One of the women stories I published from a historical perspective is on windows’ “story” section under “A Haitian Historical Perspective of the International Women.” I have published also in Creole on “Women’s literature” and “Haitian Women in Music” in Haiti en Marche a few years ago. When I have time, I’ll put those articles in the Web. It’s unfortunate one has to go to the white man to find money that will provide you time to do educational activities to inform your own people. In the Information Age knowledge- based era, I happen to be living in a community whose leaders don’t understand the importance of print , share, inform, and educate others on many subjects and issues. I feel bad for young Haitians growing up in such anti- learning, anti- intellectual environment and I have no money and no means to collectively do something about it.
In terms of women, in the Boston area, I was among
the first women to talk about women’s issues in the l980’s and the first to come public with domestic violence topics. Most of my radio presentations about women in the Haitian setting or speaking engagements in the English speaking settings in the Boston area are in writing. I also several “ unedited” papers I wrote in graduate school on Women’s issues, focusing on Haitians. I remember in the early l990’s, (l991, 1992)during the coup d’etat, I was in a radio station with some women who founded a Haitian woman’s organization. I was playing a Ti Paris’ song related to domestic violence which exact lyrics I forgot. It said something” Cheri, si ou fe-m on bagay, rele m apa pou nou pale. Nou pa bezwen lan goumen.” I forgot the lyrics as I said, but it was around, not fighting, not beating me up, but talking things out, if we have a problem. It was on an international Women’s Day in March. The Haitian woman said to me” Nekita sa wa p jwe la a! “Nekita, what are you playing? “in a tone that suggested Ti Pari
s’ song on beating up women was inappropriate to play on a International Women’s Day or in the Haitian context. Around that time, the coup d’etat was the major issue.
I also remember calling on an open mike in a radio station that another woman’s association which no longer exists was airing. I asked “What is this woman’s group going to do about domestic violence, gason k ap ba t fi.” They responded” Se bagay santimantal. Nou pa ka pale de sa.” (Those are sentimental issues. We can not talk about them.) Most of those women still give me the cold shoulders even those who are able to receive close to half a million dollars from the justice department for their women’s organization.
Though those women I have known for over two decades don’t talk with me, don’t respond to my letters. I called one of them once. She said to make an appointment to call her, not to come and talk with her. If a white woman or any foreign person even with less education , less experience, less global exposure than mys
elf had called her, she wouldn’t have said that.
I am feeling happy because in the l980’s up to the mid l990’s I was ignored for bringing out women’s issues such as domestic violence. I was told that some Haitians had even gone to the white radio owners so I would not speak on the radio. When I couldn't be on the radio, like now I wrote , made hundreds of copies and spent lots of money on stamps and mailing. Thank God to internet invention, I have saved so much money on stamps.
I feel good now a small group of Haitian women, mostly a group of friends in Boston are doing something about women's abuses. Some are living comfortable lives, and other have clerical jobs, from local and national grants they have received and/or fundraising they have done to run their woman’s programs and shelter. Now I am feeling like the outcast in the Boston area, because of their continuing ignoring of my suggestions to move beyond their comfortable peers, enclaves or neighborhoods, into the larger state of M
assachusetts regions and the global world by being on the web, having a periodical newsletter, communicating with teachers, church folks, and other media besides their monthly radio programs, like other Haitian agencies and stakeholders do. Like you Empress, I am the “thumb” in the hand of the Haitian community of Boston because of my views on education and moving beyond one's " comfort zone."
I am taking a long time out of class papers I am supposed to be writing. Should I think that I am waisting time and money from a $40,000 student loan whom my community could careless about though we come from a society where until recently the population was 80% illeterate, or should I say thanks God to the internet, and to Guy on windows, I don’t have to wait for the Globe or a newspaper to publish my opinion, and express my feelings?
As far as women are concerned, as I just wrote in another post, we are all in the same boat as Black folks, but in different ships. No matter how much a woman organizat
ion or any Haitian organization gets to run their offices, as Black folks, being dependent on grants, assistance, or aid, we are still perceived and treated as servants and modern day slaves of the white master Period. Ignoring each other’s opinion, not being receptive to each other’s talents and skills, staying in our mind frame or physical enclaves, thinking that somebody else is better than us and can help us, or being dependent on other’s intellectually and economically are factors that will continue to keep us as Haitians in the same place, if not worse where we have been for the past two hundred(200)years.