What inspired Toussaint L’Ouverture?

In the Service of our Ancestors and African Love,
Listen Seeker, I come in Peace,

“If the Master teaches what is error, the disciple’s submission is slavery; if he teaches truth, this submission is ennoblement.”KMT Proverb

Though Abbe Raynald is a European, a sworn enemy of African people, his writing is an intriguing poison.  Superficial in its support for the African cause, it would be no surprise if this simple paragraph contributed to the demise of Toussaint L’Ouverture, the great General of the African Revolution in Haiti.  Cunning is the best word to describe it.

What inspired Toussaint L’Ouverture?
By Onitaset Kumat

The French abolitionist Abbe Raynald wrote:

“Already there are established two colonies of fugitive Negroes, whom treaties and power protect from assault. Those lightnings announce the thunder. A courageous chief only is wanted. Where is he, that great man whom Nature owes to her vexed, oppressed and tormented children? Where is he? He will appear, doubt it not; he will come forth and raise the sacred standard of liberty. This venerable goal will gather around him the companions of his misfortune. More impetuous than the torrents, they will everywhere leave the indelible traces of their just resentment. Everywhere people will bless the name of the hero who shall have reestablished the rights of the human race; everywhere will they raise trophies in his honor.”

Toussaint L’Ouverture, the most popular general of the African Revolution in Haiti or the Haitian Revolution, frequently read these words before he became a general.  These words are deeper than a superficial reading will allow.  Firstly, the words emphasize a racial and ethical self-determination.  It speaks on European oppression on African people and how [a] ‘justice’ is for Africans to overthrow this arrangement.  They also importantly point out that protection from assault resulted from these Maroon towns.  Recall, Abbe Raynald is a European man.  As such, it seems that this espouses the universality of ethics.  However, it showcases how ‘classical’ education promotes Original ethics; and more subliminally how ‘ethics’ can be confused.  Nevertheless, as a philosopher, and as ABS showcases, Abbe Raynald ultimately maintained Occidentalism: Namely he puts tribalism in the fore, only claiming his tribe as ‘the oppressed.’  This is a commonality with many African self-described revolutionaries.

Beyond this, we also see how his words emphasize the power of words.  For though there are “ethics,” today we live in a world where these ethics are unknown.  So to speak, besides from ABS’ efforts, there is little discussion regarding ethics; and only ABS promotes the idea of ‘racial ethics.‘  On the power of words, not only do we see the value in expressing ethics, because Toussaint was mobilized, but the value of ethics is also seen, because Haiti was ultimately liberated.

Finally, there’s the notion of ‘destiny.’  Can it be said that Abbe Raynald was destined to write those words and Toussaint was destined to read those words, who knows?  But how would history differ if either party neglected their roles?  Truthfully, it’s not necessary to proclaim either necessary for today’s order.  There were some two-hundred rebellions against enslavement in the U.S. alone, and at the point of Raynald’s writing there were, as he points out, two Maroon towns, and, of course, Bouckman and many unnamed Haitians rebelled before Toussaint did, .  Still, the notion of destiny is important.  For my part, I feel pointed to Socrates’ words and as such I can relate to the notion of destiny since I find my greatest work to be my completion of Socrates’ argument: a rediscovery of our ancestral voice.

All in all, the point needs to be made.  Ultimately, Toussaint’s ethics betrayed him.  He was an Occidentalist in many respects and he was assassinated for it.  Still, we learn how important it is to be a positive force in this Universe.  African Blood Siblings Community Centers are the establishments for you to inject positivity into your Community.  Do not pass up the opportunity to foster the better tomorrow.  Do not pass up “destiny.”

Related Posts:

‘Toussaint L’Ouverture’ A lecture by Wendel Phillips (1861)Toussaint L’Ouverture!
Originalism Our Philosophy
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“The Blacks Imprisoned” by Marcus GarveyYesterday’s Prison-Industrial-Complex
The Allegory of the Kidnapped YouthTrue Issue

3 thoughts on “What inspired Toussaint L’Ouverture?

    1. As said elsewhere, the instructions of life is “Know Thyself, Be Thyself, Complete Thyself.” Articles like this offer “Knowledge of Self.” Assimilate it and you shall be rewarded in life.

  1. I find this presentation very informative and challenging to one’s thought and critical thinking
    something not taught in our school systems here as pointed out by Sir Bertrand Russell over
    one hundred years ago! As one who has studied subjects metaphysical and spiritual I feel
    like minds do attract if not in personal encounter and friendship/partnership in one person’s
    exposure to the thoughts of another (L’Ouverture’s reading of Abbe Raynald’s challenging
    and inspiring poem). As I feel nothing in the human experience is accidental or without
    cause one can say destiny drew that poem to L’Ouverture as much as it did the spelling of
    his name, the year, location, time and historical cycle of his birth. All those were conditions
    and occurrences not of his making and beyond his control! If that is not destiny what is?

    Erick Dean Tippett
    Retired Musician/Teacher
    Chicago, Illinois

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