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
* * *
Murderous Army Reborn
I am the mayor of Milo, a district of about
50,000 people near Cap Haitian. When I was elected nine years
ago, at the age of 28, I was the youngest to serve in that
office in Haiti's modern history. I've traveled in the United
States on speaking tours, telling Americans about how we were
building democracy in Haiti under the Aristide government. In
late February my district came under attack by anti-Aristide
forces and I fled for my life. From where I am now -- hiding in
the woods -- I see the old Haitian army is back.
Those they don't kill, they lock up in containers, because they
burned down the jails. The kind of containers you put on ships.
The situation is different here from what I hear about in
Port-au-Prince, where you have the multinational force of
American, Canadian, Chilean soldiers. In Cap Haitian you have
the former Haitian military. There are no police any more, so
they are the ones who are law. They come into your home. They
take you, they beat you up, they kill you. They burn down homes.
They do anything they want, because they are the only law in
The journalists are in Port-au-Prince, but here in the north no
one is reporting what's going on, that the former Haitian
military is killing people. They are killing about 50 people a
day in Cap Haitian. It's happening not just in the northern
department but also in the central plateau, in the Artibone
Can you imagine that on Monday at 2 p.m. the former military
declared a curfew that would start at 4 p.m.? The peasants, many
of them are poor and do not have a radio, so how could they hear
of this curfew? So what happened at 4 p.m.? The former military
took to the streets and anyone they saw on the streets they
shot. This is the kind of stuff that is going on. Can you
We have people like myself, mayors and other members of the
municipal government who have had to flee and are now sleeping
in the woods, and have gone to the mountains. We have church
members and priests who have been beaten and whose cars have
been destroyed. These people are also in hiding. We could never
have imagined that we would be going back to this situation that
existed before. It is intolerable.
Since this whole thing started I haven't seen my wife and my
children. I have been in hiding. This cannot continue. This is a
catastrophe for the north of Haiti and all the people of Haiti.
One has to ask, why is all of this happening? Is this because we
used to have only 10 public high schools but now we have over
150? Is it because we made a democracy where people could go in
the streets, protest, and be free to say whatever they want? Is
it because black people in the country now, people who were poor
and always kept out of the political life of the country, they
have come out and have been participating in democracy? Is that
why they have unleashed this terror on us? Is that what we are
We ask these questions: Is it because the United States blocked
international assistance to Haiti to make people rise up against
the president, but they never did? Is it because people here are
continuing to support their president? Is that why we are
getting all this repression? We have to ask those questions.
We wonder whether it is because the army that used to exist
before was disbanded by President Aristide. Instead of defending
the people, that army used to carry out a war against us. Is it
because that army is no longer there that someone has rearmed it
and brought it back to Haiti with very powerful weapons?
Now the old army is doing what they used to do before, except
with more powerful weapons and with helicopters. They are
drowning people in the sea. That's what going on.
The press is reporting the looting that is taking place in Port
au Prince but they are not reporting about the police stations
that were burned and destroyed here in the north. They are not
reporting on the number of schools that have been destroyed.
They are not reporting on the burning of the airport in Cap
Haitian and all the other things that were built under the
government of President Aristide for the Haitian people.
I cannot understand how a group of disbanded military has access
to such sophisticated equipment and heavy weaponry. They have
two helicopters and they have two airplanes. They use the
helicopter to transport their troops and they use them at night
with spotlights to look for people in hiding. They are in the
air and they have their troops on the ground.
These are the questions we ask ourselves as we hide from those
with the guns.
Mayor Jean Charles Moise spoke
with PNS contributors Lyn Duff and Dennis Bernstein via cell phone. The
interview originally aired on Pacifica Radio's Flashpoints show (KPFA FM
94.1 in Berkeley, Calif.). Duff is a freelance writer who has reported
widely on Haiti since 1995. Bernstein is the executive producer of
* * * *
The Impact of the
Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World
Reviewed by Mimi Sheller
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.
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
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.
* * * *
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