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Haiti - History : 230th anniversary of the Bois Caïman Congress
Message from Lesly Condé :
"Dear compatriots and friends everywhere,
August is a very important month in the history of our country. We can't help but think of our ancestors and the 'Bois Caïman Congress'.
Indeed, on the night of August 14 to 15, 1791, when slavery reigned in all its brutality, an event occurred in the wealthy colony of Saint Domingue, an event that marked the beginning of the end of a world order based on the cruel exploitation of the human by the human. Three centuries of physical and psychological abuse had failed to destroy the humanity of these black men and women who had in common the language of human dignity, the love of freedom. This gigantic historical event that some historians still call 'Ceremony of the Bois Caïman' deserves to be seen as the first steps of an important revolution that the world still persists in ignoring.
The true historians of today refuse to speak of 'Ceremony of the Bois Caïman'. For them, this brave Congress was neither a vulgar meeting of wizards nor a macabre evening of black magic, as historians of a certain era and of a certain tendency like to describe, as well as the insensitive racists in the face of current problems in Haiti. For them, we are a cursed nation because our ancestors defeated slavery through a pact with Satan.
One of the main organizers of the rally was Boukman. This decidedly English name (book man) confirms that he was a slave from Jamaica, and that he was always seen with his book. The book in question was the Koran. The historic gathering therefore took place 'Nan bwa kay Imam'. It is not surprising that our early historians completely emasculated our heroes, and trivialized their exploits. Let us not forget that our first history books were written either by the French or by people who had no trouble repeating after them.
This world which proclaims itself enamored of freedom and justice, should celebrate each year with us this courageous gathering which was a declaration of love for universal freedom, that of every human being.
Even today, as our country staggers dangerously on the verge of chaos, the great nan 'Bwa kay Imam' gathering offers us a vibrant example of understanding between men and women who, with their backs to the wall, made human dignity triumph.
Today we salute the historic 'Bois Caïman Congress' as the authentic first universal declaration of human rights."
Former Consul General of Haiti in Chicago (August 26, 2004 - May 25, 2018)