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(en) France, UCL AL #318 - Sanite, Marie-Jeanne, Solitude: Three heroines of emancipation in the Antilles (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Tue, 28 Sep 2021 10:15:56 +0300

The Haitian Revolution was not a feminist any more than the French Revolution. Certainly, it released a collective feminine protest since, after the abolition of slavery, on certain plantations, women farmers fought against inequality of remuneration. But for the rest, even if the enslaved women engaged en masse in the insurrection of 1791, then in the popular resistance in 1802, they had only exceptionally access to military ranks and civil responsibilities. ---- Women took part en masse in the uprising of 1791, then in the popular resistance in 1802, but they remained, for the most part, anonymous. ---- Agostino Brunias, Women of Color with their Children and Servants in a Landscape (1764-1796).
Of the few figures passed down to posterity, little is known in reality, encumbered with inventions. Let us mention three of them.

cc Richard Barbot
Sanite Bélair (1781-1802) was one of the rare women to become a non-commissioned officer (sergeant, then lieutenant) in Toussaint Louverture's troops. In May 1802, she could not digest the surrender of Toussaint and, in August, she took up arms again alongside her companion and partner, General Charles Bélair. She was captured in early September 1802, and Charles surrendered in the hope of having her released. Alas, Dessalines delivered them both to the French. He was shot. She should have been beheaded, but asked, as an officer, to be shot as well. The executioner, in spite of his efforts, could not bend her over the block, and she died as she had demanded, standing and without a blindfold. The crowd from Cap-Français, who witnessed the execution, was shocked.

cc Akomicsart
Marie-Jeanne Lamartinière is another heroine of the revolution. A mulatto washerwoman, she had married Lamartinière, an officer of Toussaint Louverture and, with him, in March 1802, she led the defense of Fort de la Crête-à-Pierrot for three weeks. According to historian Thomas Madiou, with each French assault, she would "face death on the ramparts. A steel belt, from which a saber hung, circled his waist, and his rifle-armed hands boldly sent the deadly lead into the French ranks.The figure of Marie-Jeanne is commonly used in Haitian iconography around the war of independence.

cc Jacky Poulier
Solitude (? -1802), probably the daughter of a white master and a enslaved African, "la Mulâtresse Solitude" lived in Guadeloupe. In 1802, at the call of the colored officer Joseph Ignace, she joined the rebellion opposing the reestablishment of slavery, in the ranks of Captain Palermo. Shortly before the last stand of the last fighters of Delgrès, she was captured by the French and condemned to death. She was then a few months pregnant. Solitude remained in prison until her childbirth, before being tortured.

Guillaume Davranche (UCL Montreuil)

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