If you drive through any suburb of New Jersey, you could barely see a liquor store, a fast food restaurant or a church on your way. Yet, in the economically disfavored cities (i.e., East Orange, Orange, Irvington, Newark, etc…), all you see on every block are liquor stores, fast food restaurants (McDonald, Burger King, Wendy’s, Checkers, Popeyes, Chinese, etc…) and churches. And I truly believe it is like that in most, if not all, of the cities across the country. Trust me, there is a reason for that.

When in nursing school I was studying Community Health Nursing at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, I was extremely disturbed by this observation. As part of our final grade, we were to team up with a partner to work on a community health research. My partner and I were assigned to conduct a windshield survey in the city of East Orange to depict the socio-economic realities the citizens in that city were facing and how they (those realities) were impacting lives.

Windshield surveys are a form of information gathering mechanism, involving making direct visual observations of a neighborhood or community while driving. These types of surveys are quite an inexpensive, time-efficient approach to assess the social environment of a community. They can even be conducted on foot in the event that a vehicle is not available or practicable.

The purpose of the windshield survey my partner and I conducted was to gain a better understanding of the city of East Orange’s social environment in terms of its boundaries, housing conditions, use of open spaces, shopping areas, schools, religious facilities, human services (such as hospitals and physician offices), modes of transportation, protective services (such as fire and police stations), and the overall neighborhood life.

We were working closely with the health officials at the East Orange Public Health Department to retrieve and analyze health-related policies, prevalent diseases and statistical data. It was a very insightful research study, which was worth conducted.

Many may be asking why you only find the McDonalds, the Burger Kings, etc… in these economically challenged neighborhoods. Well, first of all, you cannot blame the city officials; they do not have control over that. It is pure economics –supply and demand. Why supplying a good or service to a population that does not have the financial or purchasing leverage to afford it? In other words, what is the sense for a fancy restaurant owner selling healthy food to come open a branch in a neighborhood where the people cannot afford to buy the exquisite meals? That would be really stupid, especially when we all know that business people are in business not for sympathy but for the purpose of making money.

What explanation do I have for the presence of the liquor stores and the churches in those neighborhoods? It is so because there is a demand for them. Otherwise, they would have not been there. Most of the people that live in poverty cling to their drugs to help them forget about the stressful lives they are living and their religion to give them a sense of hope. Do the people in the suburbs consume alcohol and honor their religion? Yes, they do, but demand is everything.

Could the city officials implement policies to discourage these businesses from opening shop in their neighborhoods? Well, that would be economically stupid on their parts, especially when we know the level of education of their constituents only equip them for these kinds of jobs. If they (these jobs) were to be pushed away, then what would happen to employment opportunities and tax revenues which the city governments desperately need to run their operations? So it is a vicious circle, which can only be broken and reversed (on a long-term basis) through a drastic agenda of social reforms with emphasis on investing in the people’s education to increase their socio-economic worth.


Successful politicians do not only know how well to articulate their plans to their constituents, but also how best to assassinate the character of their opponents. How do you assassinate someone’s character? You assassinate someone’s character by using their vulnerabilities to convince the electorate to believe that the person is UNFIT for the position. You don’t know about your opponents’ character flaws by looking and smiling at them. You have to dig and unearth the stinky corpses.   

Here in the United States, we see nothing but that. Character assassination is the essence of American politics. Do not take my words for it. All you have to do is to take a few minutes of your time to watch a few political ads. A very slim portion of them is dedicated to introducing and positioning the candidates. For the most part, they are attack ads, and their sole purpose is to assassinate the character of the challenger.

In the Haitian political landscape, the politicians do not create or raise controversies, which is probably the reason why I have found it to be overtly boring. I barely see a political advertisement introducing a candidate, let alone an attack one. The ones I have come in contact with only tell the electorate what the candidate’s identification number is and where to make the check mark to vote him/her.

These Haitian politicians do not even talk about themselves in the ads; they worry more about putting the illiterate and hungry masses in the streets playing RARA POLITICS. I have seen a few candidates doing this crap, which I think is embarrassing, disparaging, condescending, demeaning, low and outdated.  

Anyhow, let’s go back to the topic. As I was saying, character assassination is the best way to fight political battles. You do not win these kinds of battles simply by presenting and positioning yourself; you do by assassinating the character of your opponents.

Have you ever asked yourself what had stopped Marc Bazin, the leader of the MIDH, from winning the 1990 presidential election in Haiti? That man was unstoppable. He had the persona, the savviness and the money to finance and run a well-structured campaign. But what he failed to realize was that money alone does not win elections. You need to be presenting yourself and your agenda and attacking your opponents. The strategy for his defeat was perfectly crafted that he was politically dead before the news even got to him.

How did his character get assassinated? The Haitian left painted him as an emissary of Washington. That’s exactly what they did, and before you know it, he was powerless with all the money he had.

The framing of the leader of the MIDH as Washington’s emissary worked perfectly because the public sentiment at the time was VERY antagonistic towards Washington. And the left did not spend a dime in presenting their candidate, Jean Bertand Aristide, who had just been relieved of his priesthood duty by Vatican for his revolutionary and leftist ideology of liberation theology. Aristide, as popular and powerful as he was, did not need any introduction to the political scene. With only a few months of campaigning, he could topple Bazin’s chance to win the presidency.  

Other politicians got eliminated from the scene simply by being labeled the M word –MAKOUT. Coming from the brutal dictatorship regime of the Duvalier, the people were highly repulsive of anyone having ties or acquaintances with the regime. So if you are a candidate, once you are framed as a TONTON MAKOUT, the ceremony for your political funeral is inevitable.

In conclusion, character assassination is a great strategy of battle which politicians use to annihilate their challenger. It works wonders. Politics is not supposed to be fair. How could you be fair in playing a game which must be won psychologically? Before you win in the polls, you must win in the minds of the people. So politicians should not be spending money in just presenting themselves and their agendas to the electorate; they should also work just as hard to assassinate the character of their opponents. It is despicable to see in this 21st century these Haitian politicians using the same archaic RARA POLITICS as political tool to get the attention of the electorate. Character assassination is not a punishable offense, so use it.


We cannot change society’s sentiments or perceptions of women having kids out of wedlock. Yes, it is not nice and kind for any woman to be looked down upon just because she has kids outside the realm of marriage. But what can you do? You cannot change that. What you can change, however, is your approach to courtship and sex.

Sex ought to be a very serious matter, something that must not be taken lightly. Why having sex with a man who does not see you good enough to be his wife? Please tell me. And when things get complicated and twisted, because a child comes to be added to the equation, you want to hate the man for not wanting to be in your life. You don’t mother his child as a way to keep him or pressure him to marry you. Some women do that, and I think it is very illogical.  

I am not here to be telling you to not be having premarital sex. In fact, you should already know where I stand on that. I encourage you to have responsible premarital sex. If you choose to abstain from having sex until you get married, that’s your choice, and no one should make you feel asocial or like some sort of a strange creature. But if you choose to have casual sex with someone you are not married to, be responsible about it. Enjoy the sexual pleasure there is to enjoy with your sense of reason and responsibility, meaning to do so with someone with the potentials and character to be your husband.

Some of you may argue that marriage is not for you. I can understand that, especially with women these days becoming more independent than ever before. However, from a socio-economic perspective, it is more of an asset or investment to be and stay married than it is a liability, especially when you marry a supportive and responsible man. It is not sweet to be working making ends meet. It is not sweet to be stressing yourself over where the money for next month rent is coming from. Keep in mind that 1 income + 1 income = 2 incomes, not zero income.

From a social perspective, it does elevate the image of the woman when she is married. Society looks at you differently. Yes, I understand you are not living your life for people, but that’s the way it is. Can you change that? Well, if you can, go right ahead make it happen. And when/if you do, please do inform me so I could help you spread the word.

Finally, we have too many single mothers out there struggling living egregiously. That is happening because of a choice they had made, for (for the most part) the man/men did not tie their hands and rape them. They had consensual sex with them. Hear me out, ladies: It is not smart to be sleeping with any man just because he has a penis for you to explore. Just know that actions have consequences. Have sex with someone who can be a plus to your life, not a burdensome liability. Use your brain to figure out what tends to work for YOU. No one should tell you how to live your life. However, when things go wrong, your problems, whether you want to agree with it or not, will become other people’s issues. So enjoy your sex life in a smart, responsible and safe manner.


This piece is not intended to come to the rescue of Rap Kreyol; I don’t think the musical genre does need Emann Joasil to come to its recue. It has more knowledgeable and more suitable people, I assume, to do the job for it. And I am not even a big fan of Rap music, whether it be American Rap or Rap Kreyol. This article, however, is going to address a very important issue that seems to have a toll on our world of music production.

Let me start off by asking this very bold and pertinent question: Why are some of our Konpa artists so panicky when it comes to the surprising evolution and revolution of Rap Kreyol? Let’s get something straight once and for all. The movement will not be put to rest or go away just because some in the Konpa world decide to engage in a badmouthing or denigrating campaign. You guys need to chill!!!! Like we say in our Creole, “mete yon blok glas sou lestomak nou.”

Just like the emergence or explosion of Rasin music during the early 1990’s did not force Konpa to retirement, Rap Kreyol will not do it either. Rap Kreyol is nothing but an add-on to the country’s musical mosaic. Instead of being resentful, we need to be receptive to it; we need to welcome it with open arms, for diversity or plurialism is always desirable or socially and economically beneficial to the consumers.

When Rap music was picking up steam in the American society in the 1980’s, musical genres such as Jazz, Blues, R&B, Country Music, Rock & Roll and others did not feel threatened. Instead, they fastened up their belts to battle through production and marketing to secure their positions in the American entertainment market.

Everybody will get a piece of the pie. So there is no need to panic. This is the time for our Konpa artists/bands to start thinking big and start thinking about leaving their comfort zones. There is no guarantee in a market of 9 million consumers with very limited purchasing power. The time is urgent for our Konpa bands/artists to be going big on exploring other markets on the international arena.

Rap Kreyol is not, has never been, and will never be Konpa’s problem. Konpa’s main problem is Konpa itself. It needs a new approach to production and marketing if it must see another fifty years. Otherwise, that genre of music, which we proudly call our musical identity, may end up in history book.

There is a law of production that says that the quality of any finished output is a reflection of the quality of raw materials going into its production process. So it is time to bring quality resources into the production of our musical outputs. In other words, we need to bring skilled people or professionals in every aspect of the business –production, marketing, distribution, etc.

These days, our Konpa musicians refuse to challenge themselves to produce the quality of music that can transcend markets and generations. Putting everything in perspective, it is fair enough to argue that in a sense we were desperately waiting for the challenge Rap Kreyol is giving Konpa today. If anything, we need to be thankful to Rap Kreyol for coming just in time to wake up Konpa from the coma it has long been diving in. The wake-up call was long overdue.

The Konpa bands/artists were getting too lazy and comfortable. Production was getting very subpar in a less demanding market -where mediocrity, charlatanism and amateurism were becoming tokens of appreciation. Almost all the bands in the Konpa landscape wanted to sound identical or like the most influential and successful ones. There was a sort of bandwagon every single band wanted to jump on. Originality was nothing but a vague and coreless expression. And what they failed to realize was that when you are a duplicate you can never get to outperform the original or real thing. So real competition, being the drive capable of making the players in the market go beyond their reaches, was basically inexistent.

Rap Kreyol is not going anywhere. So if it cannot be drawn away, it makes sense to join hands with it. To all my diehard Konpa lovers/admirers and Rap Kreyol bashers, I want to urge you to look for the enemy elsewhere; it certainly is not Rap Kreyol. To our Kreyol Rappers, keep doing what you have been doing and even better. Don’t see Konpa as a target. To do so will be to put it on a pedestal it does not even belong. Rather, see the sky of the global market as your only limit. Keep producing great music and keep representing our musical colors wherever you guys happen to be.


What is being dead and what is death? Being in the medical field convinces me to see what we call death from a different and better perspective, one that may be controversial to some.

Does death really exist, some may be asking? We all may disagree in principle, but there is one thing we all can agree upon, and that is the notion that human intelligence is limited. Could it be that what we call death is basically the point of climax of human intelligence, the point of limit of our intelligence?

We declare people dead because our intelligence does not allow us to go beyond and do anything to revive them. Don’t we all believe in the theory that what we don’t know is bigger than us? There you have it.

Death is our greatest challenge simply because our limited intelligence has not given us YET the prescriptions as to how to overcome it.

Until our intelligence granted us access to scientific research and space exploration, we used to believe then in many assumptions about the earth and its relations with the solar system, which we came later to realize were scientifically false.

We send people away to be buried because our limited intelligence does not allow us to go beyond. But there will be a day, one I may not live to see, where what we call death will be laughing matters.

When your computer crashes, for instance, what do you do? You seek professional counsel and help from someone having the trusted expertise to repair it, right? And what do you do if the trusted expert tells you that there is no hope to get the PC to work again? You dispose of it, right? Well, just because it is disposed of does not mean that it ought to really be forever gone and that nothing can ever be done in the future to bring it back to operation.

So does death really exist? I think the notion of death is relative. Death can mean different things to different people. I may be laughed at if I say that death does not exist. We came up with the notion of death because we forged in our psyche a place for it to reside but, in reality, it does not exist.

Bypassing Traditional Konpa Promoters Could Help…

I think if we could bypass the so-called, self-proclaimed or wannabe promoters in the Haitian music business, the tenure or image of the bands would be better off. These people, for the most part, are the reason why the consumers of Konpa music are being repulsive to some bands in the business.

People don’t go to sleep and wake up being certified event planners/organizers overnight. They actually receive some type of formal education. For some of us, going to school is just a waste of time. So long as the person has a few dollars somewhere in the bank, they think they can do anything. That is why most of what we do are done subpar and can only be bought and accepted by us Haitians.

I have come across “promoters” (I intentionally put the word in quotation marks) who would have on the ticket bands that have no knowledge of any prior deals with them to showcase at their events. This is a spiteful and deceitful tactic some in the Haitian music business use to hike the publicity for their events. For instance, they can have on the ticket Carimi and T-Vice. This is meant to be a sold-out event because they are two of the most popular bands in the world of Haitian music.

They know for a fact that Carimi will not be part of the show, yet they still run with the ticket. So the patrons end up being overcharged only to come see one band performing, just T-Vice. To clear up their reputation to the detriment of that of the phantom band, in this case, Carimi, they lamely want to make believe that they (Carimi) forfeited and called out at the very last minute. Now you have a condition where the patrons are furious and upset at none other than Carimi, a state of affairs that may or will put in jeopardy the band’s reputation. In such treacherous situation, two things will infuriate the fans:

  1. They are overcharged as a result of a scam tactic, and the surcharge will not be refunded to them.
  1. The diehard fans of Carimi (those who would probably have not come out, had Carimi not been put on the ticket), not only will they not see their band performing, they also get overcharged to come to a party which, otherwise, they probably would have not come out to support.

    I used Carimi and T-Vice as just an example to prove my point just like I could have used any other two bands.

    The bands don’t really need to do business with these irresponsible, so-called, self-proclaimed and wannabe event organizers or promoters. They can do without them, and their business will be more fruitful.

    Here is what I think the bands need to do. They need to hire official and qualified state representatives to represent them in each and every single state where there is a dense Haitian community. That in itself is a staff position. As long as the function or responsibility of the representative remains the same, and it is well defined and understood, it does not really matter what you call the person. The title should not really be a matter of concern.

    What will the responsibility of that staff member be? He or she will work in concert with the management team of the band to plan and organize in his/her state events that will put on stage the band he/she represents. These events will be financed by the band, and the return or loss on that invested capital will affect only the band’s bottom line. As a staff member, how and what that person is going to get paid will depend on whatever deal he/she and the band’s management agree upon.

    Until these wannabe, self-proclaimed, so-called promoters can get their acts together, to safeguard the image and business of the bands, they need to be kept at a distance and compelled to go do something else with the money they claim to have. We do NOT need them in the business because they are a bunch of business spoilers.

By Emann Joasil Posted in Music


I have been hearing the saying “love is blind” since I don’t know when, and people are still repeating the nonsense. I am sure I am not the only one to have been hearing it; you too have. Is it really love that is blind, or is it that at times our naïveté leads us into making the foolish, dumb and stupid decisions?

All of us are blessed with the capacity to think and reason, differentiating us from these four-legged animals. Love is indeed powerful, but its power can never get to overpower that of our sense of reason which all of us possess. I am not buying that.   

Relationship is not made for kids to get into. It is a grown people thing. It is not a game; it is a serious matter. It can mess you up to the point where your entire psychological self may need to literally be reconstructed. Choosing someone to be and stay with cannot be a gamble or a game of chess. It has got to be the result of some serious thinking.

Being with someone is just as serious as driving a motor vehicle. The only difference is that, unlike to operate a motor vehicle, you are not required to be licensed to be in a relationship with someone. But, in analogy, driving a vehicle and being in a relationship are basically the same. If love can get you blind, you should not be in relationships, for you will become a danger or a matter of disturbance to yourself and others.

If you realize that you are losing your 20/20 vision, my advice to you is to let someone else drive you around. In other words, if you feel like that love is getting you to lose your sense of logic and start acting foolish, dumb and stupid, maybe you need to do something about yourself. Take a relationship vacation or something until you recover your vision. I have been in the game for some time now, never have I lost my 20/20 vision. So quit saying love is blind. 😀


I’ve come across many people in many Konpa circles complaining about event promoters asking way too much for cover charges, which by all estimates range anywhere between $30 and $45. But what these people fail to realize is that these promoters for the most part set their charges according to their operating costs. So asking them to lower their cover charges would be to ask them to minimize their costs, which, in my humble opinion, is where the bulk of the challenge lies.

The objective of this piece is not to go around blaming sectors in the market; it is, rather, to present a comprehensive analysis of the situation and offer alternatives of solution. Also, since I am more aware of the reality in the Northeast market, my focus will be more on the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Boston markets.

In any free market environment, competition is the thermostat that regulates price fluctuations. In other words, when the market playing field is leveled for all the players, competition is basically the element that determines prices for products and services. And the successful entrepreneurs are those with the perfect grip on cost accounting and cost management for cost control and containment, for cost is the parameter that determines market outcomes.

It is not a secret that the recession is negatively impacting the lifestyles of most people in the economy. As a result, less people than usual can afford going out partying. While less people are turning out for party calls, the costs of putting a live out-of-area band -such as Nu Look, T-Vice, Djakout Mizik, DISIP or Zenglen -on stage at any convenient venue in the Northeast are skyrocketing. The promoters, unfortunately, are being made convenient scapegoats and blamed and slashed left and right as though they are overcharging their patrons.

The promoters or event organizers are in business to make money, if there is money to be made that is. With costs as high as they are, with any one of these aforementioned bands on the ticket, to break-even (we are not even talking about making a profit), these party organizers will have no choice but to raise their cover charges as high as 50 to 75 percent. Whenever we are talking about costs, the patrons/consumers/partygoers are always the ones to absorb the pressure of market uncertainties and price gouging. In other words, the high costs are always passed on to them. Something has got to be done to control costs, which, in turn, will make it possible to protect the pockets of the partygoers.

Let’s not fool ourselves, folks. The bands are not going to lower their fees for service just because they are asked to or people are complaining. It does not work that way in a free market environment. They need to be forced or constrained to do so. It is understandable for some of these popular out-of-area Konpa bands in the business to be asking anything from $6,000 to $8,000 as fee for service. It is about the economic reality of supply and demand. Because the demand for their services is going to the roof, they find it normal, and understandably so, to charge the promoters anything they want. And these event organizers accept the charges because they know they will be passing the burden on to the patrons. I am proposing a commonsense approach to fix this problem.

  1. The notion of having regular events with two or three bands on the ticket must be put to rest. It is not cost-effective, and it is definitely not beneficial to the attending patrons. Let’s say, for instance, a promoter decides to organize a party with Disip and T-Vice in New York or New Jersey. I intentionally select these two bands because they headquarter in Florida, not anywhere near our geographical area –New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Boston. The costs of putting such a party together could be in the range of $20,000 to $25,000. And let’s assume that the venue’s occupancy level is 600 people. That party organizer would have to charge at least $40 just to breakeven, just to make the invested capital; we are not even talking about making a profit. Anything below $40 would be running on a deficit. So that party organizer would have to overstretch his/her cover charge, should he/she want to make a profit. The patrons would be the ones to feel the heat the most, not the promoter and certainly not the bands. And the reason for that is because the costs are being passed on to them.
  2. The focus must be on investing in the local bands, meaning more efforts need to be made to stage the local bands –Carimi, Zin, System Band, etc. Call me market protectionist however you want; I strongly believe that the Northeast territory belongs to the bands in the area. Therefore, it does not make any sense for these bands from outside our territory to be in the area every weekend entertaining the people while some of our local bands are being neglected for the most part. No wonder the upcoming bands in the area are struggling to stay alive; they are not being encouraged to challenge themselves. I am not saying the out-of-area bands must not be touring the Northeast. That is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that we need to give priority to the local bands, should we want to lower costs and alleviate the burden being passed on to our patrons. Zenglen, Nu Look, T-Vice, Djakout Mizik, Disip, Harmonick, Kreyol La, Gabel, 5 Etwal, etc… are not playing a level of Konpa which Carimi, Zin, System Band, etc… are not playing. To think that the out-of-area bands are better suited to entertain the people in our geographical turf is a myth that needs to be challenged.
  3. Business sponsorship is another way a promoter can lower costs to alleviate the burden on the patrons. If you are going to have a party, it would make a lot of sense to go out there and find businesses to sponsor the event. Both the entertainment company and the sponsoring businesses will benefit from it. I don’t really know what the issue is, but it seems as though the concept of business sponsorship is not quite registered in the minds of our business owners. Again, if you are looking for sponsorships, why limiting yourself to only the Haitian-owned businesses? The Haitian community does not only do business with Haitian-owned business institutions. We do with businesses in the other communities. So why not going after these enterprises for sponsorships?

It is inconceivable and economically preposterous for any promoter to think that the recessive economy is not negatively impacting the ways the people live their lives. People are becoming more and more penny-conscious, yet you have promoters wanting to rob them of their hard-earned money. The time is right for a different approach to be put to test.

If the promoters are really intelligent as I believe they are, they will invest in the local bands to lower costs and alleviate the unbearable economic weight breaking the people’s backs. It is not that the regional bands don’t have what it takes musically speaking to give the same results as these out-of-area bands.

Charging the people $40 to come watch two out-of-area bands on a ticket (for instance, T-Vice and Nu Look or Zenglen and Disip) performing is not needed, not when the same amount of people could have turned out with only either one of the two bands on the ticket. With that, the patrons could get a break on the cover charge of as high as 50%. That to me would be economically compassionate and the right thing to do.


Jean Jacques Dessalines: a Haitian independence heroIn some Western circles and books written by Western writers, for the most part, you would find Dessalines not being given the proper respect he deserves. When/if they do talk about him, he would be portrayed or presented as a demon. Today, I am writing this piece to join the ranks of many who have been fighting to refurbish the tarnished image of this great son of Africa.

Dessalines, one of the people of Haiti’s many heroes, was not a demon. How could he be called a demon and George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte are excluded from the league? See, I want you all to pay close attention as to who those people are -the ones who have been calling him these types of condescending and demeaning names. It’s the people whose interests he was against. Today, sadly and ironically, we even have countless brainwashed Haitians in that league. These Haitians are nothing but emissaries of a status quo that stands for nothing that we Haitians stand for. We will always have them around. That’s understandable. They were around in 1804, they are still alive today. They are not going anywhere. We just have got to deal with them.

For the information of all, Dessalines was not a demon. He was what he was for his people, a freedom-fighter. He was a great, brilliant and valiant leader. He did something which surpasses human comprehension –commanding the indigenous army of Haiti, an army of slaves and former slaves, to victory against the Napoleon Army, the then greatest army in the world. If that is not heroic, I don’t know what is.

To the military experts out there still trying to figure out how could such insolence happen, I have to say that warfare is not won solely with the sharpness of your weapons, but also with the sharpness of your strategy. Dessalines was an astute war strategist. It is that simple.

If he was alive today fighting our independence war against the French colonial system, I would have not been surprised hearing him being called a terrorist. He would have been a terrorist because he was not shy at all to respond to terror with terror. If he, who was using terror to suppress the terrorist acts of the French, could have been called a terrorist, would it have not been fair to demand that the French brutal system and those who were working to keep it alive too be called so? The French, who were terrorizing the Black Africans, would have not been any less of a bunch of terrorists than Dessalines would have been.

Dessalines took three words as vague as liberty, equality and fraternity –which were nothing but slogans for the slaves in the colony of Saint Domingue –and showed the metropolitan French society how to materialize them. Like my good friend MrProdg would say, the man “stood for something and fought/died for it.”

What I am trying to convey to you reading this piece is to not let yourself caught in the game of words being played today. As long as there are freedom-fighters, there will always be demons, monsters, and terrorists, for, as I have said to you earlier, one man’s terrorist, demon and monster is another man’s freedom-fighter.

Dessalines, of course, was a demon and a monster for the people whose interests he was not defending and protecting. But we Haitians know that he was our freedom-fighter, and that is what should matter. We must not and will not allow anybody to come tell us otherwise. We already know what the deal is. The fact of the matter is, had he not done what he did to earn and secure our independence, the outcome would have been beneficial to the French, not to us Haitians. We would have still been today in physical and psychological bondage. If today some Haitians are still in psychological bondage, it is because of a choice they had made, not because they were forced to be.

So Dessalines was neither a demon nor a monster. He was a great, honorable and well-respected freedom-fighter. Anyone (non-Haitians and brainwashed Haitians) trying to demonize him by calling him all types of names can just go to hell. If I could deify him, I would. He was a “gason vanyan, neg ki pa konn rete ak moun.” May his soul rest in peace!


The practice of domination and subjugation of one individual by another, which we call slavery, did not come to an end in most places around the world because the status quo in these societies was sympathizing with the slaves. The same argument could be made for the women’s movement in America. The women’s movement in this country did not come to light by spontaneous generation, nor did it because society wanted to be gracious, sympathetic and understanding toward women. It did because women decided to take matters into their own hands.

Women are abused everywhere on the globe; it happens in the United States, Sudan, Venezuela, China, Haiti, etc… No one country on earth can claim immunity over abusive behaviors perpetrated against women. The statistical figures that are out there, showing the levels and types of abusive behaviors women have been subject to, can attest to that. They are horrendous and staggering. So the issue should not be about how widespread such a social disease has become; it should, rather, be about what are we going to do to eradicate it.

It has been proven that most women who have been abused are so by individuals whom they have some degree of closeness to and who have used a pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors to maintain power and control over them. We must never forget and constantly be reminded that any woman should be made slave of another human being.

We must stand on principle against women being abused –physically and emotionally -and unjustly treated as second class citizens in this male-dominated society of ours. To do so, we must use a systematic, comprehensive and smart approach -we must not be telling or teaching the women to be rebellious, but empowering them through education, financial independence and self-reliance.

There may be other grassroots organizations on the ground working to improve the lives and conditions of our women, but this new organization named FANM VANYAN FOUNDATION really caught my attention.

What’s in the name FANM VANYAN? In the Haitian culture, when a woman is said to be a FANM VANYAN, this is a woman you really do not want to mess with. And that in itself is not because she is rude, disrespectful, or anything as such. She is, rather, a woman who is very strong-minded, liberated, independent, educated, self-sufficient, self-reliant, respectful, loving and caring. Some men, the ones fighting the lack of self-confident disease, are afraid of them because they defy their prototypes of women. She is someone any real man would want to have by his side as a partner or a battle buddy to fight and prosper on the battlefield of life.

The organization is headquartered in Orlando, Florida. It is a newborn non-profit organization with a very ambitious vision. The name is Haitian, but its reach goes beyond the boundaries of the Haitian community at home and in the Diaspora. They believe that one woman’s problems are problems of all women. In other words, the problems the Haitian women are dealing with in society can be found everywhere and anywhere on the globe.

They aim at reaching down and uplifting, enriching, educating, inspiring and empowering women from various walks of life. They also “work diligently to increase self-love and self-esteem by providing the tools necessary to assist each individual and their families in rebuilding a new life.” They focus on women issues, but the core of the movement is love for all humans regardless of gender, nationality, religion, creed, socio-economic status. And the reason for that is because they believe that fighting for the rights of women is fighting for the rights of all humans.

They have a clear strategy to fulfill their mission -empowering and encouraging women by funding and hosting programs that foster education, personal growth and self -love.

We need these types of organizations to flourish, especially when young people are taking on these battles. But, like most of the organizations that did not last to see their first birthdays, if they do not get your moral and financial support, they will not get far. So it’s important for you to support them with your small monetary donations and your volunteering spirit. For further information on how you can support their agenda, you can visit them online at their soon-to-come site: They need you to stay alive; you can send them a check payable to:


P.O. BOX 618398