(NEW YORK- November 9, 2020) – The long history of Black resistance to oppression and tyranny has received too little scholarly attention. Monday evening two leading historians engaged in a lively virtual discussion about an icon of the age of revolution: François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture, the most prominent leader of the Haitian Revolution. The talk centered around the book Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture, written by Dr. Sudhir Hazareesingh, a fellow of the British Academy and Fellow and Tutor in Politics at Balliol College, Oxford.
He was interviewed by Dr. Peniel E. Joseph, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin; and author of The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. The event kicked off with remarks by Patrick A. Lespinasse, Senior Advisor and Lobbyist at Brown & Weinraub PLLC.
“The Haitian Revolution is the defining revolution of the age of revolutions…also the most creative revolution,” said Dr. Sudhir Hazareesingh, who went on to explain its impact on political revolutions and antislavery uprisings across the globe in the late 18th Century though the turn of the 19th Century.
“Black Spartacus is a major work of scholarship that rightfully centers the Haitian Revolution and Toussaint Louverture as the key architects of promoting Black citizenship and dignity around the world,” said Dr. Joseph.
Hear what else they had to say in the video above.
Lead sponsors for the discussion included The Haitian Roundtable, NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, Descendants of Hope, The New-York Historical Society Frederick Douglass Council, and The Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin.
Below is a list of community co-sponsors who also helped to make the conversation happen.
Family Action Network Movement (FANM)
Haitian American Caucus (Haiti and U.S.)
Haitian American Lawyers Association of New York
Haitian American Nurses Association of Greater New York
Haitian Americans United, Inc.
Haitian Americans United for Progress (HAUP)
Haitian Artists Assembly of Massachusetts
My Haiti Travels
Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center
The Gentlemen’s Factory
The Georgia Haitian American Chamber of Commerce
United Front of the Haitian Diaspora