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
* * *
Freed Rights Abusers Back in the Streets
By Trenton Daniel and Susannah A. Nesmith
GONAIVES, Haiti - The notorious Jean
Tatoune is wanted for the massacre of at least six people
here, but he's not hard to find. Just ask around Gonaives'
seaside slum of Raboteau.
Though Tatoune was sentenced to life for the
1994 killings, he walks the streets openly, a commander of the
rebels who helped drive President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from
''We're the ones making history,'' said
Tatoune, whose real name is Jean Pierre Batiste, standing on the
dusty streets of the slum, surrounded by admirers and children.
Tatoune is only one of several hundred
convicted and suspected criminals -- from common murderers to
former dictators to army human rights abusers deported from
Miami -- who escaped from prisons in the last months of
Aristide's rule. Most fled Feb. 5-29, as the rebels opened the
prisons and police fled.
As Haitian police and peacekeeping troops
from the United States, France, Canada and Chile try to restore
security, recapturing the escapees and bringing them to justice
will prove problematic, police officials and human rights groups
There's former Gen. Prosper Avril,
Haiti's 1988-90 military ruler, jailed for a massacre in 1990,
now reading novels at his home in Port-au-Prince, according to
Also free are three former officers in the
brutal military dictatorship that ruled Haiti from 1991 to '94,
who were found in Florida, deported home and convicted in the
same Raboteau massacre as Tatoune:
Gen. Jean-Claude Duperval, once second
in command in the army, then captain of a tourist boat at Disney
World in Orlando.
Col. Hebert Valmond, former chief of
military intelligence, later a Tampa security guard and
Col. Carl Dorelien, former army
personnel chief, found living in Port St. Lucie after winning
$3.1 million in the Florida Lotto.
Dorelien was rumored to have been spotted
eating an omelet at the capital's high-end Montana Hotel just
days after Aristide resigned and fled the country on Feb. 29.
The three were among 37 convicted in absentia
for the Raboteau massacre in a landmark trial -- the first to
bring to justice a large group of former Haitian soldiers and
paramilitary supporters for human rights abuses.
Among them also was Louis-Jodel Chamblain,
a former paramilitary leader and now a top rebel leader. He fled
to the neighboring Dominican Republic to escape the trial and
now walks freely about the capital with a pistol in his
Avril's son, Gregor, told The Herald his
father did not escape but was released on the orders of National
Penitentiary director Clifford Larose at 7 a.m. on the Feb. 29
-- two hours before the rest of the prisoners escaped.
Gregor claimed a judge had ordered his father
freed in 2002, but Aristide had forced Larose to disobey the
order. Larose could not be reached for comment.
Tatoune was one of the key leaders of FRAPH,
a paramilitary group that supported the 1991-94 military
dictatorship and was blamed for killing scores of Aristide
He was convicted in 2000 for the Raboteau
massacre, which human rights groups allege left at least 20
dead, although many of the bodies were never found.
Tatoune's friends broke him out of the
Gonaives prison last year, and now that a ragtag bunch of rebels
control this port town, where a U.S.-led peacekeeping force has
yet to arrive, he is free to walk its streets.
He's not the only one. More than 1,000
inmates at the national penitentiary in the capital fled on Feb.
29 after they heard radio reports of Aristide's fall, setting
trash fires in their cells and snapping open the prison's metal
''The gates aren't strong enough to keep more
than 10 people from rattling and breaking the locks, and so
everybody escaped,'' Prison Inspector Olmaille Bien-Aime said.
Recapturing all the prisoners is a task far
tougher than Haiti's barely functioning police force can begin
to handle. Port-au-Prince Police Commissioner Claude Moise
Marckinsky keeps a bulletin board in his office with the mug
shots of 60 convicted drug dealers and murderers who escaped on
But with not enough policemen to patrol the
capital, he admitted that he had no plans to seek out the wanted
men. They will commit new crimes, Marckinsky said, and will then
Recapturing human rights violators like
Dorelien and the others would also require ensuring that they
receive fair trials, advocacy groups say, because Haitian laws
require anyone tried in absentia to be tried again once
Brian Concannon, an American attorney who helped
Haitian prosecutors on the Raboteau trial, said justice was
unlikely to prevail in the current chaos. ``I'm sure that the
ones with the guns and money will call the shots.''
* * * * *
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
* * * *
Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays
Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a
collection of fourteen essays by scholars and
creative writers from Africa and the Americas.
Called one of two significant critical works on
Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late
1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of
Carter G. Woodson and
Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as
well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations
were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early
essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish
medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an
historical context for understanding 20th-century
creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone
writers, such as Cuban
Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist,
Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the
significance of Negritude in Latin America. This
collaborative text set the tone for later
conferences in which writers and scholars worked
together to promote, disseminate, and critique the
literature of Spanish-speaking people of African
descent. . . .
Cited by a
literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the
field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which
most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."
* * *
Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in
By Melissa V.
According to the
author, this society has historically exerted
considerable pressure on black females to fit into one
of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the
Matriarch or the Jezebel. The selfless
Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to
white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of
those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the
relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable
temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as
an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the
characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television
shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.
points out how the propagation of these harmful myths
have served the mainstream culture well. For instance,
the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for
black females to feel a maternal instinct towards
As for the source
of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their
own bodies during slavery given that they were being
auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless,
it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate
the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate
* * *
update 6 May 2010