Carnegie Hall Concert June 10th Begins Reforestation Effort

bq. “We should not forget that the freedom you and I enjoy today; the freedom that has come to the colored race the world over, is largely due to the brave stand taken by the black sons of Haiti…” Frederick Douglass, January 2, 1893, Chicago World’s Fair

bq. Sustainable development linked with democratic values promote human rights, social justice and equity, including the balance of power between women and men” Wangari Mathaai (2004 Nobel Peace Prize)

April 19, 2005, NYC: In a year when the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to a Kenyan woman who has shown that planting trees is directly related to peace and democracy, and has brought a spotlight to Africa and the Diaspora; a group of artists, ecologists, human rights advocates, are joining to launch REPLANT HAITI, a reforestation project for the small Caribbean country whose people have been endlessly battered by political and economic turmoil, outside intervention and a devastating rage of storms and floods.

On June 10, 2005 at Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Haitian cultural project Mapou Productions, will present, RePlant Haiti: The Concert featuring a stunning group of Haitian musicians, joined by actor and Haiti advocate Danny Glover, human rights attorney (Guantanamo) Michael Ratner and Essence Magazine’s Founder and Publisher Susan L. Taylor to officially launch RePlant Haiti, in conjunction with American Jewish World Services, led by former NYC Council woman Ruth Messinger, MADRE, the 21 year old women’s human rights organization, endorsed by Haitian musician Wyclef Jean, Oscar Winning filmmaker Jonathan Demme, actor Susan Sarandon, filmmaker Spike Lee with support from Forest City Ratner.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Wangari Mathaai has pledge support to RePlant Haiti’s efforts to help improve Haiti’s environment.

Through concerts, multi-media presentations, public service announcements and other media campaigns, RePlant Haiti will offer information to people in the U.S. and throughout the world on the drastic environmental situation in Haiti as a result of deforestation, promote the use of alternative energy sources, and raise funds for reforestation efforts.

According to Jean Jean-Pierre, Haitian journalist, composer, musician, co-founder and director of Mapou Productions and RePlant Haiti: “We are doing the essential, a campaign to bring back trees and green to that beautiful island (where I grew up). Last year alone, thousands upon thousands of families were killed, thousands uprooted, struck by disease. We are following Prof. Wangari’s lead, doing the most beautiful, life affirming, pragmatic deed: planting trees.”

Performing at REPLANT HAITI: THE CONCERT are: “Kiskeya: The Haitian Orchestra of Jean Jean-Pierre”, Tabou Combo, Erna Letemps, Jean-Claude Eugène, Léon Dimanche, Emmanuel, Myriam Barthellus, Michel Lemorin, Hadiyha, Carole Alexis, Poet Kathy Engel, and Nènè Letemps.

Tickets for REPLANT HAITI: THE CONCERT, beginning at $35.00, are available at Carnegie Hall Box Office 212 247-7800 and from Mapou Productions 917 769-8986

More from Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger

Larry Sanger was originally hired to develop Nupedia, the precursor to Wikipedia. These two articles on Slashdot make up a brief history of the development of the open-source encyclopedia project. Though hardly a partial observer (Sanger left Wikipedia over, it seems, “creative differences”), I find the author’s pieces useful to read for their history and perspective.

* The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia: A Memoir
* The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia, Part II

Growing bit by bit

I continue to update the List of Websites on the wiki. This section seems see the most changes… perhaps because it’s easier to add a link than to write a new article, but progress is progress.

Today’s additions were two print publications which also have homes online: Boston Haiti Reporter and Haitian Times. I’ve subscribed to the latter for a year and a half, but hadn’t heard of the former until today. I’ll be checking back in with both of these sites in the coming months.

Haitian Studies Association annual conference to be held in Boston in October

The Seventeenth Annual Conference of the Haitian Studies Association (H.S.A)
October 13-15, 2005 • Campus Center • Ballroom A
University of Massachusetts Boston
Boston, Massachusetts 02125-3393


The Seventeenth Annual Conference of the Haitian Studies association, to be held on October 13-15, 2005, at the University of Massachusetts Boston, will be devoted to the theme ‘Haiti Chérie’: Creating New Pathways for Tomorrow.

As Haiti enters its third century, it has reached yet another crossroad at which it needs to reevaluate its past and set its course for the future. The 17th annual conference of the Haitian Studies Association will foster dialogues about the abundant richness of Haiti’s heritage, capture the creative spirit of its people, envision solutions to its present impasse, and trace new pathways for the future.

The 17th Annual Conference is accepting panel proposals, and individual papers on all aspects of Haiti’s rich legacy, past, present, and future. Among the topics that might be considered are Haiti’s distinguished historical, cultural, and political traditions that have shaped the creative spirit of its people. Creating new pathways for tomorrow is rooted in the conception of envisioned models that rely on fundamental choices between continuity with the past and change for the future. The presentations may examine economic and political possibilities that lay ahead. Participants may focus on issues crossing multiple race/class/gender and population lines and covering topics from forced migration, life histories, immigration, environment, health, contemporary Haitian popular culture and arts are strongly encouraged.

Deadline for submission is June 15, 2005.

For additional information please contact Cassandra Villari at:

Haitian Studies Project
University of Massachusetts Boston
Boston, Ma 02125-3393
Tel: (617) 287-7138 or 7166 Fax: (617) 287-6797

Treatment of prisoners of war in Revolutionary times

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote a couple of weeks ago about the abuse of prisoners of war by American soldiers and CIA agents. Of interest to readers of this blog was Friedman’s reference to the book “Washington’s Crossing,” by David Hackett Fischer. Friedman writes:

bq. What is particularly moving is one of Mr. Fischer’s concluding sections, “An American Way of War,” in which he contrasts how Washington dealt with prisoners of war with how the British and Hessian forces did: “According to the ‘the laws’ of European war, quarter was the privilege of being allowed to surrender and to become a prisoner. By custom and tradition, soldiers in Europe believed that they had a right to extend quarter or deny it. … In these ‘laws of war,’ no captive had an inalienable right to be taken prisoner, or even to life itself.”

bq. American attitudes were very different. “With some exceptions, American leaders believed that quarter should be extended to all combatants as a matter of right. … Americans were outraged when quarter was denied to their soldiers.” In one egregious incident, at the battle at Drake’s Farm, British troops murdered all seven of Washington’s soldiers who had surrendered, crushing their brains with muskets.

bq. “The Americans recovered the mutilated corpses and were shocked,” wrote Mr. Fischer. The British commander simply denied responsibility. “The words of the British commander, as much as the acts of his men,” wrote Mr. Fischer, “reinforced the American resolve to run their own war in a different spirit. … Washington ordered that Hessian captives would be treated as human beings with the same rights of humanity for which Americans were striving. The Hessians … were amazed to be treated with decency and even kindness. At first they could not understand it.” The same policy was extended to British prisoners.

The insight I get from this has to do with Toussaint Louverture’s treatment of prisoners during the Haitian Revolution. Louverture was roundly praised for his humanity to captured soldiers, and it seems this is all the more remarkable considering that he would have been well within the norms of the day to mistreat them in the extreme.

Reflecting on the previous post about Haitians in the American Revolution, I wonder if there was an opportunity for Christophe and others to bring back any of Washington’s values. Could the father of Haiti have been influenced by the father of America?

This is purely idle speculation, mind you, but it would be interesting if there were any evidence either way on the subject.

Monument to Haitians in the American Revolution moves closer to reality

From the Associated Press…

bq. SAVANNAH, Ga. – City planners approved a $500,000 monument Friday to Haitian soldiers who fought in the American Revolution’s bloody siege of Savannah, just as Haiti’s prime minister planned a weekend visit to help raise money for the project.

bq. Supporters hope to unveil the bronze monument in October, 226 years after more than 500 Haitian troops joined American colonists and French soldiers in an unsuccessful attempt to drive the British from Savannah.

Read the full AP story at

Read more and see a picture of the proposed monument at the Haitian American Historical Society.

Also, see related stories at Google News.

Noted on the Haiti List

A couple of items of interest noted on Corbett’s Haiti List

* Pictures of a Rara celebration in Little Haiti on Good Friday.

* Thomas Reinhardt has published the article *200 Years of Forgetting: Hushing up the Haitian Revolution*. The article appears in the April, 2005 issue of the Journal of Black Studies. A PDF or subscription to the journal can be purchased here. The abstract reads, ” For many years, the island of Hispaniola served as a prototype for the European conquest of the New World. It also gave home to the world’s first Black Republic. Between 1791 and 1804, an army of former slaves successfully overthrew the colonial regime. This event, however (despite its enormous effect on future developments in the Western hemisphere), is almost forgotten in the West today. This article explores the reasons for the deletion of the Haitian Revolution from the West’s historical map.”