JEAN JACQUES DESSALINES
Dessalines Three ideals
(taken from http://www.margueritelaurent.com/pressclips/dessalines.html#3
1. Dessalines ideal #1 -Black is the color of liberty, self-defense is a human right - Live free or die.
All Haitians, - Ayisyen yo - "shall hence forward be known only by the generic appellation of Blacks." (See, Dessalines' 1805 Constitution).
Thus, in Dessalines' Haiti, "Black," is essentially denied as a biological imperative and acknowledged as an African indigenous culture. Its boundaries are focalized and expanded, old lines limiting ancient Alkebulan (ancient Africa) are redefined. We all now know that race is purely a social construct with no scientific grounds. The truth is there is just one race, the human race and it began with African people who, in fact have a distinct culture(s) from the Europeans. But back at its creation, the country of Haiti was based on this truth. (See also, Blacks were the original peoples on the planet, including the Americas).
In Haiti, Black is de-racialized in terms of skin color giving the person superior substance but racialized as a people bound together because of their shared experience, distinct moral conscience vis-a-vis those they defeated, unique Kreyòl language and African-based culture. This paradox is the amazing genius of Dessalines' Haiti. He simultaneously empowered the Black "race" to both be proud of self and their lineage under the socia-politically constructed race paradigm and to transcend it.
First, Haiti is racialized because in creating Haiti in combat against the US/Euro enslavement tribes, Jean Jacques Dessalines empowered the Black "race" to carry the mantle of the African struggle for justice against racism, colonialism, forced assimilation, economic tyranny and imperialism. Second, Haiti is de-racialized because by naming and defining, in Haiti's first Constitution, the white settlers who fought on the side of the liberty, awarding them the appellation "Black," Dessalines showed his profound understanding that human nature goes deeper than skin color. Thus, he urged unity of humanity, co-existence, self-determination, working for consensus towards a common universal purpose, empowering both "Black" people and "white" people to not wear their identities on their skins, but to transcend it. Create more dignity for tommorow, for all people in the Seven Seas we share, and the invisible oneness we bow to, in a thousand ways.
For, Dessalines defined those who fought for the abolishment of chattel slavery in Haiti and against colonialism, including the few whites that did fight on the side of the Africans, as "Blacks." To study Dessalines' life, achievements and first Constitution is to come to know that a "Black" is a person (no matter his/her skin color, European or African) who stands for freedom, human dignity and against slavery, colonialism and imperialism.
No ideal in this modern world so directly confronts and conquers the biological fatalism of white privilege. Dessalines' 1805 Constitution stated that all Haitians " shall hence forward be known only by the generic appellation of Blacks." And Blacks included even the Polish and Germans who fought with the African warriors on the side of liberty and equality, not slavery, plunder and profit. Black people in Dessalines' Haiti are lovers-of-liberty who are willing to live free or die. To reiterate, there is no modern philosophy or ideal that has so directly provided the world with an ALTERNATIVE to the manufactured race game based on skin color as this Dessalines ideal.
Even after three hundred years of unremitting brutality from the white settlers, the great Dessalines could see beyond the scars and pain grooves of the masters' lash engraved on his own back and recognized certain white settlers had become Ayisyen in Haiti, awarding them the appellation "Black" because they fought on the side of liberty, proving skin color does not evidence content of character.
Haiti is a nation of Blacks, of lovers-of-liberty. That is the ideal Dessalines established at the creation of the nation of Haiti.
The primary difference between the Haitian (Ayisyen) culture that came to be in Haiti and the European culture it displaced is that Haitian culture does not accept bourgeois freedom as a moral way of life, of peaceful co-existence, or of extending the Haitian self into the world. The Europeans the Haitians defeated to become a nation extend Bourgeoisie Freedom as the highest form of human interaction and can screen out of conscience and consciousness all the genocide, slavery and tyranny they have imposed or acted out and dance, at the ball, so-to-speak while sneaking off to rape an enslaved African woman in the shack off the plantation and then rejoin the party in the salon, like Thomas Jefferson or the English and French "enlightenment" thinkers, to declare their civility above all the "races" and the equality of all white men who own property.
Bourgeoisie Freedom is when liberty, fraternity and democracy exist in the same space alongside slavery, genocide, exploitation, intolerance and tyranny - notably Black enslavement, exploitation and disenfranchisement in the Americas. This is what Ezili's HLLN calls Bourgeoisie Freedom. And, from Bwa Kayiman to now, Haitians have rejected this structure of human interaction, governance and communication.
“(I)t can never be too strongly stated that except for Haiti all the present African nationalities are the results of colonial strategies. Haiti is not. At Bwa Kayiman the amalgamated African tribes, allegedly 21 different African nations gathered together, named themselves - Ayisyen - and that union has NEVER wavered. It lifted up respect for the Taino-Ayisyen, respect for the African-Ayisyen, for African power, ancient African-Ginen knowledge requiring the blood, flesh, spirit, thoughts and breath of the African Ancestors from the beginning of time, depi lan Ginen. Manman Ayiti is not the product of capitalism. Haitians are the descendant of a people-centered "race," as opposed to a profit-centered "race," who are mystically evolved and live in harmony with nature and the forces of nature. Both the Taino-Ayisyen and the African-Ayisyen worshiped nature, and have always had the respect for nature that is only now referred to as living green." (The Haitian union that’s never wavered)
Haiti is the only country that denies this "culture" at its founding, the first modern Western nation that claimed universal, not bourgeois freedom, as its starting point and did not define freedom as the task of evicting the European masters in order to live in his old house, his old life! Haitians burned down the European edifices and on the ashes created their own reflection, for Henri Christophe and Jean Jacques Dessalines understood the old enslavers' house contained his spirit, his splintered bourgeoisie soul, and a culture and structure of human interaction that was not their own or the paradigm they wanted to go forward into the future with. In the enslaver's house, their spirit live - take that at all levels, the physical, metaphysical, psychological, political, social, economic, et al.. New paradigms, for the Haitian, mean reclaiming their own narrative, building from that ground zero, and self-reliance. Dessalines' definition of "Black" as lovers-of-liberty began that new paradigm.
For over 207-years now, the US/Euros (Mundele), not seeing themselves in Haiti, demean, vilify and constantly destroy Haiti (sponsoring 33-coup d'etats) for what Haiti stands for and struggles to bring to application, never seeing Haiti's indigenous value and Black culture as valid, always attempting, through their mulatto sons/Black freedmen collaborators (Bafyòti), religious education, endless debt and all forms of neocolonialism (Ndòki) , to re-enslave, re-colonize Haiti, render the people only as commodities for the use of liquidating capital through work so to erect their own US/Euro edifices of consumerism, materialism and "progress" (loot, plunder and pillage through the masks of liberalization, free markets, democracy, endless debt, humanitarian imperialism, war on drugs or terrorism)- which Haitian consistently see straight through and reject. (I pay this price for you.)
Not much has changed from the time the US/Euros' plundered and enslaved to save OUR soul from eternal damnation! But, to be rendered maids, butlers, sex vessels and commodities in their own country for the touristic pleasures of the Euro/US, its middlemen and global elites, is not the reason Blacks in Haiti created the nation of Ayiti. For instance, when Napoleon sent 50,000 soldiers to re-enslave Haiti, General Henry Christophe taught that freedom meant the willingness to burn down his own palatial house down first, so that Haiti's adversaries wouldn't use this material asset against Haitians. He said to the troops" on these ashes we will rebuilt Haiti."
Christophe exhibited critical knowledge of the US/Euro's cultural taste for pillage, plunder, colonizing, owning everything and hoarding-it-all as well as also recognizing that a love of anything above universal liberty and freedom, can and will be used to re-enslave you. All the plantations were burned to the ground, for the Haitian warriors' recognized that in the US/Euros' house, in the edifices of his power lies his splintered, wicked and garish soul - that venal bourgeois soul that allows for compartmentalization, for a mental dissociation, dissonance or displacement in a profit-based society that allows for the existence of tyranny in the same space as unlimited individual freedom for the privileged few. That was not the equitable society, Haiti's founding father, Jean Jacques Dessalines, wanted established in Haiti.
Dessalines advanced what is almost a utopia compared to the rank greed, violence and consumerism of Western Euro/US barbarity- Haiti's African, konbit culture is inherently opposed to Bourgeoisie Freedom - that is where tyranny, exclusion, slavery co-exist in the same space as unlimited freedom, wealth, ease, luxury, immense individual rights and order. Only the mentally colonized Haitian or religiously (Pèpè) educated Haitian may easily screen out of consciousness the exclusion of the masses and find this logical and possible in a Western "New World" purportedly based on logic and science. Indeed, the current world powers/aggressor nations accept the products of science but reject scientific logic, methods, the laws of physics and chemistry, et al... Instead, they choose racial (biological fatalism), sexual and religious chauvinism, fear, territoriality, aggression, a profit-over-people monetary system, a consciousness based on scarcity and ideology that separates rather than uniting the human species.
This Dessalines philosophy - Black means loving liberty and freedom above all other pursuits (of "happinesses") - directly and humanely defeats the socially manufactured white/black “race” dialogue of the US/Euro powers that Dessalines and his peoples in Haiti confronted and is one of the primary reason why the spread of Haiti's revolution, was, and still is, so feared by the US/Euro slave owners, colonizers and their descendants who depend on "white" as code to designate, in contrast to "Black," what's "good," "civilized" or "superior" in order to unify the European tribes and divide and conquer peoples of color worldwide. Dessalines did not only defeat European slavery and colonialism in one fell swoop in physical combat with the greatest European armies of the time, but he also ideologically decimated the basis for white privilege, by designating "Ayisyen" as "Blacks" not based on skin color, but as all persons who took arms or positive action against tyranny, oppression, slavery.
Also, in defining Blacks as "Ayisyen" this way, Dessalines systematically codified a customary practice or belief held and commonly extended in daily life by the amalgamated Africans who then formed Haiti's enslaved masses and had gathered together as a family against colonialism and slavery. These Haitians always saw "whites" and "blacks" who were despots or tyrants as strangers, the foreigners, the colonists, the imperialists, or, collectively, as white(s) - "blan" or "blan-yo." And definitely not good and acceptable "family" members of the community, no matter the person's actual skin color. Dessalines simply codified this African concept of universal fraternity and brotherhood that is based on moral action in Haiti's founding Constitution. To Haitians, "Black" is family. Black is Ayisyen. But "blacks" who are tyrannical or act as agents for the white settlers' oppression are not Ayisyen, or family, but "white" - blan. When Dessalines designated Blacks as the appellation for Haiti's liberators, no matter the persons skin color, the masses who freed themselves from all the blan, or blan-yo, understood this well, and still do.
Combining Dessalines' Law with Dessalines' Three Ideals, the Haitian poet, Feliks Moriso Lewa, once wrote, in his famous poem Blan Mannan that "Dessalines who is my history teacher tells me the only good white is the white that shoots the bad white."
Dessalines' Zero Tolerance for despots was expressed thus: "We will detonate and burn Haiti down and all rather die before we are returned to slavery and colonialism." In Kreyol - Desalin di: "Depi teritwa nou an menase, koupe tèt, boule kay" paske Ayisyen pap retounen lan esklavaj." (See also, The Revolutionary Potential of Haiti, its creeds, values and struggle).
Haiti founding father, Jean Jacques Dessalines' foremost legacy to Haitians is the dictum "name yourself," "witness to yourself, to your own humanity" - that is, self-determination, self-love.
And, along with self-determination, his life and triumphs taught Haitians to treasure self-defense, to live free or die. That is, if revolutionary violence is the only solution left (as was the case when Toussaint Louverture's diplomatic strategies had failed to dissuade the cruel existing order) than a scorch earth, live free or die - koupe tèt, boule kay - REVOLUTION, is always preferable than to reconcile with injustice.
The Haitian Union - Linyon fè la fòs - and call to action that began the Haitian revolution wasn't so that the assets of the country would be given back to the sons of France or to the white settlers' ruling feudal lords/oligarchs, leaving the sons and daughters of Africa with nothing. That union, that call and Haiti's revolutionary peoples' initial commitment to universal freedom and economic democracy, made at Bwa Kayiman and the Lovers-of-Liberty it named and elevated, has never wavered. (See, Haiti's Ruling Oligarchy).
2. Dessalines ideal #2 - What's in a name?
"Ayiti" is the Taino name for the Island freed by Jean Jacques Dessalines' people.
The word Ayi in the Fon African language means "earth." The word Ayiti is both Amerindian and African and means old sacred highland or sacred homeland. Besides "Ayiti", the Taino Ayisyen also referred to the island as Kiskeya ("mother of the earth") and Bohio ("home"). But Ayiti was the more widely used name, meaning an ancient and sacred soil/land/earth, a sacred highland or hallowed ground. The amalgamated African tribes became "Ayisyen" in Ayiti, thereby honoring Africa's strengths and the spirit of the fallen Taino Ayisyen.
When it came to naming the island the African warriors had freed from the white settlers' tyranny after 300-years of brutal and bloody enslavement, it took a supremely centered man to eschew colonial names and a great humanist to remember the original inhabitants, the Taino Haitian (or Taino Ayisyen), descendants of the Arawaks, and an Arawakan-speaking people who had been brutally decimated by the white settlers. Haiti's founding father, Jean Jacques Dessalines is that great genius who would name the country that defeated European enslavement, forced assimilation, direct colonialism, imperialism and the theory of white superiority.
"I Have Avenged America," delared Jean Jacques Dessalines.
The name honors the spirit, calls forth the force of the original inhabitants of Haiti and the Taino Ayisyen who suffered almost complete genocide at the hands of the white settlers.
So, though the original Taino Ayisyen inhabitants are no more, the country they called "Ayiti" still lives. Still exists through the African-Haitian, who defeated the slaughterers of the original Taino-Haitian. Haitian Taino bloodlines and culture live in African Ayisyen bloodlines in Haiti and in Haiti’s Vodun culture of ancestral reverence, reverence for nature, balance, harmony with environment and of the interconnectedness of all life, which belief system the Taino Haitians shared in common with the forcibly imported Africans. Through the living triumphs of these Africans, who re-named themselves in the Taino language, the Taino did not die out.
The amalgamated African tribes who, at Bwa Kayiman, became ONE PEOPLE, one "nation" with one Kreyòl tongue and mission, recognized, on several levels, the land called Ayiti by the Taino. First, because the word Ayi in the Fon African language meant "earth." Ayiti meant something that resonated with Black origin and meaning (Ayiti, Ayizan, Ayida Wedo, Ayibobo, Ayibohio!) to the amalgamated African tribes who became Ayisyen in Ayiti. And two, as Blacks are the original peoples on this EARTH or planet, they are also the world's aboriginal or autochthon peoples.
So, it is a question of which African or succession of African descendants and cultures populating the Americas, having left African 80 to 100thousand years ago, gave the name Ayiti to the island first. The ancient Africans who lived on the old island of Haiti - the oldest land mass in the Americas, over 76 to 90million years old - or, the Haitian Taino who came to be living on "mother of the earth/Kiskeya", on "home/Bohio", on "Ayi(ti)/old sacred earth/sacred homeland" in the time of Columbus? (See, Blacks were the original peoples in the Americas; -Video: WAY Before Columbus or the Egypt Pyramids Washitaw 1 of 4 ; Video - Ivan Van Sertima: They Came Before Columbus, A History of the African-Olmecs: Black Civilizations of America from Prehistoric Times to the Present Era by Paul Alfred Barton, http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail~bookid~7283.aspx, Haiti a billion years, Bwa Kayiman, 2008: Reclaiming the Haitian People's Vodun Narrative at Bwa Kayiman; The Unity That's Never Wavered; Vodun Konbit and Vodun Lakou and, Haiti's First Declaration of Independence.)
It is most significant that, post-independence, generations upon generations of African Haitians in Haiti have possessively and fondly referred to Haiti as Haiti Toma!, meaning this old land is our land! This homeland - Bohio/home - is ours! These rooted African Haitians say Ayiti means "this sacred highland, this ancient sacred trust is our/my home or land."
This, is the untold counter-colonial narrative of Ayiti/AyiBohio and how Ancestral Black/Africa/Alkebulan is viscerally entwined, on many levels, in today's African Ayiti. Nonetheless, to name the country "Ayiti" simultaneously honors the spirit, the memory of the indigenous Haitian Taino/Arawak who lived on the land immediately before the white settlers' arrived. The profound non-Eurocentric roots, history, humaneness, beauty, truth and values and cultural patrimony extended by the name "Ayiti" unnerves the Euro/US imperialists. Hence, in 1930, during the US occupation of Haiti, the United States Geographic Board (U.S.G.B.) unilaterally renamed the Island of Haiti back to the Spanish colonizer’s appellation of “Hispaniola” - Little Spain! Supposedly this was "to avoid confusion between the name of the Republic of Haiti and that of the entire island." (See, En Memoires Des Arawaks et Tainos D'Haiti and, "Rename the Island: Quisqueya, not Hispaniola 'Quisqueya' honors Taino culture whereas 'Hispaniola' recalls the Amerindian genocide" By Odette Roy Fombrun and The Haitian Arawak Movement).
The US had no right whatsoever to abridge Haiti's revolution in this manner. Of course, Haitians in Haiti and Haiti's textbooks still refer to the island by its proper name -"the Island of Haiti." That, of course, doesn't stop the offense most knowledgeable Haitians feel every instance the mass media refers to the Island of Haiti as "Hispaniola" in their reportings and particularly on TV during the hurricane season. For us at HLLN, the Island will always be the Island of Haiti or Ayiti. But, to push back Dessalines' revolution is the reason for all the imperialist interventions in Haiti since Haiti's independence.
Once Ezili's HLLN learned how the Island was renamed "Hispaniola" by the US, once given the facts of the matter, there is no choice but to remember how Dessalines wisely taught us to say NO to all despots and tyrants. The name of the island cannot arbitrarily just be renounced by the US! Se pa kado blan yo te fè nou. Se san zansèt nou yo ki te koule. We call the Island by its name - Ayiti!
For, this serious error and assassination of the Island of Haiti's Amerindian and African past cannot be carried forward by Haitians and must be consistently and relentlessly renounced.
HLLN's To-Tell-The-Truth-About-Haiti Forums teach that, to say “Haitian” – Ayisyen – is a profoundly important utterance. For to say “Haitian” - Ayisyen – is to immortalize, raise up the Ayi souls of Africa and the Ayiti souls of the Amerindians destroyed through the Spanish colonizers genocide in Haiti. To rename the Island back to "little Spain" or to vilify a Haitian African or Haitian Taino because of his/her revolutionary legacy and desire for independence, is to stand against all that Haiti is. It is to stand against the courageous Amerindian spirit Haitian Africans animate with each breath of existence today. It is to undermine, not only the former owners of the land called Ayiti, but also the amalgamated African tribes and the few European freedom lovers who were the first to formally put liberty into application since the coming of Columbus to the Americas.
(See also, En Memoires Des Arawaks et Tainos D'Haiti, Defamed! - In memory of the Arawaks and Tainos of Haiti, the Island's name is Haiti, not 'Hispaniola' as the newscasters' insist every time they report on tropical storms and in the hurricane seasons. Also, in term of diseases on the Island of Ayiti, Columbus' sailors brought syphilis to the Island and decimated the Amerindians population, not the converse...The same for the HIV/AIDS of these modern times, devastating Haiti and Africa originating from the U.S./Euro travelers and their scientists' laboratories and injected into chimps in Zaire, now renamed the Congo.
See also: "....Another common practice among European explorers was to give "smallpox blankets" to the Indians. Since smallpox was unknown on this continent prior to the arrival of the Europeans, Native Americans did not have any natural immunity to the disease so smallpox would effectively wipe out entire villages with very little effort required by the Europeans...The Wampanoag lost 70 percent of their population to the epidemic and the Massachusetts lost 90 percent. Most of the Wampanoag had died from the smallpox epidemic so when the Pilgrims arrived they found well-cleared fields which they claimed for their own. A Puritan colonist, quoted by Harvard University's Perry Miller, praised the plague that had wiped out the Indians for it was "the wonderful preparation of the Lord Jesus Christ, by his providence for his people's abode in the Western world." Historians have since speculated endlessly on why the woods in the region resembled a park to the disembarking Pilgrims in 1620. The reason should have been obvious: hundreds, if not thousands, of people had lived there just five years before. In less than three generations the settlers would turn all of New England into a charnel house for Native Americans, and fire the economic engines of slavery throughout English-speaking America. Plymouth Rock is the place where the nightmare truly began..." ( The Black Commentator, The History of Thanksgiving) - (See also: Vaccinate Haiti! and Defamed! -Page 1, - Page 2, Pg. 3, Pg. 4, Pg. 5 and, Pg. 6 ; La Conspiration Du Silence:Genocide in Haiti by mass vaccination while Haiti is occupied by Dessalines' enemies and other such white savior missionaries/ mercenaries...).
Black are the original peoples on planet earth, including the Americas and shared core cultural, social and religious values with the enslaved Blacks the Euro/US brought, in chains, to the Americas.
Within the Western Hemisphere, Haiti is a focal point of an African-Indian cultural, Vodun blood fusion.
The world is just starting to learn that the Africans were the original peoples of the Americas. A "large percentage of the Aboriginal First People of the Americas were Ethnic Black Indians affected by foreign invasion...Indian removal, as well as impacted by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the Black Holocaust." (See, Black Indians United Legal Defense Fund - Thanksgiving Day Message). More particularly, according to Paul Barton, "the indigenous Blacks to the Americas who arrived in the Americas earlier than 100,000 years before Christ" have been obliterated from Euro/US history books.
This explains why it is that all "Free Blacks" who were found in remote locations in the Americas not habited by white settlers, are said to have been run-away enslaved Africans, brought to the Americas in chains by the white settlers, who inter-married with the "Native Indians". Does this also explain why Jean Jacques Dessalines chose to re-establish the "Indian" - perhaps the Black autochthons’ name - “Ayiti,” to the new African nation he had freed and founded? Was Dessalines' denying the white settler's re-writting of world history and honoring the history of humanity, honoring the presence of Black people as the world's indigenous peoples, including to the Americas before the arrival of the Mongoloid Indian population to the Americas?
Is that also another reason, knowing that Blacks were the original trustees of this old and sacred land; were original to the Americas before all the invaders, including the Siberian/Asian Native Americans, that reaching back for Black, Jean Jacques Dessalines decreed in Haiti's first Constitution that “all citizens in Haiti shall be known by the appellation "Black?" ( See, Some of the oldest remains found so far in the Americas; Black Indians - An HLLN appeal for equity and justice, Black Indians United Legal Defense Fund - Thanksgiving Day Message; A message from the Choctaw- Black Indians, original indigenous peoples of the Americas on July 4, 2008 (Who Are We?); Video: WAY Before Columbus or the Egypt Pyramids Washitaw 1 of 4 and The 2008 Historic Mission to Enid, Oklahoma to Gather with the Black Indians (Flyer) and, A History of the African-Olmecs: Black Civilizations of America from Prehistoric Times to the Present Era by Paul Alfred Barton, http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail~bookid~7283.aspx, Haiti a billion years, and Bwa Kayiman, 2008: Reclaiming the Haitian People's Vodun Narrative at Bwa Kayiman ; Haiti Epistemology).
Did the indigenous Haitian army of Jean Jacques Dessalines' era understand the term "Black" in the "autochthones" manner – that is, that the Blacks, those descendants of ancient Alkebulan who are today socially and politically labeled and identified as “Africans” where living in the Americas since time immemorial; where there in the Americas eons ago, as the original peoples on earth, before the one landmass on the earth was broken during the ice age and separated into continents?
From what schools teaches and from the images we see on TV, it appears the Native Americans are clearly of Asian/mongoloid descent and seem to have colonized the entire American continent from one end to the other as well as the Caribbean islands.
But the hard proof reveals the oldest remains found in the Americas is African and dates back at least 3,000 years earlier than the Asian-like Native American remains found. Still, it may be impossible to know more for quite sometime because the Native Americans understandably don't want to lose the legal and social standings they enjoy over the Black Indians within their nations and the Black autochthones elsewhere in the Americas. Officialdom is vested in this divide and conquer and upholding on to its arcane ideas. Non-white cultures (African-Americans, Autochthons, Caribbeaners, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans) in the Americas still haven't matured into the cogent idea that they don't need to assimilate into each other to have a successful political movement that serves all their interests. So, this information that Africans were "first" threatens not only the "great discover" American narrative but the non-white ethnic groups in the Americas who take succor from not being at the "very bottom" of the American "race"-strata. Not to mention that the hegemony of white supremacy shall end the day all Blacks, African-Americans, Autochthons, Caribbeaners, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans in the Americas, unify to systematize their same struggles against RACISM. For each have a historic, if not ownership, stake to the Americas, the planet. Each have a history that is older than European colonization.
Thus, white officialdom does not want to re-write its - "American" narrative, its black vs white (evil vs good) - history. So, it censors mass exposure of the scientific evidence reported and currently available in the public domain that goes against what the school textbooks teach, while actively re-burying - hindering, discouraging research, further DNA and other more accurate re-testing of - newly unearthed remains or previously found remains in the Americas. (i.e. The Penon Woman III; Luzia Woman; Spirit Cave Man and the 9,200-year-old Kennewick Man). But does it matter? Some say it does, if Africans are to take their rightful place in history. And, that it is quite within the realm of possibilities that the traveling Black warriors and maroons who came to fight the white settlers with Dessalines in Jean Jacques Dessalines' era understood that Blacks to the Americas where not all imported slaves from Africa.
To support this we note that, besides taking on the Native American name "Ayiti," there is a long tradition of Haitian partnership of rebellion and intermarriage between Africans and the various nations of Native American Indians who where in Haiti, or, made their way from all over the Americas to fight against the white settlers in Haiti.
To support the idea that Black were the indigenous peoples of the WORLD, including the Americas, we look at the claims of the Black Washitaw Moors in the US who contend that Black people did not travel to the Americas, they were in the Americas WAY Before Columbus or the Egypt Pyramids when the world was ONE landmass. Consider also another contention, as expressed by Paul Alfred Barton's book, A History of the African-Olmecs and Black Civilizations of America From Prehistoric Times to the Present Era, where we learn that:
"... humans originated in Africa and migrated to other regions. Those who went to the cold northern lands adapted to the cold climate... the very first humans to inhabit the Americas and the entire world came out of Africa between 200,000 to 100,000 years ago. According to The Gladwin Thesis (1947), Blacks were in the Americas as early as 70,000 B.C. These first Blacks may have been the Australoid type as well as diminutive Blacks such as the Pygmies, Agta, Bushmen and others.
It is unlikely that the prehistoric Blacks whose remains have been discovered in the Americas, evolved from Mongoloids and developed in situ in the Americas, into Negritic racial types. This idea can be refuted due to the fact that if humans entered the Americas between 30,000 years B.C. to 150,000 years B.C., they would have had to have been Negroid. Prehistoric Blacks were moving worldwide. Consequently, the prehistoric migrants to the Americas during that period would have had to have been Negroid and Black. It seems more possible that people who were Negritic changed into the Mongoloid type in the Americas in order to adapt to the cold climate in the north. In fact, the Kong and San peoples of Southern Africa, who live in climatic regions similar to that of East Asia (the cold, windy, high veldt of Southern Africa) possess the so-called "Mongoloid" characteristics such as yellowish-brown skin, short stature and the epicantus eye fold. Yet, genetically and in most other aspects, they are typical Negroids with features that can be found from the tip of Southern Africa to North Africa among the various Negritic peoples. These Negritic peoples are the among the earliest examples of the prehistoric Homo sapien types who once settled the entire world before the development of distinct "races" in various parts of the planet..." http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail~bookid~7283.aspx; Haiti a billion years.
The Amalgamated African tribes who were imported to Haiti through slave ships and the Tainos/Arawaks (most likely the history lost is that "a large percentage" of these “natives” were Black autochthonic Indians or descendants of the Black autochthonic Indians) shared core cultural, social and religious values and a history of oppression by the white settlers. (See also, Video: WAY Before Columbus or the Egypt Pyramids Washitaw 1 of 4, which contents Blacks were in the Americas when the world was ONE landmass).
(Listen to Susan Sarandon talk about the partnership between the Africans and Native Americans in Haiti and the Americas. To hear Susan Sarandon piece, go to Haitiantreasures at http://www.haitiantreasures.com/index.htm ; the whole "Happy Birthday Haiti" is at
"…upon their arrival in slave ships, the peoples of the Central African forests found they had much in common with the Tainos that had survived. Africans and Caribbean Indians shared core religious beliefs and a history of oppression by their European conquerors….Escaped slaves fled to the mountains where they joined the indigenous Indian tribes in a resistance movement. The African/Indian cultural fusion lives on in Haiti in the bloodlines of many families."
( http://www.margueritelaurent.com/pressclips/BlackIndians.html#oldest )
Knowing that Africans where the original peoples of the Americas, not the "Native" Americans as we've all been taught, gives the existence of Ayiti - a Black Nation in the Americas, new significance. For, someday when the scientific evidence becomes too well-known to be hidden, obfuscated or contested, Haiti may then more correctly be said to be one of the first re-captured Black Nation in not, the New World, but on planet earth.
Until that knowledge rises - until artificial boundaries, nation-state lines are abandoned and our human families are united, and the circle becomes unbroken (as the link between Lè Marasa, Lè Mò e Lè Mistè and all the particles of the universe that intersect and fill up space) - until then, only the most courageous of un-assimilated Haitians and Blacks shall live to extend the consciousness that Haiti is hallowed ground, set by our common Black ancestors - both the autochtones to the Americas and the Blacks imported as slaves, who met again their ancient Black ancestors and then there in Haiti gathered together at Bwa Kayiman as one to re-create Ayiti - as a place where Black peoples could be free within a sea full of Asian and Euro/U.S. enslaver mindsets.
Until the knowledge of the Vodouist rises that we are not bounded by the visible world but by the unity and dynamism of a great cosmic whole of which only certain parts are visible, until then only the extraordinarily brave shall deny the ruling oligarchs, their mores, stereotypes, domestication of Go(o)d, pollution of nature and neocolonialism, to recall and extend that upon that sacred mountain called Ayiti, soaked in the blood of visionary Black warriors, a sacred trust for Alkebulan and the planet is carved out where "Black" (defined as "inferior" by invaders, colonizers and white settlers) was returned to its indigenous meaning by Black - the lovers of liberty, the moral descendants of the gentle parents of humankind - the first trustees of planet earth, of the invisible and irreducible essences (the "Lwas"). This concept of Black, meaning folks with moral restraints, lovers of liberty, the first trustees of planet earth, will also someday rise from the bitter twisted lies it has been set in since Dessalines' assassination in 1806.
Ayiti was created by Dessalines and his mainly Vodouist peoples whose way where that of masters and protectors of the spirit world, healing nature, and about extending sacred energies and the Ancient Ancestors' moral compasses for humanity.
History though, seems to be on a horrific and vicious treadmill, repeating itself, coming back fully as broken a circle as when waves of humankind traveled from Asia and Europe, encountering self in an older America, Africa and even Australia, but not seeing family.
Today, history has come full circle with all the old settlers' pathologies intact, as we note the unfortunate and even genocidal role of Asia and China in Haiti and Africa, be it the role of China in supporting the current Arab whitening of Darfu in the Sudan, their support within the UN Security council in upholding the current (MINUSTHA) occupation of Haiti; or the role of the UN soldiers from Asia ( Jordani, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Chinese, Arab-Lebanese) in the current genocide, forced miscegenation and dividing of Haitian society - through rape, slaughter, forced removal/depopulation, abuse, indefinite incarceration of Haiti's young men, economic exploitation by Haiti's Arab-Lebanese elites, defamation, massive vaccination and medical experimentation of the enchained, marginalized and isolated poor Haitian masses, sham elections run by the international community and their black overseers, all through the use of white power, privilege or access to white power/privilege networks as their tools. (See also, Remembering July 6, 2005 and the UN massacre of innocent civilians from Site Soley; Dred Wilme speaks; July 6 - International Day Against the Extermination of Black Youths; Haitian Children put in Chains by the whites; Haiti's Ruling Oligarchy; Going Back to Source - Lasous O M Pwale; Jan. 1, 2009 - Another Independence Day Under Occupation).
3. Dessalines ideal #3 - Black ruled Independent Nation
And finally, the greatest of Dessalines' vision and ideals is that Haiti would be a Black independent nation. Dessalines v. Toussaint ( Black ruled Independent Nation vs. Black ruled French Colony, with Black overseers/feudal lords governing for the colonist/imperialist. (Compare, Dessalines' 1805 Independence Constitution and Toussaint's 1801 Colonial, Catholic and Eurocentric Constitution.See, Haiti's First Declaration of Independence.)
Toussaint Louverture fought for a Black ruled French colony. This was absolutely unthinkable to the slave-owners, who kidnapped Toussaint Louverture, deported him, tortured him and let him die of starvation at a prison fortress in Fort du Joux, France. Until, that is, Dessalines came along with a greater demand, the bigger achievement - to make Haiti a Black ruled independent nation. Then, to the Euro/US tribes, Toussaint Louverture's aspirations for a "Black ruled French colony" didn't seem so extreme! You'll notice even today Louverture is lauded; Dessalines still vilified, criminalized and demonized. His achievement is still unthinkable to the powers-that-be. (See, Haiti's Act of Independence - Diskou Desalin Premye Janvye 1804, Gonaive, Haiti; and Haiti's First Declaration of Independence - Nov. 29, 1803 signed by three Black generals who fought at Vertieres - Dessalines, Christophe and Clerveaux. Boyer/Petion did not fight on the side of freedom in any of great Haitian battles. They were not at Crete a Pierrot, nor Vertierres.)
For centuries now these powers, with their black overseers in Haiti, have press forward Toussaint Louverture's vision of Haiti as a Black-ruled colony first for the French and now for the US and demonized Dessalines' dream. In fact, Dessalines’ very name was cursed in Haiti (under Petion's 12 year rule and Boyer's 25 years) and to just speak his name was to face alienation, prison, criminalization and assassination.
But, as all African-Ayisyen's know, criminalization, imprisonment and assassination cannot destroy the indestructible.
Dessalines' dream of a "Black ruled independent Haiti" where the assets of the country are equitably divided amongst all Haitians, is what Haitians have been struggling to achieve, within a hostile American Mediterranean, for over 200 years. Dessalines is so revered by Haitians, he is the ONLY one of the revolutionary heroes of Haiti, to become a Lwa. He is Haiti's liberator, founding father, first ruler, teacher, guide and spiritual father. (See, Felix Morrisseau-Leroy poem, "Thank you Father Dessalines"; see Haiti's National Anthem called Dessaline's Song or La Desalinyen. Listen to the audio.)
"Haiti's liberator and founding father, General Jean Jacques Dessalines, said, "I Want the Assets of the Country to be Equitably Divided" and for that he was assassinated by the mulatto sons of France. That was the first coup d'etat, the Haitian holocaust - organized exclusion of the masses, misery, poverty and the impunity of the economic elite - continues (with Feb. 29, 2004 marking the 33rd coup d'etat). Haiti's peoples continue to resist the return of despots, tyrants and enslavers who wage war on the poor majority and Black, contain-them-in poverty through neocolonialism' debts, "free trade" and foreign "investments." These neocolonial tyrants refuse to allow an equitable division of wealth, excluding the majority in Haiti from sharing in the country's wealth and assets." (See also, Et revient la question. Et ceux dont les pères sont en Afrique, ils n'auront donc rien ; Haiti's First Declaration of Independence; Ezili's counter-colonial narrative on Vodun; Blacks were the original peoples in the Americas; Kanga Mundele: Our mission to live free or die trying, Another Haitian Independence Day under occupation; The Legacy of Impunity of One Sector-Who killed Dessalines?; The Legacy of Impunity: The Neoconlonialist inciting political instability is the problem. Haiti is underdeveloped in crime, corruption, violence, compared to other nations; Haiti's Ruling Oligarchy).
Dessalines’ faith, insistence on the natural right of a Black person to take up arms in self-defense, his dream of a Black independent nation and ideas for equal and equitable economic redistribution is what all the coup d'etats since 1806, including the latest one in February of 2004 are trying to bury. Yet, no matter the atrocities suffered by the most vilified peoples in this Western Hemisphere, Dessalines' dream cannot be cut from them, still lives in Haitian veins. Jean Jacques Dessalines is still being born, rising everyday. No matter what you’ve read, Jean Jacques Dessalines, not Toussaint Louverture, is Haiti’s founding father and the masses’ most revered revolutionary hero, a Vodun Lwa - Vodun God, an irreducible essence, indestructible spirit - and one of the world’s greatest humanitarian, political strategist, and wisest of world philosophers.
The spirit of Jean Jacques Dessalines is the force the Haitian masses recalled and called upon after the kidnapping of president Jean Bertrand Aristide on February 29, 2004. His vision of a Black-ruled-independent-nation is the vision that still animates Haiti’s Black majority and their current struggle against UN/US orchestrated assassinations, foreign occupation, endless debt, dependency, domination, imprisonment and criminalization.
Dessalines wakes up everyday in Haiti and in the Haitian Diaspora. He left his descendants only one option to slavery, racism, colonialism and imperialism and his three ideals are brought into focus with this one dictum: live free or die.
On October 17, 2006 (2007, 2008, 2009...), HLLN and the People of Haiti will mark the 200th (201, 202, 203...) anniversary of the assassination of Haiti's founding father - General Jean Jacques Dessalines. Please join us in the last of our four yearly event for the FreeHaitiMovement.
Join HLLN and the grassroots pro-democracy movement in Haiti in honoring Haiti's centuries of struggle and triumphs over tyranny.
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