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Paris park named after Guadeloupe freedom fighter Solitude

PARIS Mayor Anne Hidalgo opened a public park named in honour of Guadeloupe anti-slavery revolutionary Solitude at the weekend.

Ms Hidalgo said a statue of the 18th-century freedom fighter — the first of a black woman in Paris — would be erected in the park.

The decision is a response to Black Lives Matter protests that have targeted statues honouring perpetrators of the slave trade.

Solitude, born to an African slave as the result of rape by a white sailor while she was being transported to the Antilles, was freed in 1794 when revolutionary France, under pressure from a revolution that began in Haiti in 1791 led by Toussaint Louverture, abolished slavery.

However Napoleon’s government reinstated slavery and Solitude, though pregnant, joined a resistance movement on Guadeloupe that fought French troops arriving to enforce it.

She led troops that joined another freedom fighter, Louis Delgres, who fought the French at Danglemont Plantation but was captured and sentenced to death, being executed on November 29 1802, one day after giving birth to a child that became the property of her owner.

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