The occupation of Haiti by the United States between 1915 and 1934 occasioned a continual stream of protests from blacks in the diaspora. Viewed as having underlying expansionist and racist implications, Haiti's occupation became emblematic of the excesses of Social Darwinism and the jingoistic Roosevelt corollary of 1904 that provided justification for intervention in any part of the Western Hemisphere by U.S. forces. Although black participation in foreign affairs and protest against U.S. foreign policies that were unjust was well established, the importance of Haiti as the first independent black republic in the Western Hemisphere made this issue particularly volatile. With the advent of the Progressive era (1895–1920), African Americans with the assistance of liberal European Americans formed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Its organ, The Crisis, edited by W.E.B. Du Bois, became, during the occupation years, an important forum for denouncing the U.S. policy toward Haiti.
Utilizing knowledge of world affairs and history, Du Bois, in the pages of The Crisis, evoked images of the Haitian Revolution of 1791—namely, the heroism of Toussiant L'Ouverture, the leader of the Haitian revolution and his successor Dessalines. During the first five years of the occupation, in an effort to inform the reading public about Haiti, numerous articles on Haiti's history and culture appeared in the magazine. In 1920, when James Weldon Johns on, Field Secretary of the NAACP, conducted a fact-finding mission to Haiti, his report was published in its entirety.
Furthermore, biographical sketches or comments by Haitian officials such as Dantes Bellegarde and Bishop John R. Hurst were also presented. Bellegarde served as Minister of Public Instruction, 1918-1921. He later served as Haitian Minister Plenipotentiary to Paris and as Haitian delegate to the second and