Hidden Figures: Sanité Bélair #BlackHERstoryMonth 4/28
Day 4 of ‘Hidden Figures’ brings us Sanité Bélair, also known as 'The Tigress of Haiti.’ Originally born as Suzanne, Sanité later changed her name and served as a sergeant and then lieutenant in the Haitian uprising against the French, along with her husband, General Charles Bélair. Saint Bélair was born a free person of color (afranchi) in L’Artibonite, Haiti, and joined the rebel brigade to ensure that her homeland received it’s independence and ended French colonial rule. She and her husband led the uprising of almost the entire enslaved population of L’Artibonite against their enslavers, one of many successful rebellions that ultimately resulted in Haiti becoming the only nation where the enslaved were able to successfully overthrow the rule of their captors, form a new state free from slavery, and govern themselves.
As a revolutionary and freedom fighter, Sanité Bélair has been officially recognized by the Haitian Government as a National Heroine of Haiti, and in 2004, she was featured on the 10 gourde banknote of the Haitian gourde for the “Bicentennial of Haiti” Commemorative series. She is the only the second woman ever to be depicted on a Haitian banknote.