Didier William stands in front of one of his paintings at opening night of his solo exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami on Thursday, Dec. 1. The exhibit will be open until April 16, 2023. (Ashley Miznazi/ The Haitian Times)

MIAMI—When artist Didier William was six years old, his parents sold most their belongings and spent the $7,000 in earnings to leave their home in Port-au-Prince for America. As a child growing up in North Miami, William often asked his parents about Haiti. In response, they shrugged his questions off by saying “nou kite tout sa dèyè” —  Creole for “we’ve left that all behind.”

“Nou Kite Tout Sa Dèyè” is the title of William’s largest art exhibit, which is staged at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami until April 16 in the neighborhood where he grew up. 

“I think embedded in that title is the kind of irony of that statement, which is that you actually can't leave it behind,” William said. “It stays with you. It’s the very fabric of what it means to be an immigrant … the kind of enmeshed relationship we have with the culture that we left and that is the United States.”

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Ashley Miznazi is a Report for America corps member covering the Haitian community in the South Florida/Miami area for The Haitian Times. Her work will heavily feature photography, video and other multimedia storytelling. Previously, Ashley was a multimedia fellow at The Texas Tribune, where she reported on DACA, Afghan resettlement and the foster care system.