Who are the elites in the poorest country of the Western Hemisphere? Do Haiti’s elites constitute themselves in a Blackness vs. Whiteness/Mulattoness opposition? In investigating these questions, this ethnography encompasses in the object of study the nation’s middle classes educated in Western ways, and it arrives at an analysis of social relations among privileged national subjects within and across boundaries of color. Its central thesis is the material unity in privilege of Haiti’s colorist fragments. Noirisme, a fundamentalist strain of Haitian black nationalism that reached hegemony in the dictatorship of François Duvalier in the 1960s, is in marked retreat in contemporary Haiti. Its lingering influence nonetheless continues to foster a black qua black sociality among privileged black nationalists. Mulatto nationalism, as political project and public discourse, lapsed into irrelevance sometime around the mid-point of the 20th century. Mulâtrisme, the ensemble of presumptively mulatto worldviews, is reduced today to an obsessive measurement and reproduction of approximations of whites’ somatic features, and arrives at a mulatto qua mulatto sociality. Notwithstanding the political instrumentality of the colorist fragmentation, through competencies in Western cultures, the fragments recover societal cohesion in the reproduction of privilege, and in colorist thought and action, over against the interests of the vast monolingual poor Creole-spekaing majority. The analysis sees one effect of the fragmentation in the rupture of a potential moment of liberal politics in the privileged classes at the boundary of color.
Open Source Archives
We strive to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration and the implementation of progressive and participatory research methods, with the goal of generating tangible, durable changes in the way research about Haiti is conceptualized, implemented and applied.
Research Hub & Open Source Archives
EKO HAITI Research Hub is a research and knowledge mobilization platform focused on creative, collaborative and interdisciplinary research and associated research-based learning. We aim to become the intellectual “home” for research about Haiti by creating and providing open access to the largest crowdsourced research archive dedicated to Haiti, by fostering cross-disciplinary research and innovation, and by providing support for progressive research in the form of contextual expertise and training.
“The trees fall from time to time, but the voice of the forest never loses its power. Life begins.”
Jacques Alexis, Les Arbres Musiciens (Paris, 1957)
Oral histories are a powerful tool in developing historical understanding
Oral history offers an alternative to conventional history, filling gaps in traditional research with personal accounts of historically significant events or simply life in a specific place and time. Oral histories do more than provide charming details to dry historical accounts. In fact, oral histories help others recapture lived experiences that are not written down in traditional sources.
> Transcripts archive
" Bwa pi wo di li wè lwen, men grenn pwomennen di li wè pi lwen pase l "
The tallest tree says that it sees far, but the seed that travels says that it sees even further.
Support EKO HAITI
As an independent institute, we rely on crowdsourcing and donations to continue expanding the depth and scope of our archives. Your contribution enable us to provide open access to a vast collection of ethnographic and research material which in turn aims at fostering further research and contribute to a better understanding of the country.