|CHS shines spotlight on Biassou|
|Written by Monique McIntosh|
|Thursday, 19 July 2012 14:04|
The Haitian Revolution finally joined the silver screen this year in Philippe Niang's Toussaint Louverture. But despite the film's loving portrayal, the historic changes made about revolution leader Georges Biassou have ignited much debate.
The "Contemporary Interpretation of Haitian History" symposium, held on Saturday, July 14 at the Center for Haitian Studies (CHS) in Miami, tried to clear the confusion surrounding the leader and pioneer.
Portrayed as an antagonist for Toussaint, Biassou's cinematic story never touched on his leadership and intimate connection with South Florida. Panelists Jean-Claude Exulien, Max Manigat, Babacar M'Box and Raymond Exume pointed out Biassou's crucial leadership in the revolution, serving as both military strategist and precursor of Haitian diplomacy.
St. Augustine Commissioner Errol Jones also spoke about Biassou's long history in Florida. After being banned from San Dominique due to his alliance with Spanish forces, Biassou moved to St. Augustine, where he commanded the free Black militia guarding the city at Fort Mantanzas. Biassou also helped form the historic free Black settlement at Fort Mose.
Commissioner Jones, in collaboration with CHS, is currently developing plans to erect a monument in St. Augustine in honor of Biassou. To learn more about the project, contact the CHS at (305) 757-9555.