A seemingly personal conflict between Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte and the executive director of the Haitian Studies Institute at Brooklyn College has cast a shadow over the future of the 3-year-old organization, tasked with conducting academic research and organizing community programs.
Haiti is rich with culture and heritage. Join us for a conversation about Jazz and its footprints in Haiti and…
Haitian author Frankétienne’s iconic novel, Dézafi, first published in Haitian Creole in 1975, explores the themes of oppression, rebellion and liberation wrapped within Haiti’s socio-political situation in the 1970s. The most notable plot is the tale of zombies working in plantations where the daughter of the plantation owner falls in love with a zombie and eventually becomes fully human. The zombies eventually gain the courage to revolt against their oppressor.
A new generation of French-Haitians—those who were born in France—is just entering adulthood, and for them, the media has played an unusually big role in their perception of Haiti. Many don’t manage to visit, so their information comes from two sources—stories from their parents and a media establishment in France that is largely white, and often criticized for rarely covering stories about France’s millions of immigrants.
Beyond the need for cultural awareness, Saint Paul thinks it’s vital that a different voice be heard when Haiti is discussed. He sees the Institute as playing part of that role: “The mainstream outlets will tell you about Haiti when there’s a catastrophe, but they will never tell you about stability in Haiti. It’s like Haiti has never been a country with a stable day-to-day life,” Saint Paul said. “It’s vital to use the Institute to show a counter narrative to this: beyond stigma and charity and disaster.”