Meet Empress Verite

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Meet Empress Verite

Post by admin » Sat Apr 08, 2006 9:01 am

April 8, 2006 - Vol 2 #1

Meet Empress Verite

Who are you, Empress Verite?

[ ... ... ... ... ...]

Where did you grow up and where do you live for the most part?

I was born in NYC and was sent to Ayiti at 1 where I lived until 11. I did my Junior High and High School in Brooklyn and went to college in Massachusetts at 17. I then went on to grad school in California for 3 years. And then I moved to Philadelphia for a doctoral program. I then moved to Miami, Florida where I have been since 1995. This is the longest that I have EVER spent anywhere.

How do your youth experiences relate to your life as an adult?

3) As a youth I was constantly stressed out and overwhelmed. I felt unsupported, unhealthy sad and depressed. I mostly wanted to be healthy and to have my dreams come true-the Haitian-Ella tale. As an adult, I continue to experience the same social stressors, prejudice, racism, ethnocentrism, color-ism, sexism and class-ism. However, I feel somewhat more confident about myself and this is helpful in dealing with these problems. Unfortunately, I continue to be despondent about the negative experiences I just hope and pray that my children fare better and that it gets easier for me.

Are you the person that you wanted to be as you grew up?

In many ways, yes. I wanted to be NATURAL, I wanted to seek holistic health and I do. I wanted to have a professional accreditation and I do. Unfortunately, I have not been able to become the COMPLETE REVOLUTIONARY.

I was able to accomplish the first and most important part of decolonization which is to strip the mask and the outer layers of self hate. Primarily, I have dreadlocks not a perm, I eat vegan and I seek the truth in all matters and issues. I am a mother of 4 and that is a very big achievement for me, so is staying in a relationship for the past 12 years with a black man of Haitian descent!

How did your physical and social environment impact your personal development? Are they conducive today to your own sense of fulfillment?

As a child I rarely felt safe. I was afraid of sorcerers and “vodouizan” and although Loupgarous did not scare me as much but folks who did “wanga” did and they seemed to be numerous and powerful in the communities that I lived when I grew up. I also felt very unsafe with regards to physical and sexual abuse. These were so common and so overwhelmingly present that I had continued nightmares that persist today. I never really had a stable home. We moved around from house to house in New York during my first year and in Haiti, my grandfather's house was unstable, unhealthy and unsafe. And then we moved to Port-au-Prince when I was about 5 and I experienced the same feeling of insecurity because so many people came and left the place where we lived. We were abruptly sent back to the US when I was 11 where we lived with my father's cousin and her husband and son for about 2 years. And then we moved in with my father and his wife and a couple of years later my father died. I turned 16 in June and he died in August. My environment was chaotic, abusive, and unsafe and I am a scary person. I am very sensitive and emotional. I need peace and quiet to think things through. Unfortunately, I have never been able to make long lasting friends.

My environment today is somewhat similar. Thankfully, I am able to dodge the abuse at home somewhat because I am an adult but it's still difficult. I still have knots in my stomach about my partner being upset. I feel insecure about my situation if he were to ever leave or something were to happen to us.

I don't feel fulfilled at all. I am emotionally insecure and unsure. I have no real social support and that scares me. I feel that there are so many issues that I have to heal from in order to move on but I have no tools and no means of treating them. Yes, I believe that my background has affected my current life a great deal. I chose to be in an unhealthy relationship because I am an insecure person who experienced too much abuse growing up.

Tell us about your activities in general and your special interests.

I love to communicate in writing, or by talking. I would love to be a real scholar so I like to read works by great thinkers who inspire me. I think Haitian intellectuals rock and I love Belle Hooks (Gloria Watkins).

I watch television and I write back to shows and authors of news articles and I like walking in the park by the ocean with my children.

I like to cook and eat vegan.

My favorite ice cream is “Cooky Avalanche” by Turtle Dove.

I believe in love. I strongly believe that self love is a key and a tonic that we must all seek.

What is your perception of the community or communities in which you are currently engaged - or - that you wish to belong to, on a long term basis?

I would love to engage the Haitian Rasta community. Unfortunately, they are not numerous. My tribe or family consists a large percentage of the ones that I know and whose existence that I am aware of. I am thankful that I can communicate with my sons and that they seem sympathetic to my feelings. My boys also love being Nyabinghi Rastas. They are not too concerned yet with the treachery of the folks from that community and I am thankful that they have not had to engage too much with those folks because I know that things would be very different.

I have no relationship with the other Haitian Rastas and I don't care to engage with them because they are Nasty, deceitful and full of self hatred. I would love to belong to a supportive community. Unfortunately, I have to accept that it could be with white folks who believe that Racism is their problem and that they have to initiate the fight against it with other white folks and call Blacks and other people of color on their self hatred. And it could also be with Haitians who are not vegans and who have perms but who are learned and respectful of my lifestyle.

What would you consider the biggest challenge to the development or betterment of your community/communities?

The biggest challenge to the development and betterment of my community is SELF HATE.

What are your persistent hopes and most frequent fears?

I want to be rich. I want wealth in the form of money, good health, happiness, long life and safety.

I fear homelessness, going to prison or jail, I fear losing my children. I fear losing my physical abilities and losing my health. I fear losing my children and I fear being brutally raped or having my children kidnapped and raped. I LIVE WITH FEAR!

What is your most cherished dream?

To have a huge house that I build from my imagination full of my 12 boys and 12 girls. And I dream of long lasting pure and true love.

Now suppose, just suppose, that we grant you ten million dollars for doing this interview, with the stipulation that you must spend it in 24 hours or less, what would you do?

I would thank you first. And then I would gather my children and pack up our valuables and take the next flight out to Africa. I would probably deposit the money in a black bank or a bank that employs a good percentage of black folks. Once settled I would contact non profit organizations that are working on issues such as Haitian immigration, relief for Ayiti, social issues in Haiti, and so many more. I would give about $50K to several of the most worthy organizations including ones in my area in Miami. I would also set up a trust fund and college fund for my children. I would pay off my debts including my student loans. I would give various amounts to my relatives and set up a fund for each group that I am related to. I would hire and accountant to help me with these figures and the calculations.


Now suppose, just suppose, that you knew for certain that you had one week (7 days) to live, how would you spend your time?

I would spend it trying to communicate as much as possible with my children. I would try to find the best situation for my children.

Is there a world leader (past or present) in any field (arts, science, rights, political, spiritual, etc) that you most admire?

HAILE SELASSIE is one such leader. I really, really, believe that by ending the Ethiopian monarchy with his immediate family, he gave a strong message about class, color, and biological destiny.


Leave us a parting word.

Thank you for caring and keep up the good work.


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Post by admin » Sat Apr 08, 2006 3:10 pm

Welcome back to the forum, Empress Verite!

In your presentation, you made two statements that contradict each other, at least from what I can see. Here they are:

[quote]I would love to engage the Haitian Rasta community. Unfortunately...[/quote]
[quote]I have no relationship with the other Haitian Rastas and I don't care to engage with them because...[/quote]

Do yu care to explain the apparent contradiction? Do you want to engage with them or not?

I look forward to your response.


P.S. It's been a while!

Leonel JB

Post by Leonel JB » Sun Apr 09, 2006 12:10 am

Empress, I am so happy that you're back!!!!
Welcome back!

Empress Verite

Thank You! Mesi Anpil.

Post by Empress Verite » Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:34 am


Thank you Leonel, Nekita and Guy for your gracious and warm welcome back to the forum! I am happy to be back and I am sorry that I missed the reunion in February. Transportation was a big problem for me. It sounded to me like you folks had a great time in Miami.

In response to your remarks about the stated contradictions regarding an imagined relationship with other Haitian Rastas I would like to say the following. Like I wrote, I don't believe that there are many Haitian Nyabinghy Rastas and the ones that I have met have been very abusive to me and my loved ones. I strongly believe that their behavior is reflective of their self-hatred. In fact, I believe that many Haitians whom I met in this trod or lifestyle are seeking ways to go undercover and avoid unnecessary prejudice and hate. Some Haitians have West Indian fever and that can be self defeating.

I am not very hopeful about developping a relationship with other Haitian Rastas at all or Rastas from any other ethnic group. Folks are full of negativityand they often use those they perceive as less powerful as recepticles for their muck. I am a mother now and I cannot afford to get into any kind of confrontation or situation that will jeopardize my safety nor that of my children. As such I have to seriously reconsider my choices at this crucial time. My partner of 12 years who in my view is in a better position to compromise does not have a relationship with any Haitian Rasta so far as I know. He is a Haitian, Nyabinghi Rasta and a West Indian-Bahamian by birth. I think that the issue is that folks need to know when to step out of abusive situations that could cause harm to one's loved ones.

He told me recently when I complained about this situation that I needed more exposure. Therefore, I remain hopeful that I will travel around someday soon and meet more Haitian Dreads/Rastas or perhaps I will give up the lifestyle completely and make it easier to have Haitian friends. I am determined to die a Rasta and so I hope that this will not happen anytime soon. (At least not until my children are grown.)

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