Women of the Revolution

Primary tabs

The story of the Haitian Revolution is steered by powerful characters such as Toussaint L'Ouverture, Henri Christophe, and Jean-Jacques Dessalines, military commanders and monarchs who facilitated the Haitian independence movement during the French Revolution. However, these men were not the only people involved in the dramatic uprising. Haitian women, too, played a large role in the rebellion, and this block honors the female freedom fighters who often go unnoticed in modern tellings of the story. In the lower center of the block the artist has placed a Haitian ten gourd banknote, featuring sergeant and lieutenant Sanité Bélair who fought bravely under the command of Toussaint LOuverture. To her left is a depiction of Marie-Jeanne Lamartiniére, a Haitian soldier who fought in male uniform and is said to have greatly boosted the spirits of her male counterparts with her invigorating bravery. On the right hand side of the block we see an image of Cécile Fatiman, a mambo (Vodou priestess) said to have participated in the Vodou ritual at Bwa Kayiman, a ceremony during which the first slave insurrection was planned. Although these women, and others like them, have not made it into many history books, this block honors the sacrifices they made for the freedom of their people and country.