Showing posts with label Haiti. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Haiti. Show all posts

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Please help us! Do not humiliate us! by Celucien L. Joseph



Please help us! Do not humiliate us!
by Celucien L. Joseph 

The Haitian people in Haiti are experiencing a devastating tropical storm named Matthew. It has already caused severe damages in many parts in Haiti. In the process of recovery, we are soliciting your prayers and assistance. Allow me to offer a few words of advise and caution to those who are helping the Haitian people in the transition.

Just help us!

We do not want war.

We do not want more US occupation of Haiti and in Haiti.

Do not humiliate us while helping us.

Do not demonize us while providing temporary relief.

Do not remind us we are the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.

Do not remind us we are devil's worshippers.

Do not exploit this moment of weakness and vulnerability for forced Christian evangelization and conversion.

Just help us while maintaining our dignity and humanity!

Pray with us and pray for us!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Haiti, the Archive, and the Historical Imagination

Haiti, the Archive, and the Historical Imagination

by 

 

John Mercer Langston, then a professor at Howard University
John Mercer Langston

In the fall of 1877, John Mercer Langston laid on his bed on board the British steamer “Andes.” He was sea-sick and could not leave his cabin. Again. The new U.S. minister and consul general to Haiti was three days into his first trip at sea and so far the voyage from New York City to Cap Haïtien had been miserable.

But the tide would turn. After passing Cape Hatteras, the admitted “novice in sea-faring life” recovered. Langston “enjoyed the trip thereafter with a zest and pleasure real and inspiriting.” He became filled with a thrilling realization: soon he would land in Haiti. In a few short days, he would “behold now for the first time . . . negro nationality in harmonious, honored activity.”
Childhood lessons about Toussaint Louverture did not prepare Langston for his arrival in Haiti. They could not. One week after leaving New York, Langston was stunned when the British captain obeyed orders from Haitian men who came on board the “Andes” to direct it into the harbor. Put simply, he “had never seen up to that time men of their complexion holding such positions and performing such duties.”

As the captain explained, though, Langston was now “in a negro country.” That fact finally hit the U.S. diplomat when he went on shore. A vibrant port city filled with black people conducting their own affairs, controlling their own institutions, and operating (seemingly) outside of the confines of white supremacy was “a new revelation” to Langston. He had only “seen the negro . . . at home, in nominal freedom and dependence. Now he [beheld] him the owner of a great country, the founder and builder of a great government, with a national sovereignty and power respected and honored by all the great Christian civilized powers of the earth.”1

Skyline of Cap Haïtien
Skyline of Cap Haïtien

I arrived in Cap Haïtien two days ago. Stepping off American Airlines Flight 3603, I quickly took in the cool ocean breeze then made a beeline towards customs. I smiled as I approached the waiting agent. “Where are you from,” she asked kindly. “Etazini,” I admitted, my smile turning sheepish. “Ameriken.” She already knew. And I was already moving towards the line for tourists.
I found the only other black person in the tourist line. I gave him the nod. He looked down. My reluctant companion was no more than thirteen or fourteen years old and appeared to be on a school trip along with ten or so classmates. I imagined it was his first time abroad. I imagined he was trying to process what it meant for us to move to the left while every other black person on our flight moved to the right. I imagined that he was trying to understand what it meant to be a blan.

That teen has likely never heard of John Mercer Langston. I had not at his age. I would be surprised if he’s thought in great depth about black political self-determination to the same extent that Langston did. That’s understandable. He has beheld Barack Obama, the president of a great country. He has always seen men of his complexion holding significant positions and performing important duties.
Still, I could not help but think of me, him, and John Mercer Langston as intimately connected. Two arrived in Haiti at a moment when the prospect of replacing the first black president with a white supremacist one looms large. The other disembarked in Cap Haïtien shortly after Reconstruction collapsed under the weight of southern vigilantism and northern indifference. All left the United States not knowing what they might find when they returned.

John Mercer Langston did not publish his recollections of his time in Haiti until a decade after the end of his diplomatic tenure there. By then, black people in the United States were fortifying themselves and their communities against the violent realities of Jim Crow. Still, Langston assumed a tone of optimism and patriotism befitting a staunch advocate of integrationism and a veteran of the abolitionist movement. Indeed, he dedicated his work to
The young, aspiring American, who, by manly and self-reliant effort, would gain standing and influence, serving his day and generation by such personal accomplishment and useful, heroic achievement, as show him worthy of his citizenship . . . He [had] only, therefore, to be true, brave and faithful, to win the highest rewards of dignified life, as bestowed in honors and emoluments by his fellow-citizens.2
Jean-Jacques Dessalines
Jean Jacques Dessalines

That passage and others like it have forced me to grapple with the complexity of Langston’s thought in his final years. The heady days of Reconstruction were long over. A new fight for black freedom had begun and Langston felt obligated to inspire a new generation in those trying times. He told young men like Arthur Dessalines Langston—his son and the namesake of Jean Jacques Dessalines—to know the value of self-improvement but never forget the importance of black self-determination. He left them with his own longings for full inclusion in U.S. public life and his simultaneous sense of belonging to a much larger Afro-diasporic family.

In that respect, his words have also forced me to imagine. After passing through customs and leaving the airport, I took a taxi to my hotel. All the while, I pictured Langston talking to me and the black teen in the customs line. I imagined us together; three travelers linked by their blackness, their passports and the challenge of grasping what it all means.
  1. Quotations from John Mercer Langston, From the Virginia Plantation to the National Capitol, or The First and Only Negro Representative in Congress from the Old Dominion (Hartford, CT: American Publishing Company, 1894), 358-363. 
  2. Ibid., dedication page. 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Call for Papers: “Between Two Worlds: Jean Price-Mars, Haiti, and Africa”

Call for Papers: "Between Two Worlds: Jean Price-Mars, Haiti, and Africa" Edited by Drs. Celucien L. Joseph, Glodel Mezilas, Jean Eddy Saint Paul, and Jhon Byron
Extended Deadline: Thursday, March 31



Jean Price-Mars (1876 – 1969), Haitian physician, ethnographer, diplomat, educator, historian, politician, was a towering intellectual in Haitian history and cultural studies, and a Pan Africanist who called to reevaluate the contributions of Africa in universal civilizations and to revalorize African retentions and cultural practices in the Black diaspora, especially on Haitian soil. Through his writings, Price-Mars, whom Leopold Sedar Senghor called “the Father of Negritude,” sought to establish connecting links between Africa and the Black Diaspora, and the shared history and struggle between people of African descent in the Diaspora.

For many scholars, Price-Mars is the father of Haitian ethnology and Dean of Haitian Studies in the twentieth-century, and arguably, the most influential Haitian thinker that has graced the “Black Republic” since the death of Joseph Auguste Anténor Firmin in 1911. In Haitian thought, Price-Mars has exercised an enduring intellectual and ideological influence on the young Haitian intellectuals and writers of the generation of the American Occupation in Haiti (1915-1934) and the post-Occupation culture from the 1930s to 1970s. He is especially known for launching a cultural nationalism and an anti-imperial movement against the brutal American military forces in Haiti.
The writings of Price-Mars were instrumental in challenging the Haitian intellectual of his leadership role in the Haitian society, and in promoting national consciousness and unity among Haitians of all social classes and against their American oppressor. Comparatively, his work was a catalyst in the process of shaping and reshaping Haitian cultural identity and reconsidering the viability of the Afro-Haitian faith of Vodou as religion among the so-called World religions. His thought anticipated what is known today as postcolonialism and decolonization.

Moreover, scholars have also identified Price-Mars as the Francophone counterpart of W.E.B. Du Bois for his activism, scholarly rigor, leadership efficiency, and his unremitting efforts to challenge Western racial history, ideology, and white supremacy in the modern world. Unapologetically, Price-Mars challenged the doctrine of white supremacy and the ideological construction of Western history by demonstrating the equality and dignity of the races and all people, and their achievements in the human historical narrative. As Du Bois, he was a transdisciplinary scholar, boundary-crosser, and cross-cultural theorist; in an unorthodox way, he had brought in conversation various disciplines including anthropology, ethnography, geography, sociology, history, religion, philosophy, race theory, and literature to study the human condition and the most pressing issues facing the nations and peoples of the world, as well as the possible implications they may bear upon us in the postcolonial moment.

"Between Two Worlds: Jean Price-Mars, Haiti, and Africa" is a special volume on Jean Price-Mars that reassesses the importance of his thought and legacy, and the implications of his ideas in the twenty-first century’s culture of political correctness, the continuing challenge of race and racism, and imperial hegemony in the modern world. Price-Mars’s thought is also significant for the renewed scholarly interests in Haiti and Haitian Studies in North America, and the meaning of contemporary Africa in the world today. This volume explores various dimensions in Price-Mars’ thought and his role as medical doctor, historian, anthropologist, cultural critic, public intellectual, politician, pan-Africanist, and humanist.

Hence, the goal of this book is fourfold: 1) The book will explore the contributions of Price-Mars to Haitian history, thought, culture, literature, politics, education, health, etc., 2) This volume will investigate the complex relationships between Haiti and the Dominican Republic in Price-Mars’ historical writings, 3) It studies Price-Mars’ engagement with Western history and the problem of the “racist narrative,” and 4) Finally, the book will highlight Price-Mars’ contributions to Postcolonialism, Africana Studies, and Pan-Africanism.

If you would like to contribute a book chapter to this important volume, along with your CV, please submit a 300 word abstract by Thursday, March 31, to Dr. Celucien Joseph @ celucienjoseph@gmail.com

Successful applicants will be notified of acceptance in the first week of April, 2016. We are looking for original and unpublished essays for this book. Translations of Price-Mars’ works in the English language are also welcome. Potential topics to be addressed include (but are not limited to) the following:

I. Price-Mars as Historian

• Price-Mars as Historian
• Price-Mars’ engagement with Western history
• Price-Mars’ interpretation of Haitian history
• The function of Haitian heroes and heroines in Price-Mars historical writings
• The Origin (s) and History of Haiti and Dominican Republic in Price-Mars’ works
• Particularism and Universalism in Price-Mars’ historical writings

II. Price-Mars as Cultural Critic and Public Intellectual in Haitian Society

• Price-Mars as cultural theorist and literary critic
• The role of Price-Mars’ thought in the Haitian Renaissance in the first half of the twentieth-century
• Price-Mars and the Crisis of Haitian Intellectuals
• Price-Mars and the Crisis of Haitian bourgeoisie-elite
• Price-Mars, Vodou, and the Haitian culture
• The Haitian peasant in the writings of Price-Mars
• The Education of the Haitian masses in the writings of Price-Mars
• The problem of Race in Price-Mars’ writings
• Haitian Women in the thought of Price-Mars
• Price-Mars’ contributions as Medical doctor in Haitian society.

III. Price-Mars as Politician

• The Political career and goals of Jean Price-Mars
• Price-Mars, Haiti’s Ambassador to the nations
• Price-Mars and the American occupation and American imperialism
• The political philosophy and democratic ideas of Price-Mars
• Nationalism and Patriotism in Price-Mars’ thought

IV. Price-Mars as Pan-Africanist

• African history or the meaning of Africa in the writings of Price-Mars
• The Black Diaspora in the thought of Price-Mars
• Price-Mars’ Postcolonial Rhetoric and Linguistic Strategy
• The Vindication and Rehabilitation of the Black Race
• The Role and Contributions of Pre-African civilizations to world civilizations
• Price-Marsian Negritude or Blackness

About the editors

Bio for  Celucien L. Joseph, PhD
 
Dr. Celucien L. Joseph is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Indian River State College. He received his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Texas at Dallas, where he studied Literary Studies and Intellectual History. Professor Joseph also holds an M.A. in French language and literature from the University of Louisville. In addition, he holds degrees in theological and religious studies. He serves in the editorial board and Chair of The Journal of Pan African Studies Regional Advisory Board; he also the curator of “Haiti: Then and Now.” He edited JPAS special issue on Wole Soyinka entitled “Rethinking Wole Soyinka: 80 Years of Protracted Engagement” (2015). Dr. Joseph is interested in the intersections of literature, history, race, religion, theology, and history of ideas.

Professor Joseph is the author of several books including Race, Religion, and the Haitian Revolution: Essays on Faith, Freedom, and Decolonization (2012), From Toussaint to Price-Mars: Rhetoric, Race, and Religion in Haitian Thought (2013), Haitian Modernity and Liberative Interruptions: Discourse on Race, Religion, and Freedom (2013), God Loves Haiti (2015). He has also contributed several encyclopedia entries and scholarly articles in various journals. His forthcoming book is entitled Thinking in Public: Faith, Secular Humanism, and Development in Jacques Roumain (Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2016). He is the lead editor of a forthcoming two volume anthology entitled Vodou in Haitian Memory: The Idea and Representation of Vodou in Haitian Imagination (Collection 1), and Vodou in the Haitian Experience: A Black Atlantic Perspective (Collection 2)—to be published by Lexington Books in 2016. He is currently working on a volume on Jean-Bertrand Aristide, former President of Haiti and Catholic-Priest Liberation Theology entitled Aristide: A Theological and Political Introduction (under contract with Fortress Press).

Academic Bio of Jean Eddy Saint Paul, PhD, Sociologist,
Professor of Sociology and Politics
Universidad of Guanajuato (Guanajuato, Mexico).

Jean Eddy Saint Paul is a Haitian scholar and social scientist. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from El Colegio de México (2008), an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá (2002) and a B.A. in Social Work from the State University of Haiti. Dr. Saint Paul is a Professor of Politics and Sociology whose specializations include Religions, Citizenship, and Democracy, and Elites, Political Discourse and Ideologies. He currently works as a Professor for the Division of Law, Politics and Government at the Universidad of Guanajuato (Guanajuato, Mexico). He is also a regular Professor at the Inter-Institutional Doctorate (Ph.D.) Program in Law. Dr. Saint Paul is one of the founders of the Doctorate Program in Law, Politics and Government, and the Master Program in Political Analysis at the Universidad de Guanajuato. He usually teaches in the undergraduate and graduate programs and offers courses such as “Political Science”, “Sociological Theory”, “Politics and Religions”, “Political Theory” and “Qualitative Research Methods.” Before joining the University of Guanajuato, Dr. Saint Paul was a visiting professor of “Comparative Politics” and “Political Theory” at the Ph.D. Program in Political Science and Master Program in Sociology at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.

Prof. Saint Paul’s work covers an unusually broad spectrum of topic including Historical Sociology of Politics, Politics and Religions (Secular State for Civil Liberties and Human Rights), Civil Society, Politics of Memory and Citizenship, Civil Society and Democratization from a Political & Sociological Perspective, Sociology of Violence, Patrimonialism, Neopatrimonialism, and Politics of the Belly. A Member of the National System of Scholars-CONACyT, level 1, Professor Jean Eddy Saint Paul was in 2013 a “Visiting Scholar” at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Va. United States of America) and previously in 2011 was a “Visiting Fellow” at the Centre d’études et de recherches internationales (Centre for International Studies and Research (CERI), SciencesPo, CNRS, Paris.

Dr. Saint Paul conducts research on Latin America and the Caribbean, and has published his works in prestigious national and international press, like Karthala (Paris), Maison des sciences de l’homme (Paris) and El Colegio de México (Mexico). Among his recent publications on Haiti, it is important to mention: Chimè et Tontons Macoutes comme milices armées en Haïti. Essai sociologique, published in 2015 by the Cidihca press in Montreal (Québec), Canada; “La laïcité en Haïti. Approche sociologique des erreurs épistémologiques et théoriques dans les débats récents,” published in the international Peer Review Journal: Histoire, Monde et Cultures Religieuses (HMC), Thematic Number: Etat, Religions et Politique en Haïti (XVIII-XXI siècles), # 29, April 15, 2014, Paris: Karthala, pp. 83-100. ISBN: 9782811111540. Currently, he is working on two new books: Duvalierism, Rhetoric and Political Practices, and Civil Society and Politics of Memory in Haiti”.
Prof. Saint Paul is fluent in Haitian Creole, French, English and Spanish.

https://ugto.academia.edu/JeanEddySaintPaul.
Email address: jsaintpaul@yahoo.fr or jsaint@colmex.mx
Professional link: https://ugto.academia.edu/JeanEddy
His new book: Chimè et Tontons Macoutes comme milices armées en Haïti. Essai Sociologique. Montreal, Ca.: Cidihca, 2015.
http://lenouvelliste.com/…/Chime-et-tontons-macoutes-la-log…
http://lenouvelliste.com/…/Chime-et-tontons-macoutes-la-log…
Skype: Jean Eddy Saint Paul (Charlottesville)

Bio for Glodel Mezillas, PhD

Glodel Mezillas is a political scientist, diplomat, theorist, philosopher, and a scholar of Caribbean and Latin American Studies. He received his PhD in Latin American Studies from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM), a Master’s degree in International Studies from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 2001-2002. He also studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) of the Université d’Etat d’Haïti, UEH), from which he received a Bachelor’s degree in Modern Letters, and at the Université Toussaint Louverture a B.A. in Political Sciences He has also done special studies in Diplomacy and International Politics at Escuela Diplomática de Madrid, and in International Public Administration (ONU) at the École Nationale d’Administration de Paris, Institut des Relations Internationales du Cameroun (IRIC),and at the Institut des Nations Unies de la Recherche et la Formation (UNITAR), he specialized in the field of United Nations System.

Dr. Mezillas has served as Professor of Genealogy of Postcolonialism at Instituto de Estudios Críticos, of International Relations and the Caribbean Studies at the Institut d'Études et Recherches Africaines (IERAH) de l'Université d'État d'Haiti, of International Relations at Université Polyvalente (Haiti), and Professor of Political Sciences and Epistemology of Social Sciences at the Université Toussaint Louverture. His teaching and scholarly research interests include Black Diaspora, Cultural, Political Theory and Epistemology of Social Sciences in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Dr. Mezillas is a prolific writer and has published in three languages English, Spanish, and French. His books including Que signifie philosopher en Haïti? Un nouveau concept du Vodou (L'Harmattan, 2015), El trauma colonial, entre la memoria y el discurso. Pensar (desde) el Caribe (EDUCAVISION, 2015), Qu’est-ce qu’une crise. Eléments d’une théorie critique (L’Harmattan, 2014), Civilisation et discours d’altérité. Enquête sur l’Islam, l’Occident et le Vodou (EDUCAVISION, 2014), Généalogie de la théorie sociale en Amérique Latine (Editions de l’Université d’Etat d’Haïti, 2013), and Haití más allá del espejo (Editorial Praxis, 2011).
E-mail address: glodelmezilas@hotmail.com

Bio for Jhon Picard Byron, PhD

Dr Byron is a Professor and Researcher at the Faculté d’Ethnologie at the State University of Haiti (UEH). His research interests are centered around Jean Price Mars’s work and legacy as well as the Construction of culture and citizenry in Haiti and the Caribbean. He is the Chair of a Research Unit working on Language, Discourses and Representations (LADIREP) and the Coordinator of the Masters Programme in Social Anthropology at the Faculté d’Ethnologie. His most recent publication is “La pensée de Jean Price-Mars : entre construction politique de la nation et affirmation de l’identité culturelle haïtienne.” In Production du savoir et construction sociale. L’ethnologie en Haïti. He has two forthcoming publications: one on the influence of Haitian Anthropology at the origin of François Duvalier’s discourse and the other on Jean Price Mars and the transformation of Haitian Anthropology: challenges and stakes.
E-mail: jpicard.byron@gmail.com


Sincerely,
Celucien L. Joseph, PhD
Assistant Professor of English
Indian River State College
Curator of “Haiti: Then and Now”
http://www.haitithenandnowhtn.com/

Jean Eddy Saint Paul, PhD
Professor of Sociology and Politics
Universidad of Guanajuato (Guanajuato, Mexico)
Email address: jsaintpaul@yahoo.fr or jsaint@colmex.mx
Professional link: https://ugto.academia.edu/JeanEddy

Glodel Mezilas, PhD
Counselor and Diplomat
Haitian Embassy in Spain

Jhon Picard Byron, PhD
Professor and Researcher at Faculté d’Ethnologie
State University of Haiti (UEH).

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Call for Papers: Between Two Worlds: Jean Price-Mars, Haiti, and Africa

Call for Papers: Between Two Worlds: Jean Price-Mars, Haiti, and Africa
Edited by Celucien L. Joseph, PhD

Jean Price-Mars (1876 – 1969), Haitian physician, ethnographer, diplomat, educator, historian, politician, was a towering intellectual in Haitian history and cultural studies, and a Pan Africanist who called to reevaluate the contributions of Africa in universal civilizations and to revalorize African retentions and cultural practices in the Black diaspora, especially on Haitian soil. Through his writings, Price-Mars, whom Leopold Sedar Senghor called “the Father of Negritude,” sought to establish connecting links between Africa and the Black Diaspora, and the shared history and struggle between people of African descent in the Diaspora.
For many scholars, Price-Mars is the father of Haitian ethnology and Dean of Haitian Studies in the twentieth-century, and arguably, the most influential Haitian thinker that has graced the “Black Republic” since the death of Joseph Auguste Anténor Firmin in 1911. In Haitian thought, Price-Mars has exercised an enduring intellectual and ideological influence on the young Haitian intellectuals and writers of the generation of the American Occupation in Haiti (1915-1934) and the post-Occupation culture from the 1930s to 1970s. He is especially known for launching a cultural nationalism and an anti-imperial movement against the brutal American military forces in Haiti.

The writings of Price-Mars were instrumental in challenging the Haitian intellectual of his leadership role in the Haitian society, and in promoting national consciousness and unity among Haitians of all social classes and against their American oppressor. Comparatively, his work was a catalyst in the process of shaping and reshaping Haitian cultural identity and reconsidering the viability of the Afro-Haitian faith of Vodou as religion among the so-called World religions. His thought anticipated what is known today as postcolonialism and decolonization.

Moreover, scholars have also identified Price-Mars as the Francophone counterpart of W.E.B. Du Bois for his activism, scholarly rigor, leadership efficiency, and his unremitting efforts to challenge Western racial history, ideology, and white supremacy in the modern world. Unapologetically, Price-Mars challenged the doctrine of white supremacy and the ideological construction of Western history by demonstrating the equality and dignity of the races and all people, and their achievements in the human historical narrative. As Du Bois, he was a transdisciplinary scholar, boundary-crosser, and cross-cultural theorist; in an unorthodox way, he had brought in conversation various disciplines including anthropology, ethnography, geography, sociology, history, religion, philosophy, race theory, and literature to study the human condition and the most pressing issues facing the nations and peoples of the world, as well as the possible implications they may bear upon us in the postcolonial moment.

"Between Two Worlds: Jean Price-Mars, Haiti, and Africa" is a special volume on Jean Price-Mars that reassesses the importance of his thought and legacy, and the implications of his ideas in the twenty-first century’s culture of political correctness, the continuing challenge of race and racism, and imperial hegemony in the modern world. Price-Mars’s thought is also significant for the renewed scholarly interests in Haiti and Haitian Studies in North America, and the meaning of contemporary Africa in the world today. This volume explores various dimensions in Price-Mars’ thought and his role as medical doctor, historian, anthropologist, cultural critic, public intellectual, politician, pan-Africanist, and humanist.

Hence, the goal of this book is fourfold: 1) The book will explore the contributions of Price-Mars to Haitian history, thought, culture, literature, politics, education, health, etc., 2) This volume will investigate the complex relationships between Haiti and the Dominican Republic in Price-Mars’ historical writings, 3) It studies Price-Mars’ engagement with Western history and the problem of the “racist narrative,” and 4) Finally, the book will highlight Price-Mars’ contributions to Postcolonialism, Africana Studies, and Pan-Africanism.

If you would like to contribute a book chapter to this important volume, along with your CV, please submit a 300 word abstract by Monday, February 29, 2016, to Dr. Celucien Joseph @ celucienjoseph@gmail.com
Successful applicants will be notified of acceptance in the first week of April, 2016. We are looking for original and unpublished essays for this book. Translations of Price-Mars’ works in the English language are also welcome. Potential topics to be addressed include (but are not limited to) the following:

I. Price-Mars as Historian
• Price-Mars as Historian
• Price-Mars’ engagement with Western history
• Price-Mars’ interpretation of Haitian history
• The function of Haitian heroes and heroines in Price-Mars historical writings
• The Origin (s) and History of Haiti and Dominican Republic in Price-Mars’ works
• Particularism and Universalism in Price-Mars’ historical writings

II. Price-Mars as Cultural Critic and Public Intellectual in Haitian Society
• Price-Mars as cultural theorist and literary critic
• The role of Price-Mars’ thought in the Haitian Renaissance in the first half of the twentieth-century
• Price-Mars and the Crisis of Haitian Intellectuals
• Price-Mars and the Crisis of Haitian bourgeoisie-elite
• Price-Mars, Vodou, and the Haitian culture
• The Haitian peasant in the writings of Price-Mars
• The Education of the Haitian masses in the writings of Price-Mars
• The problem of Race in Price-Mars’ writings
• Haitian Women in the thought of Price-Mars
• Price-Mars’ contributions as Medical doctor in Haitian society.

III. Price-Mars as Politician
• The Political career and goals of Jean Price-Mars
• Price-Mars, Haiti’s Ambassador to the nations
• Price-Mars and the American occupation and American imperialism
• The political philosophy and democratic ideas of Price-Mars
• Nationalism and Patriotism in Price-Mars’ thought

IV. Price-Mars as Pan-Africanist
• African history or the meaning of Africa in the writings of Price-Mars
• The Black Diaspora in the thought of Price-Mars
• Price-Mars’ Postcolonial Rhetoric and Linguistic Strategy
• The Vindication and Rehabilitation of the Black Race
• The Role and Contributions of Pre-colonial African civilizations to world civilizations
• Price-Marsian Negritude or Blackness

About the editor

Dr. Celucien L. Joseph is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Indian River State College. He received his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Texas at Dallas, where he studied Literary Studies and Intellectual History. Professor Joseph also holds an M.A. in French language and literature from the University of Louisville. In addition, he holds degrees in theological and religious studies. He serves in the editorial board and Chair of The Journal of Pan African Studies Regional Advisory Board; he also the curator  of “Haiti: Then and Now.” He edited JPAS special issue on Wole Soyinka entitled “Rethinking Wole Soyinka: 80 Years of Protracted Engagement” (2015). Dr. Joseph is interested in the intersections of literature, history, race, religion, theology, and history of ideas.

Professor Joseph is the author of several books including Race, Religion, and the Haitian Revolution: Essays on Faith, Freedom, and Decolonization (2012), From Toussaint to Price-Mars: Rhetoric, Race, and Religion in Haitian Thought (2013), Haitian Modernity and Liberative Interruptions: Discourse on Race, Religion, and Freedom (2013), God Loves Haiti (2015). He has also contributed several encyclopedia entries and scholarly articles in various journals. His forthcoming book is entitled Thinking in Public: Faith, Secular Humanism, and Development in Jacques Roumain (Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2016). He is the lead editor of a forthcoming two volume anthology entitled Vodou in Haitian Memory: The Idea and Representation of Vodou in Haitian Imagination (Collection 1), and Vodou in the Haitian Experience: A Black Atlantic Perspective (Collection 2)—to be published by Lexington Books in 2016. He is currently working on a volume on Jean-Bertrand Aristide, former President of Haiti and Catholic-Priest Liberation Theology entitled Aristide: A Theological and Political Introduction (under contract with Fortress Press).

Sincerely,
Celucien L. Joseph, PhD
Assistant Professor of English
Indian River State College
Curator of “Haiti: Then and Now”
http://www.haitithenandnowhtn.com/


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Pensée impériale par Michel-Ange Cadet


Pensée impériale par Michel-Ange Cadet


01_Gerard_ToussaintLouverture_sm

Haiti Chery

Nègres, negro: voilà comment ils nous appelaient. Pas pour designer notre personne mais surtout pour affirmer une quelconque prétention de suprématie dont ils croyaient être détenteur et au nom de laquelle nous devions les servir, travailler à leur gré et satisfaire touts leurs caprices, richesses, gloires, plaisirs… Ils voulaient nous faire croire que notre vie se résumait à une simple pigmention de la peau qui nous privait de tout: de tout ce qu’un être devrait avoir pour vivre comme un homme ou une femme doué d’une conscience et de raison. Tout est néant depuis que la peau n’est plus pale. Ce groupe d’individus, ces nations qui ont mis en extinction toute une civilisation du nouveau continent, nous nous souvenons. Pendant plusieurs décennies le monde a connu cette conception, ces atrocités à l’égard des autochtones de l’Amérique et de l’homme noir de l’Afrique.

Néanmoins, voir les choses uniquement de la sorte serait éluder un peu l’essence même de la pensé impériale. Il ne saurait y avoir de Spartacus si les motifs de leurs actions étaient seulement une question épidermique. Rome ne saurait dominer presque toute l’Europe et l’Asie pendant plusieurs siècles. Les raisons profondes sont en effet autres qu’une simple couleur de la peau, qu’un préjugé racial. Leurs intérêts pour l’homme, les races humaines, et les nations se réduisent à ce que ces hommes peuvent leur rapporter. L’appétit pour l’or, la richesse, la gloire, et pour dominer et assujettir constituent l’essence même de l’idéal impérial.

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La proclamation de l’indépendance d’Haïti avec de la poudre et au prix du sang marqua au 19e siècle le début de la décolonisation physique de l’Amérique. Un nouvel ordre mondial est alors en train de se dessiner aux regards inquiets de certains traditionalistes. Le status quo de l’Amérique s’effondra et avec lui toutes les richesses qu’il représentait pour les géants impériaux. Il faut des correctifs. Des alternatives contre les révolutions qui s’effectuent dans les Caraïbes, l’Amérique Latine et dans certains pays de l’Afrique pour lesquels des intérêts sont considérables. Le colonialisme doit changer de posture, être moins visible et plus discret à travers ses faits et gestes. Nous pouvons dire qu’il sagit d’une violence masquée dans leurs désirs afin d’éviter qu’une autre terrible révolution ne revienne pour tout chambarder. Les colonies, surtout l’âme coloniale, au-delà de la décolonisation physique des Etats de l’Amérique, des Caraïbes et de l’Afrique, doivent subsister. C’est de là que toute une série de théories, de politique économique et d’organisations internationales œuvrent pour maintenir aussi longtemps que possible cet idéal impérialiste.
L’histoire de la révolution de Saint-Domingue, aujourd’hui la République d’Haïti, révèle la position de classe qu’affirmait le général Laplume vis-à-vis des insurgés, en combattant manu-militari ses frères de couleur et de sang. Interprétons-le comme nous le voulons, trahison ou reconnaissance servile; les réactions, les motivations de l’homme ne sont pas toujours compréhensibles au simple regard. Mais l’histoire raconte et essaie de nous faire comprendre les évènements, comme nous l’espérons tous, pour ne point commettre les mêmes erreurs du passé dans l’avenir. L’histoire est un perpétuel recommencement, dit-on souvent. Jean Baptiste Conzé répéta cette histoire durant l’occupation américaine (Haïti, 1915-1934) en trahissant le chef des insurgés d’alors: Charlemagne Péralte. Serions-nous donc surpris que des contemporains en fassent autant? A présent les sbires du néo-colonialisme sont ceux qui ont accédé aux fonctions les plus hautes et prestigieuses de la nation, ceux que nous avons pris peine de supporter et de designer par nos doigts. Leurs beaux discours nationalistes cachent très mal de nos jours l’odeur perfide de la nouvelle forme du colonialisme et de leurs nouveaux maitres étrangers.
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Aimé Césaire déclara en 1943: « Un des éléments, l’élément capital du malaise antillais, l’existence dans ces îles d’un bloc homogène, d’un PEUPLE qui depuis trois siècles cherche à s’exprimer et à créer… Nous savons très bien ce que nous voulons; la liberté, la dignité, la justice…. L’esclavage pèse sur nous, c’est entendu. Mais lui attribuer à lui seul notre pauvreté actuelle, c’est oublier que sous le règne de l’esclavage, le nègre fut magnifique… A la cruauté, il opposa tantôt l’attente, tantôt la révolte, jamais la résignation. » [Panorama. Revue Tropiques (1943) Document d’accompagnement pédagogique - Commémoration Aimé Césaire - 2013/2014, Ministère de l’éducation nationale (DGESCO), Page 1 sur 5.] Le réveil a déjà eu lieu parmi beaucoup de nations qui commencent à identifier la source de leur problème. Il est temps que nous sortions de notre indifférence à l’état de notre peuple. La liberté est une utopie. Et le plus drôle, beaucoup croient encore que nous décidons de notre propre sort, que nous sommes les seuls responsables de nos malheurs.

Notre autodétermination est compromise. L’indépendance est un leurre qu’ils cherchent à nous faire croire habilement quand, derrière de soi-disant institutions démocratiques et d’idéal de partage de pouvoir, existent de solides ficelles. Nous ne décidons plus de nos orientations, de ce que nous voulons, de ce qui nous ferait du bien. Ils s’en fichent complètement de notre dignité de peuple puisque tout ce que nous représentons n’est autre qu’un marché lucratif. Comme au temps des colonies le commerce avec le nouveau monde rapporte gros. Nulle notion de justice, d’équité n’y figure. C’est la pauvreté planifiée, et de l’autre coté la richesse assurée. La notion de justice dans les pays du tiers monde renvoie à une double problématique. Le système politique et économique imposé par le nouvel ordre économique mondial crée non seulement une disparité entre les nations riches et les nations pauvres dans leur relation de dépendance, mais aussi il alimente le clivage qui existe entre les différentes classes sociales. Le néo-libéralisme n’a-t-il pas prôné un désengagement de l’Etat dans les activités sociales au nom d’une théorie de réglementation des dépenses publiques? De l’autre coté, nous assistons à la détérioration des termes de l’échange dont le néo-libéralisme et toutes les politiques qui l’accompagnent alimentent d’année en année en une extrême pauvreté, les disparités sociales et économiques, et de ce fait, éloignent les perspectives d’une justice sociale. Ils ne veulent pas que nous supportons nos secteurs de la production tandis qu’ils soutiennent les leurs.

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Depuis des siècles les pays du Nord mènent une guerre voilée contre ceux du Sud. Mais il s’agit plutôt en fait d’un massacre. Toutes sortes de politiques institutionnelles, économiques, de théories et d’ajustements structurels, des ingérences politiques grossières sont mises en œuvre pour assoir leur domination et leur exploitation à outrance. Rien ne les retient pourvu qu’ils parviennent à leurs fins. Quand ces griffes s’enfoncent dans notre chair et que coule notre sang, nous ne pouvons nous empêcher de crier haut et fort à de telles souffrances, de telles calamités d’une avidité sans limite du néo-colonialisme. Mais quand nous crions, nous ne pleurons pas. Plutôt nous nous défendons comme nous l’avons déjà fait, comme des pays de l’Amérique Latine et des Caraïbes le font actuellement.
Une fois de plus, les masques sont en train de tomber et le dessous des rideaux montre les véritables acteurs, artisans de malheur des peuples opprimés. Jamais les noirs de Saint-Domingue ne s’étaient abandonné à leur sort; « à la résignation ils ont préféré l’attente et la révolte » disait Aimé Césaire. L’heure de l’attente est révolue! Nous avons le droit de définir notre destin. Ne nous appelle plus des nègres. Nous sommes vos égaux. Nous sommes des hommes et des femmes de couleurs noirs. Nous sommes des Caraïbes, de l’Amérique du Nord, de l’Amérique Latine, de l’Afrique. Nous sommes surtout des Haïtiens et Haïtiennes. Nous sommes « Haïti! »

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Sources: Michel-Ange Cadet est né à Cap-Haitien, où il a effectué ses études primaires et secondaires respectivement chez les frères de l’Ecole Joseph et au Collège Notre Dame du Perpétuel Secours. Très vite il a pris gout au mouvement d’organisation de jeunes où il est actuellement membre du Groupe de Recherche en Développement Economique et Social d’Haïti (GREDESH) après ses études supérieures en Sciences Economiques. | Toutes les images proviennent des tableaux de Gerard Fortuné.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Haitian American: The Haitian Experience in the Diaspora (Part II) by Celucien L. Joseph


The Haitian American: The Haitian Experience in the Diaspora (Part II)


 

The Haitian Way of Life in America

 

Haitian Americans are a resilient people and attest to their ability to survive into mainstream America; as one writer has put it, “they have the ability to live through the best of times and the worst of times” (Zephir, p. 141). It is estimated that the population of the Haitian American diaspora is one million residents; it is commonly viewed as Haiti’s “tenth department,” as country itself is divided into nine governmental or organizational departments.  Michel S. Laguerre argues that the immigrant life of Haitian Americans is marked both by continuity rather than disruption, and rerootedness rather than uprootedness (p. 4). Haitian American ethnic communities are “a heterogeneous group, reflecting the various strata of Haitian society” (Zephir, p. 90). For example, poor Haitian Americans settle in areas of New York that are distinct from districts settled by the upper classes. Language is also important in establishing class distinction, color discrimination, and social segregation or alienation among Haitian American compatriots. Because of the social stigma attached to the Creole language, upper-class and light-skinned Haitian Americans insist on using the French language as a vehicle of achieving social mobility in the United States and isolate themselves from the predominantly lower class Haitians (Dash, p. 45).

 

The Haitian American diaspora actively engages itself in transnational ethnic practices and border-crossing cultural performances. For example, Little Haiti in Miami, an extension of the homeland, “represents the rerootedness of a large spectrum of the population of Haiti and constitutes one visible point of insertion of the diaspora in American society”—where different forms and manifestations of transnational practices and cultural traditions are more noticeable (Laguerre, pp.3-4). Religion and the Creole language are central to the Haitian American ethnic identity and cultural practice in America. Haitian Creole serves distinctively as a cultural marker, as Haitian Americans are the largest Creole-spoken immigrant group. As it is customary in the homeland, Haitian American religious services in both Protestant and Catholic Churches are conducted almost exclusively in Creole and French. Haitian Vodou temples can be found in various diasporic locations in Miami, Boston, Louisiana, and New York. In her anthropological fieldwork, Haitian scholar Flore Zephir observes that adherents to the Vodou faith attend services regularly; Vodou priests (ougans) and priestesses (mambos) conduct their routines privately in their homes, and they are known to the community where word of mouth (teledyol) is always a good source of information (p. 100). Vodou ministers provide healing to the faithful, comfort them in time of distress, and serve as cultural and spiritual advisors to various Haitian American communities. 

 

Haitian Americans form a vibrant cultural symbol and have a dynamic presence in the American life. They intermingle with white Americans and other ethnic groups such as African Americans and other Caribbean immigrants. In highly-concentrated Haitian populations such as New York, Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago, Haitian Americans have established their own businesses, clubs, music shops, money transfer companies, restaurants, community and cultural centers, etc. They also created Haitian media outlets— Tele Kreyol, Tele Diaspora, Tele Energie, Obri Blag, Piman Bouk, Radio Lakay, Radyo Pa Nou, Radio l’Union, etc.—and political and human rights organizations such as the National Coalition for Haitian Rights, the Haitian-Americans United, Inc. (HAU), the Haitian American Community Association of Dade (HACAD), the Haitian American Foundation, Inc. (HAFI), Haitian Women of Miami (FANM). They have their own multilingual newspapers—the Haitian Times, the Boston Haitian Reporter, Creole Connection, Haiti Observateur, Haiti en Marche, Haiti Progres—and scholarly journals and organizations—the Journal of Haitian Studies, KOSANBA, Haitian Studies Association, Le Club Haitien de St. Louis, the Association for Haitian American Development (AHAD), Haitian-American Professionals and Entrepreneurs (SHAPE)—which publish in Creole, French, and English.

 

Integration and Assimilation, and Impact on American Life

 

The ethos of the Haitian American life is full of complexity and paradoxes. Zephir has grouped second-generation Haitian Americans in three broad categories: (1) “those who display a strong form of Haitianess; (2) those who display a weaker form of Haitianess; and (3) those who have absolutely nothing to do with Haiti, the undercovers” (p.130). While the first Haitian immigrants—those who had immigrated to the states in their adolescence—to some degrees have managed to isolate themselves from the greater American society, second-generation Haitian Americans—those who were born in the US and had come here at an early age, before adolescence—are fully integrated and assimilated in the American culture. Second-generation Haitian Americans are more heterogeneous in their thinking, cultural practices, and lifestyle than the first generation; while they possess a native command of the English language and American culture, they are not fluent in Creole and well-versed in the cultural traditions of their parents’ homeland.  They are more comfortable in the American culture than in the traditional Haitian way of life. Those who have called themselves “African Americans” and not Haitian Americans do not exhibit a thick form of Haitianness and do not champion their heritage or history as their parents do. 

 

One can find a large segment of the second-generation Haitian American population who has committed itself to the Haitian community and cultural heritage as well as to the American cultural value-system and life, respectively. Haitian Americans had helped made this country a better place for all people. The Haitian American impact on the American society is substantial, and Haitians Americans have become “a significant component of the fabric of contemporary American society (Zephir, p.141). As any other ethnic groups in America, Haitian Americans have also achieved the American Dream. Among the well-known Haitian Americans are the Hip-hop artist and song composer Wyclef Jean, professional tennis player Victoria Duval, former center of the Utah Jazz Olden Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks center Samuel Dalembert, offensive tackle for the New York Jets Vladimir Ducasse, running back for the New Orleans Saints Pierre Thomas, soccer player for Sunderland Jozy Altidore, novelist Edwidge Danticat, artist and painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, actress and model Garcelle Bauvais, politician and the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, Ludmya Bourdeau Love, former journalist and 1991 Miss America Marjorie Judith, the CEO to the label G-Unit Philly and rapper Marvin Bernard (a.k.a. “Tony Yayo”), former Massachusetts State House Representative Marie St. Fleur, municipal court judge in East Orange, New Jersey Sybil Elias, the well-known leading specialist in women’s cancer Rodrigue Mortel, the chairman and chief executive officer of Siméus Foods International, Inc. (SFI) Dumarsais Siméus, etc.  Furthermore, many Haitian Americans are currently serving in the American political life including Massachusetts State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, Florida House of Representative Ronald Brise, New York City councilman Mathieu Eugene, Kwame Raoul, Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul, etc. In various degrees and different ways, the Haitian American diaspora has made recognizable contributions in the American society.

 

Haitian Americans continue to contribute to the advancement of the American civilization and American democratic experiment—from Haitians fighting for American freedom in the American War of Independence in Savannah, Georgia, former Haitian slaves inspiring the American Civil War against slavery, to Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, the “Founder of Chicago.”  On the other hand, the Haitian population in America continues to experience on-going challenges in the 21st century America. Haitian Americans in Miami, New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia struggle to find employment, secure suitable housing, and support their children through school. The poverty line in the Haitian community especially in South Florida and New York surpasses any other ethnic group in the United States. The population does not have adequate educational preparation and training to meet the high demands of today’s technological age nor does it have the financial resources to afford adequate medical services and competent mental health that are culturally and linguistically sensitive. In addition, the American anti-immigrant political climate affects Haitian refugees and their families more than any other ethnic group in South Florida; subsequently, Haitian refugees continue to be subject to an indefinite detention policy. These areas are real challenges as we take into account in providing human services to and fulfilling the unmet needs of the Haitian American population in the 21st century.

 
 * The Haitian American (Part I) by Celucien L. Joseph

Further References

 
Dash, J. Michael. Culture and Customs of Haiti. Westport: Greenwood, 2001.

Flore, Zephir. The New Americans: The Haitian Americans. Greenwood Press: Westport, 2004.

Laguerre, Michel S. Diasporic Citizenship: Haitian Americans in Transnational America.

            New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998.

---        . American Odyssey: Haitians in New York City. Ithaca: Cornell University

            Press, 1984.