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 Black West Indies Leaders And The American Connection

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Nombre de messages : 7614
Localisation : Canada
Opinion politique : Indépendance totale
Loisirs : Arts et Musique, literature kréyòl
Date d'inscription : 02/03/2007

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MessageSujet: Black West Indies Leaders And The American Connection   Jeu 26 Fév 2009 - 13:10

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URL: http://www.kccall.com/article.cfm?articleID=3302
Date Created: Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Black West Indies Leaders And The American Connection


By Dr. Edward Beasley

THE CALL Columnist
Genetically speaking African zebras are black with white stripes, not white with black stripes; they have black skin, even under the white hair.

Because of widespread amalgamation and unreliable census data, it is difficult to assess the impact of millions of slaves imported from Africa to the Caribbean and in Central and South American.

What Gilberto Freyre, the Brazilian sociologist and philosopher, said of Brazil is true for large areas of South American nations: “every Brazilian, even if he is light skinned and has fair hair, bears in his soul. . .the shadow or the mark of the native or the Negro. . .the influence of the African is direct or vague and remote. . .in our way of walking and talking, in the song which cradled our childhood, in short in all the sincere expressions of our life, the Negro influence is patent.”

The American and French revolutions stirred the African heritage in the Western hemisphere. Such was the case of Toussaint L’ Ouverture, who was the leader of the Haitian revolution. This black leader defeated Napoleon’s troops and freed Haitian slaves.

“You think me a fanatic,” Wendell Phillips said, “For you read history, not with your eyes, but with your prejudices. But 50 years hence, when truth gets a hearing, the muses of history will put phocion for the greek; brutes for Roman; Layfayette for France; choose Washington as the bright, consummate flower of our earliest civilization, and then, dipping her pen in the Sunlight, will write in the clear blue, above them all, the name of the soldier, he Statesman, the martyr, Toussaint L’Ouverture.”

Toussaint was indirectly the means of American westward expansion. Napoleon forced Spain to restore Louisiana to France as the beginning of another great French empire in America. Jefferson realizes danger of the French as neighbors and Jefferson was worried about Toussaint’s possibility of bringing his revolt to America.

Toussaint once made a four-word speech on liberty, holding up his musket, he told Haitian slaves, “There is your liberty.”

Plus Napoleon knew he could not use Haiti, as a stepping stone seaport to reach New Orleans with the French navy; therefore, he sold the whole territory for $15 million to the United States.

On January 1, 1804, Jean Jacques Dessalines proclaimed Independence of Haiti, the second republic in the Western Hemisphere, Jefferson festered.

Cuba
Antonio Maceo, born 1848, was a mulatto of African and Cuban blood. The family lived in the province of Santiago-de-Cuba. He came from a longline of patriots who had always fought against the tyranny of Spain.

His father told him and his brothers exciting tales concerning his personal adventures as a guerrilla warrior. There were 12 of the brothers and when Antonio was born his father said, “Ah, another son to fight for the freedom of Cuba.”

After his father’s death in 1868 Maceo, 20 year old, joined the insurgent forces of General Maximo Gomez. In the 10 years’ war from 1868 to 1878, Maceo showed himself to be not only courageous, but also skillful in military tactics, especially in guerrilla warfare. So masterfully did he lead his troops, that he became second in command to General Gomez. Later he left Cuba, but only to raise forces and funds for the revolution. He came to the U.S. for aid.

He returned to Cuba and won numerous victories over the Spanish forces. By 1896, the rebellion in Cuba was attracting much interest in the U.S. several factions in Congress were pressing for the recognition of a free Cuban government.

The situation was so acute that it formed the main text of President Cleveland’s message to Congress. In this message, he gave an indirect recognition of Maceo’s military skill and success.

Even though Cuba did not gain complete independence until 1898, some spokesmen in Congress were saying that “Cuba has already won her fight.’ An English journalist said “Maceo was probably the greatest, certainly the most successful mulatto or quadroon who ever lived. He organized a system of espionage which baffled the Spanish and maneuvered a half drilled army with skill that bewildered scientifically trained men.”

Maceo lost his life in the Battle of Punta-La-Brava. Spain rejoiced at his death; and Spain insisted that the rebellion was now put down, because the whole thing was a revolt of blacks led by a black; and that black, Antonio Maceo, was dead.

The day of his death, December 7, has been proclaimed the sole annual Memorial Day of Cuba. Commercial, industrial and governmental activities are suspended in Cuba. It is said if Maceo had lived he would have been the first President of Cuba.

The story of Cuba’s fight for freedom during the two years following Maceo’s death is tied up with United States intervention, with the Spanish American War of 1898.

Maceo had inflicted such serious loss on the Spaniards and has so weakened them that their power in Cuba; and with the American victory over Spain, it was only a matter of two years before Spain was driven from the Western Hemisphere.
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