Haitians in Labor Day, Haitians on Parkway, WIADCA Haiti float, Haitian parade floats
Reveler waves the Haitian flag at the West Indian American Day Parade on September 5, 2022. (Emily Sauchelli for The Haitian Times)

Even before we launched The Haitian Times in 1999, I knew we wanted to be part of the Labor Day Carnival parade. Over the preceding years, I had heard grumblings from the parade’s organizers that the Haitians were sullying the colorful procession by donning “shabby” T-shirts instead of costumes.

I was determined to change things.

We scoured barbershops, churches and community organizations to recruit people to be part of our defilé walking besides or on the decorative float. One year, we managed to get a handful of young men and women to join our float.

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Garry Pierre-Pierre is a Pulitzer-prize winning, multimedia and entrepreneurial journalist. In 1999, he left the New York Times to launch the Haitian Times, a New York-based English-language publication serving the Haitian Diaspora. He is also the co-founder of the City University Graduate School of Journalism‘s Center for Community and Ethnic Media and a senior producer at CUNY TV.