Deslondes was a Black slave driver in New Orleans. His enslavers were pleased with him but little did they know that he was respected out of love because other enslaved people knew what he was planning.
Deslondes hated the treatment of his people. The Haitian revolution was a great inspiration for Deslondes. He saw how the people of Haiti rallied against their oppressors and won. Would it be possible to do the same here in America?
Using his position as a cover, Deslondes united enslaved people on the plantation with runaways who were living in the swamps. Together, they stood a chance of winning their freedom.
On January 8th, 1811, the uprising began. With just a few weapons, they carried banners and marched to the beat of drums. They set the Woodland plantation ablaze while residents fled and other enslaved people joined the cause. In the end, Deslondes was captured and executed, but he started a flame of hope that would spread.
Charles Deslondes’ secret fight for freedom teaches us that we must leverage our power to push for our liberation. No matter where we are, we can help each other.