Category Archives: Haitian History

Black History Month Pix Of The Day: Suzanne Comhaire-Sylvain


Suzanne Comhaire-Sylvain, date unknown. Image Courtesy of: Stanford University Libraries Newsletter. Courtesy of : Haitian HIstory Tumblr


Courtesy of Haitian History Tumblr:

Suzanne Comhaire-Sylvain (1898-1975), daughter of the Haitian diplomat and intellectual Georges Sylvain (an active member of the Union Patriotique created to denounce the U.S. Marine Occupation of Haiti in 1915), is rarely mentioned in Haitian anthologies about anthropology. Yet, not only was Comhaire-Sylvain considered immensely educated for her time (earning a doctoral degree from the University of Paris in the late 1930s), her studies led her to be one of the first individuals to suggest that Haitian Creole was perhaps more than “badly spoken French,” and a more sophisticated language, mixing words and syntax from different romance and African languages. While her research was largely deemed inconsequential in the 1930s and 1940s, today, it would have been common place.

Aside from studying languages she was also interested in broder anthropological subjects and most notably the place of women in Caribbean and African societies.

In many respect, Comhaire-Sylvain challenged typically Haitian gender roles by refusing the quiet life that was favoured for middle-class women.

She died in 1975, in a car accident while in Nigeria. Her publications include Le Créole haïtien, morphologie et syntaxe (1936), À propos du vocabulaire des croyances paysannes (1938) among others. Her private papers can be found at Stanford University.

[Source: Île en île and “Suzanne Comhaire-Sylvain” by Laënnec Hurbon]

Vintage Haiti c.1975

Haiti c.1975

These vintage Haiti pictures always make my day.
I love showing them to my grandparents and mother and hearing about how great of a time they had growing up in Haiti when it looked like this. Its actually a lot of fun watching them reminisce about their childhood or earlier days living in Haiti.

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Vintage Haiti: Haitian Army c.1800

Haitian Army c.1800

Illustration by Henri Boisselier

28 January 1801: The governor of Spanish Santo Domingo cedes control of his territory to Louverture. To make his achievements permanent, Louverture forms a central assembly to write a new constitution for all of Hispaniola that abolishes slavery on the entire island. Louverture’s achievements during his years in power include social reforms, structuring and organizing a new government, establishing courts of justice and building public schools.

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Repost: The President’s Daughter: Haitian Poetess and Writer Ida Faubert

“Ida Faubert (Christian first name Gertrude Florentine Félicitée Ida) was born in Port-au-Prince on February 14, 1882 and died in Joinville-le-Pont, 1969 ) was a Haitian writer, daughter of the former president of Haïti, Lysius Salomon. She lived in France from 1914 to 1969, where she married ; she was related to feminist and artistic movements. She wrote her books in French.”

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