Tag Archives: Haiti

FA20: Haitian Revolution

WORKING

Haitian Revolution

Historiography

CLR James, The Black Jacobins

Laurent Dubois, Avengers of the New World

Gerald Horne, Confronting Blak Jacobins

Film

Gillo Pontecorvo, Burn!

Lydia Bailey (1947?)

Edward Halperin, White Zombie

doc. Egalitè for All

doc. Aristide and the Endless Revolution

Visual Arts

Kimathi Donkor, Caribbean Passion: Haiti 1804

Jacob Lawrence, The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture

Black Dawn (film)

Drama

Aime Cesaire, The Tragedy of King Christophe

Orson Welles, Voodoo Macbeth

Eugene O’Neill, Emperor Jones

CLR James, Toussaint L’Ouverture: A Play in Three Acts

Novel

Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of This World

Madison Smart Bell, All Soul’s Rising (Haitian Trilogy)

Leonora Sansay, Secret History, or The Horrors of Santo Domingo

Nalo Hopkins, Midnight Robber

Arna Bontemps, Black Thunder

Syl Cheney-Coker, Sacred River: A Novel

Politics/Theory/Anthropology

Susan Buck-Morss, Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History

Peter Hallward, Damming the Flood

Alfred Métraux, Voodoo in Haiti

 

 

Tonton Macoute (HUM303)

tonton

Tonton Macoute (Creole: Tonton Makout) can be translated as “bogeyman,” though it literally means “Uncle Gunnysack.”

See this excerpt:

In 1959, only two years after becoming president, “Papa Doc” created a paramilitary force that would report only to him and would be fully empowered to use unremitting violence to maintain the new administration’s authority to summarily dispose of its enemies. This marked the birth of one of the most brutal paramilitary organizations in the hemisphere and was justified by the leader’s profound paranoia towards the threat posed by the regular armed forces. Haiti’s military began to steadily lose a great deal of authority with the consolidation of the François Duvalier regime, which it would not recover until 1986, when the pressure coming from senior military officers played a major role in the fall of Jean-Claude. A spate of coups followed, with military figures occupying the vacancy left by “Baby Doc.”

The Haitians nicknamed this warlord-led goon squad the “Tonton Macoutes,” after the Creole translation of a common myth, about an “uncle” (Tonton) who kidnaps and punishes obstreperous kids by snaring them in a gunnysack (Macoute) and carrying them off to be consumed at breakfast. Consequently, these torturers, kidnapers and extortionists were feared not only by children, but also by the country’s general population, as well as by opposition members and business men not willing to make enforced pay-offs to the authorities. The militia consisted mostly of illiterate fanatics that were converted into ruthless zombie-like gunmen. Their straw hats, blue denim shirts, dark glasses and machetes remain indelibly etched in the minds of millions of Haitians.

Ever since its establishment, this brutal organization had free rein to act unreservedly, disregarding any ethical or civil rights of the citizenry that might interfere with its indiscriminate violence. They were not accountable to any state branch, court or elected body, but rather only to their leader, “Papa Doc.”

http://www.coha.org/tonton-macoutes/

 

Background on US/Haiti (HUM415)

This is a link for a lecture I gave about Eugene O’Neill’s Emperor Jones.

http://amciv.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/286/

Information on Haiti’s history can be found at the Encyclopedia Britannica online or Country Watch, both available through the library website.

You can also key word “Haiti” on this blog and find several useful articles by Edwidge Danticat, Slavoj Zizek, and Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

At the least, please read Peter Hallward’s essay on Haiti (located on the course information page).

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