Mme and Monsieur Druillard. They live in Cazales alone, occasionally visited by children and grandchildren, scattered around Haiti and beyond. They are one of the last pale skin couples left.
When the French Revolution changes started to appear in St Domingue, (former name of Haiti, at that time French colony) , in 1792, Léger-Félicité Sonthonax was sent to the colony by the French Legislative Assembly as part of the Revolutionary Commission. His main goal was to maintain French control of Saint-Domingue, stabilize the colony, and enforce the social equality recently granted to free people of color by the National Convention of France.
On August 29, 1793, Sonthonax took the radical step of proclaiming the freedom of the slaves in the north province (with severe limits on their freedom). In September and October, emancipation was extended throughout the colony. On February 4, 1794 the French National Convention ratified this act, applying it to all French colonies.
However, not only white plantation owners but also mixed mulattoes and free men of colour, that were to build future elites of independent state, were opposed to abolition of slavery and fought the French force. Finally, slaves under Toussaint L'Ouverture managed to take control of the whole Hispaniola island and slavery was abolished in 1801.
In the meantime continental France was already ruled by Napoleon, and in 1802 he sent a massive invasion force under his brother-in-law Charles Leclerc in order to take over the island and restore slavery when possible.
The contingent was around 40000 strong and included Polish Legion, army created according to the wishful thinking of Polish soldiers that by helping Napoleon in his wars, freedom will be won for Poland. The slogan of the time was "For yours and our freedom". However, when the Legionnaires realized that the campaign has very little to do with liberating and is actually about enslaving people fighting for their rights, they refused, deserted and in many cases joined the slave army.
The invading army perished anyway due to yellow fever and malaria, and at the same time war resumed between France and Britain, so Napoleon was forced to sell his overseas possessions to USA in Louisiana Purchase.
On January 1, 1804 independent Haiti was declared, remaining colonizers who didn't manage to flee were slaughtered and white people prohibited from possessing property in Haitian soil.
One exception were Polish soldiers, in gratitude for their actions during the war of independence they were allowed to stay and were spared the fate of other whites, which some of them choose , settling in places like Fond des Blanc or Cazales. In isolation for a long time, memory of old traditions and language started to die out, but there is still awareness of their heritage, of being different. This is portrait of Cazales, biggest of those villages, name , as locals believe , originating from popular Polish name Zalewski and creole word Kay. The home of Zalewski, the home of the Polish descendants.
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Piel Dolis is supporting Brasil, but as many Haitians from this village is living in Caracas, Venezuela, working for himself and the family left behind in Cazales. This is last day of his holiday, tomorrow he is going to Port Au Prince to catch a plane to Caracas.
Straight hair, light skin, moustache and machete replacing a sabre are reminding of old Polish soldiers from Napoleonic times.
Delice Joseph Merlo. Carpenter by trade, working occasionally once 3-4 months. 6 daughters, his wife now in the last month of next pregnancy. They are all living in 3 tiny rooms in the house he built himself. During part of our stay in Cazales he was our host and guide. Sharing life of this family for a few days we had a chance to see time expanding like a bubble gum. There is absolutely nothing significant happening, people wake up, drink some coffee, wash clothes in the river, sit on old bench, talk , sleep , walk, sit down again, go to see their neighbours, come back, play dominoes, go to have a swim in the river, work in the garden perhaps an hour a day. Eternal holidays with no alternative, no ideas what to do with time, no initiative, just waiting for the day to end. This is how large part of Haitian men in the countryside live, and it strangely reminds of rural , post-communist Poland with same kind of attitudes.
Saintelo Desmisslan ( born 1950) and Florvil Inome in the background. Saintelo is a farmer who spends most of his time between some of his fields and various village corners, where he sits shirtless and counts time going by. The way in he asked us for money any time he saw us made me more tolerant for constant Haitian "give me dollar" I heard travelling in this country. After all, in other cases it was just a skin colour that separates them from ordinary village bum one can meet in rural Poland, asking money for cheap wine. In case of Saintelo even colour was the same.
Sylvain Benoit. He is one of very few rich citizens of Cazales. Having lived years in the USA he now owns huge garden , but even if it brings considerable income, his main source of cash is still pension from America. The garden is very well fenced and protected by aggressive dogs, Sylvain is also one of few car owners in the village. His daughter was in Poland once, from where she brought an icon of Black Madonna from Czestochowa as a gift for local catholic priest. She was also a former wife of Haitian president Preval and is said to have misappropriated most of 5 million USD that was donated for infrastructure in this "Polish" village by foreign donors. For this money only tin roof over local market was erected and small place near the village catholic church renovated and named John Paul II square.
Polish-Haitian Connection Part 2: Voodoo, Erzulie Dantor and the Black Madonna
Black Madonna of Częstochowa
The chromolithograph is commonly used in Haiti to depict the Loa Erzulie Dantor
Haitian Voodoo is mostly derived from a religious system of deity and ancestor veneration widely practiced in western Africa at the time of the Atlantic slave trade. Haitian Voodoo has extra ("New World") spirits which do not exist in African voodoo. People who ended up as slaves on the Caribbean islands controlled by the Kingdom of France were forbidden (at first on an ad-hoc basis, later by the Code Noir) from practicing any religion other than Catholicism.
In light of all this a process of syncretisation took place on Haiti (or Saint-Domingue as the territory was then called) where some voodoo loa (spirits) became identified with Catholic saints and some Catholic saints became loa in their own right. It's a fascinating subject, an introduction to which should be related by those more talented than I. BoB particularly recommends Webster University professor Bob Corbett's site in this regard.
A particular syncretisation spurred me into writing about Voodoo - that between the Black Madonna of Czestochowa (Polish: Czarna Madonna Częstochowska) and the New World loa Erzulie Dantor. This is the loa of single mothers, homosexuals, justice and independence. Dantor was present at a famous voodoo ritual in 1791, where she took over the body of one of the worshippers and urged Haitians to "kill the stranger" - this precipitated the revolution which culminated in independence for the island in 1804 and the massacre of every Frenchman on the island.
For her part the Black Madonna has a special place in Polish national myth. The painting is housed in Poland's holiest monastery at Jasna Góra. Legend has it that the icon was painted by St. Luke on a tabletop belonging to Mary and Joseph and eventually brought to Poland. Her distinctive facial scars are said to have miraculously reappeared after they had been painted over following a pagan attack, an indication that the Black Madonna wanted to share in the nation's fate.
Revolutionary Haitians were not to know all of these details. The back story to the painting in Voodoo lore is of a mother fiercely protective of the daughter she carries (actually Jesus in the Catholic interpretation). She loves knives and received the facial scars fighting with her sister Erzulie Freda. The scars are a sign of Dantor's strength - she is wounded but keeps going.
It is hard to say why this particular religious painting became a popular focus for syncretisation with a "New World" spirit of Haitian Voodoo. Her black skin may have made the painting more acceptable to a black population than other white-skinned versions, much as images of saints with explicitly Black African features are popular in Africa. It is also possible that there were many more copies of this particular painting on the island than others, following the landing of 5000 Polish legionaries on the island in 1802. Many Poles to this day keep depictions of the Black Madonna in their homes, cars and wallets.
Haiti President Michel Martelly officially unveiled a series of
renovations at Port-au-Prince’s Toussaint Louverture International
Airport on Sunday, following his trip to Europe.
The renovations include major overhauls to the airport’s arrivals terminal.
The President, flanked by Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and Tourism
Minister Stephanie Villedrouin, conducted a ribbon cutting ceremony,
which was accompanied by the unveiling of a ceremonial plaque.
The first phase includes renovations to a series of areas of the
airport, including the baggage claim, infirmary and the arrival
Above: a new reception centre at the airport
“Modernization will help boost our relations with other countries in
the world as we integrate further into the global economic movement,”
Martelly said. “At the same time, it puts [this] operation up to the
standards of modern aviation.”
Above: passport control
Thus far, over $6 million has been invested in the project, the
government said, with the second phase, which includes renovations of
the airport’s departures terminal, already underway.
Above: Haiti First Lady Sophia Martelly viewing a new display at the airport
(CBS News) Sal Khan is a math, science, and history teacher to millions
of students, yet none have ever seen his face. Khan is the voice and brains behind Khan Academy, a
free online tutoring site that may have gotten your kid out of an algebra bind with its educational how-to videos. Now Khan Academy is going global. Backed by Google, Gates, and other Internet powerhouses, Sal Khan wants to change education worldwide, and his approach is already being tested in some American schools. Sanjay Gupta reports.
With the backing of Gates and Google, Khan Academy and its free online educational videos are moving into the classroom and across the world.
Their goal: to revolutionize how we teach and learn. Sanjay Gupta reports.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Jesse Roe, a ninth-grade math teacher at a charter school here called Summit, has a peephole into the brains of each of his 38 students.
Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Salman Khan in the offices of his company, Khan
Academy, in Mountain View, Calif. His math lessons are popular on
Grading the Digital School
Combining Man and Machine
Articles in this series are looking at the
intersection of education, technology and business as schools embrace
Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Jesse Roe, a teacher in the Summit school in San
Jose, can use the teaching software to monitor the math progress of students like Cheyenne Grant, 14, right. Top, a lesson on the parts of a cell from a Khan Academy video on YouTube.
He can see that a girl sitting against the wall is zipping through geometry exercises; that a boy with long curls over his eyes is stuck on a lesson on long equations; and that another boy in the front row is getting a handle on probability.
Each student’s math journey shows up instantly on the laptop Mr. Roe carries as he wanders the room. He stops at each desk, cajoles, offers tips, reassures. For an hour, this crowded, dimly lighted classroom in the hardscrabble shadow of Silicon Valley hums with the sound of fingers clicking on keyboards, pencils scratching on paper and an occasional whoop when a student scores a streak of right answers.
The software program unleashed in this classroom is the brainchild of Salman Khan, an Ivy League-trained math whiz and the son of an immigrant single mother. Mr. Khan, 35, has become something of an online
sensation with his Khan Academy/a> math and science lessons on YouTube, which has attracted up to 3.5 million viewers a month. nbsp;
Now he wants to weave those digital lessons into the fabric of the school curriculum — a more ambitious and as yet untested proposition.
This semester, at least 36 schools nationwide are trying out Mr. Khan’s experiment: splitting up the work of teaching between man and machine, and combining teacher-led lessons with computer-based lectures and
As schools try to sort out confusing claims about the benefits of using technology in the classroom, and companies ponder the profits from big education contracts, Khan Academy may seem like just another product vying for attention.
But what makes Mr. Khan’s venture stand out is that the lessons and software tools are entirely free — available to anyone with access to a reasonably fast Internet connection.
“The core of our mission is to give material to people who need it,” Mr. Khan said. “You could ask, ‘Why should it be free?’ But why shouldn’t it be free?”
For now, Mr. Khan’s small team is subsidized by more than $16.5 million from technology donors, including Bill Gates, Google, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the O’Sullivan Foundation. He intends to raise an endowment. And this summer, starting in the Bay Area, where he is based, he plans to hold an educational summer camp.
It is too early to know whether the Khan Academy software makes a real difference in learning. A limited study with students in Oakland, Calif., this year found that children who had fallen behind in math caught up equally well if they used the software or were tutored in small groups. The research firm SRI International is
working on an evaluation of the software in the classroom.
Mr. Khan’s critics say that his model is really a return to rote learning under a high-tech facade, and that it would be far better to help children puzzle through a concept than drill it into their heads.
“Instead of showing our students a better lecture, let’s get them doing something better than lecture,” Frank Noschese, a high school physics teacher in Cross River, N.Y., wrote on his blog in June.
But in education circles, Mr. Khan’s efforts have captured imaginations and spawned imitators. Two Stanford professors have drawn on his model to offer a free online artificial intelligence class.
Thirty-four thousand people are now taking the course, and many more have signed up. Stanford Medical School, which allows its students to take lectures online if they want, summoned Mr. Khan to help its faculty
spice up their presentations.
And a New York-based luxury real estate company credited Mr. Khan with inspiring its profit-making venture: the Floating University,
a set of online courses taught by academic superstars, repackaged and sold to Ivy League colleges and eventually to anyone who wants to pay for them.
“What Khan represents is a model that’s tapped into the desire that everyone has to personalize the learning experience and get it cheap and quick,” said Jim Shelton, assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement at the Education Department.
Mr. Shelton predicted that there would be “a bunch of knockoffs” that would take the Khan approach and try to expand on it. “This is going to spread like wildfire,” he said.
Mr. Khan grew up in a suburb of New Orleans, where his mother, who is from Bangladesh, raised him on her own by cobbling together a series of jobs and businesses. He went to public schools, where, as he recalls, a
few classmates were fresh out of jail and others were bound for top universities.
Math became his passion. He pored over textbooks and joined the math club. He came to see math as storytelling. “Math is a language for thinking,” he said, “as opposed to voodoo magical incantations where you have no idea where they’re coming from.”
The YouTube lectures got their start six years ago when Mr. Khan needed a way to help a cousin catch up on high school math. They are startlingly simple. Each one covers a single topic, like long division or the debt
crisis, usually in a bite-size 10-minute segment. The viewer hears Mr. Khan talking, in his typically chatty, older brother sort of way. But his face is never seen, just his scribbles on the screen. More recently he has included two outside specialists to give lectures on art history topics like the Rosetta Stone and Caravaggio.
Today, the Khan Academy site offers 2,700 instructional videos and a constellation of practice exercises. Master one concept, move on to the next. Earn rewards for a streak of correct answers. For teachers, there
is an analytics dashboard that shows both an aggregate picture of how the class is doing and a detailed map of each student’s math comprehension. In other words, a peephole.
Diane Tavenner, chief of the Summit chain of four charter schools, said that at first she was ambivalent about using Mr. Khan’s software. It would require buying laptops for every student and investing in more
Internet capacity. And she found the Khan Academy model of instructor and blackboard — albeit a digital one — to be a bit too traditional.
In the past, math class at the Summit schools was always hands-on: the class worked on a problem, usually in small groups, sometimes for days at a time. But getting an entire class of ninth graders to master the
fundamentals of math was never easy. Without those, the higher-level conceptual exercises were impossible.
That is where the machine came in handy. The Khan software offered students a new, engaging way to learn the basics.
Ms. Tavenner says she believes that computers cannot replace teachers.
But the computer, she recognizes, can do some things a teacher cannot.
It can offer personal feedback to a whole room of students as they work.
And it can give the teacher additional class time to do more creative and customized teaching.
“Combining Khan with that kind of teaching will produce the best kind of math,” she argued. “Teachers are more effective because they have a window into the student’s mind. ”
Ms. Tavenner’s students here inhabit a world that seems distant from the dazzle and wealth of adjacent Silicon Valley. Nearly half come from families where English is a second language. Forty percent qualify for free lunches. So pervasive is gang violence in the area that school uniforms have been mandated as a safeguard against the display of gang colors. Not all students have a computer at home, or parents who can help with homework.
Math class at Summit on one afternoon this fall began like many around the country. Mr. Roe was at the whiteboard at the head of the room, explaining order of operations — the math concept that dictates the
sequence in which calculations should be performed in a long equation.
Handouts were passed out, and there was a series of questions and answers.
In the second hour, the students were huddled over laptops, each working on a different set of exercises. Nicole Bermudez, 14, was on geometry.
She had trouble with math in middle school. Her teacher, she said, had no time to help her, and her mother did not have the patience. “She would just yell at me. She would say, ‘You can’t get it? This is simple math. ’ ”
The Khan Academy software, she pointed out, offers hints and instructional videos to nudge her ahead. It waits until she has mastered one concept before she can move on to the next. She can ask Mr. Roe when she is really stuck.
In the back of the class, two girls wearing headphones watched one of Mr. Khan’s videos. Moses Rodriguez plodded slowly through some exercises, his attention occasionally wandering until Mr. Roe came around and prodded him. The classroom was quiet, apart from the occasional eruptions of victory.
“Is your brain hurting yet?” one girl asked her neighbor.
Age of Empire & Royalty III Faustin-Élie Soulouque
26 August 1849 - 15 January 1859
Faustin 1er Emperor of Haiti
I (1782–1867) was born Petit-Goâve in 1782 as Faustin-Élie Soulouque.
He was a career officer and general in the Haïtian army when he was
elected President of Haïti in 1847.
1849 he was proclaimed Emperor of Haïti under the name of Faustin I.
He soon purged the army of the ruling elite, installed black-skinned
loyalists in administrative positions, and created a secret police and a
personal army. In 1849 he created a black nobility.
his unsuccessful attempts to reconquer the Dominican Republic
undermined his control and a conspiracy led by General Fabre Nicolas
Geffrard forced him to abdicate in 1859.
He was freed by Léger-Félicité Sonthonax in 1793.
a free citizen he enlisted in the black revolutionary army and fought
as a private during the Haïtian Revolution between 1803–1804. During
the conflict Soulouque became a respected soldier and as a consequence
in 1806 he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Army of Haïti and
made Aide de Camp to General Lamarre. In 1810 he was appointed to the
Horse Guards under President Pétion. During the next four decades he
continued to serve in the Haïtian Military, rising to the rank of
Colonel under President Guerrier, until finally promoted to the highest
command in the Haïtian Army, attaining the rank of Lieutenant General
and Supreme Commander of the Presidential Guards under then President
1847 President Riché died. During his tenure he had acted as a
figurehead for the Boyerist ruling class, who immediately began to look
for a replacement. Their attention quickly focused on Faustin
Soulouque, whom the majority considered to be a somewhat dull and
ignorant man. At the age of 65 he seemed to be a malleable candidate
and was subsequently enticed to accept the role offered him, taking the
Presidential Oath of Office on 2 March 1847.
first Faustin seemed to fill the role of puppet well. Within a short
time however, he overthrew his backers and made himself absolute ruler
of the state. Supported by a gang of highly loyal militia known as
"zinglins", Soulouque continued to consolidate his power over the
government, a process which culminated in the Senate and Chamber of
Deputies proclaiming him Emperor of Haïti on 26 August 1849. His reign
was marked by a violent restrictions towards opposition and numerous
In December 1849 Faustin married his long time companion Adélina Leveque.
On 18 April 1852 at the capital Port-au-Prince,
emperor and empress were crowned in an immense and lavish ceremony, in
emulation of the coronation of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
his subsequent reign, Faustin attempted to create a strong centralized
government, which while retaining a profoundly Haïtian character,
borrowed heavily from European traditions, especially those of the First
One of his first acts after being declared emperor was to establish a Haitian nobility. By September, 1850, Faustin
had granted Letters Patent creating 4 Princes of the Empire, 59 Dukes,
2 Marquis, 99 Counts, 215 Barons, and scores of Hereditary Chevaliers
and lesser nobles. In order that he might reward loyalty to his regime
as well as add to the prestige of the Haitian Monarchy, on 21
September 1849 he established the Military Order of St Faustin and the Civil Order of the Haïtian Legion
of Honor. Later, in 1856 he created the Orders of St. Mary Magdalene
and the Order of St. Anne. That same year he founded the Imperial
Academy of Arts.
foreign policy was centered on preventing foreign intrusion into
Haïtian politics and sovereignty. The independence of the Dominican Republic
(then called Santo Domingo) during the Dominican War of Independence
from Haïti was, in his view, a direct threat to that security. Faustin
launched successive invasions into Dominican territory, in 1849, 1850,
1855 and 1856, each with the objective of seizing the eastern half of
the island and annexing it to Haïti. However, all of the attempts ended
in defeat for the Haïtian Army.
During his reign, Faustin also found himself in direct confrontation with the United States over Navassa Island
which the U.S. had seized on the somewhat dubious grounds that guano
had been discovered there. Faustin dispatched warships to the island in
response to the incursion, but withdrew them after the U.S. guaranteed
Haïti a portion of the revenues from the mining operations.
Faustin's marriage to Empress Adélina produced one daughter, Princess Célita Soulouque. The emperor also adopted Adelina's daughter, Olive, in 1850. She was granted the title of Princess with the style Her Serene Highness. She married Jean Philippe Lubin, Count of Petion-Ville.
The emperor had one brother, Prince Jean-Joseph Soulouque, who in turn
had eleven sons and daughters. Jean-Joseph's eldest son, Prince
Mainville-Joseph Soulouque, was created Prince Imperial of Haïti and
heir apparent upon the succession of his uncle to the throne, he later
married Marie d'Albert.
Adélina Soulouque, née Leveque, Empress Consort of Haiti, was
the daughter of Marie Michel Lévêque, a Haitian of mixed-race
heritage. She had a long-term relationship with Faustin Souloque for
many years before the marriage ceremony. In December 1849, Adelina
married emperor Faustin, she was given the title of Empress of Haiti
with the style of Her Imperial Majesty, and crowned with her husband at
the capital Port-au-Prince 18th April 1852. Her sister was styled
H.S.H. Princess Clélia.
Exile and death In
1858 a revolution began, led by General Fabre Geffrard, Duc de
Tabara. Geffrard defeated the Imperial Army and seized control of most
of the country. As a result the emperor abdicated his throne on 15
January 1859. Refused aid by the French Legation, Faustin was taken
into exile aboard a British warship on 22 January 1859. Soon
afterwards, the emperor and his family arrived in Kingston, Jamaica,
where they remained for several years.
Allowed to return to Haïti,
Faustin died at Petit-Goâve on 6 August 1867 and was buried at Fort