Let us remember the slaves. Let us remember their pain, their hope, their uprisings and escapes.
Let us remember Salvius, leader of the rebellion in Sicily. Let us remember Spartacus, gladiator and leader of the Servile War as it was called in Rome.
Let us remember Zumbi, who escapes and joins the Quilombo dos Palmares, the settlement of escaped slaves in Brazil, its last and great leader.
Let us remember Denmark Vesey in Charleston, who plans their uprising, Frederick Douglass, their writer and speaker, Harriet Tubman with whom so many escape on the ‘underground railway’.
Let us remember Margaret Garner who kills her own daughter rather than see her child enslaved.
Let us remember Toussaint L’Ouverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines, leaders of the revolt in Haiti.
Let us remember the four good men, Ivan Bolotnikov and Stenka Razin, Kondraty Bulavin and Yemelyan Pugachev, leaders in the uprisings of the slaves, the kholops of Russia.
Let us remember Nanny, called Granny Nanny and their rebellion in Jamaica. Let us remember Marie-Joseph Angélique, tried and convicted, beaten and hanged for setting fire to her owner’s home.
Let us remember Nat Turner, who escapes and leads the revolt in Southampton County. Let us remember our poet Juan Francisco Manzano from the island of Cuba and the poet-prophet Ali bin Muhammad, who leads the Zanj rebellion in Basra.
Slaves, serfs and peasants, it is from them we come: let us remember them!