“In Praise of Haitian and Haitianist Scholars: Finding the Source and The Problem of the Haitian Archive”
Scholars and historians who labor in the field of Haitian Studies are my heroes and my heroines. You are some of the most hard working, talented, courageous, and patient individuals I know on the face of this planet. Kudos to you!
It is very difficult to locate books and documents written by Haitian writers in the country of Haiti, especially historical writings from the colonial times of Saint-Domingue to the second half of the twentieth-century postcolonial Haiti. Yet you Haitianists continue to research without being pessimistic, losing your cool, or thinking about quitting or changing your areas of focus for something more accessible to you and to the public. You keep investigating because you believe that Haiti has an important message and relevant history for the world. You keep digging and going forward because you know that studying Haitian history provides an important window into European history, especially on the vital subjects of African retentions and survivals in the Diaspora, slavery, colonialism, political freedom, sovereignty, human emancipation, human rights, imperialism, etc. You keep hoping that you will find that one particular and single source that will contribute to a better understanding of haitian history, human history, and Western history. You should be praised!
The literary production in Haiti is voluminous and substantial. Yet Haiti does not keep a good historical record or archive of the country’s literary heritage and its own written history. This unfortunate situation must change. The country of Haiti as well as Haitianists have a moral and intellectual responsibility to do a better job in safeguarding and securing the contemporary written records and future literary productions in the twentieth-first century.