Edwidge Danticat: Stories of Haiti

The following lecture was delivered to an audience at the University of California

Edwidge Danticat: Stories of Haiti

VaginaMonologuesCreole 086 by kiskeacity.


New Song for Haiti: “Shall Rise Again”

Haiti “Shall Rise Again”

Celebrating African Renaissance in Senegal

Senegal Monument, The African Renaissance


African Renaissance Monument by attawayjl.


Senegal has inaugurated a massive $27m (£18m) monument – higher than the Statue of Liberty – that has drawn huge criticism over its cost and symbolism.

The 49m (160ft) Monument of African Renaissance has been unveiled in Dakar as the highlight of the nation’s 50th anniversary of independence.

Some scholars have labelled its scantily clad figures un-Islamic, while others said it was a waste of money.

Supporters say it represents Africa’s rise from “intolerance and racism”.

In the hours leading up to the inauguration, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Dakar to voice their opposition.

The Soviet-style bronze statue, the idea of President Abdoulaye Wade, depicts three figures – a man holding a woman behind him and a child aloft, pointing out to sea.

‘Monument of shame’

Mr Wade’s plan that he should take 35% of the revenue generated by the monument because it was his idea, has also attracted fierce criticism.

Dignitaries including West African heads of state attended the inauguration.

The opening is the highlight of the nation’s 50th independence anniversary.

Thousands of demonstrators marched in protest against the statue in Dakar on Saturday.

Riot police patrolled the streets during the rally, which the authorities initially banned, before relenting.

The demonstration was called to protest against “all the failures of Wade’s regime, the least of which is this horrible statue”.

Deputy opposition leader Ndeye Fatou Toure said the statue was an “economic monster and a financial scandal in the context of the current [economic] crisis,” AFP news agency reports.


The statue has divided opinion in a country where half the population lives below the poverty line.

Every architectural work sparks controversies – look at the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Senator Ahmed Bachir Kounta

Some Muslim scholars have called the monument idolatrous.

On the eve of the celebrations, the Reuters news agency quoted a leading imam, Massamba Diop, as telling worshippers at a mosque in the capital: “We have issued a fatwa urging Senegal’s imams this Friday to read the holy Koran in the mosques simply to ask Allah to preserve us from the punishment this monument of shame risks bringing on Senegal.”

The statue has been mired in controversy from the outset.

President Wade – who at 83 has announced he will seek re-election in 2012 – had to apologise to Senegal’s Christian minority after comparing the monument to Jesus Christ.

Its architect also said he had received complaints about the woman’s naked legs.

However, its supporters stood by the project.

Senator Ahmed Bachir Kounta told Reuters: “Every architectural work sparks controversies – look at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.”

Published: 2010/04/03 17:22:15 GMT

// Senegal to unveil “African Renaissance” statue

Petition on Haiti

From: info@ncbsonline.org

This petition is addressed to the French Republic and the international community by Haitians around the world on behalf of the Haitian people. So far, friends of Haiti, professors, intellectuals, human rights advocates, as well as numerous individual who are concerned about global justice, have all signed this petition (over 1000 signatures so far). Your signature will demonstrate the solidarity that the global community share with Haitian people in their struggle for a better future.

International petition on the occasion of the visit of Nicolas Sarkozy to Haiti,

President of the French Republic

Since the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010 that killed more than 200, 000 people, Haiti is once again the focus of international attention. Beyond the tremendous compassion showed by the international community, the issue of the reconstruction of Haiti and particularly the question of how to finance this reconstruction remains the main concern.  An early assessment evaluates the launching of the nation’s rebuilding to cost about 10 billion dollars. Where will the impoverished nation raise these funds?

The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, was visiting Haiti on February 17, 2010. This is the first time a French president has visited Haiti since the independence and the creation of the State of Haiti. In this particular occasion, it is critical for Haiti (as a former French colony and the pride of the French trade power along the 17th and the 18th centuries) and for the sake of human rights and global justice, to address the issue of restitution of the independence debt of the former slaves.

As the second independent nation in the Americas after the United States, Haiti is the poorest nation while the United States is the most powerful. Systematically and as an anthem, western Media reinforces this thinking. However, the critical question of how the wealthiest former French colony, the first black Republic in the world, became the hemisphere’s poorest country is missing from the discourse.

The dramatic situation of Haiti after two centuries of independence is not the result of any fate or curse. Haiti’s backwardness is, on the one hand, the result of the horrors of enslavement and colonization from 1492 to 1803. In addition, after its independence, Haiti was forced to pay a horrific tribute in order to be recognized as a free nation by the great powers of the colonialist and slavery period.

This tribute, set initially at 150 000 000 gold Francs, was finally reduced to 90, 000, 000 and was paid until the last cent by the first black post-slave Republic to the “homeland” of human rights. This huge and indecent tribute paid to France, has stunted the young free nation commercially and economically, and destroyed it ecologically and socially. Many historians have demonstrated that this ransom imposed by the strong on the weak compromised the future the weak. Then, imperialism and racism turned the first major fight for freedom in the new world into the most abject misery.

As Louis-Philippe Dalambert (2004), a major Haitian author stressed, France does not have any glory to have imposed such an immoral and unjust debt to Haiti. In this respect, it is of the upmost importance that France returns to the suffering nation the money it took unjustly from the former slaves. While Haiti is facing the most critical moment for its national reconstruction, the restitution of the independence debt is the most legitimate request that Haiti can formulate.

Thus, instead of banking on the hypothetical foreign investments in Haiti or waiting for the loans from the IMF and the World Bank or again, betting on the mercantile rationale for the reconstruction of the country, We, the Haitian people, request solemnly from France the reimbursement of 21 billion (estimated in 2004 USD) as equivalent to the ransom given to France from 1825 to 1946.

The restitution of this money is considered for the Haitian people as a corner stone for any policy of development and reconstruction. With these funds, we will be able to build schools, hospitals, homes, universities; all in regards to the anti-seismic norms of construction.  Also, we will be able to build road infrastructures, bridges, canals for irrigation, and electric centrals with renewable energy; rebuild the national economy, invest in rural development and agro-industry in order to assure definitely food security in Haiti.

For all these reasons, we, the Haitian people, request from France the restitution of the money owed to Haiti. This money shall be return by the Republic of France that cashed the money from 1825 to 1946, to the Republic of Haiti that paid the money for the period mentioned. The two republics will discuss of the terms of the reimbursement.

During the revolutionary period of the history of modernity (18th and 19th centuries), France always positioned itself as avant-garde of the modern consciousness. The tragic situation of Haiti and the solemnest request of the Haitian people to repay the money owed to the poor republic, offers to the French republic a great opportunity to repair its historic involvement in what is “a crime against humanity.”

Towards this gesture of reimbursement to Haiti, France will not only redeem itself from its participation in the crime against humanity, but also will have the opportunity to really demonstrate the friendship it claims to have for the suffering nation of former slaves who invented freedom for the entire humanity beyond the considerations of race.

If you want to sign this petition please send your name and country to Winsome Chunnu atchunnu@ohio.edu, or wchunnu@hotmail.com

The New World Fallen

How will new maps be drafted?

Who will suggest a new tentative frontier?

How will the sky dawn now

(Edward Brathwaite, The New Arrivants)

Julia Gaffield uncovers Haiti founding document

Associated Press Writer

updated 5:35 p.m. PT, Thurs., April 1, 2010 //

RALEIGH, N.C. – For years, Haiti’s government has sought out the pamphlets on which the country’s founders declared that they had thrown off their colonial masters, ended slavery and created the world’s first black republic. Now historians say a graduate student has found what could be the only copy left.

The leaders of Haiti’s revolution sent their Declaration of Independence to other governments in the days after the island country’s 1804 birth. But copies from that original printing have been lost in the centuries since, and the country’s national archivist said he’s traveled abroad looking for any that might have survived.

Duke University said Thursday a graduate history student found what could be the only surviving copy. Julia Gaffield made the discovery in February while combing through early 19th Century correspondence collected in Great Britain’s National Archives in London, the archives and Duke said. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36138349/ns/world_news-americas/#storyContinued


Click on the link below to view the 9 page document.