Other Black Rebellions We Should See On The Big Screen

With the release of Nate Parker’s controversial film, Birth Of A Nation, it seems like more and more people are talking about the story of Nat Turner and his infamous rebellion. The movie, and its star have received criticisms for historical inaccuracies and previous legal allegations respectively. A lot of discussion and Think Piece-ing for a movie that’s… solid. Regardless, seeing a slave rebellion on screen is new and interesting. I did some research and found four more slave rebellions I’d love to see on the big screen soon.

Denmark Vesey

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This would be so entertaining and informative. It tells the story of one black man in the 1800’s with so many different experiences. Denmark lived a remarkable life. He spoke French, Spanish and English, he spent time in Bermuda and Haiti, he bought his freedom after winning a local lottery, he started a successful carpeting business, he was one of the leaders of the second AME Church in the country and he attempted to start a massive slave rebellion in Virginia. The plan was to capture weapons and ships and sail to Haiti. The plan failed after several slaves leaked the plans to officials. This would be a fantastic biopic and I’d love to see it made.

The 1733 St. John Insurrection

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On St. John, one of the Virgin Islands the Dutch and the British both had control over, the African people they kidnapped and enslaved revolted. In 1733, 150 members of the Akwamu tribe organized and took over a fort on Coral Bay. They gained control of the island and held if for months before French and Swiss troops came in and ended the rebellion in 1734.

The Baptist War

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The Baptist War started as a strike at the end of 1832. The African people on the island of Jamaica simply wanted more freedom and a working wage. The strike was organized through the church and led by black Baptist preacher Samuel Sharpe. After the plantation owners refused their demands, 60,000 African people revolted for 11 days. 14 white people were murdered. Over 200 African people were killed during the rebellion and 200 more in the aftermath. Many believe this rebellion led to the end of British slavery in 1838.

The Haitian Revolution

The Haitian Revolution is possibly the most important historical events in the colonial-era Americas. Starting in 1492 the French, Dutch, Spanish, and English maneuvered for territory and control of the small island. The Native Taino tribe was nearly whipped out due to disease and brutal extermination by the Europeans. France finally gained control of a portion of the island in 1667 and the colony became their crown jewel. The sugar produced on the island generated more wealth for France than any other colony. By 1780, Saint Domingo (France’s side of the island), produced 40 percent of the sugar and 60 percent of the coffee consumed in Europe. The brutal treatment of African people kidnapped and brought to the island meant that there was little opportunity for natural growth in the population like what happened in the American South. This is why African influence is so strong in Haiti. Black people were being transported to the island late into France’s rule. In 1791 Dutty Boukman performed the ceremonial Voodoo prayer and the Haitian Revolution began. Toussaint L’Ovature and Jean-Jacques Dessalines led a trained group of former slaves against the French, British, and Spanish to finally gain their freedom in 1804. This would be an amazing film to see. It would have to have a massive budget and maybe multiple parts, but I think it would be worth it

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