Toussaint Louverture, the Haitian Revolution and Haiti today

Book launch of Toussaint Louverture: A Black Jacobin in the Age of Revolutions (Pluto, 2017) with authors Charles Forsdick and Christian Høgsbjerg, a discussion on Haiti today led by Guilaine Brutus, and a Reparations Dialogue from Sai Murray.  As part of the Conversations in Black History series at the University of Leeds.

Tuesday 17 October, 6pm Leeds West Indian Centre, 10 Laycock Place, Leeds LS7 3AJ

ALL WELCOME – free and no need to book in advance

Guilaine Brutus recently obtained an MSc in Migration, mobility and development from SOAS University of London. She has extensive knowledge and experience in Caribbean migration and diaspora engagement, with a particular focus on Haiti and Haitian migration. She is well versed in that group’s  migratory history and a thorough understanding of the country’s national and historical development.

Charles Forsdick is James Barrow Professor of French, University of Liverpool. He is co-author of Toussaint Louverture (Pluto, 2017) and author of Victor Segalen and the Aesthetics of Diversity and Travel in Twentieth-Century French and Francophone Cultures (Oxford University Press 2005) and co-editor of The Black Jacobins Reader (Duke University Press, 2016).

Christian Høgsbjerg is the Administrator for the Centre for African Studies at the University of Leeds. He is co-author of Toussaint Louverture (Pluto, 2017), C.L.R. James in Imperial Britain (Duke University Press, 2014), editor of Toussaint Louverture, James’s 1934 play, and co-editor of The Black Jacobins Reader (Duke University Press, 2017).

Sai Murray is a poet, writer, spoken word artist and organising member of Parcoe (Pan Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe).

More details about the book Toussaint Louverture: A Black Jacobin in the Age of Revolutions (Pluto, 2017)

“In overthrowing me, you have done no more than cut down the trunk of the tree of the black liberty in St. Domingue—it will spring back from the roots, for they are numerous and deep.”

These are Toussaint Louverture’s last words before being taken to prison in France. Heroic leader of the only successful slave revolt in history, Louverture is one of the greatest anti-imperialist fighters who ever lived. Born into slavery on a Caribbean plantation, he was able to break from his bondage to lead an army of freed African slaves to victory against the professional armies of France, Spain, and Britain in the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804.

In this lively narrative biography, Louverture’s fascinating life is explored through the prism of his radical politics. Charles Forsdick and Christian Høgsbjerg champion the “black Robespierre,” whose revolutionary legacy has inspired people and movements in the two centuries since his death. For anyone interested in the roots of modern resistance movements and black political radicalism, Louverture’s extraordinary life provides the perfect groundwork.

This exciting new biography of Toussaint Louverture seeks to reclaim him from conservative revisionist interpretations. Inspired by C.L.R. James and informed by the latest research, Forsdick and Høgsbjerg deliver a spirited, nuanced profile of this great revolutionary leader. The book provides a fascinating analysis of the range of reactions to Toussaint, from Wordsworth in 1802 to contemporary comic books and rap.
Alyssa Sepinwall, Professor of History, California State University San Marcos and editor of Haitian History: New Perspectives