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Monthly Archives: December 2003

The story is about land (?)

This is an intriguing idea – that the meta-meaning of the revolution was less about freedom than about land. According to Carolyn Fick, freedom to the slaves in Haiti was meaningless without land ownership. Ironic, then, that the Louisiana purchase opened up just that possibility for millions of American citizens. Read more of Corbett’s site […]

Toussint’s flaws; Napoleon’s designs

Toussaint made a fatal error in not confiding his plans in his generals. His weaknesses seem to include love of white culture and breeding, disdain for uneducated blacks, and isolation. Had he taken Moyse and Dessalines, for instance, into his confidence, had he educated them about the reasons behind his policies, they might have been […]

Surfing the waves of change.

Sometimes I can hardly believe that Toussaint accomplished what he did. His growth as a leader is nothing short of extraordinary. Once the Negroes had begun their revolt, once they had been armed and given hope, returning them to slavery would have been impossible. Toussaint must have seen that halting the revolution was impossible. He […]

Toussaint plays

Stumbled across references to a couple of Toussaint-related productions. Danny Glover starred as TL in a production at Carnegie Hall on May 23rd of this year. Also, I had been aware of the play For Love of Freedom, produced in 2001 at the Robey theatre in LA, but not that it was a trilogy! Apparently, […]

RK for Sunday

Korngold p 101 – Speculates on Toussaint’s reason for choosing the name Louverture. I would prefer to avoid speculation on such things. Who knows whether Toussaint himself consciously knew the reason? Sometimes our psyches assimilate circumstances for us. Perhaps, though, Toussaint did see himself as a savior. Perhaps he was aware of himself as uniquely […]

Toussaint in from the beginning?

I got my new PowerBook today, so I can hardly concentrate, but here goes… Korngold makes the astonishing claim that Toussaint was in on the revolution from the beginning in 1791! I’m stunned. I never heard this part before. According to Citizen Toussaint, the then-Governor of St. Domingue was convinced that the best way to […]

More from Korngold

p 61 ”[Toussaint} knew that the Negroes were oppressed not becase they were Negroes, but because they were weak. Epictetus and millions of other white men had been slaves. The chieftains who sold war prisoners and even their own subjects into slavery were of the same race as their victims. White planters were often cruel, […]

Korngold’s Toussaint

I’m reading Ralph Korngold’s Citizen Toussaint today. Uncle Jay says this book, published in 1944 seems to be the definitive book of Toussaint. The author certainly has good credentials and a chunky bibliography. Korngold was a French professor at one point and therefore was able to translate the French documents of the period. On page […]