In 1963, C.L.R. James lamented Haiti’s “ceaseless battering from foreign pens.” Almost fifty years later, in the wake of the earthquake of January 12, 2010, little has changed. The mainstream media reproduce images of Haiti that merely reinforce every longstanding prejudice about the country and its people. As a consequence, Haiti’s past has been distorted behind the relentless images of destitution and anarchy. History itself has been a casualty of the earthquake.
In light of this obliteration of history, The Public Archive was initiated to serve as an accessible clearinghouse of historical essays, archival sources, and informed contemporary journalism on Haiti. The Public Archive compiles links to documents freely accessible through the digital collections of libraries and repositories as well as open-access online periodicals, academic journals and newspapers.
Image: Alexandra Handal: Pou Ayiti, fragments from C.L.R. James’ book ‘The Black Jacobins’ (1938), 2010.