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Reenacting America's Largest Slave Rebellion

On January 8, 1811, over 500 enslaved people took up arms in Louisiana to fight for freedom. Two centuries later, hundreds retrace their path to honor the memory of the largest slave rebellion in American History.

'The white perspective is really all that is told in history books'

On the night of January 8, 1811, over 500 enslaved people took up arms in Louisiana. No more chains. No more chains. Freedom is now. Freedom is now. They marched 26 miles from sugar plantations along the Mississippi River towards New Orleans with one goal: ending slavery. This was the largest slave rebellions in the U.S. – but it's largely ignored by history. 2 centuries later, hundreds of people retraced their path of the rebellion in a Slave Rebellion Reenactment led by artist Dread Scott.

“The rebellion began at a plantation in St. John the Baptist Parish, west of New Orleans. A dozen enslaved people attacked the plantation’s owner and his son, then set off on River Road towards the city. They recruited others on the way. I realized how much of a stigma and frankly a shame that many black people, particularly a lot of black college aged youth, had about being black because of how they were taught about slavery, how they think about enslavement. And when people learned that, you know, they're not the descendants of slaves, they're descendants of people who were enslaved and that there's been resistance the entire way, that has been very inspiring for them, and made them want to learn more about that. It really sort of shifts the understanding,” Dread Scott tells Brut.

The re-enactors marched between sites that were once plantations and are now petrochemical plants. The region is known as “Cancer Alley” because of the high cancer risk rates in the mostly black communities. While the 1811 rebellion was violently suppressed by a militia of plantation owners – the reenactment ended in a public celebration through the streets of New Orleans.

Brut.

11/23/2019 11:19 AM
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18 comments

  • Teddy M.
    7 days

    Slavery ended way before any of us was born. All the fool's need to stop comparing slave days to the times of today. They want to blame the people of today for the things people did years ago that none of us had anything to do with . study your history and learn how our country change for the better of us all.

  • Don H.
    11/29/2019 18:53

    ...yet millions of Americans still believe that certain people should be regarded as property.

  • Pepita R.
    11/29/2019 10:43

    In this century ve have the same crime, but with different people.

  • Jimmy W.
    11/28/2019 16:54

    You are free.

  • Jen F.
    11/28/2019 02:50

    Someone wrote that if you notice who mainstream America hails as white heroes, they are often soldiers. If you notice who they hail as black heroes, they are often speakers. I think it's an interesting point. A lot of people are ignorant of rebellions by black people throughout US history--Black people included. I don't know how many times I've heard people say, "If I were alive then". . .not realizing people who were alive then did the same exact thing they theorize about. History is way more complex than most schools are willing to teach. I'm always thankful the the older blacks I grew up around who were quick to point out the discrepancies between what I was being taught and what they lived through. It made me hungry to know more about history than my textbooks could contain. You can't really know the present without exploring the past.

  • Dale C.
    11/27/2019 17:44

    that is one reason the democrats make it illegal for blacks to have firearms

  • Ron R.
    11/27/2019 13:00

    Yawn.

  • Henry T.
    11/27/2019 05:03

    I thought the Nat Turner Slave Rebellion was the largest

  • Sharon S.
    11/26/2019 21:28

    🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌

  • Dave E.
    11/26/2019 19:00

    Now they are enslaved by taxes.

  • Brut
    11/25/2019 14:19

    Check out Brut's new YouTube page for documentaries like this every Friday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVTJ-stWW5w

  • Nelson I.
    11/25/2019 12:36

    Someone needs to enslave the yellow people or rather Caucasians. Maybe with that, they gonna understand the damage slave trade has caused

  • John R.
    11/25/2019 12:19

    The first slave rebellion was in Virginia around 1600, when both black and white indentured servants rose up against the land owners who profited from their free labor. This is where skin color became an issue. Indentured servitude was a common cause that the owners leveraged to their advantage by making slavery a class and color issue. Blacks became property without rights, and white servants were given limited rights as long as they "kept those slaves in line". 170 some years of Colonization yet to go before we were an independent nation.

  • Angel C.
    11/25/2019 05:34

    We latinos must do the same along with the native americans

  • Della F.
    11/25/2019 01:51

    Thanks for the badge, Brut ❤️❤️❤️

  • Anthony S.
    11/24/2019 15:10

    One question i have is how many died??

  • Abraham Y.
    11/24/2019 05:44

    Slaves brought to America from African countries are really fortunate. In their own countries, they were leading a miserable life. There were tribal chieftains who treated them like beasts. Life was very cheap. Even for a minor disobedience, people were killed. Swords and arrows were the weapons used by tribal leaders. Slaves brought to America had Christians as owners. Jesus' ideology to love one another made the owners to treat the slaves with kindness and finally gave them total freedom. Look at the lifestyles of African- Americans today. A slave descendant even became president of the United States. At the same time the economic and social conditions of Africans living in their own countries are pathetic. We get TV images of people living in Congo, Nigeria, Mozambique, Kenya and other countries in Africa. They live in miserable huts. They live in squalor and poverty. How lucky are the descendants of slaves now living in the United States.

  • Muhmmad A.
    11/23/2019 15:02

    Svkvee