mardi 14 février 2017

The Roots Of The Haitian Revolution Are Black Futures

There is no Black future without honoring the Haitian Revolution, too.
Ruth Jeannoel
First-generation Haitian American, mother, wife, community organizer and writer
It is important to me that we always include and apply the values from the Haitian Revolution-lresistance, self-determination and black love, in the movement for Black lives. Living at the intersection of being first-generation Haitian and Black, I have learned to bring my culture into my activism and organizing as a first act of choosing freedom and loving myself. This has not always been easy for me, with a family that has been stripped over generations of a lot of our cultural practices.
But what the Haitian Revolution means to me and what it means for Black liberation is a long and powerful story of resilience.
The fight for Black lives must include deepening our understanding of concrete historical examples when Black liberation was real and we won!
I was raised by my mother, an immigrant woman who moved to the United States from Haiti almost 12 years ago. She spent at least three months in a detention camp in Florida and only recently shared that part of her personal history with me. My mother grew up in Haiti during a time of serious political conflict and rivalries and in a time when joining a political party could get you killed, sometimes publicly. My mother learned to be protective at a young age and her early experiences impacted what she later shared with me. We never talked politics. She did not share openly with me about what liberation meant to her. I was not taught the history of Haiti when I was little, and no one explained to me the importance of the Haitian Revolution.
Even though I was born in America and my mother never talked about politics with me, I was raised with a Haitian identity. I learned to speak, read and write Haitian Kreyol, we ate and cooked Haitian food and I grew up learning the values of being Haitian. My mother taught me nearly everything that I know about being Haitian.
I think because I had this strong Haitian identity and at the same time my mother kept Haitian politics from me, I ended up growing thirsty to know more. Later I learned on my own about the rasin (roots) movement, the culture of Haitian Voodoo, and other aspects of African-based spiritual practices and values that Haitian people followed.
What exploration of my Black-Haitian American heritage has taught me is that the fight for Black lives must include deepening our understanding of concrete historical examples when Black liberation was real and we won! We must remember Haiti; we must celebrate and hold Haiti up. Haiti was the first place in the western hemisphere where Black people successfully fought back and then became the first Black nation. The Haitian Revolution has a rich and layered history, but the key action of the Bwa Kayiman, a Voodoo ceremony, would also prove to be the spark of the Haitian Revolution in 1791. Enslaved Africans living on the island of Hispaniola, originating from all different parts of Africa and speaking many different languages, came together nonetheless to evoke the spirits of their ancestors and to fight against the French, eventually winning their independence from France in 1804.
The future is full of Black people, from all across the diaspora of Africa, living in all different parts of the country.
Although in a way my mother kept a lot from me, the blood of liberation was already boiling inside my body. And when I was ready, I chose the side of seeing and telling the truth. I chose to learn more about the role of the Haitian Revolution in my own life. And I am still choosing to find the bits and pieces I need to weave into my current organizing, through cultural sharing, by including Haitian folklore dancing and drumming in my work, through political education workshops and by story sharing with the Black youth who I organize with.
The future is full of Black people, from all across the diaspora of Africa, living in all different parts of the country, with different religions and cultural practices. Just as we did in 1791, we can all commit to dreaming big today and every day, recreating Bwa Kayiman in places all around us, through jete-glo-pour libations, invoking our ancestors and inviting them to join us at our actions, strategy sessions, rallies, protests, outreach events and canvasses in this battle for liberation.
The truth is that there is no Black future without honoring the Haitian Revolution, too. We will learn again how to embrace the traditions of our African ancestors and truly acknowledge and uplift the values the Haitian Revolution: self-determination and Black-love. We will hold strong to these values. After all, our ancestors were fearless, they’ve been here before and they are with us now, and we have got to lean on them to have our backs, our fronts and our sides.
Ring in the sounds of liberation – Ayibobo!
This post is part of the Black Futures Month blog series brought to you by The Huffington Post and the Black Lives Matter Network. Each day in February, look for a new post exploring cultural and political issues affecting the Black community and examining the impact it will have going forward. For more Black History Month content, check out Black Voices’ ‘We, Too, Are America’ coverage.

Haitian arrested after severing wife's arm in Hanover

HANOVER, Jamaica — The police currently have a Haitian man in custody after he was accused of severing the arm of his wife during a dispute this morning at Mount Peto district in Hanover.
It's understood that the man, who lives in Moy Hall, St James, is yet to be charged by the police.
According to the police the woman was on her way to work when she was attacked and chopped by her husband near her Mount Peto home.
Reports are that the couple got married in 2015 and separated in December of 2016.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Ainsley McCarthy of the Hanover Police Division said the man who allegedly left the scene in Hanover was later captured at his home in St James.
The woman is currently in the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James in a serious, but stable condition, the police say.
Source: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Hanover-man-in-custody-after-severing-wife-s-arm

‘WHO DATES A HAITIAN?’ Jamaican’s let loose on social media after Haitian chops off Hanover wife’s hands

Jamaicans wasted no time Monday venting on social media after Loop News reported that a man from Haiti chopped off the hands of his estranged wife in Hanover Monday morning.
“Who dates a Haitian? My god, what a wicked man... These Haitian need to leave our country, we have enough wicked Jamaicans already, they must be found and deported,” Gemini Queen posted on Facebook.
“Who tell Jamaican to start a relationship with those guys?” asked Paul Leslie in a post on the social media platform.
Rowe Angela commented: “My granny tell me two man I must stay far from is a African and a Haitian.”
“I share the same sentiments as your granny...I fraid a dem bad,” Michelle Adriane Lemon responded.
“Dam! Who would date a Haitian man? I wonder if the doctor will be able to reattach her arms, even one would be good. The man leave the poor woman helpless, this is what you call evil,” Lesa Thomas wrote. Others, like Du-famous Dontae' Samuels, is of the view that all Haitians should be deported.
“Need to fi find the Haitians n deport them! Other nationals out here a hike up our crime rate, smh,” he posted.
“Oh. So dem married inna 2015 n divorce inna 2016… really nw... Who wants a Haitian man?!! Well update is that the police catch him… They need to chop off his arms n deport him… Ole wicked…” Juliet Richards commented.
Annmarie Wright posted: “Who in dem right mind want a damn impoverished Haitian man? Sorry that happen still.”
Justin Cisceron allegedly chopped off his wife’s hands minutes after 7 am Monday as she made her way to work in her Mt Peto community of Hanover.
She was also chopped in the back.
Cisceron reportedly fled the scene and was later held at his home in St James.
He was transported to the Ramble Police Station, in Hanover, for questioning.
The two married in 2015 and separated December 2016.
Source: http://www.loopjamaica.com/content/%E2%80%98who-dates-haitian%E2%80%99-jamaican%E2%80%99s-let-loose-social-media-after-haitian-man-chops-hanover-wife%E2%80%99s

Haiti: Peacekeeping chief points to changes in mandate of UN mission

10 February 2017 – While the security situation in Haiti is “not perfect,” solid progress has been made over the past few years, the head of United Nations peacekeeping operations has said, stressing that the Organization is considering a change in the mandate of the UN Stabilization Mission in the island nation, known as MINUSTAH.
Wrapping up a week-long visit during which he attended the swearing in of the new Haitian President, Jovenel Moïse, and carried out an out an evaluation of Mission, Hervé Ladsous, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, told reporters yesterday in Port-au-Prince: “The military component of MINUSTAH is likely to disappear in the relatively near future. We are looking at the modalities.”
At the heart of the Mission's work is ensuring stability, he continued, noting that the recent elections had gone off with few incidents, thanks to MINUSTAH and particularly the Haitian National Police, and the Provision Electoral Council. “I think this is something to be noted,” he said.
He recalled that in October 2016, when the UN Security Council renwed MINUSTAH's mandate, it had expressed its wish to examine the mandate of the Mission in mid-April. The Secretary-General is to make recommendations to the Security Council on 15 March.
"I think that when we look at the situation in this country compared to what it was a few years ago, we have made a lot of progress," Ladsous said. "Security is not perfect, but I think it is much better."
Mr. Ladsous went on to note that the regular strength of the Haitian National Police is set to reach 15,000 and that efforts will continue to strengthen the capacities of this police.
SOurce: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=56150#.WKLiqVPhCUk