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Feb. 24, 2023

Revolutionary Roots: Exploring the Impact and Legacy of the Haitian Revolution

Revolutionary Roots: Exploring the Impact and Legacy of the Haitian Revolution

The latest episode of Staying On Code delved into the book The Black Jacobins by historian C.L.R. James. Black Jacobins chronicles the Haitian Revolution, a pivotal event in the history of the Americas and the world, and its relationship to the expansion of the United States.

The Black Jacobins tells the story of the Haitian Revolution, which lasted from 1791 to 1804, and resulted in the establishment of Haiti as an independent state, free from French colonial rule. I briefly explored the significance of The Black Jacobins and its relevance to the westward expansion and formation of the United States.

You can buy a copy of The Black Jacobins at Resist Booksellers, the official bookstore of Staying On Code. 

If you'd like to further expand your knowledge on the Haitian Revolution, here are a few books to get you started. While the books below can be found on Amazon, I encourage you to purchase them from your local independent bookstore. 

  • Haiti: The Aftershocks of History by Laurent Dubois, which examines the enduring impact of the Haitian Revolution on Haiti and the world.
  • The Common Wind: Afro-American Currents in the Age of the Haitian Revolution by Julius S. Scott, explores the ways in which the Haitian Revolution influenced the movements for liberation and resistance among enslaved people in the Americas.
  • An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President by Randall Robinson, offers a powerful and impassioned account of Haiti's struggle for independence and its ongoing challenges.
  • Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture by Sudhir Hazareesingh follows Louverture's triumphs against French, Spanish, and British troops, his dealings with French colonial administrators, and his bold promulgation of an autonomous Constitution (summarized from the book blurb).
  • Toussaint L'Ouverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines: The History and Legacy of the Haitian Revolution's Most Famous Leaders chronicles how the only successful slave uprising came about and examines the backgrounds of the men who led it. 
  • Sheroes of the Haitian Revolution byBayyinah Bello and Kervin Andre " is an illustrated biography book of ten women who fought, supported, and fully engaged in the Haitian Revolution and war of independence against European colonizers in Saint Domingue (present-day Haiti)."

By examining the Haitian Revolution and its legacy, we can gain a deeper understanding of the forces that continue to shape our world today. The Black Jacobins, as well as these other resources, are well worth reading for anyone interested in understanding the complexities of race, power, and colonialism.