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Dread Scott Launches Kickstarter to Fund Slave Rebellion Reenactment

Artist Dread Scott has teamed up with Antenna, a New Orleans–based arts organization, in order to plan a reenactment of the 1811 Louisiana slave rebellion. The performance aims to include more than five hundred people who will march the twenty-six mile route that the slaves took along the east bank of the Mississippi River.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, the revolt began at a plantation owned by Manuel Andry in a region called the German Coast of Louisiana. On January 8, 1811, slave driver Charles Deslondes led a group of slaves into the plantation owners’ mansion and injured Andry and killed his son Gilbert. Armed with muskets, cane knives, hoes, and clubs, they began a two-day hike to New Orleans, burning plantations along the way. On January 10, federal troops and the militia surrounded the enslaved at Jacques Fortier’s plantation, near what is now River Town in Kenner, putting an end to the uprising.

A Kickstarter campaign aims to raise $40,000 for the event. According to the website for the project, the reenactment will “culminate in a celebration featuring a public commemoration of the enslaved rebels who sacrificed their lives and a community celebration of Black cultural expressions of freedom through music and performance.”