Repeating Islands

mulatresse_solitude_1

In 1999, to commemorate the abolition of slavery, a sculpture in the memory of Solitude was inaugurated as homage and recognition of the victims of the slave-trade and anti-slavery resistance leaders. The statue was installed at the De la Croix roundabout intersection on the Boulevard des Héros, in Abymes, Guadeloupe.

Solitude, daughter of a French sailor and an African woman (who was probably raped during the voyage on the slave ship), was born a slave in Guadeloupe in 1772. Solitude, immortalized by André Schwarz-Bart’s eponymous novel (1972), was a brown-skinned woman of legendary beauty. Each of her eyes was of a different coloration. It is alleged that her exquisite good looks led powerful békés to fight one another with the hope of getting Solitude. Her mother fled the plantation where she was enslaved, leaving Solitude with her masters.

Solitude was freed in the first abolition of 1794 but, after Napoleon restored…

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