Haitian Immigrants in Black America: A Sociological and Sociolinguistic Portrait

By Fiore Zéphir | Go to book overview

are Voodoo practitioners, others are Catholic practitioners. They emigrate for multiple reasons: "Prospect for work, higher income, joining family, further education, and fear of the growing chaos and decline in Haiti mix with the desire to escape army, police, government and rich landowner harassment" ( Weinstein and Segal 1992: 123). However, in spite of the dissimilarities of their economic, social, and political experiences and the differences in their motivation to emigrate, Haitians are all united by a common denominator: racial pride and a sense of belonging to the same nation. This, I believe, is at the root of Haitian ethnicity.


NOTES
1.
The word buccaneer is derived from Arawak boucan (fire for roasting).
2.
The gold supply in Hispaniola when the Spanish came in 1492 was the main purpose for their settlement on the island for almost two centuries. It was nearly mined out in 1697, at the time of the Treaty of Ryswick.
3.
When the Indian population -- not used to the hard labor required by the extraction of gold from the mines -- was decimated at a rapid pace, Barthelemy de Las Casas began to import slaves from Africa in 1505.
4.
Dupuy ( 1989: 26) also reports that, through their positions in the colony, many of the colonial officials had managed to accumulate wealth and purchase sugar plantations. Trouillot ( 1990: 41) claims that conflicts between large planters and the governor were nonetheless common from the 1720s on.
5.
There are some discrepancies with regard to the total number of Black and Mulatto Affranchis. Moreau de Saint-Méry (as quoted in Nicholls 1979: 24-25) estimated that one-third of the Affranchis were Black. Yet, another source (also quoted in Nicholls 1979: 25) claimed that "there were not more than 1500 of them [Black Affranchis] in all."
6.
Courmand ( 1968), as quoted in Dupuy ( 1989: 28). The aristocratie de peau is in contrast with the aristocratie de nom ou de naissance (name or birth aristocracy) that presumably one can inherit from the Whites.
7.
Moreau de Saint-Méry ( 1958), as quoted in Nicholls ( 1979: 25). See also Labelle ( 1978: 49) and Dupuy ( 1989: 29).
8.
The Code Noir was a document drafted under Louis XIV to regulate the treatment of slaves and the status of other non-Whites, including the Affranchis.
9.
Dupuy ( 1989: 54) also indicates that the human toll was very heavy: "Of the 40,000 whites in Saint-Domingue in 1789, there remained between 5,000 and 10,000; the rest had either been killed or had emigrated. Of the Original 30,000 mulattoes and free blacks, 20,000 remained. And between one-third and one-half of the approximately 500,000 slaves had been killed."
10.
Trouillot ( 1977), as quoted in Dupuy ( 1989: 57).
11.
Madiou ( 1847), as quoted in Trouillot ( 1990: 46).
12.
The color ideology of the Mulatto elite was referred to as the mulâtriste ideology. It rests fundamentally on values, traditions (such as language, clothing), and norms derived from Europe. The ideology of the Blacks is known as the noiriste ideology. In contrast, it advocates a return to African values. The noiriste ideology culminated during the U.S. occupation in 1915-1934. See Nicholls ( 1979), Hurbon ( 1987, chapter 6), Dupuy ( 1989: 122-23), and Trouillot ( 1990: 124-28).
13.
Charles ( 1990: 72) indicates that "of a total of 35 presidents, 13 to 15 are

-40-

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