A fifty years journey2December 12, 1972 - December 12, 2022

A series of two special online programs to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the first boatload of Haitian refugees that arrived on the Florida coast and the twelfth anniversary of the January 12, 2010 earthquake.


Part one

On December 12, 1972, fifty years ago, the first boatload of Haitian refugees fleeing the persecution and extreme conditions of the U.S.-backed Duvalier regime arrived on the Florida coast.

On December 12, 2022, the Haitian diaspora in the United States commemorates this first arrival, which marks the beginning of 50 years of crossings, tragedies, but also of resistance and solidarities, and new departures for more than one million Haitian immigrants currently living in the United States, and will be an opportunity to look back on 50 years of Haitian migration, migration policy and US involvement in Haiti:

- By paying tribute to the many victims and to those left behind;
- by looking back at the Duvalier dictatorship, chronic political instability and tragic events that have punctuated the history of our country for fifty years;
- by tracing the history of U.S. migration policies that, from 1972 to the present, systematically and specifically subjected Haitians to racist, illegal and inhumane treatment, and by analyzing how U.S. policy in Haiti has shaped the emigration of Haitians to the U.S, as well the situation in Haiti, contributing to the complex process that led to the current collapse;
- by recalling the struggle of Haitians and of activists who supported them for the respect of their rights, the hard work of Haitian organizations and their allies in the United States to defend and assist migrants;
- By establishing the foundations for an essential dialogue between Haiti and its diaspora.

FOKAL is contributing to this commemoration through its Media and Arts and Culture programs. On this occasion, the Foundation is producing two special programs that will be broadcast online. These programs mix songs, recitations, and discussions/reflections in small groups in the presence of an audience of student members of debate clubs and artists.

The first program will air on December 12, 2022 at 6:00 pm. It attempts to look at the periods of the great waves of Haitian migration from 1972 to the present from a global perspective, linking them to the history of Haiti and to U.S. policy towards the country: it emphasizes the policy of illegal and systematic detention and other humiliations, vexations, and persecutions targeting Haitians in particular.

Edwidge Danticat, writer, Guerline Jozef, director of the Haiti Bridge Alliance, Gepsie Metellus, director of SANT LA - Haiti Neighborhood Center in Miami, Lorraine Mangonès, director of FOKAL and Michèle Pierre-Louis, president of the Foundation, participate in a discussion recorded on the virtual platform ZOOM.

This discussion, conceived as a shared History telling, is punctuated by texts and songs interpreted by Edwidge Danticat, Gaëlle-Bien Aimé and Eliézer Guérismé for the texts, Néhémie Bastien, Charline Jean Gilles, Vanessa Jeudi, for the songs, accompanied by musicians Josué Alexis on piano, David Casséus on bass, Emmanuel Jean Baptiste on drums, Francisco Sardau Lafrance on percussions, Kerby Jimmy Toussaint on guitar.

The program was directed by Michèle Lemoine, from an original idea by Lorraine Mangonès, in collaboration with Gary Lubin for the artistic direction, Réginald Louissaint Junior for the direction of the photography and the editing of the songs, and Laurence Magloire, Mwèm TV, for the recording and editing of the discussion.

Contact and address

143, Avenue Christophe BP 2720 HT 6112
Port-au-Prince,Haïti | Tel : (509) 2813-1694

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