On this national day of remembrance of the slave trade, slavery and its abolition, we look back at 10 people who have marked the history of the fight against racism and the slave trade throughout history.
Transatlantic slavery led to the deportation of 12 to 18 million men from sub-Saharan Africa to the Americas. Nearly 2 million of them perished during the crossing. It was one of the greatest crimes against humanity that was committed, and many men and women fought against it. Here are the stories of some of them.
He is now recognized as the pioneer of black activism and the great architect of the abolition of slavery. He is credited with setting the date for the celebration of Black History Month. During this period, everyone is invited to pay tribute to the "too often neglected achievements of black Americans" according to the President who established it in 1976, Gerald Ford.
2.W.E.B. Du Bois
He was the first man of color to earn a degree at Harvard. Born in 1863 and died in 1967, he lived for almost a century during which he never stopped fighting for the emancipation of blacks. In particular, he participated in the foundation of the Association of Colored People (NACCP) in 1909, which fights for the participation of blacks in social, literary, economic and political life within the framework of universal suffrage. Today, his movement and his action are known through the NACCP Awards.
He was the first French abolitionist in history by decreeing the general abolition of slaves in the northern province of Santo Domingo, even before the Convention decided in Paris the abolition of slavery in all colonies on February 4, 1794.
Anderson Abbot became the first black physician in Canada in 1861. He was one of eight black surgeons to serve in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He died on December 29, 1913.
François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture
He was a French politician from the West Indies of Afro-Caribbean origin. A descendant of black slaves, he played a prominent historical role as the leader of the Haitian Revolution (1791-1802) and became one of the great figures of the anti-colonial, abolitionist and black emancipation movements. He died in captivity on April 7, 1803 in La Cluse-et-Mijoux.
He was one of the great artisans of the abolition of slavery in France. He was an anti-slavery activist from 1823 in Martinique and was elected deputy of Martinique in 1848 and from 1849 to 1851. He also founded the "Society of Colored Men" and, in 1834, the "Revue des colonies" of which he became the director. It will be published until 1843, with the sole purpose of fighting slavery by an immediate abolition in the French colonies.
He is famous for having been the first West Indian mestizo to enter the École Polytechnique. He was also a French abolitionist deputy.
Louisy Mathieu was the first freed slave to sit in the National Constituent Assembly. He had learned to read through a religious education despite the prohibition of his masters. When in 1848, the provisional government voted the abolitionist laws, Guadeloupe could elect its representatives to the Constituent Assembly by universal suffrage. The Guadeloupean progressives, aware of Louisy Mathieu's popularity in Pointe-à-Pitre, proposed him as a candidate. He is present on the electoral list. He obtained a seat that he would hold until May 26, 1849. After the coup d'état of Louis Bonaparte (1851), he abandoned political life.