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As a group, we decided to focus on the history of slavery in the Caribbean, where most Africans were taken during the trans Atlantic trade. Slavery in the Caribbean was among the most brutal, with lifespans as short as two years and enslaved Africans forced to labor up to 18 hours a day against the tropical climate. The Haitian Revolution was a radical insurrection of enslaved Africans that was successful in overthrowing French colonial rule. It is the spirit of this victory that we wanted to memorialize. In our memorial, we have taken a cannon from Citadelle Laferrière, which was built by the Haitians after the revolution to keep the new nation safe from French incursions, and fitted it atop a platform on Cormier Beach. The fortress was originally outfitted with over 300 cannons of varying sizes and designs from multiple nations. This choice of cannon correlates to the history of those enslaved, in the same way that Africans were taken from many places and eventually lost their individual cultural identities to form a larger African diaspora. We have chosen this particular beach as it is the location of where the French fled Haiti after the loss of the revolution. Beside the cannon memorial will be a plaque with a quote from Jacques Coeur, "À vaillant coeur rien d’impossible," which translates to, "For a valiant heart nothing is impossible." We have chosen this quote to represent the resilient nature of the Haitians and the great adversity they have overcome, and as an inspiration to those living today
Cormier Beach, Haiti, Revolution, Slaves, France
George, Brande; Carter, Arika; and Ashford, Alisa, "Cormier Beach: The Lasting Effects of the Haitian Revolution" (2019). History from Below: Memorialization Projects. 11.