Books on the Caribbean
Hubert Cole. Christophe: King of Haiti. New
York: The Viking Press, 1967.
The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution
Caribbean Doscourse (2004)
/ Barbara Harlow.
Resistance Literature (1987)
Josaphat B. Kubayanda.
The Poet's Africa: Africanness in the Poetry of Nicolas Guillen and Aime
Paul Laraque and Jack Hirschman.
Gate An Anthology of Haitian Creole Poetry
David P. Geggus, ed.
The Impact of the
Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World.
University of South Carolina Press, 2001.
Eyes of the Heart: Seeking a
Path for the Poor in the Age of Globalization
* * *
Buried in Freedom’s Coffin
An Editorial By Rudolph Lewis
the light of justice and democracy is slowly being extinguished
under the present occupation by soldiers of three respected
international democracies, namely, the United States, France,
and Canada. Two of these countries certainly have not had the
best interest of the Haitian people at heart, namely, the United
States and France.
French wasted nearly 40,000 French soldiers to restore the
enslavement of the Haitian people, and from 1825-1885 France kept the
liberated Haiti in financial chains
(90 million gold francs) demanding that
poor Haitian peasants purchase their freedom. France has resisted the
demands of $21 billion reparations
for nearly a decade. And we all know that
the U.S. government, despite its crocodile tears for the freedom
of the Iraqi people, ignores and disregards black freedom
whenever it is not under the camera’s eye.
While the Aristides languish at a residence
of Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, Haiti's new
U.S.-backed leader, interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue,
stands “shoulder to shoulder” with the so-called “rebel
commanders” (NYTimes, March 21, 2004). Mr. Latortue was flown in from Florida by the US State
Department to replace Mr. Aristide’s democratic leadership.
According to reporter Kirk Semple,
“Latortue and his retinue, dressed casually in open-necked
shirts and slacks, arrived [in Gonaives] in two United States
Army Black Hawk helicopters and a Chinook transport helicopter
flown by American troops. He was greeted by a rebel army
commander in a suit and tie who presented him a carved wooden
key to the city” (NYTimes, March 21, 2004).
claims that Haiti will be ruled by a team of “technocrats,”
Haiti will resume its rule under former Duvalierists, indicted
and convicted torturers and rapists (Read DeNeen L. Brown’s article on
“political rapes,” Washington Post, March 21, 2004).
Rebel leaders, members of the former
Cannibal Army, “plan to
keep their weapons” and the “personable” Guy Philippe said
“he would put his forces under the prime minister's orders.”
(NYTimes, March 21, 2004).
So Gerard Latortue and his new army
commanders – Guy Philippe, a onetime member of the army who
has previously been charged with plotting against the
government, and Louis Jodel Chamblain, another former leader of
FRAPH, convicted of murder and human rights abuses – have
become the new powerbrokers in occupied Haiti.
There is a scream
for Justice from black holes in Titanyen, a mass burial site.
as the sun rising in the east, the “authoritarian Aristide”
(with anti-imperialist policies) was the popular and legitimately elected President of Haiti
deposed by Guy Philippe and Louis Jodel Chamblain and other indicted
and convicted criminals with the assistance of the US State Department and
US Marines. The “democratic opposition” are
self-and-American appointed murderers and thugs who care little about
the massive poverty and powerlessness of the poor and especially
the poor and oppressed women in Haiti. (Read DeNeen L. Brown’s
article cited above.)
then is there to be done about this “regime change” – this
outrageous undermining of an elected President and the burial of
dreams in “freedom’s coffin”?
CARICOM and other nations should refuse presently to recognize
the present Haitian government and should do so only after all
the provisions of the UN Security Council Resolution 1529 (2004)
of 29 February 2004 have been fully implemented and new free
open elections have taken place, which would include the Lavalas
International, we “urgently calls on the international
community, through its Multinational Interim Force, to guarantee
that notorious human rights offenders with pending sentences for
human rights convictions, and those against whom there are
outstanding charges, are taken into custody and brought before
the Haitian justice system. Escapees must be returned to prison;
those perpetrators convicted in absentia have the opportunity
for a retrial, under Haitian law, and should be held in custody
until the retrial occurs.” These violators include Guy
Phillipe and Louis Jodel Chamblain.
all funds funneled through NGOs to FRAPH and other Haitian
paramilitary groups should be curtailed immediately.
the Haitian justice system should be fully defended, supported,
and reformed in defense of the rights of Haitian women (Read DeNeen L. Brown’s article on
“political rapes,” Washington Post, March 21, 2004).
the US Congressional Black Caucus along with TransAfrica should establish a permanent watchdog
committee to assure the implementation of justice for the
the deposing of the Aristides and the Lavalas Party, British and
American cameras have left Haiti. We cannot depend on the
right-wing owned media in Haiti to defend human rights in Haiti.
All those who truly love black freedom should not forget the
present right-wing attacks on Aristide and the Haitian people.
Nothing should stop us from speaking out against the present
repression of Haitian freedom and democracy by the United
States, France, and Canada. The Haitian poor cry out for Justice
* * * * *
Note: The title of this editorial "Dreams
Buried in Freedom's Coffin" is the last line of a poem of Patrick
Silven. The last stanza of that poem "Refugees" reads:
"At nightfall, before dropping / their bodies on bare mattresses /
inside pigeon cells, they stare / at their dreams buried in freedom's
coffin." from Open
Gate An Anthology of Haitian Creole Poetry (2001)
by Paul Laraque and Jack Hirschman
* * * * *
The Impact of the
Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World
Reviewed by Mimi Sheller
The slave revolution
that two hundred years ago created the state of Haiti
alarmed and excited public opinion on both sides of the
Atlantic. Its repercussions ranged from the world commodity
markets to the imagination of poets, from the council
chambers of the great powers to slave quarters in Virginia
and Brazil and most points in between. Sharing attention
with such tumultuous events as the French Revolution and the
Napoleonic War, Haiti's fifteen-year struggle for racial
equality, slave emancipation, and colonial independence
challenged notions about racial hierarchy that were gaining
legitimacy in an Atlantic world dominated by Europeans and
the slave trade. The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the
Atlantic World explores the multifarious influence—from
economic to ideological to psychological—that a revolt on a
small Caribbean island had on the continents surrounding it.
Fifteen international scholars,
including eminent historians David Brion Davis, Seymour Drescher, and
Robin Blackburn, explicate such diverse ramifications as the spawning of
slave resistance and the stimulation of slavery's expansion, the opening
of economic frontiers, and the formation of black and white diasporas.
Seeking to disentangle the effects of the Haitian Revolutionfrom those
of the French Revolution, they demonstrate that its impact was
ambiguous, complex, and contradictory.—Publisher,
University of South Carolina
David P. Geggus is a
professor of history at the University of Florida in Gainesville and a
former Guggenheim and National Humanities Center fellow. He has
published extensively on the history of slavery and the Caribbean, with
a particular focus on the Haitian Revolution. He is the author of
Slavery, War and Revolution: The British Occupation of Saint Domingue,
1793–1798 and an editor of
A Turbulent Time: The French Revolution and the Greater Caribbean.
Geggus lives in Gainesville.
* * * * *
Slave Revolution in the Caribbean, 1789-1804
A Brief History with Documents
Dubois and John D. Garrigus
This is the
most succinct, convenient and accurate history of
the Haitian Revolution currently available. It fills
a significant gap in the historiography between
monographs and general histories on one side and
novels and creative literature on the other. The
authors have produced an intelligent and highly
useful collection of documents, many virtually
inaccessible, and conveniently translated them for
the English-speaking audience. Their ability to
contextualize the events of the revolution briefly
is simply exemplary.' - Franklin Knight, Johns
Hopkins University, USA 'This is the most amazing
document collection I have ever read. It is
emotionally gripping, intellectually stimulating,
morally provocative, action-packed and full of
points of comparison to histories of slavery and
freedom everywhere. It has a terrific narrative flow
and inherent pathos. . . .This is a wonderful
achievement for which all sorts of teachers will be
Haefeli, Tufts University
This volume details the
first slave rebellion to have a successful outcome, leading to
the establishment of Haiti as a free black republic and paving
the way for the emancipation of slaves in the rest of the French
Empire and the world. Incited by the French Revolution, the
enslaved inhabitants of the French Caribbean began a series of
revolts, and in 1791 plantation workers in Haiti, then known as
Saint-Domingue, overwhelmed their planter owners and began to
take control of the island. They achieved emancipation in 1794,
and after successfully opposing Napoleonic forces eight years
later, emerged as part of an independent nation in 1804. A broad
selection of documents, all newly translated by the authors, is
contextualized by a thorough introduction considering the very
latest scholarship. Laurent Dubois and John D. Garrigus clarify
for students the complex political, economic, and racial issues
surrounding the revolution and its reverberations worldwide.
Useful pedagogical tools include maps, illustrations, a
chronology, and a selected bibliography.—Publisher,
* * *
update 6 May 2010