Monthly Archives: March 2010

Haiti: Duvalier

Three weeks ago Haiti welcomed a special guest: Haile Selassie, King of Kings, Lion of Judah, and Emperor of Ethiopia. The visit of the African leader was a diplomatic success for President Francois Duvalier. Wayne Ferris, “Haiti’s King of the Mountain: A Visit to the Dictatorship of Francois Duvalier,” Outlook, WCKT-Miami (1966) But if the […]

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Haiti: Democracy

The original antislavery, anticolonial, egalitarian premises of the Haitian Revolution did not simply die out in the postindependence period. Arising out of the ashes of self-liberation from slavery, peasant democratic republicanism lived on in a popular vision of national liberty, civic fraternity, and racial equality, expressed through the Piquet Rebellion and other instances of popular […]

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Haiti: Madame Toussaint, Empress Dessalines

The widow of the unfortunate Toussaint has just landed upon our continent. Her account of her own and her husband’s sufferings, from Bonaparte’s tyranny, would be incredible, were they not already equaled by the Corsican’s former atrocities. “An Account of the Wife of Toussaint L’Ouverture,” The Christian Observer (1804) Josephine Dessalines is humane, good-natured, and […]

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Haiti: Vieux-Chauvet

Whether any work of art can ever be worth even a single human life is a question that will never be settled–but this book is surely a masterpiece. Madison Smartt Bell, “Permanent Exile: On Marie Vieux-Chauvet,” The Nation (January 14, 2010)

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Haiti: Rebuilding

Recent statistics indicate that there are some 3,000 NGOs in this country of 9 million people or roughly one NGO per 3,000 people, the highest per-capita concentration in the world. Jemima Pierre, Tanya Golash-Boza, and Kevin Alexander Gray, “How to Help Haiti,” The Nation (March 5, 2010) Via Dr. Jemima Pierre It is imperative that […]

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Haiti: Slavery

The stranger in San Domingo was awakened by the cracks of the whip, the stifled cries, and the heavy groans of the Negroes who saw the sun rise only to curse it for its renewal of their labours and their pains. CLR James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the Santo Domingo Revolution (1938) This […]

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Haiti: Mackandal

It is not above twenty-five years ago, that the island of St. Domingo trembled at the single name of Mackandal. Born in Africa, in one of the countries at the foot of Mount Atlas, he was unquestionably of high rank; for his education had been attended to with an assiduity not common among the negroes. […]

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Haiti: Americas

Advantage may, indeed, be taken of their present ignorance; glittering and permanent rewards may be promised to their valour; they may be inspired with contemptuous notions of the blacks whom they are going to subdue; and it may not be till successive armies, the flowers of the French chivalry, are swallowed up and lost without […]

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