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Toussaint Defender & Martyr

of African Independence in the Americas

Toussaint                                                                                                                           Christophe



Books on the Caribbean

Hubert Cole. Christophe: King of Haiti. New York: The Viking Press, 1967.

C.L.R. James. The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (1938)

Edourad Gissant. Caribbean Doscourse (2004)  /  Barbara Harlow. Resistance Literature (1987)

Josaphat B. Kubayanda. The Poet's Africa: Africanness in the Poetry of Nicolas Guillen and Aime Cesaire (1990)


Paul Laraque and Jack Hirschman.  Open Gate An Anthology of Haitian Creole Poetry (2001)

David P. Geggus, ed. The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World.  University of South Carolina Press, 2001.

Jean-Bertand Aristide. Eyes of the Heart: Seeking a Path for the Poor in the Age of Globalization

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Haiti, officially the Republic of Haiti, is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti (land of high mountains) was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island. The country's highest point is Pic la Selle, at 2,680 metres (8,793 ft). The total area of Haiti is 27,750 square kilometres (10,714 sq mi) and its capital is Port-au-Prince. Haitian Creole and French are the official languages.

Haiti's regional, historical, and ethno-linguistic position is unique for several reasons. It was the first independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean, the first black-led republic in the world, and the second republic in the Americas when it gained independence in 1804 as part of a successful slave revolution lasting nearly a decade. In 2012, Haiti announced its intention to seek associate membership status in the African Union. Haiti is the only predominantly Francophone independent nation in the Americas. It is one of only two independent nations in the Americas (along with Canada) to designate French as an official language; the other French-speaking areas are all overseas départements, or collectivités, of France.—Haiti

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President Aristide had raised, more than doubled the minimum wage in Haiti, not once but twice. The first time in 1995 he raised it from 18 gourdes to 36 gourdes per day for an 8-hour day. And, in 2003 he again doubled the minimum wage from 36 to 70 gourdes (or about $1.60) a day, despite the strong disapproval of Haiti’s business elites and their US contractors. Because of inflation, the $1.60 a day, was lower than what the minimum wage had been 10 years earlier. When the Latortue defacto government took power in 2004 they cut the minimum wage in half back to 36gourds.About two years ago the Haiti Parliament tried to raise it to what would be the equivalent of $5US dollar per day. Bill Clinton and US State dept had President Preval veto the parliamentary raise and compromise, cut it back to the equivalent of $3 per day. Today the Haiti minimum wage is $3 per day (really $3.25 per day depending on the exchange rate) for assembly plant workers and $5 for all other workers. I hope that's helpful.—margueritelaurent

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Bio- Sketch

Toussaint L'Ouverture (c.1744-1803), Haitian patriot and martyr. A self-educated slave freed shortly before the uprising in 1791, he joined the black rebellion to liberate the slaves and became its organizational genius. Rapidly rising in power, Toussaint joined forces for a brief period in 1793 with the Spanish of Santo Domingo and in a series of fast-moving campaigns became known as L'Ouverture [the opening], a name he adopted. Although he professed allegiance to France, first to the Republic and then to Napoleon, he was singleheartedly devoted to the cause of his own people and advocated it in his talks with French commissioners. Late in 1793 the British occupied all of Haiti's coastal cities and allied themselves with the Spanish in the eastern part of the island.

Toussaint was the acknowledged leader against them and, with the generals Dessalines  and Christophe, recaptured (1798) several towns from the British and secured their complete withdrawal. In 1799 the mulatto general André Rigaud enlisted the aid of Alexandre Pétion and Jean Pierre Boyer, asserted mulatto supremacy, and launched a revolt against Toussaint; the uprising was quelled when Pétion lost the southern port of Jacmel. 

In 1801, Toussaint conquered Santo Domingo, which had been ceded by Spain to France in 1795, and thus he governed the whole island. By then professing only nominal allegiance to France, he reorganized the government and instituted public improvements. Napoleon sent (1802) a large force under General Leclerc to subdue Toussaint, who had become a major obstacle to French colonial ambitions in the Western Hemisphere; the Haitians, however, offered stubborn resistance, and a peace treaty was drawn. 

Toussaint himself was treacherously seized and sent to France, where he died in a dungeon at Fort-de-Joux, in the French Jura. His valiant life and tragic death made him a symbol of the fight for liberty, and he is celebrated in one of Wordsworth's finest sonnets and in a dramatic poem by Lamartine.


C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins (1938, 2d ed. 1963) Audio CD Version

C. Moran, Black Triumvirate: A Study of L'Ouverture, Dessalines, Christophe (1957);


A. M. Schlesinger, Jr., ed., Toussaint L'Ouverture: Haitian Liberator (1989).

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Haiti's Declaration of Independence  / Obama, Bush and Clinton launch Haiti aid appeal

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Until She Spoke

                           Excerpt of “Lecture on Haiti”

                                   By Frederick Douglass
Until she spoke, no Christian nation had abolished Negro slavery.
Until she spoke, no Christian nation had given to the world an organized effort
to abolish slavery.
Until she spoke, the slave ship, followed by hungry sharks, greedy to devour
the dead and dying slaves flung overboard to feed them, ploughed in peace the
South Atlantic, painting the sea with the Negro’s blood.
Until she spoke, the slave trade was sanctioned by all the Christian nations of
the world, and our land of liberty and light included.
Men made fortunes by this infernal traffic, and were esteemed as good
Christians, and the standing types and representations of the Savior of the
Until Haiti spoke, the church was silent, and the pulpit was dumb.
Slave-traders lived and slave-traders died.
Funeral sermons were preached over them, and of them it was said that they died
in the triumphs of the Christian faith and went to heaven among the just

Source: The Louverture Project

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Latest Update

Haiti human rights icon and leader, father Gerald Jean Juste illegally incarcerated in Haiti under the US regime change twice, eventually dying of blood disease, stress and he says a "mysterious itching white powder: he was infected with while in prison behind UN guns. Many Haiti youths, without Father Jean Juste's international reputation still remain behind bars since the 2004 US regime change behind UN guns, indefinitely detained political prisoners charged with only "association with wrongdoers" meaning generally they come from extremely poor areas and are suspected of voting or sympathizing with Aristide's Lavalas party in Haiti. At the time of the earthquake there were 8,000 detained without charge, without trial, without conviction. Many died in jail during the earthquake, some fled when the prison walls crumbled, others have been return to jail after and still await conviction under US occupied Haiti.— in Haiti.

Modern-day Conquistadors

Video: Canada (Majescon Newmont Mining) drilling for gold in Haiti

Newmont Mining which is drilling Haiti's gold gave $1 million cash contribution
to the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund. No quid pro quo intended of course,

Clinton and Bush are great Haiti humanitarians, right?  Haiti's Road to Hope
History of Mining in Haiti

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Poison Seeds, Herbicides, Pushed Again on Haitian Farmers in Spring 2012—If you have not figured this out by now from observing the outcome of the aid to Haiti, I’ll say it again. Aid from the U.S. to Haiti in particular, and the Third World in general, is a way of laundering government paybacks to industry, with USAID usually serving as the intermediary. The aid is not intended to help the recipient but to assist U.S. companies that cannot sell their goods. Examples include pharmaceutical companies that cannot sell their mercury-tainted vaccines, or large agricultural concerns whose seeds have been banned throughout the world.

Instead of burning these harmful products, which would be the appropriate course of action, the manufacturers “donate” them to needy countries, for a generous price from USAID: no bidding necessary. In June 2010, thousands of Haitian farmers burned their gift of Monsanto seeds, but over one hundred more tons have arrived, along with the pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. With Haiti’s ministry of agriculture currently being headed by a former rice importer, this is hardly surprising. Yes, it is definitely true that these people never give up. And neither should we. Not ever.—Dady Chery, Editor, Haiti Chery

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     27 Days

     200th Anniversary of the Haitian Independence (Manes Pierre)

     African Diaspora in the 21st Century (Mbeki)

     Amnesty International on Haiti 

     Boukman and His Comrades (Munford)

     Contact of Cultures: The Haitian Factor

     Death of a Nation

     Dreams Buried in Freedoms Coffin

     Education and the Cataclysm in Haiti

     Experiment in Haiti

     Fourth World Art 

     Freed Rights Abusers Back in the Streets 

     The  Galbaud Revolt & Villate Affair (François Duvalier)

     Haiti 200  (sekou poem)

     Haitians Forced to Eat Dirt

     Haiti's Murderous Army Reborn

      Haiti on the UN Occupation

      The hate and the quake

     How the U.S. Impoverished Haiti

      The Immigrant Artist at Work    

     The Impact of the Haitian Revolution

      Kerry on Unrest in Haiti

     A Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial

     Max Wilson

     New Orlean's Heart is in Haiti

     The Non-Sovereign State of Haiti

     The Paradoxes of Liberation

     Petition to President-elect Obama

     Revolutionary Potential of Haiti

     Spin on Haiti

     Statement from Prison of Sò  Anne

     Suffocating the poor: a modern parable

     Toussaint & Lenin by C.L.R. James

     Toussaint Chronology

     Toussaint & Turner By Du Bois  (commentary)  WEB Du Bois Table

       Washington and Paris Overthrow Aristide

     Washington's Tar Baby

     Waters Condemns Violence in Haiti

     Why They Had to Crush Aristide   

     Wordsworth's Toussaint      


   *   *   *   *   *

Aristide & Western Imperialism

     Amnesty International on Haiti

     Anne Auguste (So No)  /  Demand Release of Anne Auguste 

     Aristide Did Not Resign

     Aristide Kidnapped by US Marines

     Aristide No "Ghetto Priest" by Aduku Addae

     Aristide Under Lock & Key, U.S. Delegation Says

     Black Lawyers Blasts Kidnapping of Aristide

     Delegation to Meet Aristides in Central Africa

     Dialogue between Two Haitians

     Don't Fall for Washington Spin on Haiti by Jeffrey Sachs

       Dreams Buried in Freedom’s Coffin by Rudolph Lewis

     Freed rights abusers back in the streets

     Haiti after the Press Went Home

     Haiti, America, and the Rest of the World  by Joe Williams

     Haitians Demand Reparations

     Haiti Makes Its Case for Reparations  by J. Damu 

     Haiti's Murderous Army Reborn

     The Illegal Coup in Haiti

     Jamaica Sells out Aristide

     Kerry Maintains the Administration  Is Partly to Blame for the Unrest in Haiti

     The killers that Washington backs  Amy Goodman on the U.S. role in Haiti’s coup

      Maxine Waters Condemns Violence in Haiti 

     Maxine Waters to Colin Powell: Political Repression in Haiti

     Regime Change 

     The Struggle in Haiti by Aduku Addae

     Up Against the Wall in Haiti by Arthur R. Flowers

     Urgent Message for Secretary Powell!!!

      U.S. War Against Haiti (

    Washington and Paris Overthrow Aristide

     "We ugly but we here!"

     Why They Had to Crush Aristide

     Year 501: The Tragedy of Haiti  by Noam Chomsky


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John Maxwell Articles on Haiti John Maxwell Table


     Building Utopia on a Garbage Heap

     The Cannibal Army  

     The CARICOM/OAS Minstrel Show 

     The Circular World of Colin Powell

     The End of Nationhood   

     Haiti's Great White Hope

     “Imagine! Niggers Speaking French!!!”  

     Killing them softly  

     Lies, Malice, and Machetes

     No, Mister! You Cannot Share My Pain!

     Our Debt is Long Past Due

     Sold Down the River

     Washington's Tar Baby

     We ugly but we here

     With Friends like These

*   *   *   *   *

Napoléon Bonaparte Proclamation on Saint-Domingue (1799)—The same day as this proclamation (December 25, 1799), Bonaparte issued a decree saying that the words “Remember, brave blacks, that the French people alone recognize your freedom and the equality of your rights” should be inscribed in gold letters on all the flags of the battalions of the National Guard of the colony of Saint Domingue. Toussaint Louverture refused to follow this order, saying: “It is not a circumstantial freedom conceded to ourselves alone that we want. It is the absolute adoption of the principle that any man born red, black or white cannot be the property of his like. We are free today because we are the stronger party. The Consul 1 maintains slavery in Martinique and Bourbon; we will thus be slaves when he will be the stronger.” Napoléon Bonaparte would soon show that he in fact had no regard for people of African ancestry in the colonies. Just about two years later, in 1802 he would send troops, commanded by his brother in-law General Leclerc, to re-establish slavery in France's greatest source of wealth: the colony of Saint-Domingue.—TheLouvertureProject

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My decision to destroy the authority of the Blacks in Saint Dominque (Haiti) is not so much based on considerations of commerce and money, as on the need to block for ever the march of the blacks in the world.—Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon wasn't the last. The US did not recognize Haiti until after the Civil War because it would have weakened the oppression of black slaves. Ever since, America has intervened to prevent the development of a genuinely independent Haiti. In 2004, Navy Seals kidnapped elected President Aristide and deported him to Africa. Last Year America tried to block his return to his homeland. The earthquake provided the opportunity to resume total foreign corporate control over the island.—Richard M Peery

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Never again shall a Colonist or a European set his foot upon this territory with the title of master or proprietor. This resolution shall henceforward form the fundamental basis of our constitution. Should other chiefs, after me, by pursuing a conduct diametrically opposite to mine, dig their own graves and those of their species. May my successors follow the path I shall traced out for them! It is the system best adapted for consolidating their power. It is the highest homage they can render to my memory.—Jean Jacques Dessalines, April 28, 1804, Head quarters at Cape Haitian, First year of independence.
"The European and colonist didn’t come back to Haiti as just master or proprietor. No sireeee. He/she came back as GOD!"—Paul Farmer, the UN Deputy envoy to Haiti is not a God but the face of the UN/USAID/World Bank by Ezili Dantò, HLLN


“October is not too far away, and those Haitians who are not slaves know only one God beneath the almighty Bondye. The spirit of all omnipresent good and beauty is neither Paul Farmer, Bill Clinton, nor cholera—MINUSTAH.”—Ezili Dantò of HLLN, August 27, 20

Is this Minustah's 'Abu Ghraib moment' in Haiti?

A Particular Account of the Insurrection of the Negroes of St. Domingo, Begun in August, 1791 (1792)

*   *   *   *   *

Even on these ashes, we will continue to fight for freedom

I only want the brave to stay with me. Those who wish to become once again French slaves can make their way out of this fort. Those on the contrary who wish to die as free men may take their place around me.—Jean Jacques Dessalines, Haiti's founding father, speaking at Crête-à-Pierrot, March 11, 1802. The Story of Janjak

When Napoleon's general Leclerc ordered Henri Christophe of Haiti to surrender Cap Haitian. General Christophe, following the orders of Toussaint declared: "We will not surrender until it is reduced to ashes and even on the ashes, we will continue to fight." The Haitians did not surrender. They faced down a European armada- 50,000 French soldiers with US support, arms, an embargo and navy blockade against them. Today, the sell-out Haiti Diaspora, like those who came in the warships with Leclerc's army, are at the UN or with the NGOs, the Oligarchy and the technocrats. Two million people are living homeless on the ashes of Port au Prince. Clinton has so many titles in Haiti no one can keep up. But still, we will not surrender. Even on these ashes, we continue to fight for freedom.

Right now we're at Crête-à-Pierrot. The indigenous soldiers of Haiti, at home and abroad are outgunned and outnumbered. You know how the story ends! Before Dessalines had returned with reinforcements, the indigenous soldiers, led by husband and wife -Mari-Jann and Commander Lamartinière, running out of water, food and supplies, made a way out of no way to escape to safety by one the most brilliant military maneuvering acts of courage during the struggle for freedom and independence by the people of Ayiti.
Are you brave enough to stand with the indigenous of Haiti? How deep is your rage? Shall we eternally be the history of rape on this planet? Or, continue to fight, even on these ashes?

Ezili Dantò of HLLN
24 September 2010

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CrossTalk on Haiti: Year of Agony

Haiti is a farming nation on a tiny Island70 to 80% of Haitians are small farmers and entrepreneurswho could live in peace and prosperity if Haiti was allowed to use the assets of its own nation for the public health and nation building of its own people. Not to feed US-Euro oligarchs’ market and narcissistic needs, or Wal-Mart, JC Penny profit margins or the arrogance, security paranoia of the racist and fearful interested in PROFIT at all cost.

HELP for Haiti would be authentic IF the bankers would help to maximize the use of the nearly $2.5billion per year of direct aid the Haitian Diaspora sends to Haiti. If the politicos, world bankers, Haiti Oligarchy and Western Union financing houses would stop tapping into it. Allow a Haiti development bank from these remittances the collateral credit from these yearly remittancesperhaps $1billion dollars for Haitians to build water and sanitation infrastructure, rebuild roads and agricultural self-sufficiency. That would take out the need for MOST of Paul Farmers’ pharmaceuticals and supplements and oral vaccines being washed down with foul or foreign-bought purification tablets, chlorinated water to be swallowed on empty Haitian stomachs.

Next, change the US predatory trade policies, stop dumping Clinton’s Arkansas rice, Monsanto hybrid seeds and don’t block the Haiti Diaspora from investing in the Haiti farmersproviding help with modern tractors and equipment to produce and regain Haiti’s food sovereignty.—Ezili Dantò

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What Color is Haitian Jesus?—17 October 2011—When it comes to Jesus, however, it seems everyone else is Black, leaving Jesus to standout more than what would be normally expected in a religious painting.  My favorite example of this in the gallery is a depiction of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus. The scene contains onlookers in the foreground, all Black, as well as John the Baptist, also Black, baptizing Jesus, white. The message is uncanny, but the true gravity of the piece takes a moment to sink in. Finally, it hits: you mean even in a Black country where the people and important figures in religious history are depicted as Black, Jesus still has to be white? For any Christian painting, I imagine the image of Jesus would figure prominently. Yet, this painting has added an extra layer of “heavenliness, ” by depicting Jesus as white amidst a sea of Black followers and a Black baptist.

In another painting, depicting the miraculous catch of fish from the book of Luke, Jesus and the disciples are painted white, though admittedly the fish are a variety of colors. And, after further scrutiny, perhaps Jesus isn’t white exactly? After all, Haiti does boast a sizable and influential Libyan population. Perhaps the images in this painting bear homage to middle eastern influence?—SakpaseDiplomacy

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Douglas Perlitz sentenced to nearly 20 years for sex abuse in Haiti

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton wrote another one—on justice—sentencing Douglas Perlitz, the humanitarian turned sex predator, to 19 years and seven months in federal prison for his systematic and prolonged abuse of at least 16 homeless boys in a program he created to shelter, feed and educate them in Haiti.

 "Our country places a high value on defending citizens' individual dignity and protecting every child," Arterton told Perlitz, 40, Fairfield University's 2002 commencement speaker. "This was a horrific crime . . . In a country that's very hard to live in; he took away the childhood they were never able to have. . . ." But Arterton didn't stop there.

Stamford lawyer Ezili Dantò, President of the Haitian Legal Leadership Network, talks to the media about early Haitian leader Pierre Toussaint, whom Doug Perlitz named his school after.

She looked directly at Perlitz and told him: "Survivors of sexual abuse have unique, long-lasting permanent injuries—for these boys that's on top of being poor, hungry and homeless in Haiti. Now they have fingers pointed at them in derision."—Salon

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My Haitian brothers and sisters, we need to step up. All of us as one! Haiti is now overrun with foreigners who are telling us that they are more Haitian than we are, that Haiti needs to be occupied militarily FOREVER. Furthermore, they are telling us that somehow we are ungrateful whenever we protest against the wanton killings in the slums of Port-au-Prince, the boy hung inside a MINUSTHA base in Cap-Haïtien, the 17-year-old boy gang-raped in Port-Salut, the 6,000 people dead from the UN-imported strain of the cholera virus, the nearly half a million people who have been infected with the same virus, and the minors whom they have been raping and impregnating.

At each and every turn, it seems, we need to say: "Thank you, nice people, for the security you are providing to our country. Thank you with a smile. You are our protectors. You are our gods, because we are worthless." Is that what we as a people have been reduced to? Hell No, we will not shut up just to please you. Nor shall we submit to your attempts at inducing an inferiority complex in Haitians.

Other countries in the Americas have seen far higher levels of violence than Haiti. Why do they persist in portraying Haiti as the most hopeless country in the continent? Of course, we reject Haitian-on-Haitian violence. However, does the threat of Haitian-on-Haitian violence justify the indefinite presence of a foreign military on Haitian soil? Would they also occupy all other countries with higher levels of violence, such as Jamaica and Mexico? Why hasn't the UN spent their allocated Haiti funds to support a State of Law in Haiti run by Haitians? In any case, Haitians should be FREE to protest ALL HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES without getting shamed for saying: "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. DO GOOD OR DEPART!"—Guy S. Antoine, Sept. 19, 2011

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27 Days

Dedicated to Monsieur Monsignac, his fellow survivors and those passed on

Written by Keenan Norris and Alexandria White

Originally performed by Alexandria White and Darold Rawls at Evergreen Valley College, San Jose, CA 

*   *   *   *   *

Why does Pres. Obama denounce the Burma unfair election process but not Haiti upcoming unfair elections?—By Dan Beeton—Haiti is scheduled to hold elections on Nov. 28, and nothing —neither the cholera outbreak that has killed more than 1,000 people nor the fact that more than 1 million earthquake survivors remain homeless—seems likely to convince the Haitian government or its international backers that the vote should be postponed. It should be. Why? The electoral process is rigged.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration seems happy to go along with the charade. . . .In Haiti, as in Burma, several parties, including the most popular, Fanmi Lavalas, are being kept off the ballot in an overtly anti-democratic move. Fanmi Lavalas has won every election it has participated in, and authorities seem determined to prevent that from happening again.

In Haiti, as in Burma, a council handpicked and controlled by the government is overseeing the electoral process. And in Haiti, as in Burma, the popular party's leader is kept from rallying supporters.—LaTimes

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Cholera in Haiti Matches Strains Seen in South Asia, U.S. Says—1 November 2010—A cholera outbreak that has killed more than 300 people in Haiti matches strains commonly found in South Asia, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday. Researchers identified the strain by analyzing DNA patterns that can be compared with those from other regions of the world, according to Dr. Christopher Braden, a C.D.C. epidemiologist. The finding does not identify the source, nor does it explain how cholera—a disease never confirmed to have existed in Haiti—suddenly erupted in the vulnerable country’s rural center. But it eliminates some possibilities, including any connection to a 1990s South American outbreak. The finding also intensifies the scrutiny of a United Nations base built on a tributary to the Artibonite River. Cholera has been detected in the waterway, and most of the cases have been among people who live downriver and drank from the Artibonite.Speculation among Haitians has increasingly focused on the base and troops there from Nepal, where cholera is endemic and which saw outbreaks this summer before the current contingent of troops arrived in Haiti. Most people infected by the microbe never develop symptoms but can still pass on the disease.NYTimes

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Is Haiti's deadly cholera outbreak an imported disease? by Ezili DantòA chilling video testimony of brackish Red Cross water in HaitiCholera confirmed in Haiti capital. For another compelling testimony on Red Cross delivering filthy water to Haiti victims since the earthquake, view also: How did the Red Cross spend $106 Million Dollars in Haiti: (Ezili Dantò's note: Amongst some of the testimonies that's not clearly translated in this most valuable video: a woman standing next to a small child repeating "no, no, no," points to a water drum with a "Red Cross" sign on it and says that even the water they give is not treated. She explains that she drinks it because she has no money to buy good drinkable water but suffers right now from a stomach ache from drinking the Red Cross' polluted water.)

Here's an example of help Haiti could use that is beyond Clinton/CocaCola/Sweatshops/Monsanto hybrid seeds/unregulated gold/copper and other foreign mining, and more foreign toxins that further pollutes Haiti's ground water: Communication, Water purifier, electricity and environmentally conscious, all in one—

*   *   *   *   *

Guards cash in on smuggling Haitian children—By Gerardo Reyes and Jacqueline Charles—Oct. 26, 2010—Since the earthquake, more than 7,300 boys and girls have been smuggled into the Dominican Republic by traffickers profiting on the hunger and desperation of Haitian children and their families. In 2009, the figure was 950, according to one human rights group that monitors child trafficking at 10 border points.

The busiest of all border points is the Massacre River Bridge, linking Ouanaminthe in Haiti with Dajabón—also home to the Dajabón market, which provides cover for traffickers, especially on Fridays and Mondays when Dominican authorities open the iron gate in the middle of the bridge and thousands of merchants and buyers pour in. . . .

On the Haitian side of the bridge, the smugglers cut deals inside makeshift huts. Just outside on a mud-laden field, Dominican and Haitian motorcyclists offer to cross anyone for a fee, no papers needed; others offer children. Standing on a bridge, Alix offers to sell a Herald reporter a 15-year-old girl. He gives no price, but said the girl previously lived with a Dominican doctor and his Haitian wife in Santo Domingo, and they had bought the teenager for $5,000 Haitian gourdes or $125. . . .``At night, the moans of pleasure mingle with the cries of children,'' said a neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous because he lives by the shanty. ``It is very sad not to know what is happening with these children, whether or not they are with their parents.'' After midnight, motorcycles and buses park, lights off, on the dark street outside the shanties. The children are led out. Some motorcyclists carry two or three children sandwiched between the driver and an adult. From there, they speed down the main highway to Santiago de los Caballeros and Santo Domingo.MiamiHerald

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Ezili Dantò is an award winning playwright, a performance poet, author and human rights attorney. She was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and raised in the USA. She holds a BA from Boston College, a JD from the University of Connecticut School of law. She is a human rights lawyer, cultural and political activist and the founder and president of the Ezili’s Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN).

She runs the Haitian Perspectives on-line journal and the Ezili Dantò Newsletter. Ezili’s HLLN is the recognized leading and most trustworthy international voice in Haiti advocacy, human rights work, Haiti news and Haiti news analysis. HLLN’s work is central to those concerned with the welfare of the people of Haiti, Haiti capacity building, sovereignty, institutionalization of the rule of law, and justice and peace without occupation or militarization.

 Ezili Dantò is also an educator who specializes in teaching about the light and beauty of Haitian culture; the Symbolic and Archetypal Nature of Haitian Vodun; the illegality and immorality of forcing neoliberal policies on Haiti and the developing world . . . For more go to the Ezili Danto/HLLN website at

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Not just "gang leaders" in Haiti fought for Aristide to finish his five-year term. The demonstrators are lifting up their hands to indicate, five years, five years, five years—senk an, senk an, senk an. No Bush regime change in Haiti! Most of the Haitian mothers you see in this video, who were lucky enough to have survived the 2004-2006 Lavalas witch-hunt and US/UN guns from the 2004 Bush regime change in Haiti, are suffering unbearable, some from grief, humiliation,

Clorox hunger, or worst, some on top of all this, from traumatic rape and sexual abuse by the "peacekeepers," US/NGO/IFI "saviors," and their Haitian mercenary arms, or as a direct result of the opportunistic anarchy that landed in Haiti after this video was taken.

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Six months after earthquake, Haiti ill-served by aid—Ezili Dantò, July 28, 2010—The “new Haiti” after the earthquake is not much different from the old Haiti the United States has been attempting to bring forth for two centuries: a place governed by business-oriented Haitian technocrats who take their marching orders from Washington.

Clinton and others in the international aid community opine that the slow disbursement of funds and rebuilding of the country is the fault of Haiti’s weak government. Ironically, it was the Bush administration that rendered Haiti weak by overthrowing in 2004 the elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Members of the aid community also say Haiti doesn’t have the capacity to absorb the aid. But it was the World Bank and U.S. policies that destroyed Haiti’s food sovereignty, forced the government industries to privatize, and left basic services like education, water, sanitation and health care to the free market, which did not deliver.—Progressive

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Haitian quake survivors to arrive in Senegal—Dakar, Senegal—Senegal's president says he's honoring a promise to offer a home to Haitians recovering from January's catastrophic earthquake. The West African nation has chartered a special flight to bring 160 Haitian students to Senegal on Tuesday. The students will finish their studies in Senegal. President Abdoulaye Wade says he'll greet them at the airport.

Wade offered free land to Haitians after the Jan. 12 earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people. Haiti and Senegal were both French colonies, and Wade said Haitians were sons and daughters of Africa. Senegal's GDP per capita is only marginally higher than Haiti's, and the country is plagued by massive unemployment. Every year thousands of Senegalese men risk their lives trying to reach Europe in flimsy boats.—Google AP

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Bill Clinton Gives 500,000 to Sean Penn for Haiti—By Mary Green—Sean Penn just got the ultimate seal of approval: President Clinton announced his support of Penn's ongoing work in Haiti with a half a million-dollar donation. The Clinton Foundation donated $500,000 to Penn's charity, J/P Haitian Relief Organization. The money will provide for bridge funding for a camp in Petionville, which is run by the group. . . .
President Clinton said. "In the interim, our commitment to the Petionville camp, managed by J/P HRO, will ensure the 55,000 people living there, including many children, can access health care, education, and job training services until families are able to move into more permanent homes."

"The support of President Clinton and the Clinton Foundation is an extraordinary boost in our organization's ability to continue its work in Haiti," Penn told PEOPLE. "From the beginning the Clinton Foundation staff and leadership have generously shared expertise and essential logistical support."—People

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Haiti: Coping with the aftermath

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Haiti's Enduring Creativity (video)

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Haiti Earthquake: The Hidden Holocaust (video)

Video Description:

"Since Haiti's devastating earthquake, there has been a steady stream of religious cults who have swarmed down on the countryside under the guise of offering humanitarian assistance. Beneath their altruistic cloak, rests a more ominous hidden agenda. Namely, to blackmail, coerce and manipulate the suffering Haitians into converting to their brand of Christian faith. When they refused, food and medicine is withheld from them. When this does not work, these cults resort to instigating violence amongst the already shelled-shocked Haitians."

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Wyclef Jean can't run for president— August 20, 2010—Council spokesman Richard Dumel said election officials have accepted 19 candidacies and rejected 15 others. The Haitian-born singer’s candidacy was turned down because he did not meet the residency requirement of having lived in Haiti for five years before the Nov. 28 election.

Jean, whose parents brought him to the United States as a child, has lived off and on in Haiti in recent years. In 2007 he was named roving ambassador to Haiti by President Rene Preval, an appointment he had argued qualified him to run for president of the country.

The 40-year-old former Fugees frontman was ensconced in a hotel not far from where the electoral council was deliberating. About an hour before the candidate list was announced, Jean and his entourage left the hotel without speaking to the press. . . .

The devastation from the earthquake, coupled with frustration over a weak government response, have created an opening for a messianic outsider like Jean, said Robert Fatton Jr., a Haiti expert at the University of Virginia. “The very fact that he is taken seriously when, in fact, he has no preparation to be president is an indication that the whole country, in particular the youth, looks at the typical Haitian population as a bankrupt kind of species,” Fatton said.RGI

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez  said the US was "playing God" by testing devices capable of creating eco-type catastrophes, the Spanish newspaper ABC quoted him as saying. A 7.0-magnitude quake rattled the desperately poor country on January 12, killing an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 people. As Haiti looks to the world for basic sustenance, the authorities say the biggest dangers facing survivors are untreated wounds and rising disease.

Following the quake, appeals for humanitarian aid were responded to globally. However, the nation is struggling with violence and looting as aid is still not enough for the tens of thousands left homeless and injured. Chavez said the killer earthquake followed a test of "weapon of earthquakes" just offshore from Haiti. He did not elaborate on the source of his claim. The outspoken leader had earlier accused the US of occupying Haiti "under the guise of the natural disaster." At least 11,000 US troops have been dispatched to the country to provide security for aid distribution efforts.

Venezuelan media have reported that the earthquake "may be associated with the project called HAARP, a system that can generate violent and unexpected changes in climate." HAARP, the High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, is a study run in Alaska directed at the occasional reconfiguration of the properties of the Earth's ionosphere to improve satellite communications. Former US Secretary of Defense William Cohen in 1997 expressed concerns over countries engaging "in eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves."  PressTV

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Quake Accentuated Chasm That Has Defined HaitiThis is the Pétionville district of Port-au-Prince, a hillside bastion of Haiti’s well-heeled where a mangled sense of normalcy has taken hold after the earthquake in January. Business is bustling at the lavish boutiques, restaurants and nightclubs that have reopened in the breezy hills above the capital, while thousands of homeless and hungry people camp in the streets around them, sometimes literally on their doorstep. “The rich people sometimes need to step over us to get inside,” said Judith Pierre, 28, a maid who has lived for weeks in a tent with her two daughters in front of Magdoos, a chic Lebanese restaurant where diners relax in a garden and smoke flavored tobacco from hookahs. Chauffeurs for some of the customers inside lined up sport utility vehicles next to Ms. Pierre’s tent on the sidewalk near the entrance. NYTimes

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The Haitian Revolution, 1791 to 1804: Or, Side Lights On the French Revolution

By Theophilus Gould Steward

This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.—

The Haitian Revolution, 1791 to 1804. By T. G. Steward. Thomas Y. Crowell Company, New York, 1915. 292 pages. $1.25.

Reviewed by J.R. Fauset. The Journal of Negro History. Vol. I., No. 1, January. 1916.

In the days when the internal dissensions of Haiti are again thrusting her into the limelight such a book as this of Mr. Steward assumes a peculiar importance. It combines the unusual advantage of being both very readable and at the same time historically dependable. At the outset the author gives a brief sketch of the early settlement of Haiti, followed by a short account of her development along commercial and racial lines up to the Revolution of 1791. The story of this upheaval, of course, forms the basis of the book and is indissolubly connected with the story of Toussaint L'Overture. To most Americans this hero is known only as the subject of Wendell Phillips's stirring eulogy. As delineated by Mr. Steward, he becomes a more human creature, who performs exploits, that are nothing short of marvelous. Other men who have seemed to many of us merely namesRigaud, Le Clerc, Desalines, and the like--are also fully discussed.

Although most of the book is naturally concerned with the revolutionary period, the author brings his account up to date by giving a very brief resumé of the history of Haiti from 1804 to the present time. This history is marked by the frequent occurrence of assassinations and revolutions, but the reader will not allow himself to be affected by disgust or prejudice at these facts particularly when he is reminded, as Mr. Steward says, "that the political history of Haiti does not differ greatly from that of the majority of South American Republics, nor does it differ widely even from that of France."

The book lacks a topical index, somewhat to its own disadvantage, but it contains a map of Haiti, a rather confusing appendix, a list of the Presidents of Haiti from 1804 to 1906 and a list of the names and works of the more noted Haitian authors. The author does not give a complete bibliography. He simply mentions in the beginning the names of a few authorities consulted.—J. R. Fauset.

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Davasting Earthquake in Haiti

Hundreds of thousands expected killed

The Caribbean nation of nine million is the poorest country in the Americas with an annual per-capita income of $560. It ranks 146th out of 177 countries on the UNDP Human Development Index. More than half the population lives on less than $1 a day and 78 per cent on less than $2. There is a high infant mortality rate and the prevalence of HIV among those between ages 15 and 49 is 2.2 per cent. Haiti's infrastructure is close to total collapse and severe deforestation has left only two per cent of forest cover.  About 9,000 UN police and troops are stationed in the country to maintain order

Latest updates on the Haiti earthquake / Why the Haiti earthquake was so devastating / Video: Haiti beset by natural disasters

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Haiti's Billion Dollar Debt Cancelled

WASHINGTON, Jul 9 ( - The recent cancellation of Haiti's $1.2 billion debt is a huge victory for the impoverished country, which will now have greater resources to invest in "desperately needed relief" for its people, says a coalition of groups fighting poverty worldwide.

 Debt cancellation will allow Haiti -- the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere -- to redirect significant resources to poverty alleviation efforts and desperately needed public services such as education and health care, notes Jubilee USA. Oneworld

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Fr. Jean-Juste, spiritual leader of Haitian Americans, dies—Fr. Gérard Jean-Juste, the Roman Catholic priest whose passionate, relentless, 30-year human-rights crusade on behalf of his fellow Haitians cast him as their spiritual and political leader in South Florida, has died.

Jean-Juste was a liberation theologist, controversial in both the United States and his homeland, battled the unequal treatment of Haitian refugees in the federal courts, in Miami's streets and in the media.

He suffered a stroke recently, according to Ira Kurzban, the Miami attorney who represented Jean-Juste's Haitian Refugee Center in several lawsuits against the U.S. government, and died Wednesday at Jackson Memorial Hospital. He was 62. His death apparently was unrelated to the leukemia that Jackson doctors treated three years ago.

''The Haitian-American community has lost a visionary and a central figure who helped to establish the Haitian community in South Florida,'' Kurzban said. ``They lost a. . .friend whose arms and heart were always open.'' MiamiHerald (28 May 2009)

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Ezili's HLLN honors Father Gerard Jean Juste

I had thought after living through two US-sponsored Coup D’etats in Haiti, their death squads’ persecution of the Haitian populace; after hitting our heads against the wall of media lies and State Department spins on the second foreign-ouster of President Jean Bertrand Aristide; after advocating for the many still languishing in UN-occupied-Haiti jails since the 2004 Bush Haiti Regime Change, and meagerly comforting those in exile without papers, giving voice to the hurt and humiliation of the Haitian struggle, enduring the vilifications of the rich, pretentious but ignorant, the charity of the so-called “well-intentioned” and after living through decades upon decades of helplessly watching Haitians capsized on overloaded boats in shark-infested waters, asylum, equal treatment and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) still denied, I had thought, after all this, we-Haitians have surely exhausted all tears.

But the circumstances that herald the death of Father Gerard Jean Juste’s death prove there are still some tears left. From Miami, to Canada, to New York, to Haiti, the sorrow flows.

And I cannot, right now, on the day after his death, put the right words together that would make sense of the senseless - the heart-wrenching persecution and coup d’etat imprisonments that led to the deterioration of his health, subsequent hospitalizations and then his death. How do we tell the world about Father Jean Juste? How do I tell of his kindness to a young Haitian-American lawyer, fourteen years ago, in Haiti, who knew nothing about the journey she was about to undertake, but which he had already mastered. How do we give meaning to his life and works? His tireless advocacy for immigration rights for over 30-years in Miami before he left to return to Haiti and to endure with the people of Haiti, two post-Duvalier coup d'etat persecutions. Perhaps it’s just as well that I simply sank my head in my hands, let the headache pounding in my skull rage on and the tears fall. They killed him. I’m so tired for us all. Open Salon

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Haitian Government Raises Minimum Wage to $5.50 per dayHaitian labor activists applauded the Preval administration's decision to raise the minimum wage in Haiti from 70 to 200 gourdes ($5.50 USD) per day. However, the increase has been strongly opposed by Haitian industrialists. Georges Sassine, president of ADIH (an association of Haitian industrialists) warned that the wage increase would cost tens of thousands of jobs. He claimed that similar minimum wage increases in Cambodia have proven disastrous.

HaitiAnalysis asked Jose Cordero, an economist with Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), to respond to the arguments that Georges Sassine and other businessmen have made against the increase. Cordero said ”In the case of Cambodia, I am not sure what disaster they are talking about, but I know that between 2004 and 2007 the country grew at about 11% per year. When inflation rose in 2008, and real wages declined, many factory workers left their jobs to go back to the country or to other informal activities which provide them more revenue than their work at a factory."

Cordero also pointed out that "Workers (especially those making only the minimum wage) have a higher propensity to consume than higher paid workers or company owners. They also have a lower propensity to import. These mean that a higher wage will likely increase aggregate spending, which could stimulate local production, and employment." Haitianalysis

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Lavalas flexes its muscles in Haiti

By Kevin Pina

April 21, 2009

Haiti's Lavalas movement effectively destroyed the credibility of yesterday's Senate election through a successful boycott campaign called Operation Closed Door. Even the most generous electoral count puts participation at less than 10% in the capital of Port-au-Prince while the actual figure may be as low as 3% nationwide. more

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The Haitian People Need a Lobbyist—What it all comes down to is: "Who's representing the Haitian people"? I know who's representing the business elite and the three to five percent of the population that they encompass, but the country has between 8 and 10 million people. The busses of tourists coming over from the DR aren't going to help the Haitian people. That C2 money is going to be divided up in some office before the project gets off the ground. The HOPE 2 bill which is supposed to provide between 10 and fifty thousand "treading water" jobs, will attract people from the countryside into a city that has no infrastructure to support them. Does anyone care? Lobbying must to be a great business in Haiti. Too bad the Haitian masses don't have a lobbyist. Counterpunch

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UN in Haiti accused of second massacre: More than three hours of video footage and a large selection of digital photos, illustrate more than words ever could what the UN is doing in Haiti. The wounded and dying on the video tape all express horror and confusion at the reasons UN forces shot at them. A 16 year-old young man asks why UN forces shot him as he clearly realizes he is going to die. Less than an hour later we see his lifeless corpse replace what once was an animated and articulate young man. HIP Founding Editor Kevin Pina commented, "It is clear that this represents an act of terror against the community. This video evidence shows clearly that the UN stands accused, once again, of targeting unarmed civilians in Cite Soleil. Haiti Action News 21 January 2007

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For Haitians, vodou is not just the stuff of dolls with pins stuck in their eyes or zombies wandering in the forest. The centuries-old religion has permeated Haiti for generations, after it was carried by slaves from West Africa to the Caribbean starting in the 1700s. On the island of Hispaniola, which includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic, those transplanted Africans mingled with the Taino Indians, who were also persecuted by European occupiers. Vodou evolved from the three cultures and played a huge role in Haiti's liberation from France. In 1751, a houngan named François Mackandal organized other slaves to raid sugar and coffee plantations. The French burned him at the stake. Another former slave and vodou practitioner replaced him at the helm of the liberation movement: Toussaint L'Ouverture, whose efforts helped Haiti win its independence in 1804. Tamara Lush, Vodou Child.

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A call to halt deportations—Haiti's President René Préval asked the U.S. government to stop deporting undocumented Haitians and instead grant them temporary protected status—After refusing for two years to ask for a U.S. halt in deportations of undocumented Haitians, Haiti's President René Préval has asked President Bush to grant them temporary protected status. . . . In a two-page letter to Bush dated Feb. 7, Préval wrote that while he had apprehensions about seeking the TPS designation in the past, the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Noel in October has changed his mind. . . . Local immigration advocates and South Florida elected officials have long advocated TPS for the 20,000 Haitians they believe are living in the United States illegally. TPS would entitle them to temporary residency and work permits for up to 18 months. In Miami, those advocates applauded Préval's request and urged Bush to approve it.MiamiHerald

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A Search for Self

My Intellectual Sojourn with Max Wilson

By Rudolph Lewis

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Literature & the Arts


     Edwidge Danticat (interview with novelist on Haiti) The Dew Breaker  Out of the Shadows

     Experiment in Haiti  (Art)

     Fourth World Art

     French West Indian Writer (bio-sketches by Mercer Cook)

Open Gate An Anthology of Haitian Creole Poetry edited by Paul Laraque and Jack Hirschman

Wordsworth's Toussaint  (poem)

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 Damming the Flood

Haiti, Aristide, and the Politics of Containment London (Verso, 2007)

By Peter Hallward

Peter Hallward is a philosopher who has thought about the question of solidarity across the divisions that structure domination with a rare combination of subtlety and militancy. The themes that link his work on contemporary post-colonial theory, French philosophy and Haitian politics include a consistent stress on the fact that everyone thinks and that thought is the subjective confrontation with specific objective situations.

Hallward affirms the specificity of particular situations and affirms the subjectivity with which they are confronted and thereby ‘maintains the relation between In other words he proposes a politics of popular self-emancipation organised around popular intellectual work and consensual disciplined commitment. From the beginning his work has taken the view that, following Paulo Freire, ‘true generosity consists in fighting to destroy the causes which lead to false charity.’ subjective and objective (and between subjects) as a relation in the strict sense.’

Hallward is committed to a prescriptive politics. He argues that genuinely political actions must elaborate universal principles (principles that hold for everyone), that for these principles to be meaningful they must be adhered to directly and immediately, that adhering to them is necessarily divisive and requires collective unity and a willingness to confront domination. In other words he proposes a politics of popular self-emancipation organised around popular intellectual work and consensual disciplined commitment. From the beginning his work has taken the view that, following Paulo Freire, ‘true generosity consists in fighting to destroy the causes which lead to false charity.’

Hallward is committed to a prescriptive politics. He argues that genuinely political actions must elaborate universal principles (principles that hold for everyone), that for these principles to be meaningful they must be adhered to directly and immediately, that adhering to them is necessarily divisive and requires collective unity and a willingness to confront domination. In other words he proposes a politics of popular self-emancipation organised around popular intellectual work and consensual disciplined commitment. From the beginning his work has taken the view that, following Paulo Freire, ‘true generosity consists in fighting to destroy the causes which lead to false charity.’

Damming the Flood is a richly detailed account of the popular Haitian movement Lavalas (the flood) in and out of power. There is a focus on how the movement was vilified and its president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, removed from office by the American military with considerable support from global civil society. . . .  MetaMute 

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Voltaire Hector. Declaration of Jean Bertrand Aristide in South Africa April 9, 2005. 2005



Voltaire Hector. Burning the market "Tet Boeuf" an anti-government demonstration May 31, 2005. 2005

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Historical Essays -- An Exposition of Toussaint, Dessalines, Christophe, Pétion, & Boyer

"More Than Just A Man" (Toussaint's Early Years)

L'Affranchi (French Mulattos)

The Catholicism of Toussaint

Cruelties of Repression & Revolution

Dessalines' Dream for Haiti

Forced Labor Decree (military document)

French Mulattos

Henri Christophe

The Impact of the Haitian Revolution  (Book review)

The Paradoxes of Liberation (historical essay -- Toussaint as military dictator)

The Betrayal, Arrest, &  Death of Toussaint (historical essay -- Leclerc & Bonaparte)

Political Divisions  (historical essay-- "Black Jacobins" struggle against Leclerc)

Cruelties of Repression & Revolution (historical essay -- "Black Jacobins" Struggle against Rochambeau)

The Rise of Emperor Dessalines & the Decline of His Imperial Tyranny (Part I)

The Rise of Emperor Dessalines & the Decline of His Imperial Tyranny (Part II)

The Rise of Emperor Dessalines & Decline of His Imperial Tyranny (another version)

Toussaint Memoir (Toussaint in France)

Toussaint's Final Days at Fort de Joux

Toussaint's Surrender

Toussaint Trapped

Related Essays

African Background of the Negro

Atlantic Slave Traffic

Aristotle and America to 1550

The Benefits of Whiteness

Boukman and His Comrades

Caribbean Literature

Exhibiting Others in West

French West Indian Writer

The Importance of an African-Centered Education

John Maxwell Table

Latin America's Indian Question

Lives and Times of the Quadroons

Pre-Reformation Religious Ideas   

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French Generals in the  Saint-Domingue Field 

Toussaint L'Ouverture, François Dominique, c.1744–1803, Haitian patriot and martyr. A self-educated slave freed shortly before the uprising in 1791, he joined the black rebellion to liberate the slaves and became its organizational genius. Rapidly rising in power, Toussaint joined forces for a brief period in 1793 with the Spanish of Santo Domingo and in a series of fast-moving campaigns became known as L'Ouverture [the opening], a name he adopted. Although he professed allegiance to France, first to the republic and then to Napoleon, he was singleheartedly devoted to the cause of his own people and advocated it in his talks with French commissioners. 

Late in 1793 the British occupied all of Haiti's coastal cities and allied themselves with the Spanish in the eastern part of the island. Toussaint was the acknowledged leader against them and, with the generals Dessalines and Christophe, recaptured (1798) several towns from the British and secured their complete withdrawal. In 1799 the mulatto general André Rigaud enlisted the aid of Alexandre Pétion and Jean Pierre Boyer, asserted mulatto supremacy, and launched a revolt against Toussaint; the uprising was quelled when Pétion lost the southern port of Jacmel. 

In 1801, Toussaint conquered Santo Domingo, which had been ceded by Spain to France in 1795, and thus he governed the whole island. By then professing only nominal allegiance to France, he reorganized the government and instituted public improvements. Napoleon sent (1802) a large force under General Leclerc to subdue Toussaint, who had become a major obstacle to French colonial ambitions in the Western Hemisphere; the Haitians, however, offered stubborn resistance, and a peace treaty was drawn. Toussaint himself was treacherously seized and sent to France, where he died in a dungeon at Fort-de-Joux, in the French Jura. His valiant life and tragic death made him a symbol of the fight for liberty, and he is celebrated in one of Wordsworth's finest sonnets and in a dramatic poem by Lamartine. 

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Rigaud, André, 1761–1811, Haitian mulatto general in the wars that liberated Haiti. Educated, but vain, he believed in the superiority of mulattoes. He sought (1798–1800) unsuccessfully to wrest the leadership from Toussaint L'Ouverture. In 1802 he went to France, returned with General Leclerc, and was sent back again as a prisoner. In 1810, once again on Haitian soil, he tried to overthrow Alexandre Pétion in the south. Defeated, he died, presumably by starving himself to death.

Pétion, Alexandre, 1770–1818, Haitian revolutionist. After taking part in the expulsion (1798) of the English from Haiti, he joined (1799) André Rigaud against Toussaint L'Ouverture and commanded the heroic but tragic defense of Jacmel, a southern port. Exiled, he returned with the French army under Leclerc in 1802. Rejoining the patriots because he feared the reestablishment of slavery, Pétion, after the death of Dessalines, engaged in a fierce but inconclusive struggle with Henri Christophe for control of Haiti. In 1807 he was chosen president for life of the republic in S Haiti. He confiscated the great French plantations, divided the land among the peasants, and gave his people unprecedented freedom. In 1816 he welcomed the exiled Spanish American revolutionist Simón Bolívar and provided him with military assistance. Nevertheless, his administration was tainted with waste and corruption. Pétion was succeeded by Jean Pierre Boyer

Christophe, Henri, 1767–1820, Haitian revolutionary leader. A freed black slave, he aided Toussaint L'Ouverture in the liberation of Haiti and was army chief under Dessalines. When the latter declared himself emperor, Christophe took part (1806) in a successful plot against his life and was elected president of the republic. Christophe, a pure-blooded black, then waged a savage and inconclusive struggle with Alexandre Pétion, the champion of mulatto supremacy, who retained control of S Haiti. In 1811, entrenching himself in N Haiti, Christophe declared himself king as Henri I and entered upon an energetic but tyrannical reign. He created an autocracy patterned after the absolute monarchies of Europe. Compulsory labor enriched his fiefdom. Christophe surrounded himself with lavish, and sometimes ludicrous, magnificence; the pomp and splendor of his reign are still shown by the ruins of the citadel of La Ferrière, a formidable fortress on top of a mountain, surrounded by precipitous cliffs, and of the fabulous palace of Sans Souci, at Cap Haïtien, his capital. In 1820, when he was suffering from partial paralysis, revolts broke out. In despair, Christophe committed suicide.

Boyer, Jean Pierre, 1776–1850, president of Haiti (1818–43). A free mulatto, he fought under Toussaint L'Ouverture and then joined André Rigaud, also a mulatto, in the latter's abortive insurrection against Toussaint. He returned in 1802 with the French army of Charles Leclerc but later joined the patriots under Alexandre Pétion, who chose him as his successor. He united N and S Haiti after the suicide of Henri Christophe (1820), and in 1822, taking advantage of the weakness of Spanish Santo Domingo, he took control of the whole island. Compulsory labor was instituted. In 1825 a French fleet forced Boyer to pay an exorbitant indemnity in return for French losses; France then recognized Haitian independence. Financial embarrassment, combined with the labor policy and the devastation of an earthquake in 1843, brought about Boyer's overthrow and permanent exile.

Leclerc, Charles Victor Emmanuel, 1772–1802, French general. He served under Napoleon Bonaparte in the Italian campaign, married (1797) Pauline Bonaparte, and took part in Napoleon's coup of 18 Brumaire (1799). In 1801 he commanded the French expedition to Portugal. He then headed the force sent to subdue Haiti, where François Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture had established a virtually autonomous state. The French won several victories after severe fighting, and an agreement was reached. This was broken by Leclerc, who, acting on Napoleon's secret instructions, had Toussaint seized by trickery and deported to France. The natives, led by Jean Jacques Dessalines and Henri Christophe, rose in revolt and expelled the French, who were weakened by an epidemic of yellow fever. Leclerc died of the fever.

Sources: See C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins (1938,2d ed. 1963); C. Moran, Black Triumvirate: A Study of L'Ouverture, Dessalines, Christophe (1957); A. M. Schlesinger, Jr., ed., Toussaint L'Ouverture: Haitian Liberator (1989).

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Haiti—An unwelcome Katrina Redux
Cynthia McKinney /

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#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work

By Edwidge Danticat

Create Dangerously is an eloquent and moving expression of Danticat's belief that immigrant artists are obliged to bear witness when their countries of origin are suffering from violence, oppression, poverty, and tragedy. In this deeply personal book, the celebrated Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat reflects on art and exile, examining what it means to be an immigrant artist from a country in crisis. Inspired by Albert Camus' lecture, "Create Dangerously," and combining memoir and essay, Danticat tells the stories of artists, including herself, who create despite, or because of, the horrors that drove them from their homelands and that continue to haunt them. Danticat eulogizes an aunt who guarded her family's homestead in the Haitian countryside, a cousin who died of AIDS while living in Miami as an undocumented alien, and a renowned Haitian radio journalist whose political assassination shocked the world.

Danticat writes about the Haitian novelists she first read as a girl at the Brooklyn Public Library, a woman mutilated in a machete attack who became a public witness against torture, and the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat and other artists of Haitian descent. Danticat also suggests that the aftermaths of natural disasters in Haiti and the United States reveal that the countries are not as different as many Americans might like to believe..CaribbeanLiterarySalon  / Review and Interview by Kam Williams

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Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All

By Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock  market. True wealth has more to do with what's in your heart than what's in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America's shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, "Happy can make you money, but money can't make you happy."

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 3 April 2012