Black People : Black Liberation Veterans

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Ankhur, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Nat Turner
    Nat Turner was born in Southampton, Virginia on 2nd October, 1800. Nat, the son of slaves, was the property of Benjamin Turner, a prosperous plantation owner. Nat's mother and grandmother had been brought to America from Africa and had a deep hatred of slavery.

    Nat grew up sharing his mother's view of slavery. Taught to read by his master's son, Nat developed deep religious beliefs and encouraged by his parents, gradually began to believe that God had chosen him to lead his people out of slavery.

    In 1831 Turner was sold to Joseph Travis. In February of that year an eclipse of the sun convinced Turner that this was a supernatural sign from God to start an insurrection. However, it wasn't until August 21st that Turner and about seven other slaves killed Travis and his family to launch his rebellion. In all, about 50 whites were killed.

    Turner had hoped this his action would cause a massive slave uprising but only 75 joined his rebellion. Over 3,000 members of the state militia were sent to deal with Turner's rebellion, and they were soon defeated. In retaliation, more than a hundred innocent slaves were killed. Turner went into hiding but was captured six weeks later. Nat Turner was executed on 11th November, 1831.

    Denamark Vesey
    Denmark Vesey (1767-1822), an African American who fought to liberate his people from slavery, planned an abortive slave insurrection.

    Denmark Vesey, whose original name was Telemanque, was born in West Africa. As a youth, he was captured, sold as a slave, and brought to America. In 1781 he came to the attention of a slaver, Capt. Vesey, who was "struck with the beauty, alertness, and intelligence" of the boy. Vesey, a resident of Charleston, S.C., acquired the boy. The captain had "no occasion to repent" his purchase of Denmark, who "proved for 20 years a most faithful slave."

    In 1800 Vesey won a $1,500 lottery prize, with which he purchased his freedom and opened a carpentry shop. Soon this highly skilled artisan became "distinguished for [his] great strength and activity. Among his color he was always looked up to with awe and respect" by both black and white Americans. He acquired property and became prosperous.

    Nevertheless, Vesey was not content with his relatively successful life. He hated slavery and slaveholders. This brilliant man versed himself in all the available antislavery arguments and spoke out against the abuse and exploitation of his own people. Believing in equality for everyone and vowing never to rest until his people were free, he became the political provocateur, agitating and moving his brethren to resist their enslavement.

    Selecting a cadre of exceptional lieutenants, Vesey began organizing the black community in and around Charleston to revolt. He developed a very sophisticated scheme to carry out his plan. The conspiracy included over 9,000 slaves and "free" blacks in Charleston and on the neighboring plantations.

    The revolt, which was scheduled to occur on July 14, 1822, was betrayed before it could be put into effect. As rumors of the plot spread, Charleston was thrown into a panic. Leaders of the plot were rounded up. Vesey and 46 other were condemned, and even four whites were implicated in the revolt. On June 23 Vesey was hanged on the gallows for plotting to overthrow slavery.

    After careful examination of the historical record, the judgment of Sterling Stuckey remains valid: "Vesey's example must be regarded as one of the most courageous ever to threaten the racist foundations of America.... He stands today, as he stood yesterday ... as an awesome projection of the possibilities for militant action on the part of a people who have for centuries been made to bow down in fear."

    Boukman
    Boukman (also Boukmann, Dutty Boukman or Zamba Boukman) was a leader of the rebellion in its initial stages, he is reputed to have led a vodou ceremony together with the mambo Cecile Fatiman at Bois Caïman on August 22, 1791 which signaled the start of the rebellion.1 He had come to Saint-Domingue by way of Jamaica, then to become a maroon in the forest of Morne Rouge. Giant, powerful, "grotesque-looking man... with a 'terrible countenance', a face like an exaggerated African carving." (Parkinson, p. 39) Fierce and fearsome, he was an inspiring leader.

    While Boukman was not the first to lead a slave rebellion in Saint-Domingue, as he was preceded by others such as Padrejean in 1676 and François Mackandal in 1757, he delivered the spark that helped to ignite the Haitian Revolution.

    "He had been a commandeur (slave driver) and later a coachman on the Clément plantation, among the first to go up in flames once the revolt began. While his experience as commandeur provided him with certain organizational and leadership qualities, the post as coachman no doubt enabled him to follow the ongoing political developments in the colony, as well as to facilitate communication links and establish contacts among the slaves of different plantations. Reputedly, Boukman was also a Vodou priest and, as such, exercised an undisputed influence and command over his followers, who knew him as "Zamba" Boukman. His authority was only enhanced by the overpowering impression projected by his gigantic size." (Flick p.92)

    "Boukman Dutty (said to have been called "Book Man" in Jamaica because he could read) was sold by his British master to a Frenchman (and his name became "Boukman" in Haiti). A giant with imposing stature, with courage to match, he was a Vodou priest, exercising an undisputed influence and command over his followers, who knew him as "Zamba" Boukman." (Espeut)
     
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