Getting to Know: Haiti's History
We are proud to work alongside remarkable leaders in Haiti, and we love sharing stories, culture, and beauty that are present in the country. In honor of Black History Month, here are a few insights to shed light on Haiti and her contributions to history and culture.
Haiti is well known for the successful revolt against France by formerly enslaved people which led to independence on January 1st, 1804. Every year on January 1st people in Haiti celebrate their independence day with fireworks, dancing, and soup joumou.
Not only was this the first, but the only enslaved people uprising that led to a free state governed by nonwhites and former enslaved men and women.
This revolt was successfully led under the influence of Toussaint L'Ouverture and the leadership of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, both men born who had been trafficked in slavery.
Prior to the Haitian Revolution, leaders in America sent help to the Europeans in St. Domingue to protect the economic profit being made off the free labor of Africans. Under the administration of President John Adams, Haiti and America had trade links; however, when Thomas Jefferson took over office Haiti was cut off and not recognized as independent until 1862 even though their independence was recognized in France in 1825. As reparations France demanded that Haiti pay them 100 million francs, which is roughly around $21 billion (USD) today. Today, the successful slave revolt in Haiti stands as one of the most monumental movements in Black History.
2nd Story Goods originated in the city of Gonaives, which is located 100 miles north of the capital city, Port au Prince. It is also known as Haiti's city of independence because it is where Dessalines declared independence from France.
Haiti's revolution left a lasting mark on the world. But the effects of the devastating system of human trafficking that was present at the inception of the country continues to have consequences. This February, it is important to pause to recognize that Black History is World History, and to continue to work towards justice and equity for generations to come.
We would be remiss to not mention that not only does Haiti hold importance in history, it also holds much beauty. The landscape of Haiti is universal as it ranges from green, rugged mountains to gorgeous blue water meeting the shore of the beaches. The culture, traditions, and trades in Haiti are unique and beautiful.
Many people have stories in their heads of Haiti that focus on poverty. This is why we are committed to telling the story of Haiti, to understand a little background on how history has brought Haiti to where she is today, and to focus on the beauty that she has and continues to offer the world.