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?

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