Haitian NYC is centered around Little Haiti in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
Haiti is a main center of Black culture in the Americas. Haitians are the only people in history to free themselves and found a nation.
The Haitian Revolution spread Haiti’s African Diaspora culture around the Caribbean. One of its signatures is syncopation. When people say “Creole,” they often mean Haitian Diaspora.
During the Revolution, the instruments and rhythms that became Changüi and Cuban Son (and in NYC, Salsa) suddenly appeared in Eastern Cuba. In Trinidad, the Haitian Diaspora created Trinidad Carnival, the mother of Caribbean Carnival. In New Orleans, we got the Blues, the root of the popular music and dances of the United States. From the Blues, we got Jazz, Rock, and Hip-Hop.
Haitian NYC News
March 31, 2022
Haitian Ballet Dancers
Dance Theatre of Harlem at the 1st City Center Dance Festival starts with a Gala Performance that includes the NY premieres of “Higher Ground” and an extended “Balamouk” by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa at New York Tue, Apr 5 at 7pm and regular performances Fri-Sun, Apr 8-10. From $35. 🇧🇷🇨🇴🇨🇺🇭🇹🇺🇸
Haitian American Playwright
Confederates, by Tony nominee Dominique Morisseau, opens at the Signature Theatre Mar 8 at 7:30pm, and runs to Apr 10. $35. 🇭🇹🇺🇸
Sunday, June 26, 2022
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
June 11 – September 22, 2022
NEW YORK CITY PARKS
Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Staten Island
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
Fri-Mon, May 27-30, 2022
BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC (BAM)
Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Friday, November 15, 2019
PURCHASE COLLEGE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
Purchase, New York ~ Discover the rich textures of Haitian music and dance in the jazz and classical arts at.'(T)HERE: A Global Festival of Art, Culture and Ideas – Haiti’
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Previously in Haitian NYC
Surrealism Beyond Borders is at The Met Fifth Avenue in Central Park, Oct 11, 2021 – Jan 30, 2022. 🇨🇺🇭🇹🇲🇶🇵🇷 | 🇦🇷🇨🇱🇨🇴 | 🇫🇷🇮🇹🇪🇸
Selections from the Department of Drawings and Prints: Revolution, Resistance, and Activism is at The Met Fifth Avenue in Central Park through Jan 17, 2022. 🇫🇷🇭🇹🇮🇳🇲🇽🇪🇸
Miguel Zenón joins Ches Smith and We All Break for their “Path of Seven Colors” record release show of Haitian Vodou music at Roulette Intermedium in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn on Tue, Oct 26 at 8pm. $20. 🇭🇹🇵🇷
Dance Theatre of Harlem does pop-up performances inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s sculptures in the Kusama garden at the NY Botanical Garden in The Bronx, Sat-Sun, Oct 16-17 from 2-5pm. From $25. 🇧🇷🇨🇺🇭🇹🇺🇸
Haitians are the only people in history to free themselves from slavery and found a nation. Haitian influence is big. The Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) was the beginning of the end of the European’s human slavery.
The riches produced by the sugar colony and the disruption of the revolution spread Haitian people and culture around the Caribbean. In Cuba we got more syncopation in Rumba and Son. In the Dominican Republic we got Merengue. In Puerto Rico we got Bomba. In Trinidad we got the mother of Caribbean Carnival. In New Orleans we got Jazz.
The word “Creole” and the Jazz word “Swing” both reference the influence of the African Diaspora from Haiti. By the way, it’s pronounced “I-E-T.”
Haitian Festivals in NYC
Haitian Flag Day is New York City’s main Haitian festival.
Thursday, February 2, 2023
Haitian New York City
New York City’s “Little Haiti” is in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
Haitian New Yorkers
Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) is probably the most famous Haitian New Yorker. He was one of the art stars of 1980s New York.
Wyclef Jean gained fame with The Fugees out of Metropolitan New York.
Leyla Mccalla is making compelling folk music in New Orleans.
Sunday, December 22, 2019
“BOOM FOR REAL”
A documentary about Basquiat’s early years and the City that formed the landmark Haitian-Puerto Rican artist from Brooklyn
Monday – Friday
August 13 – 29, 2018
FIRST STREET GALLERY, Chelsea, NYC
A Haitian-American woman who deconstructs the contrast between Black and White experience in our country.
Wednesday – Sunday
April 20 – May 20, 2018
The Haitian World
Thursday, April 7, 2022 🇭🇹
Saturday, November 16, 2019
PURCHASE, New York (White Plains) ~ Traditional Haitian folk music as part of ‘(T)HERE: A Global Festival of Art, Culture and Ideas – Haiti’ at the Purchase College Performing Arts Center
Thursday, August 29, 2019
DAVID RUBENSTEIN ATRIUM, Lincoln Center
April 24 – June 3, 2018
Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan
Written by Haitian-American Obie Award-winning playwright DOMINIQUE MORISSEAU. Directed by Puerto Rican-American Tony® Award-winning director RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON.
Jazz, gentrification, a sexy woman and hard choices make paradise blue.
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The most famous Haitian culture is the Voodoo faith. There is nothing bad or scary about it. That is colonizer and Hollywood nonsense.
Haitian Creole is a language. Creole languages are created by the children of two cultures, and become a unique language all their own.
The Haitian Diaspora has made significant contributions to Caribbean and American culture.
Friday, January 6, 2023
Tuesday, June 13, 2023
Monday, July 25, 2022
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
CIRCLE IN THE SQUARE THEATRE, TIMES SQUARE THEATER DISTRICT, December 3, 2017 to January 6, 2019, Dark Thursdays ~ This Caribbean version of “The Little Mermaid” wins hearts.
Haiti is the only nation in history founded from a slave revolt. That is something to be very proud of.
Haiti influenced Caribbean life, U.S. history, and the popular music and dances of the Americas
Haiti is a Caribbean country on the western third of the island of Hispaniola. Hispaniola was the Taíno heartland.
Columbus landed there in 1492. The Spanish colony he founded later became the Dominican Republic. The western part of the island was slowly taken over by French and other European pirates.
After 1697 the French colony of Saint-Domingue became the richest colony in the Caribbean so other colonizers copied the model. It later became the model for industrial slavery in the United States which the British copied from the Caribbean.
Saint-Domingue society had this strange contrast in that it was a slave colony which practiced the most brutal exploitation of people and land, but French slavers gave their mixed-race children a first-rate European education. These “Creoles” (American-born children of Europeans) began running the colony. Creoles believed that French Revolutionary ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity should apply to them, but the landowners (basically their parents) refused.
When a 1791 slave uprising launched the Haitian Revolution, Creoles eventually joined forces with the Africans. Haitian Flag Day commemorates that union.
The chaos of the Revolution caused a migration to other Creole (French-African-American) regions of the Caribbean including New Orleans. Blues and jazz show up around this time in French Louisiana. Blues is the root of the music of the United States. The blue note is African and Wynton Marsalis says jazz is Creole.
French contredanse (a blend of English country dance and Italian court dancing) was the very first international dance. Basically it is couples dancing. Migrants from Saint-Domingue brought African syncopation to the contradanza in Cuba. The “Habanera” was what outsiders called the way they dance contradanza in Havana. The Habanera is the root of social dancing in the Americas including Argentine tango and Caribbean salsa.
The literature doesn’t say it, but there must be a Saint-Domingue/Haitian connection to the music and dances of the Americas.
The Haitian Revolution also changed U.S. history. It caused Napoleon to give up on the Americas (for a time) and sell much of New France to the United States which we know as the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. That opened up the West.
The free nation of Haiti was founded in 1804. Former slaves founding a free country was a historic achievement. It has not been done before or since. At the time, the French Army was the world’s most powerful, like the U.S. Marines are today. Much blood was shed for freedom. Haitians even helped fight the U.S. Revolution.
Other countries shunned the new nation for fear that their own enslaved humans would rise up. France forced colonial reparations that drained the new country’s economy. After a promising start, Haiti suffered long periods of political instability which continue even to the present. A great and proud story seems to have been buried by racism.
The United States occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934.
Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier became president and then a brutal dictator from 1957 to 1971. His son followed until 1986.
Jean-Bertrand Aristide won Haiti’s first free election in 1990. Instability followed and U.S. troops returned in 1994-1995.
A large earthquake destroyed most of the capital Port-au-Prince in 2010. UN assistance brought cholera to the island. Political instability remains.
Freedom is not easy, but gaining freedom from slavery is a historic accomplishment that all Haitians can be proud of.