‘Black Spartacus’ Review: An Opening for Haiti

Around 1740, a boy was born into slavery on the Bréda plantation in French Saint-Domingue. As a child, he was quiet and reserved, scrupulous in his Catholic faith. By early adulthood, he had become a skilled horseman and the plantation manager’s trusted right-hand man. In his mature years, re-baptizing himself Louverture (“The Opening”), he became the indispensable leader of the Haitian Revolution, the largest and most successful revolt of enslaved people in modern history. Sudhir Hazareesingh’s engrossing new life tells the story of how the enigmatic, deeply religious boy from Bréda came to be one of the most celebrated,…

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