My family and I received the following message from The Embassy of the Republic of Haiti on October 6, 2016 at 9:01 pm. The Ambassador gives important advice: work with credible organizations and institutions on the ground in Haiti. Bypassing and ignoring local Haitian organizations and institutions (inclusive of government) is not helpful in the long term and has in fact been destructive.
A few years ago, at a fundraising dinner, I recited a poem that riffed on a 19th century poem by Haitian intellectual Herard Dumesle. The words of Dumesle’s poem are now associated in living myth with the fighting spirit invoked by Sesil Fatima and Boukman, and included a call to discard an image that only thirsted for our tears.