Solitude, heroine of the slave resistance, honoured with garden in Paris


A woman who fought for the liberation of slaves on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe is honored with a public garden in the city of Paris.

The inauguration took place on Saturday.

According to newspaper Le Monde, the woman, Solitude, was born around 1772 to an African slave who was raped by a white sailor on the ship bringing her to the Antilles.

She won her freedom after the French Revolution, but then Napoleon reinstated slavery in French colonies and Solitude joined Guadeloupe’s resistance movement, according to the city hall.

Napoleon’s forces arrested a then-pregnant Solitude and sentenced her to death. She gave birth on November 28, 1802, and was hanged the next day.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo also announced plans to erect a statue to the woman, Solitude, at the site in northeastern Paris. It will be the city’s first statue honoring a Black woman.

French leaders have resisted taking down statues, amid global protests against monuments to white men linked to colonialism or the slave trade, but pushed instead to design new monuments to more diverse, lesser-known historical figures.