The Warrior’s Belt – Warren W. Holmes

warriorsbeltJean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, a man more than the sum of his parts, through the course of his life became variously a precocious scholar, planter, sea captain, trapper, explorer, tribal chieftain, and one of the wealthiest men in 18th Century Midwestern United States.

Like all of us, he was shaped by the peculiar circumstances of his surroundings. But in order to survive the perils of his environment he constantly reinvented himself to fit his times. The central fact of DuSable’s existence is that he has largely been lost to history by becoming the victim of myth. It has long been debated whether he was the founder of Chicago. Such debate is often garbled in the babble of semantics. The truth is that in the place he had the vision to predict was strategically situated to be the economic center of North America, there is scarcely a monument to mark his ever passing this way.

This, too, is due to the circumstance of his being. Those in the process of stealing the land from its indigenous peoples and alternately, time and again, from each other were not willing to credit a Black man from Haiti with opening the bounty of the Midwest to prosperity that gained great currency after his death.

It does not go unnoticed that subtle innuendoes like portraying his home as a simple cabin instead of the sumptuous mansion it was are among the more obvious attempts to obscure the truth of this visionary pioneer. Diligent study will dispel the myth and reveal the reality of Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable.

As a philosopher, humanist, poetic seer, and peacemaker, Jean DuSable stands as the prototype of the American Dream.

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