Haiti Quotes

Quotes tagged as "haiti" Showing 1-30 of 55
Edwidge Danticat
“No, women like you don't write. They carve onion sculptures and potato statues. They sit in dark corners and braid their hair in new shapes and twists in order to control the stiffness, the unruliness, the rebelliousness.”
Edwidge Danticat, Krik? Krak!

Noam Chomsky
“The two main criminals are France and the United States. They owe Haiti enormous reparations because of actions going back hundreds of years. If we could ever get to the stage where somebody could say, 'We're sorry we did it,' that would be nice. But if that just assuages guilt, it's just another crime. To become minimally civilized, we would have to say, 'We carried out and benefited from vicious crimes. A large part of the wealth of France comes from the crimes we committed against Haiti, and the United States gained as well. Therefore we are going to pay reparations to the Haitian people.' Then you will see the beginnings of civilization.”
Noam Chomsky, Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World

Edwidge Danticat
“It's not easy to start over in a new place,' he said. 'Exile is not for everyone. Someone has to stay behind, to receive the letters and greet family members when they come back.”
Edwidge Danticat, Brother, I'm Dying

“It never ceases to amaze me that in times of amazing human suffering somebody says something that can be so utterly stupid.”
Robert Gibbs

Edwidge Danticat
“I think Haiti is a place that suffers so much from neglect that people only want to hear about it when it’s at its extreme. And that’s what they end up knowing about it.”
Edwidge Danticat

Christopher Hitchens
“The fervor and single-mindedness of this deification probably have no precedent in history. It's not like Duvalier or Assad passing the torch to the son and heir. It surpasses anything I have read about the Roman or Babylonian or even Pharaonic excesses. An estimated $2.68 billion was spent on ceremonies and monuments in the aftermath of Kim Il Sung's death. The concept is not that his son is his successor, but that his son is his reincarnation. North Korea has an equivalent of Mount Fuji—a mountain sacred to all Koreans. It's called Mount Paekdu, a beautiful peak with a deep blue lake, on the Chinese border. Here, according to the new mythology, Kim Jong Il was born on February 16, 1942. His birth was attended by a double rainbow and by songs of praise (in human voice) uttered by the local birds. In fact, in February 1942 his father and mother were hiding under Stalin's protection in the dank Russian city of Khabarovsk, but as with all miraculous births it's considered best not to allow the facts to get in the way of a good story.”
Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

Aimé Césaire
“Haiti où la négritude se mit debout pour la première fois et dit qu'elle croyait à son humanité.”
Aimé Césaire
tags: haiti

Assotto Saint
“Anytime one tries to take fragments of one's personal mythology and make them understandable to the whole world, one reaches back to the past. It must be dreamed again.”
Assotto Saint

Zora Neale Hurston
“Gods always behave like the people who make them.”
Zora Neale Hurston, Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica

“Etranger qui marches dans ma ville/ souviens-toi que la terre que tu foules/ est terre du poète/ et la plus noble et la plus belle”
Anthony Phelps, Mon pays que voici
tags: haiti

“Nous ne savons pas encore que nous sommes une force, une seule force: tous les habitants, tous les nègres des plaines et des mornes réunis. Un jour, quand nous aurons compris cette vérité, nous nous lèverons d'un point à l'autre du pays et nous ferons l'assemblée générale des gouverneurs de la rosée, le grand coumbite des travailleurs de la terre pour défricher la misère et planter la vie nouvelle.”
Jacques Roumain

C.L.R. James
“There are and always will be some who, ashamed of the behaviour of their ancestors, try to prove that slavery was not so bad after all, that its evils and its cruelty were the exaggerations of propagandists and not the habitual lot of the slaves. Men will say (and accept) anything in order to foster national pride or soothe a troubled conscience.”
C.L.R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution

“O mon pays/ je t'aime comme un être de chair/ et je sais ta souffrance et je vois ta misère/ et me demande la rage au coeur/ quelle main a tracé sur le registre des nations/ une petite étoile à coté de ton nom”
Anthony Phelps
tags: haiti

Zora Neale Hurston
“You cannot avoid hearing drums in Haiti.”
Zora Neale Hurston, Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica

Yanick Lahens
“In spite of its poverty, its political upheavals, its lack of resources, Haiti is not a peripheral place. Its history has made it a center.”
Yanick Lahens
tags: haiti

“O mon pays si triste est la saison/ qu'il est venu le temps de se parler par signes”
Anthony Phelps
tags: haiti

Evelyne Trouillot
“Qui ose encore aimer ce pays/ et le dire?”
Evelyne Trouillot
tags: haiti

Graham Greene
“On pouvait être a court de nourriture dans le pays, il y avait toujours de la couleur.”
Graham Greene, The Comedians
tags: haiti

Jenny Delacruz
“Nia learned that our self-identity and connection to our roots is so powerful it can impact not only the course of our lives but also that of generations to come.”
Jenny Delacruz, Fridays With Ms. Mélange

Eduardo Galeano
“El precio de una camiseta con la imagen de la princesa Pocahontas, vendida por la casa Disney, equivale al salario de toda una semana del obrero que ha cosido esa camiseta en Haití, a un ritmo de 375 camisetas por hora. Haití fue el primer país en el mundo que abolió la esclavitud; y dos siglos después de aquella hazaña, que muchos muertos costó, el país padece la esclavitud asalariada. La cadena McDonald's regala juguetes a sus clientes infantiles. Esos juguetes se fabrican en Vietnam, donde las obreras trabajan diez horas seguidas, en galpones cerrados a cal y canto, a cambio de ochenta centavos. Vietnam había derrotado la invasión militar de los Estados Unidos; y un cuarto de siglo después de aquella hazaña, que muchos muertos costó, el país padece la humillación globalizada.”
Eduardo Galeano, Patas arriba. La escuela del mundo al reves

Wade Davis
“It was amusing to look at that colorful case so symbolic of an entire nation. Haiti, it is said, is the place to discover how much can be done with little.”
Wade Davis, The Serpent and the Rainbow

Hank Bracker
“A native man in his small wooden boat was hoping to make one last sale. He held up a woodcarving of a Haitian drummer and shouted up that I could have it for only $10. I wasn’t really interested and was ready to walk away when I heard him offer it again, this time for $5. Looking at an approaching police boat, I agreed to the deal, and lowered my $5 down to him in a bucket. He ignored the cops, who were ordering him away from the ship using a megaphone, and tied the carving onto the lanyard that, just before, had a bucket attached to it. The police warned him once more, to back away from the ship, but the deal was more important to him. Just as I pulled on the lanyard, I heard a shot go off. It took several moments for me to comprehend what had happened. The cop had shot the man I was bartering with! I could see that it hadn’t been a warning shot as blood came from an obvious wound right between his eyes! I continued pulling my carving up and over the railing. Looking down I saw the patrol boat heading back to shore. The poor vendor was floating face down, alongside his boat. As the ship started to pull away, I saw that he was adrift in a growing pool of blood, which was spreading out around him. Life was cheap here and I realized that the old woman’s prediction had come true. I had seen death before leaving Haiti!”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Salty & Saucy Maine",

“The development of the sugar industry was to have a significant impact on the politics and culture of the island, since it lead to a huge increase in Cuba's slave population. This in turn helped to fuel the growth of the island's white racism, fueled by the migrants from Santo Domingo and Louisiana. The image of the Haitian revolution, and the inflated memory of its excesses — echoed not just in Cuba, but in the United States and Latin America as well — was to hover over Cuba throughout the nineteenth century and beyond, a permanent intimation of what might happen to the white population if faulty political or administrative decisions were made. Many whites in Cuba felt that they lived permanently in the shadow of a slave rebellion on the Haitian model.”
Richard Gott, Cuba: A New History

Hank Bracker
“No place in Haiti was easy to get to and to drive to their lodge would take a couple of hours, so they sent a van to pick us up. It was already evening and the sun had just set, as we made our way up into the mountains behind Port-au-Prince. As we bounced along the dirt road winding through the hills, I could distinctly hear the rhythm of drums and see fires on the distant mountains. Mrs. Allen, who was with us, explained that in the 1940’s devout members of the Catholic faith considered the Voodoo rites an abomination of their faith. They armed themselves and started to eradicate from Haiti what they considered a cult. The entire thing turned into a war! They burned voodoo temples and shrines, and killed some of the practitioners as well as voodoo priests. In the end, the Catholic hierarchy gave up and after a time reached a tacit understanding with them. They now allowed Voodoo drums and songs to be sung in Catholic Church services and ignored what they once called devil worship.
At the lodge, we were assigned rooms with real beds instead of the cots we were used to on the ship. Dinner consisted of chicken in a hot tomato and garlic sauce, over rice, with a heap of picklese on the side. Picklese is a pickled dish or Vinaigre Piquant, indigenous to Haiti consisting of peppers, shredded cabbage, onions, carrots, peas, vinegar, peppercorns and cloves. The dessert was Haitian Flan. It could not have been better and I was glad that I had availed myself of this generous offer. After dinner we went outside to where there was a large fire roaring, surrounded by benches made of split logs. We were warned that it gets cool in these mountains, and I was glad that I had brought along a sweater and jacket. We seated ourselves on the logs around the fire and listened to a gaunt-looking old Haitian woman explain what Voodoo was. She sounded convincing as she told of the Grand Voodoo Zombie rituals that were held at “Wishing Spot,” and how snakes slithered about the feet of the young women dancers. She spoke reverently about the walking dead in the Lower Artibonite Valley and the Spirits trapped in bottles near Cape Haitian. It was all very spooky and gave me something to think about that night. However before her talk ended, she came directly up to me and, looking deep into my eyes, said that I was to beware…. “I would witness death before leaving the island….” Ouch!”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Seawater One"

“The Atlantic has my jaw in its fist because my teeth
and tongue have curled into knuckles.
The Atlantic has Africa in its fist
because they’ve been trading ghosts for centuries.

The Atlantic has Haiti in its fist
because the slaves had so much fight
it filled up the moon;
the moon moves everything.”
Jacqui Germain, When the Ghosts Come Ashore

Marie Vieux-Chauvet
“Les loas sont les dieux des nègres d’Afrique. Dieu est universel. Les loas se vengent de la désertion des nègres car ils ont été esclaves et persécutés et que le vaudou sera, un jour, leur point de ralliement”
Marie Vieux-Chauvet, Love, Anger, Madness: A Haitian Trilogy

Sandra Sealy
“She rises-
hips rippling
to a silent merengue
bearing sloshing vessels homeward,
a little water breaking the relief
of dust on her feet-
reflecting
how women seem
to grip the secret
of wringing
the blue cloth of sorrow
dry to make wine.

-Excerpt from Sandra Sealy's poem "Haitian Water Bearer" in "Chronicles Of A Seawoman: A Collection Of Poems”
Sandra Sealy, Chronicles Of A Seawoman: A Collection Of Poems

Edwidge Danticat
“What he had not foreseen about Miami, though, was the plethora of stories like his. He had also not realized that there would be homeless families sleeping under a bridge a few feet from the luxury hotel that he was helping to erect. The poor dead children he heard about in the news were also a shock to him, the the ones who were randomly gunned down by the police or by one another, in schools, in their homes, while walking in the street, or playing in city parks.”
Edwidge Danticat, Conversations with Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat
“What he had not foreseen about Miami, though, was the plethora of stories like his. He had also not realized that there would be homeless families sleeping under a bridge a few feet from the luxury hotel that he was helping to erect. The poor dead children he heard about in the news were also a shock to him, the ones who were randomly gunned down by the police or by one another, in schools, in their homes, while walking in the street, or playing in city parks.”
Edwidge Danticat, Conversations with Edwidge Danticat

Zora Neale Hurston
“The will to make life beautiful was strong.”
Zora Neale Hurston, Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica

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