Today, May 18, 2023 is Haitian Flag Day, which celebrates the creation of the Haitian flag during the revolution. I aim to be clear that I am not Haitian. This date should not just be restricted to the Haitian community, but extended to the entire African diaspora; Haitian history is African history.
We are talking about the first black republic created in the Western sphere as a result of a profoundly black, African revolt, nourished by African spirituality. We know that French-speaking West Indians have their own ambiguity, but Haitians have always been the most African and proudest in the history of the French-speaking Caribbean. The hatred of the Dominican also comes from this Haitian strength that is rooted in the African heritage.
We owe a lot to Haiti for this revolution that had an impact throughout the West Indies, both Anglophone and Hispanic.
The Haitian revolution angered Napoleon so much at the time that following the rebellion, the French emperor forbade intermarriage in France and the entry of blacks into French soil. There was even a “Black Police” in Paris that aimed to monitor the behavior of the small Afro-descendant community in the capital.
Following this rebellion, the United States and France never stopped trying to punish Haiti by promoting the political and social destruction that exists today. Haitians, in this great racism, are looked upon by many other West Indians as less than nothing, because of their Africanity, but also because of their chaotic political condition.
The Haitian flag is the flag of all of us, it is up to us to understand, to honor, to transmit.
Tribute to the Haitians who died for their freedom, to the liberators, and to the Haitian youth who remain proud and continue the work of transmission. Prayers also for the poorest people left on the island, which is plagued by violence and kidnapping problems.
Haitian Flag day should not just be a day restricted to Haitians.
It concerns the whole African diaspora, wherever we are. We are talking about AYITI, an island which has been impoverished for the past centuries so as to punish its people who slayed and revolted against their white planters, the white American power and the French.
Ayiti was the first black republic of the Western hemisphere, and its revolution was rooted in the most powerful African essence ever. This movement was deeply black, African and a cry from the heart.
If Haitians have their own history we should all respect, their influence upon other islands should be celebrated, elevated and loved by any means necessary.
The Caribbean is not a space for your pervert sexual tourists, but a space of revolution where both native Arawaks and enslaved Africans fought to overthrow, resist the brutality of Western violence.
Happy Haitian flag day, honor to the Haitian ancestors, to the Haitian land, the Haitian diaspora. Haitian history is African history.
By Victoria “V.K.Y” Kabeya, All Rights Reserved 2023