The assignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse reminded us of the importance of the island nation to the liberation of all African people from European domination. Of the many things we thought to include in this article, we include frequent Port Of Harlem contributor, poet, author, and Frederick Douglass historian Nathan Richardson’s short recitation of a Frederick Douglass’ speech on Haiti, the text and other links to provide a broader view of what is happening in Haiti.
- Frederick Douglass (via Frederick Douglass historian Nathan Richardson) Speaks about Haiti
(2 minute excerpt)
January 2, 1893, Haiti Pavilion, Chicago World Fair, Illinois, USA (By Frederick Douglass)
No man should presume to come before an intelligent American audience without a commanding object and an earnest purpose. In whatever else I may be deficient, I hope I am qualified, both in object and purpose, to speak to you this evening.
My subject is Haiti, the Black Republic; the only self-made Black Republic in the world. I am to speak to you of her character, her history, her importance and her struggle from slavery to freedom and to statehood. I am to speak to you of her progress in the line of civilization; of her relation with the United States; of her past and present; of her probable destiny; and of the bearing of her example as a free and independent Republic, upon what may be the destiny of the African race in our own country and elsewhere.
If, by a true statement of facts and a fair deduction from them, I shall in any degree promote a better understanding of what Haiti is, and create a higher appreciation of her merits and services to the world; and especially, if I can promote a more friendly feeling for her in this country and at the same time give to Haiti herself a friendly hint as to what is hopefully and justly expected of her by her friends, and by the civilized world, my object and purpose will have been accomplished.
There are many reasons why a good understanding should exist between Haiti and the United States. Her proximity; her similar government and her large and increasing commerce with us, should alone make us deeply interested in her welfare, her history, her progress and her possible destiny.
More on Haiti
- Political Crisis Deepens in Haiti as Jovenal Moise Refuses to Leave
Haiti is undergoing a deep political and institutional crisis, sparked by the refusal of US-backed president Jovenel Moïse to step down despite an official ruling that his mandate ended on February 7, 2021.
- In 1825, Haiti Paid France $21 Billion To Preserve Its Independence -- Time For France To Pay It Back
As such, Haiti’s independence was viewed as a threat by all slave-owning countries – the United States included – and its very existence rankled racist sensibilities globally. Thus Haiti – tiny, impoverished and all alone in a hostile world – had little choice but to accede to France’s reparation demands - - a crippling debt that took to 1947 or 122 years to pay off.
- Black Man on the Titanic: An Interview and Book Review
This superb book ended being more than just a revealing story of a Haitian engineer whose life ended with the Titanic. The historical narrative is a walk into Haitian history and sides of history rarely discussed in the Anglo world.