Monthly Archives: July 2016

Shall We Gather at the River?: Gullah Voices and Echoes

  “My tale begins just before the rising of the sun…Dayclean, we call this, when the day is new and the world is made fresh again.” —from God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man by Cornelia Walker Bailey Katie Underwood is ten years old. Named for the intrepid midwife who delivered countless babies in the Gullah […]

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Lost and Found: What I Learned from this Sojourn

  Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart has one of the most powerful endings in literature. In this novel which chronicles the dramatic rise and ultimate downfall of Okonkwo, a black Ibo clansman, the story is literally and figuratively taken over in its final chapter by the District Commissioner, an unnamed, incredibly minor white character, who […]

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Triumph On The Mountaintop: Citadelle Laferrière, a Reflection in Photos

Photographs and Thoughts by Guest Blogger, Elijah Marshall La Citadelle Laferrière or Citadelle Henri Christophe, or quite plainly, The Citadelle, is the largest fortress in the Western Hemisphere. Built under the decree of the king of Northern Haiti, Henri Christophe, in 1820, it is situated 3000 feet above sea level atop the mountain Bonnet a […]

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Beneath the Mountains Lies Pleasure Valley

Deye mon gen mon (Beyond the mountains, there are more mountains.) —  Hatian proverb I now know that I needed to come back because my childhood memories of Haiti never included mountains. As a literature teacher, I make it a point to emphasize the importance of context in a piece of writing–historical, cultural, and political, […]

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Hot and Cool in Jacmel

  I’m writing this post perched on a canopied four-poster bed that rises so far off the floor that, at 5’4″ tall, I either need a running start and a leap, or a chair to climb into it; Ive opted for the chair. The yards of thick mosquito netting that normally drape down from the […]

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Art and Craftsmanship: Port-au-Prince Day 2

  This will likely not be my last post about art and artistry in Haiti. Art, of both the high and low varieties abounds, and surrounds you even along the dusty, ruined streets that must have once had sidewalks. Artists display their originals, or original copies, on everything from clothes lines to fences. The ubiquitous “Loto” […]

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The Magical History Tour: Port-au-Prince, Part 1

  We spent most of Tuesday and Wednesday, our first two days, reuniting with friends and family who had either never left Haiti, or who had chosen to return out of love, for work, or both. Among the former group, were my aunt, and three of my mother’s cousins, the aforementioned pressers of uniform pleats, […]

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