August 23 In Caribbean History

TransAtlantic Slavery featured a unique system called Chattel Slavery that legally reduced Africans to private property after capture, which (property) was then insured for the risky passage across the Atlantic, sold by auction on arrival and forced to slave on estates for the rest of their lives. It is because of the particularly brutal nature of TransAtlantic slavery that the United Nations has designated it as ‘The Worst Crime Against Humanity’ in the history of humankind; and it is because the beginning of its end started in Haiti that UNESCO chose August 23 as the remembrance date. In this new age of growing enlightenment, CARICOM governments, while pursuing Reparations from Britain, should also now seriously consider when and how they’ll start treating Emancipation Day for what it really was and give appropriate recognition to August 23.

Commemorating The US Occupation of Haiti

The U.S. imperialists militarily occupied Haiti 105 years ago and has never left. Most recently in 2020, the U.S. collaborating with Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, was involved in the creation of a regrouping of criminal armed gangs to perpetuate a new dictatorship. This has been preceded by decades of other interference in Haiti. Canada, a long-time appeaser of U.S. imperialism, has also been directly involved in the oppression of the Haitian people through the 2004 coup and other nefarious activities.

Lessons of the Haitian Revolution Shine Like a Flambeau

Historical analysis of the late 18th and early 19th century era of revolutionary change reflects the contrast in approach towards the American, French and Haitian episodes. All could be said to have ushered in a new society, even a new era of political and economic development following rupture with the ancien regime. Yet Haiti, which brought the representatives of the enslaved people to power and codified that, is scorned at worst, patronised at best. Compare with the American and French episodes which explicitly ended feudalism and monarchical rule (as did Haiti) and brought a new class to power, personified in the US version by white men of property - and explicitly codified as such. Both are extolled as historical beacons.