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Title of Course: Profiles In Black Mba Mbulu, Instructor

Textbook: None. Selected writings found online will constitute the textbook.

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Read the following information on Toussaint L'Ouverture. Relate the information to the following questions to the best of your ability.

(1) Is Toussaint proof that formal education has nothing to do with intelligence?

(2) Compared to other Blacks of his day, Toussaint was relatively well off. Yet, he risked everything by siding with the Blacks against the whites. What is the difference between Toussaint and present day blacks who consider themselves well off?

(3) What was the importance of a black army to Toussaint? How does that compare to Black People's willingness nowadays to leave their well being in the hands of policemen and federal agents?

(4) Toussaint knew "white people well". What does that mean?

(5) Who did Toussaint have to rely on to get freedom for Black People and control of San Domingo?

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Class #2: TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE (1743-1803)

Revolutionary, Black Nationalist, Pan-Africanist

All things considered, Toussaint L'Ouverture is without a doubt the most outstanding man who ever lived in the western hemisphere during modern times. Without the benefit of historical knowledge or formal education (he was unable to read or write), Toussaint rose from slavery to become the most dominant and powerful person in San Domingo (present-day Haiti). A man of action who believed in the supremacy of action, Toussaint habitually wrote (through his secretaries) and spoke like a philosopher as his powerful and untaught mind laid the foundation for an independent Black nation with a clarity and intensity that is rarely found in mortal beings.

The island of San Domingo was a French colony. The fact that it was the most prosperous colony in the world meant that it had also attracted the attention of two other powerful European/white forces, Spain and Great Britain. In 1789, the slaves of San Domingo started rebelling against their condition, but without a practical plan to keep them going their rebellion bogged down. It would have folded completely if it had not been for the appearance of Toussaint, who realized that the Blacks in San Domingo would have to achieve liberty and equality as a group or not at all.

Toussaint, with a natural gift for politics and freedom for all on his mind, began in early 1792 to organize an army out of the thousands of ignorant and untrained Black rebellers. He drilled them repeatedly as he taught them the art of war, recognizing all the time that revolutionary troops, not talk, would be the deciding factor in their struggle for freedom. By the end of 1792, he had developed the core of a fighting Black army that would, within the next decade, destroy the Spanish, British and French armies and force the French emperor, Napoleon, to drop his plans of creating a French empire in the Americas.

Toussaint knew white people well and understood that he could not trust them to act in a manner that would benefit his people. Still, because of the weaknesses of San Domingo, he had to deal with them in order to play them against one another and give the Blacks enough time to gather their forces and expel the whites from positions of power. With his army as the instrument of his power and the masses as its foundation, Toussaint made some early moves toward freedom. He proposed a plan to the Spanish that would eliminate the French and grant freedom to all of the Blacks. When the Spanish refused, he proposed a similar plan to the French. When the French also refused, Toussaint began to rally the Blacks themselves. Less than four years later, Black People were in complete political control of San Domingo, and Toussaint L'Ouverture was their leader. Continued in Lessson #3

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