright -- 1994