Happy Belated birthday Toussaint Louverture born May 20th 1743
François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture (ca.1743-1803) was the leader of the Haitian Revolution, the only successful slave insurrection. In 1791, upset by the revoking of The Declaration of the Rights of Man, slaves all across Saint-Domingue (modern day Haiti) began to rebel. Although free and prosperous at the time of the revolts, Louverture abandoned this comfort in order to use his military genius to lead a slave army that would defeat the French, Spanish, and English. In 1793, the French voted to end slavery in their colonies, happy with this decision, Louverture agreed to expel the Spanish and British for the French, and managed to do so in a period of 7 days. When Napoleon came to power he reinstated slavery, which caused the blacks of Saint-Domingue to rebel once more. By 1803, having grown sick of these revolts, Napoleon declared he would recognize Saint-Domingue as independent, so long as Louverture promised to retreat from public life afterwards. When it came time for them to meet for negotiations, Napoleon broke his deal and had Louverture arrested; he would die in jail. The damage had already been done, and the rebellions still raged on under the command of his 1st lieutenant Jean-Jacques Dessalines, and 6 months later Napoleon would grant them their freedom, birthing the first free black Republic in the new World.
Memnon (2nd century, C.E.) & Memnon from the Trojan War
Memnon was one of several protégés of the wealthy Athenian businessman and philosopher Herodes Atticus. His name was probably inspired by Memnon, the Ethiopian ally of Troy as described in Homer’s Iliad. Although few details of his life are known, his origins as a black African are established by a surviving portrait head. This, as well as his connections with Greek philosophy, attest to the high intellectual status sometimes achieved by Africans in the ancient Mediterranean world.
In Greek mythology, Memnon (Greek: Mέμνων) was an Ethiopian king and son of Tithonus and Eos. As a warrior he was considered to be almost Achilles’ equal in skill. During the Trojan War, he brought an army to Troy’s defense. The death of Memnon echoes that of Hector, another defender of Troy whom Achilles also killed out of revenge for a fallen comrade, Patroclus. After Memnon’s death, Zeus was moved by Eos’ tears and granted him immortality. Memnon’s death is related at length in the lost epic Aethiopis, composed after The Iliad circa the 7th century BC. Quintus of Smyrna records Memnon’s death in Posthomerica.
Literary accounts of the Trojan war, as well as numerous Roman authors, consistently describe Memnon with African characteristics as an Ethiopian from Sudan and Egypt.