Asynchronous Screening and Assignment on Egalité for All

Asynchronous Assignment (due on 4/20)


1. Watch the documentary Egalité for All: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution

2. In the comment section down below, answer ONE of these questions (200-words minimum):


In which way the violence against French colonists and enslavers in the early and last stages of the revolution was a response to the conditions of slavery in the plantations and to colonial rule? (Suggested minutes: 15:20-23:23; 47:02-52:00)


Discuss the major role of Toussaint Louverture in the revolution (Suggested minutes: 9:20-11:08; 20:42-22:30; 23:26-29:00; 31:15-33:20; 36:15-41:15)


Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses. Do you agree with their points and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about Egalité for All do you want to bring to the discussion?

23 thoughts on “Asynchronous Screening and Assignment on Egalité for All”

  1. Option 2:
    From a very young age, Toussaint Louverture was always treated in a better way even though he was Black. He was raised in white plantations and knew many people that were at the very top. He wanted that are races are treated equally regardless of their skin color. He wanted freedom for Sant Dominque. The eruption of violence put him under strain because he had strong ties with the plantation. The plantation and refineries very badly destroyed. He didn’t have a mentality of the slaves. He was the owner of multiple plantations. He took the violence on a personal level and returned to the plantation to help his previous owners. He cared about people regardless of who you are.
    In 1791, he left everything and went to the mountain and it was very risky even though he had a family to take care of. He risked everything. Toussaint didn’t like violence but was good at it. He wrote a settlement letter for the enslaved to have better working conditions for 200 slaves. It was also about small reforms on the plantation. The Whites ended up saying no because they wanted revenge. They didn’t give the blacks a chance and this affected Toussaint a lot. In 1793, the revolution government beheaded the King and turned everything upside down. Toussaint rose to the top of the revel Army in less than 2 years. In 1793 he wrote a letter to the island stating that he wanted liberty and freedom. He was committed to the process of emancipation.

    Discuss the major role of Toussaint Louverture in the revolution (Suggested minutes: 9:20-11:08; 20:42-22:30; 23:26-29:00; 31:15-33:20; 36:15-41:15)
    The major role of Toussaint Louverture was one of a transient leader. During the revolution, he maintained communication with farmers and enslavers, as well as to the French government, in order to express the interests of the black slaves. This level of sophistication resulted from his upbringing. Not only was he educated, he was privileged in his living condition as opposed to other slaves. He also owned three plantations and was far removed from the mindset of slavery. The PBS documentary, Egalite for All, stated that Louverture’s fortune was “tied to the plantation system,” that he straddled the racial fence for 15 years, and that his interests were no longer that of the average slave. Arguably, Louverture might have misconceived himself above other slaves. The danger in this form of thinking is what brought about his downfall. As the transient leader that he was, he was ruthless with the other slaves, made all of the decisions, and sought French acceptance, despite the slaves’ contemporaneous fight for liberty. Despite his efforts, he lost favor with the freed Haitians and he surrendered himself.

    Based upon this historic revelation, if true, would cast askew any full investment into Louverture’s leadership. The reality remains that he was not the hero of the Haitian people. He had economic and other personal reasons that conflicted with the greater mission of the Haitian consensus for liberty.

    1. I like your response but kind of disagreed on the part where you said “He was not the hero of the Haitian people”
      I think Toussaint was a person that was already living in the future during this era, he was already living the emancipation of black and proved leadership by setting negotiation terms with the colonizers, his diplomacy and bravourness made him popular and caused most of the colonizers oversea to be “afraid” of him.
      He wanted something better for the Haitian people and proved to colonizers that an African can rule and lead a nation. His story is very fascinating and help us learn about the Haitian revolution and the big role he occupied in it and how he has fought for their independence even tough it took years for country like the United States and continent like Europe to consider Haiti as an independent country.

    In which way the violence against French colonists and enslavers in the early and last stages of the revolution was a response to the conditions of slavery in the plantations and to colonial rule? (Suggested minutes: 15:20-23:23; 47:02-52:00)

    After viewing the Egalite for all: Toussnaindt Louverture and the Haitian Revolution it was such a powerful capture of what initiated and transpired during the Haitian Revolution. The slaves from neighboring plantations, kidnaped from different parts of Africa coming together in a ceremony that is according to the documentary, marked as the first Haitian congress beginning the revolution. The voodoo slave/voodoo priest, Bookman Dati reflected on voodoo religion that reminded the enslaves of their religion; “its our spirit that gives us strength and listen to the voices of liberty that speaks to our hearts of all of us”. The slaves decided that they would no longer be slaves. The violence against the French colonist and enslavers in the early stages of the revolution came from the pinned up hatred that ran through the blood of the slaves. The mere belief that the slaves could overtake the colonist and exert the same treatment of dehumanization, mental, and physical pain and death was worth fighting for to show that we want to be free. We want to be treated like a human, not like a machine with no feeling. During the documentary the author Jan Mapou, described the pain and anguish that the enslaved workers had to endure while still working the sugar field. The description was so vivid; I felt pain in my chest. He said, “the cuts that the sugar leafs would make on your body was so fine, but when the sweat went into the wound it was excruciating. These were the conditions that the enslaved had to deal with on a daily basis from sunrise to sunset. During the last stages of the revolution, those that revolted seen their strength in numbers and would never agree to going back to the type of treatment that was embarked on them. General Toussnaindt Louverture made negotiations, which were considered reasonable, but by cooperating with the French, he surrendered and later arrested. The word came that slavery was reinstated. Along side of General Dessalines, the slaves fought again by burning the land and refineries, continuing to fight for their human rights, because the economy based on forced labor cannot exist. Their persistence ended with the French army leaving and in 1803 the French colony of Saint-Domingue (Haiti) becoming the first Black Republic country.

  4. Option one:

    The violence against French colonists and enslavers in the early and last stages of the Haitian revolution was a response to slavery because slaves knew that was their only way to gain liberation. They decided to fight fire with fire. That was why it was a very bloody revolution.
    According to the film, slaves were kidnapped from different parts of Africa and Voodoo was what united them in Saint Domingue. Thanks to Voodoo they got together and fought against slaveholders. As their religion, Voodoo gave them the faith and strength they needed to fight. Slaves were poisoning their masters; slaves stabbed and killed their masters. They wanted their freedom so bad that assassinating enslavers was what they saw as their only way out. Brutal violence and no mercy was their response to the mistreatment and violence experienced in the plantations.
    The film continues narrating how slaves burned sugar cane plantations and coffee farms. One more evidence of how determined to win slaves were. However, even after witnessing so many assassinations of their people enslavers didn’t give up. They killed the Voodoo priest and Napoleon wanted slaves to go back to the plantations. Slaves fought against the men that Napolean sent, but they won in numbers. Toussaint Louverture was treated by the French authority as if he was a regular criminal.
    In the end, violence against French colonists was what granted them liberation.

    Rosa Tejada

  5. Toussaint Louverture used his privilege to make a change in the world. He grew up on a plantation and his masters treated him well, compared to his peers on other plantations. He learned to read and write, which was rare for a slave. His ability to communicate with others via speech and writing allowed him to play a pivotal role in the establishment of the first black republic.

    Louverture knew what freedom felt like, and he shared these experiences with his peers to encourage them to revolt against french rule. Through his inspiration, the slaves were able to create a military in which Louverture took lead. He had critical leadership skills that many of the slaves lacked, which helped lead the slaves in the right direction. Overall, through his encouragement and lengthy years of fighting the slaves were able to defeat the French. Although he did not live to see the result of his actions, he fought for black empowerment; something no one had ever done before. He preached for ideas of equality, no discrimination based on the color of your skin, and emancipation. Louverture was selfless in many ways, where he aspired for a better future for his peers. This was the beginning to the long lasting battle of freedom for the blacks.

    1. OPTION 4:

      Louverture was indeed an amazing leader. They even made a comparison that if he was alive today, he would be a very successful CEO. I think not only are you correct Thalia on stating his quality on using privilege to uplift and help his peers fight, but he was one of the few powerful slaves that not only made it out of being owned but had the courage to and dignity to never forget who he was and where he came from. Although he was above his peers in many ways, he used it to all their advantage not just his own benefits. That’s perhaps the top reason why they couldn’t imagine a revolt and why his role was crucial. Most slaves that had a drop of extra responsibility were made to turn against their own and in most case assumed the role with much pride.

    Discuss the major role of Toussaint Louverture in the revolution.
    After viewing the film, Egalite for all Toussaint Louverture, and the Haitian Revolution, one can clearly see an important position that Toussaint Louverture held. Before being one, if not the only, important leader of the Haitian Revolution, he was a man former slave that was born into the plantation system but was able to gain his freedom. Growing up, he was treated differently from other slaves because he was taught how to read and write, which he later used to his advantage during the Revolution. After protecting his former slaveowners, he joined the side of the rebels to fight for freedom. His decision to join is important because, without him, the rebels would not have been able to ultimately get to their goal of freedom.
    As the fight went on, Toussaint shows his importance to the Revolution because he knew that he would have to think strategically to get what they want. He tried to bargain with the whites stating that if they adhere to their wants, they will release their captured plantation owners. They also kept their allegiance to France, which goes against what everyone thought the rebels would do. Since this is a Revolution, one would expect the rebels to go against the very form of what they are rebelling against, not keep allegiance to it. But this is what, in my opinion, made Toussaint different from the rest is because he can be seen to play all sides that can give him what he wants. Overall, Louverture used strategic thinking and leadership skill to lead his army towards victory when he could have stayed on the colonist’s side to keep the wealth that he gained. But instead, he made selfless decisions to fight for equality and freedom that he felt was deserved for all people, not just people who had lighter skin.

  7. After the initial slave revolt in St. Dominigue, Toussaint Louverture found himself in the tough position; he was black, but he did not have a slave mentality. Seeing rebels lacking direction and losing the enthusiasm they started with, he set out to assist and bring them back into some type of structure. Through a combination of a humanity and his own interests, he decided to negotiate with white landowners for all the slaves to return back to the fields in exchange for better working conditions. It is at this time, when he was refused any settlement, a radical change in thinking occurred in Touissaint’s mind; he committed to getting the liberty and emancipation for all. He raised an army, proclaimed himself a leader and started fighting for the independence.

    I think we can all agree that he possessed a great skill of motivating people to fight for their rights. As a lead of this movement, he turned a group of unskilled workers into fighters that whole heartedly fought the entire armies of French, British and Spanish successfully. He trained few generals that took the lead after he was arrested by Napoleon army. This revolution with Toussaint at the top, led to French government abolishing slavery in all of its colonies. And while Toussaint rule was temporary, he managed to write a constitution for Haiti that said the slavery would not exist in this colony again.

    1. Hi Adriana I agree with your interpretation. The Haitian Revolution needed a revolutionary thinker and that was Toussaint Louverture. He was fortunate enough to have a master that allowed him to learn, read and write and that is a major reason why he was able to be so successful. His upbringings are what built the foundation to the strong leader he became. I think its important to highlight that he had so much privilege that it wasn’t until he was said no that he began his journey as a leader. His associations with other elites also helped him with his revolution. He led a successful slave revolt and was able to get thousands of slaves emancipated in Haiti. This was a shocker to the world but he showed the world that a black man could be a leader and that a country made out of slaves could govern itself. I also like how people compared him to George Washington because it shows that he had influence outside of the colony. The first black man to lead a successful revolution. A man of honor, whit, and integrity. For me all I can think of is had he not had a more ‘modern” master he would have not been the leader of the revolution. Without his education do you think he still would have fought for Haiti and been the leader he was and would have Haiti ever been “free” had there been no Toussaint Louverture?


    Toussaint Louverture was the first black man to rise that far in the colony. He led a successful slave revolt and was able to get several hundred of slaves emancipated in Haiti. In the film PBS Egalité for All: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution, we learnt of the roles that Toussaint Louverture played in the revolution. He was described as determined, ambitious and a genius. He was born and raised on a plantation but was privileged enough to have learnt how to read and write as a child. He was well rounded and often saw opportunities where others did not. With his upbringings and the treatment, he received, he had the opportunity of being freed, and with his freedom he no longer had the mind of a slave, he owned plantations, and he was a natural leader. He used the opportunity of freedom to associate himself with the elites in society (managers, and masters alike) who he learnt a lot from. His talent and intellect set him apart. The major role of Toussaint Louverture in the revolution was how he used his privileges, expertise, and intellect to strategically organize and successful lead a revolt that in turn freed a lot of slaves.

  9. Option 1:

    Ruthless and merciless was the language Slavers knew. Toussaint against the wishes of his comrades decided that the best course was to negotiate and parlay with the slavers, but slavers’ arrogance, ego, and superiority mentality mocked and rejected Toussaint’s effort for peace. The French sought revenge and overhaul of Saint Domingue revolt at any cost. At that point, the Haitian Revolutionaries understood that through violence and ruthlessness would they achieve independence. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. That became the law of the land, no quarter!
    The revolutionaries dished similar cruelties and annihilated near to all French colonist. The treatment rendered to colonials and property was an answer for derooting slavery and the cruelties endured by the slaves. The Haitian revolutionaries wanted to erase everything and anything that signified French occupation, french wealth and its mechanism of achieving its wealth. The revolutionaries combated fire with fire, that was/is the language of occupiers. The French answer to everything was torture and violence and so they were put to the sword, too.

  10. Toussaint Louverture not only made a major impact during the Haitian revolution. He influenced generations after him. As a child, he learned to read and write French and Haitian creole. When he got older he was lucky enough to secure his freedom however, he continued to manage his former owner’s household and to act as his coachman. He even protected his former owner. His organization skills were so impeccable that even in morden times he would be capable of becoming a successful CEO. Despite being free; In 1971, also known as “the night of fire” Toussaint was convinced that he should join the growing rebellion and help his people fight against slavery and equalty.
    Toussaint Louverture wrote a proposal to free 200 slave leaders and demanded better treatment in the plantation. This negotiation was of course denied. However, it was remarkable because it was the first document in history that gave such perspective. By 1796, Toussaint was the leading political and military figure and successfully controlled north-central Saint- Domingue. Without any military experience! He was respected by many slaves and still had some connections with some colonizers.
    In 1801, as Napoleon rises to power (who is pro slavery). Toussaint Louverture watched closely and wrote a letter to Napoleon and wrote a constitution for Saint-Domingue , though it was still a colony of France. He self proclaimed he would be governor for life; he also wrote that he wanted liberty and equality to reign throughout Saint Domingue long before America did

  11. Option One

    In the early years of the revolution, the violence exhibited by the slaves upon the French colonists and enslavers was indicative and reflective of the treatment inflicted upon slaves. It was brutal. Since Dutty Boukman stated that they (the slaves) were rejecting the whites’ God, I would presume that they would also reject its tenets, beliefs and requirements. There would be no turning the cheek. Instead, it would be an eye for an eye! In the film, it was stated as, “For them to be free, they would have to have the same amount of violence that you [enslavers] exerted on them [the enslaved].”

    In the latter years of the revolution, after Toussaint had submitted, assumed he would be tried in front of a French tribunal, but instead was treated like a slave by Napoleon, and after Napoleon had reinstated slavery in Guadalupe and declared that his ultimate goal for doing so was to squash the Blacks forever and not for financial gain, Dessalines essentially said, I’ll do the same and will destroy the crops too. That is exactly what he did and was successful in doing so.

  12. Toussaint Louverture, was a rare gift and a necessary one in the times of slavery; the light at the end of the tunnel. Being a Black man born in a plantation and coming from the system, he understood the struggles Black slaves went through; however, he was raised as a “free” man with certain privileges while in the plantation, which allowed him to be educated both in European and African cultures. He was a true born-leader and used his privilege to enact and be a much-needed change for society. In a time when colonizers were the only ones benefitting from slavery, such system needed to be overturned; and even though Toussaint didn’t have a slave mentality anymore, he couldn’t stand in the sidelines any longer despite its challenging part of his beliefs. By taking a stand, choosing to defend and liberate Black slaves he signed up to be the leader of what will be known today as the Haitian Revolution. Toussaint’s skills and intellect met with the times allowed, or perhaps forced, him to play the role of leader in the insurrection to create the first Black republic in the western hemisphere. His legacy, selflessness and passion for freedom were the base through which along with his knowledge and writing expertise were able, after his unfortunate demise, to enact and ratify the declaration of independence for Haiti in 1804. The basis for this declaration, the intention of Toussaint all along; egalité for all.

  13. Option 2:
    Toussaint Louverture is the epitome of humanity, he recruited 3 to 4 thousand people (slaves), trained them and they fought against the French and Spanish army for 12 years.” I was born as a slave but the nature gave me a soul of a free man” (9:42) . Toussaint Louverture was born in a plantation and he grew up there, he was taught how to read and write by the plantation owner. In many ways he was sophisticated from the other slaves as he was on the receiving side of the slavery. He had great organisational skills and was a radical thinker. He did not have the mentality of a slave as he was the owner of two or three plantation (21:10), his interests were different from the masses, he was somebody who understood the value of humanity.
    In the Autumn of 1791, Toussaint Louverure left everything and went to the mountain, he trained 5,000 slaves over there who did not have any idea what freedom felt like. In December of 1791, black enthusiasm began to crumple. The French government in Paris set more than 10,000 military enforcement to help the colonists reestablish the white rule. Toussaint Louverture was asked to write up a settlement letter in exchange of freedom of 200 slave leader and better working condition (26:22), but the white refused for settlement and lost the best deal. Toussaint Louverture was not a violent person , though he was good at it but he tried negotiating first and see that somehow violence could be avoided.
    In June 1793, Toussaint Louverture struck a deal with Spanish garrisons, providing guns and amenities to the slave army and tip the balance their way. By then his forces captured 3 cities within eight months (33:34).
    The word that French revolutionary government had freed the slaves reached Saint Domingue very quickly. Toussaint Louverture thought that Spain had a king, England had a king, but only France was talking about liberty, equality and fraternity, all men equal. So he realised that although the revolt started fighting the French but right now French could be the best help they could receive (37:49). So he joined France. By that time Nepoleon was on the reign and seeing that things are changing their courses, Toussaint Louverture being the leader of slave military, wrote in his constitution that slavery would never exist in Saint Domingue again and it was the first in history to prohibit discrimination based on skin colour (45:29). In 1803 Saint Domingue (Haiti) became the world first black republic . “Independence is the strongest feeling of a human being.”(52:35). Though Toussaint Louverture took planted the seeds of Equality, Liberty and Fraternity in Haiti, but did not live long to witness it. Haitian revolution is the most profound revolution of all time, where slaves created a nation.

  14. In which way the violence against French colonists and enslavers in the early and last stages of the revolution was a response to the conditions of slavery in the plantations and to colonial rule?

    The violence against the French colonists and enslavers was directly linked to the same violence that the slaves in Saint Domingue withstood. During the documentary the narrator points out that in order for the revolution to work the slaves would have to use the same amount of violence that was used against them. After years of abuse and torture the people from Saint Domingue decided revolt against the French colonist and ultimately fight for their freedom even if that meant dying for it. In the film, they mention how at first it was only about one thousand rebels that began fighting for their freedom and as new slaves began to be liberated this number soon climbed to twenty thousand rebels. It was said that the fires in the island on Saint Domingue were so big that people could still read their letters from the glow of the island 20 miles away. This uprising was meaningful in many ways, first because it displayed the amount of courage and passion that took to fight for freedom and human rights, but it also made Saint Domingue/Haiti the first Black republic in the world, something that was unheard and unthinkable at the time.

  15. Option 2

    Toussaint Louverture played a major role in the revolution because he was smart and organized. He had an advantage over other slaves because although he was born a slave he had “the soul of a free man”. His liberated thought process made him observant and strongminded and described as “ambitious and genius”. His brilliant demeanor was recognized by his slave master and he was allowed the privilege of being taught to read and write and become a “coachman” to other slaves on the plantation. Toussaint was freed in 1770 and his mind began to wander about the possibilities he could create as a freed man. It is said that Toussaint had an “endless organizational capacity” which means he had the intellectual ability to gather followers for a targeted cause. Even though his somewhat privileged background set him apart from other slaves, he used the revolt to his advantage and returned to his old plantation to “maintain order for the sake of humanity”. He knew that his wit could win the hearts of both the revolted slaves and their betrayed and over come slave masters. But by 1791, something sparked in Toussaint and he decided to organize for the sake of the revolt. This was a positive gain for the revolution because he brought to the table “military strategy” and the experienced outlook of freedom that the slaves did not know but longed for. Toussaint having been free, educated, talented, and intellectual, was a key player to be in favor of the revolt.

    The way in which the violence against french colonist and enslavers was reflected upon the treatment and conditions the french colonist showed the slaves. Within the documentary it mentions how it got gruesome ” the slaves were poisoning, the slaves were stabbing and killing, the slaves wanted independence”. They were showing the same amount of violence they were showing the hatred they had upon their masters. the number of rebellions grew from 1,000 to 10,000 which showed how united they had become after the ranging violence that had happened. The slaves were showing no remorse week after week the country “filled with dead bodies”. The whites also fought back so just to give you an idea it was not only dead bodies from one party, but from both parties.

    Within the Haitian revolution the slaves wanted to take everything back and make it known. Anything that signified french occupation they would take and destroy. The message throughout the whole revolution was clear they an eye for an eye. Which in retrospect can be seen as a mascara in where lives were taken, but they were taken for a better cause in where a difference shall be made.


    Toussaint was a determined and ambitious man who was considered a genius. He was born and raised on a plantation and eventually occupies a “privileged” role and has a relationship with the managers and masters. He occupied different roles in society and saw possibilities where others didn’t. Toussaint was no longer a slave and didn’t have the mentality of a slave and was the owner of 2-3 plantation. He had different interests than those of the masses. His first reaction to the revolution was personal and decided to go back to the plantation where he was born to protect his former owners. His role was basically that of a leader. Toussaint helped his former master escape all the violence. Toussaint was asked to write a settlement offer, in exchange for the freedom of 200 slave leaders and better working conditions on the plantations. The proposal offered to send most of the rebels back to the plantation. He was basically a very intelligent negotiator as well. But less than two years after joining the rebellion, he had risen to the top of the rebel army. Then after 3 years in opposition, Toussaint was once again a loyal French citizen and so were his followers.

  18. Option 1:
    The conditions of slavery on the plantations were horrible. Many slaves were hanged, beaten, whipped, castrated, and much worse. These cruel acts were especially performed on the slaves who were brave enough to rebel in some way or form. Slaves from different parts of Africa were brought together under the same slave master, enduring harsh labor in poor working conditions. This was one of the only things these slaves had in common with one another. United in slavery and united in their practice of Voodoo. It was actually at their voodoo ceremonies that they cultivated a plan to rebel against the slave masters which led to the fight for the emancipation of slavery.

  19. Discuss the major role of Toussaint Louverture in the revolution.

    An important key figure of the Haitian revolution is Toussaint Louverture. Toussaint Louverture was the leader that led the Haitians out of slavery and free from the Spanish. The colony of St. Domingue was a slave island, where slaves would work to make goods to be sent to Spain in return for nothing. The people were treated harshly and done wrong but by the efforts of Louverture, they will become free. Toussaint Louverture, a black former slave who rose to command Saint-Domingue’s republican army and govern the colony.
    Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution inspired millions of free and enslaved people of African descent to seek freedom and equality throughout the Atlantic world. Toussaint helped to lead the only Atlantic slave society which successfully defeated its oppressors.
    The Haitian Revolution has often been described as the largest and most successful slave rebellion in the Western Hemisphere. Slaves initiated the rebellion in 1791 and by 1803 they had succeeded in ending not just slavery but French control over the colony.

  20. It can be said that all the violence that characterized the haitian revolution was a direct response to how violet slavery was. The Haitian revolution is considered one of the most violent liberations in the new world, but it is completely understandable based on the trauma that these people had suffered. They wanted to make a statement, to scare others that might want to oppress them again. It was so brutal that the colonizers in other places where colonizers were settlers did not want to accept refugees because they were ashamed of the brutality that was executed there. This violence was all they had, it was the only weapon they knew. Violence was the weapon through which they were kept slaved and that same violence was used by them to reclaim their humanity and be able to punish the colonizer, but also to let others know that they were serious about their liberation. The way in which these people suffer is not compatible with any type of violence.

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