Haitian Americans

Graphic by Alejandra Martinez

In a short story by Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat a man sees his life flash before his eyes as he falls 500 feet from the sky. 

"It's a story that is meant to be compressed in those seconds that he's falling," says Danticat on Sundial.  There's a list of thoughts that goes through the man's mind: love, loss and regret. And the burning image of his son.

MARIANNE ARMSHAW/ / MIAMI HERALD

Prominent human rights activist and Haitian community leader Jean-Robert Lafortune died earlier this month after enduring a long chronic illness. He was 63-years-old.

Lafortune, who was locally and nationally recognized for his role in seeking relief for Haitian immigrants throughout the U.S. and abroad, died Oct. 15, according to an obituary circulated by his relatives and colleagues.

Graphic by Alejandra Martinez

In Miami during the '90s, when kids would "quote their favorite television shows like the Simpsons," Haitian-American authors and sisters Maika and Maritza Moulite say they did not watch television — instead finding themselves uncovering different worlds and characters at the library. 

CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

When the United Nations deployed 6,200 blue-helmet soldiers and 1,200 police officers in 2004 to restore order in an unruly Haiti, ruthless armed gangs freely roamed the streets, corruption ran rampant in the judiciary and the country’s volatile politics were in a free fall.

Meanwhile, the Haiti National Police, awash in drug-trafficking and corruption allegations, numbered no more than 2,500 out of the 6,300 the U.N. had trained years earlier and two-thirds of its 182 police stations had been vandalized and burned.

ALEXIA FODERE / MIAMI HERALD

The U.S. Department of Justice is asking a federal appeals court to overturn a New York federal judge’s decision earlier this year that blocked the Trump administration from ending Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for tens of thousands of Haitians.

In a 71-page brief filed Thursday on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security, DOJ lawyers argue that U.S. District Judge William F. Kuntz of the Eastern District of New York erred when he issued a nationwide temporary injunction that prevented Homeland Security from taking steps to force Haitian TPS holders to return to Haiti.

It's that time of year again. Fall is right around the corner. Pumpkin spice fills the air. Kids are going back to school, the days are getting shorter, and books are getting heavier. The pie-in-the-sky, read-them-in-one sitting summer-blockbuster releases now make way for complex novels filled with luscious prose, years of history, and serious issues. Books just like Maika and Maritza Moulite's Dear Haiti, Love Alaine.

Inez Barlatier / Courtesy

Family has always been an essential part of Haitian American artist Inez Barlatier's musical life. Barlatier began performing in South Florida when she was 12, singing with her father's band Koleksyon Kazak.

Nadege Green

In every Haitian restaurant, savory dishes come with a side of pikliz, a spicy pickled medley of shredded cabbage and carrots.

Visit a Haitian home and you’ll likely come across a homemade stash of pikliz fermenting in a recycled glass jar.

The condiment has always been ubiquitous to Haitian cuisine, but in South Florida, pikliz also boasts a devoted following among people in-the-know outside of the Haitian community - and local Haitian food entrepreneurs are capitalizing on the love.

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

Hundreds of artists, activists and community stakeholders across South Florida gathered in Bayfront Park on Saturday to urge politicians to make Miami more "climate resilient," or improving the ability to prevent, withstand, respond to and recover from sea level rise and climate change. 

Dieu Nalio Chery / Associated Press

What happens in Haiti is felt in South Florida. 

Recent protests in Haiti over hikes in fuels costs caused many in the Haitian diaspora to reflect on the politics and stability of the island. 

Haitian Americans Joshua Jean Baptiste and Edson Jean grew up without any characters on screen that they felt accurately portrayed their Haitian background. So the South Florida natives decided to make a show of their own.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Two Haitian women are haggling over the cost of carrots and green squash along a sidewalk in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood.

They're standing at Bernadette Dubreide's  fruit and vegetable stand on Northeast Second Avenue.  Regulars call her Madam Dubreide.

Miami-Dade Holds Haitian History Bee

May 27, 2015
Lisann Ramos

May is Haitian Cultural Heritage Month in Miami-Dade, and on Wednesday the county hosted the fourth-annual Haitian History Bee in the county commission's chambers.

Four teams from three Miami-Dade schools competed against each other in a Haitian History Bee.

County Chairman Jean Monestime sponsored the event. Monestime is the first Haitian county chairman in the United States.

SoulFood Films

Like many cinematic love stories, Rachelle Salnave’s romance begins with an intense dislike bordering on hatred.

As a kid, the 40-year-old filmmaker explains in her self-narrated documentary, she didn’t want anyone knowing she was Haitian, owing to the negative media portrayals of people from the Caribbean country.

“They called us boat people!” Salnave exclaims. “The media constantly portrayed Haiti’s poverty, and the CDC even listed Haiti as the origin of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”

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