“In Praise of Vertières, and In Praise of Freedom and the Haitian Revolution”
O Vertières, how could we forget Thee!
You remind us that God created men and women to be free and not to be enchained and enslaved by men.
O Glorious Vertières, where we wrought our freedom and independence through our shed blood, You will always be a scar on our hearts and the path of freedom and inspiration for today’s troubles.
Today, the Haitian people are celebrating the Battle of Vertières (November 18, 1803) which gave birth to two significant events in world history: the end of slavery and the founding of the first postcolonial state and the first slave-free Republic of Haiti in the Western world. It was in Vertières African revolutionarries and men and women who dared to die free and independent conquered the greatest military and imperial power in the world: France.
To remember Vertières is to never forget the danger and threat of the unholy trinity of institutional slavery, colonization, and White supremacy in the world.
To remember Vertières also means to continue the fight against the vestiges of slavery (modern day slavery), colonization (neocolonization), imperialism, and any form of human oppression that engenders human suffering, dehumanizes people, defers human dignity, and challenges the image of God in humanity.