8 thoughts on “Patreon Post Unlocked: Toussaint Louverture (2012)

  1. As a side note, for anyone who can get to Williamstown, MA or later this year, Paris, there is an exhibition of paintings by Guillaume Guillon-Lethiere, son of a French citizen and, it is thought, a free woman of color. Guillon-Lethiere was legitimized after the French Revolution dissolved the Code Noir. While he lived in Europe most of his life and became part of the neo-classical coterie, he was apparently a supporter of Haitian Freedom and sent this painting to Haiti in 1820. The figure on the right is L’Ouverture’s right hand man, Dessalines (who took over after L’Ouverture died) pledging with the leader of the sang mêlé, Pétion, to continue the fight for freedom. https://haitianartsociety.org/the-oath-of-the-ancestors-1822

      1. Alas, the Oath of the Ancestors is still stuck in Haiti due to the sad and dire condition of the Country. It is THIRTEEN FEET TALL.

  2. L’Ouverture is an interesting person I’d like to know more about. On the head wraps, I don’t remember all the details, but last summer we went to the Museum of Free People of Color in New Orleans (definitely worth a visit) and I believe the guide (an interpreter portraying Marie Laveau) said at one point black women were legally required to wear headwraps, but that ended up creating a fashion that white women emulated there, too. Lousiana also has ties to Haiti (including an influx of refugees from the revolution – similar to how Pierre Toussaint ended up in NYC I guess?), so I wonder how much the fashions influenced each other.

    1. Your interpreter was correct — it’s known as the Tignon Law and was passed by the Spanish Governor of Louisiana in 1789 –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tignon_law. Under the Plaçage system in New Orleans, women of color (mainly free) were contracted to become the mistresses of white/creole men, with guaranteed income, property ownership and even inheritance for the children of the arrangement. Tigons became required by law (also as part of the Code Noir in French colonies) as a marker for women of color.

  3. Jacob Lawrence did a series of paintings base on the life of Toussaint Louverture, that I have saw a number of years ago.
    I had not heard of the movie. Now I need to hunt it down to watch.
    Thank you.

  4. Re: the white planter’s wife wearing a headwrap – I think she’s meant to be a light skinned mixed race woman, like the woman in the painting you used for comparison. It’s certainly a historical possibility.

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