The Haitian Revolution and the Origins of Modern Democracy was presented by Jeremy D. Popkin is the William T. Bryan Chair of History at the University of Kentucky. He focused on the years 1776, 1789, 1804. The events he described are over two hundred years ago yet the term “Haitian Revolution” has been used only in the past few decades. From the Haitian revolution we learn that how significant the Haitian Revolution is and how we consider revolutions when comparing it to American and French revolutions. What truly stood out to me throughout the lecture was Bryan’s ability to relate the events discussed to today’s classrooms.
The Haitian Revolution is recognized for its abolition of slavery the events to come that followed. Bryan related this event to today in relation to institutionalized racism. For example, Bryan explained how we can’t bring together Hispanic and black students into classrooms with mainly white students and have the same curriculum as they experience life differently. Its incredible how he related the same plot to an event that happened 200 years ago to today. Secondly, as absurd as this statement sounds it is true, Bryan makes a very real situation seem crazy but it is in place today. To be more specific institutions like Colby do not fully accommodate individuals who are not white in the curriculum offered, programing and many other decisions. Different experiences call for different ways people navigate and learn things.
Nonetheless, Bryan was making the point that the Haitian revolution influenced many other revolutions. The Haitian Revolution was wrongfully silenced because of the racist undertones that defined the event as violent. However, it had some influence on other revolutions and historical events, such as the development of the idea that regardless of skin color everyone deserves equal rights, hence the Haitian Declaration of Independence in 1804. The Haitian Revolution did a lot by establishing a free state and creating a free society for all men by abolishing slavery. Nonetheless a revolution had to come along in regards to education, women studies, etc. The next step is including minorities into the history of the world which is truly a challenge as presently racism, persist and will continue to openly persist with the presidency of Trump.