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Category Archives: General History

Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and Haitian History

For those missing loved ones or looking for further information about the aftermath of the storm, Rex Hammock’s Weblog has a list of survivor/missing databases, and a wiki, ThinkNOLA has been set up as a clearinghouse of information and resources…. Also check out Metroblogging New Orleans, Kaye’s Hurricane Katrina Blog, the Hurricane Katrina page at Wikipedia, Eye of the Storm, Storm Digest, and the links here and here…. Brasseaux at the University of Louisiana’s Center for Cultural and Eco-Tourism points out that: Haitian immigrants have established a significant community in New Orleans over the past two decades…. During a six-month period in 1809, approximately 10,000 refugees from Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti) arrived at New Orleans, doubling the Crescent City’s population. Approximately one-third of the refugees were white, an additional one-third were free persons of color, and the remaining one-third were slaves (primarily domestics).... For all Americans, and especially the Haitian American residents of New Orleans, the city must survive and rebuild.

Haiti Revolutionary Symbolism?

Kathleen Hulser, Public Historian for the New York Historical Society recently sent an email to the Haiti list asking for help. For an exhibition comparing revolutions in Saint Domingue, France and United States, I am interested in learning about the material culture and visual imagery from the revolt in Haiti. We are particularly seeking images that show Erzulie/Erzili/Mary figure as a revolutionary “muse” comparable to Marianne (France) and Columbia (US). Syncretic Christian and voodoo versions are of interest as well. If you can help out Ms. Hulser, please leave a comment or click on the “Contact” link above to send me an email, and I’ll put you in touch.

List of Famous People of Haitian Descent

He died in a french jail before seeing a free Haiti, which in 1804 became the 2nd country in the Americas after the U.S. to become independent Jean-Jacques Dessalines – Leader of the First Black Republic in the World Alexandre Petion – Haitian Leader who would help the founder of Latin American Independence, Simon Bolivar (The country of Bolivia is named after him), by providing weapons and soldiers with the promise Bolivar would free all the slaves in places he liberated…. The Audubon Society is named after him Jean Michel Basquiat – Son of Haitian and Puerto Rican parents who was a graffiti artist in NYC using the tag SAMO who would later become one of the most successful, controversial and glamorous artists in the world Jacques Stephen Alexis – Haitian writer who is a descendant of Jean-Jacques Dessalines…. Some of her acting credits is THE JEFFERSONS, THE COSBY SHOW, A DIFFERENT WORLD… Rene Depestre – Famous Haitian writer of many books, one of which is THE FESTIVAL OF THE GREASY POLE Jacques Roumain – Famous Haitian writer and one of his most famous work is GOUVERNEURS DE LA ROSEE Jean-Jean Pierre – Haitian composer, musician, journalist, and playwright, who was profiled on the New York Times Public Lives segment in December 23rd 2004 Ronal and Rony Delice – Haitian Brothers who are acclaimed fashion designers in New York City RELIGION Pierre Toussaint – Haitian born slave who is under consideration by the Vatican for canonization for his humanitarian work in New York Elizabeth Clarisse Lange – Freed slave who first migrated to Cuba then to Baltimore, Maryland…. Dr. Rose Marie Toussaint – One of only two women liver transplant surgeon in the world Joseph Laroche – Haitian businessman traveling with his french wife and kids on the Titanic which was somewhat of a choc to people to see a black man and his white wife traveling aboard a very expensive ocean liner at that time…. His wife and kids never made it to Haiti as they decided to return to France Dr. Carole Berotte Joseph – She is the new president of MassBay Community College in Massachussetts SPORTS Joe Gaetjens – Haitian born soccer player who scored amazing goal for the underdog U.S. in match against mighty England in 1950 World Cup of Soccer in Brazil…. William Joseph – DT for NY Giants Jonathan Vilma – LB for NY Jets Samuel Dalembert – C for Philadelphia 76rs Mario Elie – Former G for Houston Rockets Olden Polynice – Former NBA player Bruny Surin – Haitian / Canadian Track and field star WISH THEY WEREN’T HAITIANS Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier along with his father Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, combined to ruled Haiti under a brutal dictatorship for about 30 yrs. Papa Doc was the inspiration of Graham Greene in his book and movie adaptation of THE COMEDIANS.

Peanuts and the Arawak

I’ve been reading Cecil Adams’ column The Straight Dope for years. The man is a fount of knowledge, and now he employs a staff of The following reference to Hispaniola and the Arawak showed up in response to a recent batch of questions about peanuts: The earliest European exposure to the peanut most likely occurred when the Spanish arrived at Hispaniola in 1502, where the Arawak peoples knew of the food and called it “mani” (reference 2). The first printed Spanish account, from 1535, says, “They sow and harvest it. It is a very common crop …. about the size of a pine nut in the shell. They consider it a healthy food.

Bones of Contention…

From MSNBC and the Associated Press, here’s an article about a team of Spanish researchers who are attempting to verify the claim that a tomb in the Dominican Republic holds the remains of Christopher Columbus.