The Haitian Revolution begins with the Bois Caïman ceremony.  Ready to carry out their plans, the slaves meet in Morne-Rouge to make final preparations and to give instructions. The slaves decide that “Upon a given signal, the plantations would be systematically set aflame, and a generalized slave insurrection set afoot.” Rumors circulate that white masters and colonial authorities are on their way to France to fight the Crown’s recent decrees granting mulattoes and free blacks rights. Though false, these rumors “served as a rallying point around which to galvanize the aspirations of the slaves, to solidify and channel these into open rebellion.” 

Of Men and Heroes: Walcott and the Haitian Revolution

Callaloo, Volume 28, Number 1, Winter 2005, pp. 45-54 (Article) 

Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press 

DOI: 10.1353/cal.2005.0002 

The Haitian Revolution has exercised the Caribbean literary imagination to signif- icant effect. It has spawned major works by some of the region’s most distinguished writers. Outside of Haiti itself, there is the Cuban Alejo Carpentier’s El reino de este mundo (1949), and, from the French Caribbean, two plays: Edouard Glissant’s Mon- sieur Toussaint (1961) and Aimé Césaire’s La Tragédie du roi Christophe (1970). Walcott has returned to the subject again and again, over a period of nearly forty years. His Henri Christophe: A Chronicle in Seven Scenes (1950), first produced in 1949, was his first substantial play.

Kant and Trouillot on the Unthinkability of the Haitian Revolution

Abstract: The article begins with an analysis of Kant’s essay What is Enlightenment? as a paradigm of the European Enlightenment to argue that such paradigm was European male-centered and presupposed freedom from forced labor. it then shows that such paradigm asserted European humanity in contradistinction to slaves as non-humans. Also, using Michel Rolph-Trouillot’s critique of the European Enlightenment’s paradigm, it shows that Michel Rolph-Trouillot’s account of the unthinkability of the Haitian revolution is the logical implication of the European-male centered paradigm of the Enlightenment. It then contends with Michel Rolph-Trouillot’s view of the unthinkability of the Haitian revolution among the slaves and its leaders.

Haiti, Free Soil, and Antislavery in the Revolutionary Atlantic.

IN THE LATE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, the French colony of Saint-Domingue was the richest colony in the world. Set in the Caribbean Sea, a short sail from some of the principal American colonies of Britain and Spain, in the 1780s it produced about half of all the sugar and coffee consumed in Europe and the Americas. It was, in the nomenclature of the time, the “Pearl of the Antilles,” the “Eden of the Western World.” It was there, in late August 1791, that the colony’s enslaved rose up, even- tually declaring war against the regime of slavery at its seat of most extreme and opulent power.

"The Haitian Turn": An Appraisal of Recent Literary and Historiographical Works on the Haitian Revolution


Celucien L. Joseph, Ph.D. 

Celucien This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Adjunct Professor of French, World Languages and Reading 

Tarrant County College, Fort Worth, Texas 

 Celucien L. Joseph is an adjunct Professor of French at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas in the Department of World Languages and Literature. He has previously published in Journal of Black Studies, Callaloo, the Journal of Haitian Studies, Review of Biblical Literature, Journal of Postcolonial Theory and Theology, The Voice of Black Studies, and Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion.

200 Years of Forgetting- Hushing up the Haitian Revolution

Journal of Black Studies 

200 Years of Forgetting: Hushing up the Haitian Revolution 

Thomas Reinhardt 

Journal of Black Studies 2005 35: 246 

DOI: 10.1177/0021934704263816 


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Funded by W.K. Kellogg Foundation