You Are Here: Home » Local News » Haitian American Historical Society opens museum

Haitian American Historical Society opens museum

Haitian American Historical Society opens museum

By Jimmie Davis, Jr.

Haitian soldiers helped to liberate Americans from the British during the “Siege of Savannah” on Oct. 9, 1779, so why aren’t students being taught about the role that Haitians played in history?

On Oct. 9, 2009 a Haitian Memorial Monument in Savannah, Ga. was erected to commemorate the participation of Haiti’s forefathers fighting to free America from the tyranny of England.

The Haitian American Historical Society (HAHS) under the leadership of Daniel Fils-Aime has been developing plans for the last several years to bring the legacy of Haitian affairs to the community, and on Aug. 23 his dreams came true by opening up the Haitian Historical Museum & Archives (HHM&A) located at 645 N.E. 127 St. in Miami.

“By opening up the museum our goal is to change the misconceptions that people have about Haiti,” said Fils-Aime during the opening ceremony. “We want people to learn about our culture and the significant contributions Haiti played in society.”

Fils-Aime says the opening of the museum coincides with the “International Day for Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition” that’s celebrated annually on Aug. 23.

It was during the night of Aug. 22nd thru the 23rd in 1791 in Santo Domingo where the uprising transpired that catapulted Haiti into their liberation from colonial France.

The HHM&A was filled with very beautiful and colorful paintings by Ulrick Jean-Pierre who started his works of art at 16-years old but began sketching at the age of two.

“Haiti is the first Black Re-public and as an artist I feel compelled to paint our history on canvass,” said Jean-Pierre. “The museum will demonstrate Haiti as an institution to show our artifacts and exhibits.”

The first masterpiece that will capture the audience attention is the rendition of General Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the leader of the revolutionary army who defeated the French.

He’s considered the father of the nation and the 1st president/emperor.

Alexandra Barbot, CEO/Executive Director of HAHS/HHM&A says they applied for several grants, but has yet to receive any funding from any municipality.

“We opened the museum with private funding,” Barbot said. “We really need financial support so the public can see what we are doing.”

She says funding will help support outreach programs for schools and especially for the young men that are at-risk.

“It’s so important to have a museum of this magnitude so Haitian/Black history can be taught,” said Barbot. “It’s important to implement programs for children in the community and boys can have a place to go.”

Antoine Bayard, Training, Education & Employment Manager for Volunteers of America, concurs with Barbot and says young individuals need a museum to learn about their culture, because they don’t know the history of Haiti.

“Haiti has a long history of influencing American history whether it’s past or contemporary,” Bayard said. “This is great in terms of culture and political history.”

Since 1790 Louisiana and Haiti have been closely linked. In 1803 the US became the largest benefactor of the success of the Haitian Revolution. Afterwards Napoleon Bonaparte sold his major American holding [Louisiana] to President Thomas Jefferson for $15 million dollars.

State Representative Hazel Rogers, District 25 came all the way up from Broward County to lend support for the opening of the museum, and was very delighted to see all of the wonderful paintings.

“I’m here to be part of this very historic event, and learn from the exhibitions,” said Rogers. “The art work is great. I can understand and feel the story that the artist is portraying.”

The Green Family Foundation, Oletta Partners and IMC Property Maintenance Management are proud sponsors of the Haitian Historical Museum & Archives.


Be Sociable, Share!

    Leave a Comment

    Site Designed By

    Scroll to top