Haiti: The First Nation To End Slavery, But The Last To Rid Themselves Of The “Marronage” Mentality

Haiti: The First Nation To End Slavery, But The Last To Rid Themselves Of The “Marronage” Mentality

By Myriam Paul

Since 1904, Haitians have been singing….

Pour le Pays et pour nos Pères
Formons des Fils, formons des Fils
Libres, forts et prospères
Toujours nous serons frères
Formons des Fils, formons des Fils
Pour le Pays et pour nos Pères

English Version:

For our country and for our forefathers,
Let us train our sons, let us train our sons.
Free, strong, and prosperous,
We shall always be as brothers.
Let us train our sons, let us train our sons.
For our country and for our forefathers.

Today, I cannot help but wonder if Haitians, both new and old generations, understand the meaning of the words: “To educate our youth, to be free, strong, and prosperous.” Is Haiti causing its own demise? Why is Haiti failing its children, destroying its youth, going against its own values, and erasing what its forefathers valiantly stood and fought for?

It has been 213 years since Haiti successfully revolted against slavery. Haiti is the first black nation in the world to have successfully gained its independence by defeating the French. Haiti has stood against powerful forces, destroyed walls and has helped other nations around the globe fight for their freedom.

Although Haiti is known to all Haitians and recognized by most historians as having the most successful slave revolt throughout the globe, many still attempt to downplay the significance of this revolution. As a result, we have been and continue to be oppressed by the super powers for destroying their economy that was gained through the use of free labor –that has obstructed our progress. As a nation, our values and purpose are lost to us; our government and education systems have failed us; and the greediness of our elites has decimated our economic growth. We have become increasingly vulnerable to any sort of economical, intellectual, and social myth—which depicts Haiti as a failed nation, incapable of running its own land. In reality, international pressure has severely limited the ability for the Haitian people and its government to create progressive economical, intellectual, and social changes. It has forced those who love the country to flee elsewhere in hopes of finding better opportunities.

In 1750, Haiti was named one of the wealthiest colony in the world. At that time, 50% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) were imported to France which brought incredible wealth to the island. Now, reflecting on our historical and global contributions; at best, Haiti was a model country for revolution with a history of embracing and opening its doors to those in need.

In 1779, Haiti helped fight in the bloodbath of the American Revolution as well as aid to Black Americans during slavery. However, we did not stop there; we went on to help countries like Venezuela, Greece, and many others. With this foundational understanding of how this country has evolved, I cannot help but wonder why are Haitians fleeing the land our forefathers so vigilantly fought for? Have we lost out identity? Have we yet to rid ourselves of the “marronage” mentality?

Haitian Times

Haitian Times

The Haitian Times was founded in 1999 as a weekly English language newspaper based in Brooklyn, NY.The newspaper is widely regarded as the most authoritative voice for Haitian Diaspora.
Haitian Times
April 15, 2017

4 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Haiti: The First Nation To End Slavery, But The Last To Rid Themselves Of The “Marronage” Mentality”

  1. James Wood says:

    To My Haitian brother you must fight against the take over of your country by People who wish to Christianize your comity and turn to a Foreign white Jesse that has been Responsible for Oppressing the world with a false plagiarizes Christ Story you fought for us in Revolutionary War in America now the Moors in America are saying we must join forces and fight against the oppressor of the world Keep your Voodoo spiritual practices. Ps with there Weather manipulating devices they rolled those Hurricanes into Hattie not God

  2. This article asks some very interesting questions, but I’m not sure it provide the answers. Also, and this is dear to me, What is the “Marronage Mentality”? To give you an idea of where I’m coming from, L. Dubois, one of Haiti’s greats captured the essence of the word marronage nicely when he described it as a “rich tale of insurrection, heroism and victory” … We wish that we still have that spirit of marronage which propelled us to Independence…Unfortunately, the true meaning and value of this word has been taking from us.

  3. “Marronage” does entail resistance and rebellion, often through flight. But it is a term that is often misunderstood and romanticized. This flight away from an oppressive system by individuals in search of freedom can be the end in and of itself. But, it should also be noted that marrons who banded together and organized played an important role in the Haitian Revolution. Perhaps it is time that the people who have fled from the moder oppresive system in Haiti, that leads to the hyper-exploitation of so many, also organize and band together for a triumphant, physical and economic return to take back what should be theirs.

  4. Hugues Girard says:

    I wish the author of the article had defined the “marronage mentality”, as she understands it, that she’s asking Haitians to get rid of.

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