The recent assassination of President Jovenel Moïse has prompted more discussions about Haiti’s founding history. The country was established in 1804 after enslaved Africans successfully waged a 13-year war for freedom. Haiti became the first Black republic in the western hemisphere. As Haitians today face mounting challenges, remembering how they once triumphed against all odds may help inform how to succeed again. Remembering the successful strategies of past leaders, like Dutty Boukman who led the first campaign for Haitian freedom, may be a valuable area of study from which lessons from the past can be inform present-day progress.
Boukman was an enslaved African, reportedly stolen from a literate west African society. Able to read and apparently knowledgable of indigenous spiritual practices, Boukman brought valuable skills to organizing the first wave of freedom fighting that began in 1791. He was one in a sequence of Haitian liberators who provided heroic leadership that produced Haiti’s victory.
To learn more about the skills and strategies Boukman used to initiate Haiti’s successful fight for freedom, click here.