International Day for Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition

International Day for Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition

Friday 8/3, 5:45pm

The International Day for Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is August 23 of each year. It's a day designated by UNESCO to memorialize the transatlantic slave trade, citing “the night of August 22-23rd 1791, in Santo Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic), as the beginning of the uprising that would play a crucial role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade."

By 1789 the French colony St Dominique, later to become Haiti, produced ¾ of the world’s sugar and led the world in coffee, cotton, indigo and rum production. It was off the backs of some 450,000 slaves and the world’s most profitable colony St Dominique that fueled France into a leading world economy.  Between 1791 and 1804 more than 100,000 slaves were killed fighting to become the only successful slave revolt in world history.

And who did they fight and defeat? Amazingly, they fought and DEFEATED the three great colonial empires of that time along with the US.  Some 35,000 French forces led by Napoleon, along with the British Empire, which sent out one of its largest ever expeditionary forces to quash the slave revolt and had some 40,000 of its soldiers and sailors perish in the campaign, were joined by Spain who sent thousands of troops. Meanwhile the US, a growing but lesser power at the time, sent large amounts of financial support and some troops as well to quell this threat to colonialism. On January 1, 1804, the only successful slave revolt in world history culminated in the colonial possession of France declaring its independence and renaming itself Haiti.

Your KOOP Community Council invites you to celebrate International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, which was first celebrated in a number of countries, in particular in Haiti (23 August 1998) and Goree in Senegal (23 August 1999), throughout the month of August 2018!