Haiti - History : Message from Lesly Condé on the occasion of the 231st anniversary of the Bois Caïman Congress
Message from Lesly Condé :
"Dear compatriots and friends everywhere,
Dear compatriots and friends everywhere,
Frè m, sè m ak ak zanmi m toupatou,
We are at the time of the year when our thoughts go proudly to our ancestors, and to one of the most important events in the entire history of our Nation. It must be said that this event, which has never been adequately described or interpreted by our historians, also has great importance in the history of all mankind since it is a brave statement in favor of the spirituality and freedom of a whole race of humans subjected to all kinds of physical and psychological torture for three centuries. We are talking here about a statement that is valid for all of humanity.
Indeed, on the night of August 14 to 15, 1791, when slavery reigned in all its brutality, there occurred in the rich colony of Saint Domingue, an event that marked the beginning of the end of a world order based on the cruel exploitation of humans by humans. Three centuries of physical and psychological abuse had failed to destroy the humanity of these black men and women who shared the language of human dignity, the love of freedom. This gigantic historical event that some historians still call 'Bois Caïman Ceremony' deserves to be seen as the first steps of an important revolution that the world still persists in ignoring.
True historians today refuse to speak of the 'Bois Caïman Ceremony'. For them, this brave Congress was neither a vulgar rendezvous of sorcerers nor a macabre evening of black magic, as the historians of a certain period and of a certain tendency like to describe, as well as racists insensitive to the current problems of 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 to us 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". No wonder our early historians completely emasculated our heroes, and trivialized their exploits. Let's not forget that our first history books were written either by French people or by people who had no trouble repeating after them.
This world which proclaims itself to be in love with 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.
Today, it is hard to believe that a Nation born of so much bravery deserves to be so ruthlessly humiliated when it is in its 218th year of existence. Above all, we will not say that our ancestors who were brave enough, proud enough and determined enough to organize the important 'Bois Kay Imam Congress', were not ready for freedom. Our country is still at the heart of a struggle for justice and democracy in a totally hostile or indifferent world. We cling to our right to survive with dignity and on our own terms. Such is the spirit of the “Bois Kay Imam Congress”.
Today, we salute the historic 'Bois Kay Imam Congress' as the first authentic universal declaration of human rights."
Former Consul General of Haiti in Chicago
(August 26, 2004 – May 25, 2018)
Reflection messages from Lesly Condé in 2022 :
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