Hundreds of People to Reenact One of the Largest Slave Rebellions in U.S. History

Chantal da Silva, October 28, 2019, Newsweek



It was just over two centuries ago that as many as 500 enslaved people in Louisiana started to march nearly 26 miles to New Orleans, chanting the battle cry: "Freedom or Death."

For many, the effort would end in the latter, with dozens of people believed to have been brutally killed. Surviving organizers were forced to face a tribunal, which saw some sentenced to death by firing squad.

The "German Coast Uprising of 1811" would go on to be known as one of the largest slave rebellions in history–yet, as The Smithsonian noted, it is "oft-overlooked."

One artist, Dread Scott, is looking to change that, however, organizing a reenactment of the uprising that will see hundreds of people march 26 miles over the span of two days on November 8 and 9 to ensure that an important moment in U.S. history is never forgotten.

"The position of black people in American society is a big question, including the agency of black people in making social change," Scott told Newsweek.

"This is a history where people fought to be free," he said. "I hope a lot of people are inspired.”

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“Politicians, Priests, and psychiatrists often face the same problem: how to find the most rapid and permanent means of changing a man’s belief…The problem of the doctor and his nervously ill patient, and that of the religious leader who sets out to gain and hold new converts, has now become the problem of whole groups of nations, who wish not only to confirm certain political beliefs within their boundaries, but to proselytize the outside world.” – William Sargant “Battle of the Mind”

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