ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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Haiti is an occupied country, the victim of multiple invasions. The U.S. invasion of 2004 and the

kidnapping and expulsion of its president opened Haiti to United Nations occupation—proud Haiti,

stepped on and ground underfoot by an international cast of foreign armies paid for largely

by the United States. Haitians themselves call the country the “Republic of NGOs” . . .



 Books on the Caribbean

Hubert Cole. Christophe: King of Haiti. New York: The Viking Press, 1967.

C.L.R. James. The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (1938)

Edourad Gissant. Caribbean Doscourse (2004)  /  Barbara Harlow. Resistance Literature (1987)

Josaphat B. Kubayanda. The Poet's Africa: Africanness in the Poetry of Nicolas Guillen and Aime Cesaire (1990)


Paul Laraque and Jack Hirschman.  Open Gate An Anthology of Haitian Creole Poetry (2001)

David P. Geggus, ed. The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World.  University of South Carolina Press, 2001.

Jean-Bertand Aristide. Eyes of the Heart: Seeking a Path for the Poor in the Age of Globalization

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The Non-Sovereign State of Haiti

Its Non-Election for its Non-Government

 Commentaries by Glen Ford, et al


The multitudinous assaults on Haiti's dignity reached a crescendo with this weekend’s elections [28 November 2010], imposed by foreigners for the benefit of foreigners against the wishes of the Haitian people and even of most of the candidates. It is as if severely wounded and sick hospital patients—make that prison hospital patients—were ordered to dance and sing for the pleasure of rich visitors. As should have been expected, most Haitians refused to perform like circus animals, on demand.

The Haitian sham elections for president and most of the legislature may go down as the most bizarre and macabre exercise in hypocrisy in the history of U.S. imperialism. Haiti’s most popular political party—no, the ONLY political party with a truly mass following— the Fanmi Lavalas organization of exiled president Jean Bertrand Aristide, was barred from running. By the time Sunday rolled around, 12 of the 19 candidates for president were denouncing the government for perpetrating a “massive fraud” on the citizenry. Turnout was probably not much more than single digits—which is actually the usual for Haitian elections in which Aristide’s party is not allowed to participate—an electoral travesty equivalent to outlawing the Democratic Party in New York City, Boston, or Chicago.

Haiti's presidential candidates, from left: Leslie Voltaire, Mirlande Manigat, Michel Martelly, Charles-Henri Baker, Jean Henry Ceant, Jacques-Edouard Alexis, Garaudy Laguerre, Anne Marie Josette Bijou and Wilson Jeudy react at the end of a news conference in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Nov. 28. Twelve of the 18 candidates endorsed a joint statement denouncing Sunday's voting as fraudulent and calling on their supporters to show their anger with demonstrations against the government and the country's Provisional Electoral Council. However, Manigat and Martelly later backed out of the protest.AOLNews

With at least 1.5 million Haitians without adequate shelter, the entire population still in shock over the lost of 300,000 in January’s earthquake, an economy in ruins, a non-existent infrastructure and a raging cholera epidemic that international observers say could spread to 200,000 people, Haiti is the last place to stage an election. But the most important question has been: an election to what? There is no Haitian state to speak of, no prize to win. Haiti is no longer a sovereign nation, but has been reduced to a protectorate of the United States, France and Canada, with blue-helmeted United Nations soldiers acting as internal security. French African colonial regimes wielded more authority in the transition to independence than Haiti’s shell of a government exercises, today.

Haiti is an occupied country, the victim of multiple invasions. The U.S. invasion of 2004 and the kidnapping and expulsion of its president opened Haiti to United Nations occupation—proud Haiti, stepped on and ground underfoot by an international cast of foreign armies paid for largely by the United States. Haitians themselves call the country the “Republic of NGOs,” with more foreign “aid” outfits per capita than any place in the world, all of them doing their own thing with no accountability to a single Haitian, including the despised, outgoing president, Rene Preval. Only a fraction of the billions raised for earthquake reconstruction have been spent, and only a small part of that was allocated to the Haitian government.

So, what election, for what government? The exercise only has value for those who paid for it, the Americans, who spent $14 million on this fraud in hopes of disguising the fact that Haiti is a U.S. colony. The U.S. insists on treating Sunday's results as valid, which may mean that a singer named “Sweet Micky” who sometimes wears diapers on stage will become the nominal head of state. And why not? There is no Haitian state. That is something for the Haitian people to build, once they have thrown off the dictatorship of Washington.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to

Source: BlackAgendaReport

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Haitian elections neither free nor fair

By Ezili Danto


Obama denounced the recent “elections” in Burma as “neither free nor fair.” The Haitian “elections” are also neither free nor fair. The largest party, Fanmi Lavalas, is excluded, as it has been in every election since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in 2004.

Who will be able to vote is not clear—over 1.3 million earthquake victims are displaced, many don’t know which polling place to go to, don’t have their IDs, and the country is in the middle of a cholera outbreak that the  Center for Disease Control (CDC) says is non-Haitian and originated from South Asia. John Mekalanos, a cholera expert and the chairman of Harvard University’s microbiology department, said, “Evidence suggests Nepalese soldiers carried the disease when they arrived in early October following outbreaks in their homeland.”

The mourning among the population, legitimate disaffection with the U.N., coupled with the disastrous humanitarian situation and exclusion, creates an electoral environment sure to cause low voter turnout. This will minimize the voice of most of the people while amplifying that of the Haitian oligarchy, mostly sustained by NGO and U.S. aid funds, living in the luxurious Petionville hills, who have their IDs and are not displaced.

Another issue is that whoever is elected will have so little power. The U.N., Bill Clinton and other foreigners through the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC) largely run the country but are not accountable to the Haitian people. The senators and deputies “elected” mostly won’t have a say in Haiti’s reconstruction, and whoever the new president is from these exclusionary elections will only have a veto power over the acts of the anti-democratic, unelected IHRC. It’s hard to imagine a lone Haitian president finishing his term if he should actually veto a U.N./Bill Clinton/World Bank/Haiti oligarchy initiative made under the IHRC.

Nations like the U.S. have influence in Haiti largely on the basis of promises of aid, even though they have not delivered the bulk of that pledged aid. Similarly, big organizations raise money in the name of devastated Haitians and have money sitting in bank accounts earning interest almost a year after the earthquake, while Haitians remain homeless, living atop 98 percent of the rubble still not removed, or dying of cholera by the thousands as a result of their water being contaminated by U.N. troops.

Many of Haiti’s children have been out of school for 10 months, countless additionally traumatized from the brutal conditions in the tent camps, their parents having lost their jobs, everything, since the earthquake.

26 November 2010 

Ezili Danto, award winning playwright, performance poet, dancer, actor and activist attorney born in Port au Prince, Haiti, founded and chairs the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN), supporting and working cooperatively with Haitian freedom fighters and grassroots organizations promoting the civil, human and cultural rights of Haitians at home and abroad. Visit her at EziliDanto, Marguerite Laurent or Open Salon.

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Five reasons to care about Haiti’s sham elections

By Bill Quigley and Nicole Phillips

First, Haitian elections are supposed to choose their new president, the entire House of Deputies and one third of the country’s senate. But election authorities have illegally excluded all the candidates from the country’s most popular political party, Fanmi Lavalas—and other progressive candidates. Lavalas, the party of former Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide, has won many elections in Haiti—probably the reason it was excluded. If this were the U.S., this would be like holding elections just between the Tea Party and the GOP—and excluding all others. Few Haitians will respect the outcome of these elections.

Haitians’ penchant for connecting the dots and getting to the heart of a political issue is evident from this sign. – Photo: Ansel Herz

Second, over 1.3 million Haitian survivors are struggling to raise their families in 1,300 tent refugee camps scattered around Port au Prince. The broken Haitian political system and the broken international NGO system have failed to provide Haitians with clean water, education, jobs, housing or access to healthcare almost a year after the earthquake.

Now cholera, a preventable and treatable disease, has taken the lives of over 1,600 people. Some are predicting that the infection could infect as many as 200,000 Haitians and claim 10,000 lives. Without legitimate leaders, Haiti cannot hope to build a society which will address these tragedies.

Third, because the elections are not expected to produce real leaders, Haiti is experiencing serious protests on a daily basis.

Protests have occurred in Port au Prince and Cap Haitien, where two people died in clashes with the authorities.In a recent protest in Port au Prince, demonstrators representing 14 Haitian grassroots groups tried to stage peaceful protests. But when U.N. peacekeeping forces arrived, they drew their weapons on demonstrators. As the crowd fled for safety, the U.N. and Haitian police threw teargas canisters into the crowd and the nearby displacement camp, Champ de Mars. Residents were taken to the hospital with injuries from the teargas canisters.

The media has wrongfully typecast the political demonstrations as “civil unrest” filled with angry, drunk rioters. No one mentions that much of the violence has been instigated by law enforcement, not the demonstrators. Faux elections are not going to help deliver stability.

Fourth, political accountability has never been more important in Haiti than right now. The Haitian government must guide Haiti’s reconstruction and make important decisions that will shape Haitian society for decades. Yet many of the 3 million Haitians affected by the earthquake are ambivalent about the elections or do not want them to take place at all.

Fifth, the United States has pushed and paid for these swift elections hoping to secure a stable government to preserve its investment in earthquake reconstruction. But, as Dan Beeton wrote in the LA Times , “If the Obama administration wants to stand on the side of democracy and human rights in Haiti, as it did in Burma, it should support the call to postpone the elections until all parties are allowed to run and all eligible voters are guaranteed a vote.”

By supporting elections that exclude legitimate political parties that are critical of the current government, the international community is only assuring the very social and political unrest it hopes to avoid.

Haitians are saying that no matter which candidates win on Nov. 28, the political system that has failed them will not change unless there is an election that is fair and inclusive.

They are also asking that the country undergo a reconciliation process that includes the voices of more than just the Haitian elite and international community.

Haiti desperately needs legitimate leaders. . .

Bill Quigley is legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and law professor at Loyola University New Orleans. Nicole is staff attorney at the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. Contact Bill at  ]and Nicole at .

Source: SFBayView

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In Haiti, Election Is More Like a Boxing Match

By Emily Troutman

4 December 2010

Mirlande Manigat, the impassive former first lady, who polls said was ahead in the race before voting took place on Sunday. At 70 years old, she is a steady, grandmother-like figure for Haitians desperate for calm. Her campaign is led by veteran politician Reynold Georges. . . .AOLNews

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Jude Celestin, a businessman with a powerful coach, President Preval. Celestin's campaign likely outspent every candidate combined. There were airplanes coasting the clouds with his name across the sky, and posters of his mustached grin on every corner. . . .AOLNews

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The musician/politician, Michel Martelly, or "Sweet Micky." His campaign, like the man himself, couldn't seem to keep its mouth shut this week. Martelly is led by the political consultants at OstosSola, who take credit for putting Mexican President Felipe Calderon in power in 2006. . . .AOLNews

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Two Candidates Advance in Haiti Presidential Race—The Associated Press7 December 2010—Government-backed candidate Jude Celestin and former first lady Mirlande Manigat will advance to a second-round of presidential voting in Haiti, electoral officials announced Tuesday as furious protests broke out in the capital. The matter might not be settled in the race to lead a country wracked by a cholera epidemic and still recovering from a devastating Jan. 12 earthquake. The preliminary results from the Nov. 28 election, which has been plagued by allegations of fraud, have popular carnival singer Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly trailing Celestin by about 6,800 votes—less than 1 percent.NPR 

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Breakdown on "selection".... Presidential Elections Results
Manigat 31.37%, Celestin 22.48%, Martelly 21.84%, Ceant 8.18%

Haiti's Capital Seethes At Disputed Election Results

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Aristide and the Endless Revolution (2005)

Directed by Nicolas Rossier

Nicolas Rossier—Aristide Interview  / Aristide and the Endless Revolution

Education and the Cataclysm in Haiti (Rea Dol)  /  Suffocating the poor: a modern parable (Johann Hari)

Brother, I’m Dying

By Edwidge Danticat

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Why does Pres. Obama denounce the Burma unfair election process but not Haiti upcoming unfair elections?—By Dan Beeton—Haiti is scheduled to hold elections on Nov. 28, and nothing —neither the cholera outbreak that has killed more than 1,000 people nor the fact that more than 1 million earthquake survivors remain homeless—seems likely to convince the Haitian government or its international backers that the vote should be postponed. It should be. Why? The electoral process is rigged.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration seems happy to go along with the charade. . . .In Haiti, as in Burma, several parties, including the most popular, Fanmi Lavalas, are being kept off the ballot in an overtly anti-democratic move. Fanmi Lavalas has won every election it has participated in, and authorities seem determined to prevent that from happening again. In Haiti, as in Burma, a council handpicked and controlled by the government is overseeing the electoral process. And in Haiti, as in Burma, the popular party's leader is kept from rallying supporters.—LaTimes Toussaint Table

Harry Belafonte—Haiti Cherie (video)

Haiti Cherie

                  Lyrics by Harry Belafonte

Haiti Cherie, says Haiti is my beloved land
Oh I never knew that I have to leave you to understand
Just how much I miss the gallant Citadel,
Where days long ago, brave men served this country well.

Where sun is bright, or evening with soft moonlight
Shading tree, Creole maiden for company
A gentle breeze, a warm caress if you please
Work, laughter and play, yes we'll always be this way

Haiti Cherie, now I've returned to your soil so dear
Let me hear again, the things that give music to my ear.
The shepherd's horn that welcomes the rising morn
When roads overflow as crowds to Iron market go.

Where sun is bright, or evening with soft moonlight
Shading tree, Creole maiden for company
A gentle breeze, a warm caress if you please
Work, laughter and play, yes we'll always be this way

posted 6 December 2010

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



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#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
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#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

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#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

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#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

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#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

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The Butterfly's Way

Voices from the Haitian Diaspora in the United States

Edited by Edwidge Danticat

Danticat has assembled a potent and piercing collection of essays and poems that articulate the frustrations and sorrows of Haitians who are now outsiders both in Haiti and in their places of refuge. Her eloquent contributors express anger over the negative images conjured by what Joel Dreyfuss calls "the Phrase," the automatic tag line "the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere," and voice pride in Haiti's spirituality and art. Not that there isn't much to lament, as evident in searing essays by Jean-Robert Cadet, Barbara Sanon, and Marie Ketsia Theodore-Pharel. Haiti is a profoundly complex and alluring place, a neighbor, as Francie Latour observes, "whose history and future are so intertwined" with the U.S. that it must be better understood, and Danticat's revelatory anthology is a giant step in that direction.—Donna Seaman, Booklist

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 11 April 2012




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Related files: The Immigrant Artist at Work   Education and the Cataclysm in Haiti  Suffocating the poor: a modern parable