For most Danes the 1st of November is an ordinary weekday. However, for the people of the US Virgin Islands, which for 250 years were a Danish colony, this day is all but ordinary. It is a public holiday, David Hamilton Jackson Day. The day is named after the black labor leader David Hamilton Jackson, who devoted his life to the fight for better conditions for the black laborers in the islands against the Danish colonial administration.
This struggle made the colonial authorities regard him as a troublesome rebel they needed to keep down while the black laborers saw him as a hero. The named him ‘The Black Moses’.
In commemoration of the centennial of the sale of the Danish West Indies to the USA the Danish National Archives has digitized five million pages of records from the islands – including several records concerning David Hamilton Jackson. In a series of articles the Danish National Archives focus on the life, family and struggles of David Hamilton Jackson.