THE ICON: Toussaint Louverture
THE LEGACY: As the crow flies, Haiti is more than 2,000 miles from New Orleans. But in 1791, a former slave named Toussaint Louverture would help light a fire that would have a profound and lasting impact on the Crescent City — and the world. As the leader of a slave revolt in the French colony of Saint-Domingue that is today recognized as the only successful slave revolt in history — one that would lead to the founding of Haiti — Louverture would serve as a source of inspiration, and hope, to American slaves. His 12-year struggle would also, however, be a key factor in prompting a cash-strapped Napoleon to cut his losses in the New World and sell New Orleans and the Louisiana Territory to the young America.
THE ARTIST: Queen Hope Parker, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “I am Toussaint Louverture; perhaps my name has made itself known to you. I have undertaken vengeance. I want Liberty and Equality to reign in Saint Domingue. I am working to make that happen. Unite yourself to us, brothers, and fight with us for the same cause.” — Toussaint Louverture